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Dayton Council Still Can't Agree on Permanent Meeting Plan

A debate that started over three months ago continues for the Dayton City Council: Where to meet?

It was decided in March that the city building was too small to accommodate the growing number of spectators so council meetings were to be moved to the larger Board of Education building. Even then, the vote was divided at 4-3 with Mayor Ken Rankle breaking the tie.

In May, those plans hit a snag when some on city council were angered that the city building was undergoing renovation before a second and final vote was had to make the move to the BoE building official. In what the mayor described as "chaos", the council reversed its decision by a vote of 4-2.

Since then the members of council have considered an alternating meeting location, moving from the BoE building to the VFW Hall. On Tuesday night, two ordinances were presented dealing with that.

The first ordinance would alternate meetings between the Board of Ed. building and the VFW but died on lack of a motion to bring it to a vote. The reason? "I think it's very presumptuous to attempt to pass an ordinance when you've not obtained permission from the VFW to use their facility," said Council member Penny Hurtt. "No one has spoken to the appropriate people there. It has not been brought to their officers for their approval."

The next ordinance opened up meeting locations to the Board of Education building, the VFW, or anywhere else in the city that council sees fit as long as a vote is taken. But, "If no one approached the VFW, that would be a hindrance," said Councilman Bill Burns, who presided over the meeting as Rankle was not present. "I don't know if either of these ordinances are any good."

The second ordinance also died for lack of a motion.

The meeting last fewer than thirty minutes. Council heard a first reading of its $3.5 million operating budget for the next fiscal year which will receive a vote at council's July 1 meeting. Councilman Jerry Gifford was also absent but newly appointed Councilman Ron Gunning made his first appearance in his new capacity as replacement for Bobby Allen, who resigned in May.

City Administrator Michael Giffen, who was promoted in April from his position as Main Street Manager, said more than thirty candidates applied for his old job. The field was narrowed to twelve and initial interviews were conducted and now six candidates will be interviewed a second time next week. Giffen said he hopes to have someone in the position by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

-Michael Monks, editor

Photo: Dayton City Building