City Council prepares for new year

Marietta City Council bid adieu to its longest standing member and its youngest member Thursday during the final regular meeting of the 2016-17 term.

Councilman Tom Vukovic, who has served since Oct. 14, 1998, as representative of the Fourth Ward, and Councilwoman Sarah Snow who has served since Jan. 1, 2016 as an at-large representative were present for their final regular council meeting and were lauded by fellow council members and administration for their hard works over their terms.

“I’ve gone through floods and dealt with city hall renovations twice and many a constituent phone call but my goal was I really wanted to make the city a better place to live,” said Vukovic.

Snow said she learned much from Vukovic in her brief time on council and appreciated his passion for the community.

Council also recognized two retirees from the Marietta Fire Department who hung up their gear in May and August respectively. Jack Hansis and David Lenington, departed from the leadership ranks of the fire department after many years of service and Lenington implored future council members to support Fire Chief C.W. Durham’s efforts to make sure current and future firefighters remain safe and healthy.

“I had to retire after being diagnosed with Stage 3 Colorectal Cancer,” he explained. “It’s well known that firemen get cancer at a higher rate given all we’re exposed to… I would just ask council to support the chief when he comes to you asking for money for better, safer equipment so my brethren can continue to serve you and this community.”

Riverbank lease

Council authorized the lease of the riverbank on the western side of the Muskingum River where the Claire E riverboat once was docked to now be used by the Harmar Rowing Club.

“This has been neglected for a number of years since that boat left and I think it’s a good idea to have the rowing club get the site ready for the high school rowing team,” said Vukovic.

Councilwomen Kathy Downer and Cindy Oxender echoed Vukovic’s support, noting that both of their children had participated in crew in years past.

“Two of my kids did it and it did wonders for them and they made very good friends,” said Downer.

The lease of the property, stretching 184 feet north of the current high school’s boathouse, is for a term of five years with two one-year renewals optional. Per year the site will cost the Harmar Rowing Club $415.

Council also unanimously passed two ordinances exercising complete control over city rights of way and the placement of cell towers and nodes on city properties and lands.

“We have been trying to protect our right of way that the state continues to want to take away from us since I have been on council,” said Vukovic. “This concerns the community’s property and we should be able to determine what we want to happen on it.”

Council will next meet with its newest members Mike Scales, Geoff Schenkel and Cassidi Shoaf on Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. for the passing of the year’s budget in room 10 of the Armory, 241 Front St.