This statement was provided by William Lutz, President of City Council, at the Special Council Meeting of Octobr 31, 2022.
"As President of Council, I am bound by Rule I of the Rules of Procedure of Council. In part Rule I states, “The Presiding Officer shall avoid any appearance of partisanship on any question. He is solely to see that the business properly brought before Council is conducted in an orderly manner and that the members of Council observe the rules of procedure adopted by this Council.”
My role is not to speak in support or opposition of resolutions or ordinances brought forward for discussion and to participate in the debate around such issues. However, there are important observations that I wish to share at this time.
It has been 1,024 days since a tornado struck buildings in our downtown core and tonight marks the first time that the Mayor and our Service and Safety Director has specifically asked this council to take any action on the building at 112-118 West Main Street. Tonight’s votes on Resolutions number R-69-2022 and R-70-2022 are the first votes that our city council have cast when it comes to this issue.
That is not to say that this council has been quiet when it comes to the consequences of the tornado. Under the initiative of Council Member Schilling, this council adopted a moratorium on all downtown demolitions which led to a comprehensive review and subsequent amendments to our zoning code dealing specifically with demolitions of historically significant structures in our downtown core. A vacant property ordinance was brought up for discussion in front of the council’s Community and Economic Development Committee. If it is within the prerogative of a council president to be proud of city council, I certainly am.
While absolutely no one can be happy with our city’s continual inability to open up a heavily used public sidewalk and seven badly needed parking spaces, it should be known that the responsibility for this inaction does not lie with your city council. As previously stated, our city council has been proactive in dealing with the consequences of these issues that have been presented to it.
It can not be overstated. Before tonight, this council has not been asked as a body to provide their advice or their guidance on the building at 112-118 West Main Street.
Now, at a specially called meeting of council, the Mayor and the Service and Safety Director are asking this council to adopt two resolutions.
The first resolution would in effect be a blank check to legal counsel “related to the Decision and Judgement Entry Affirming in Part and Reversing in Part the Decision of the Troy Board of Zoning Appeals, Case No. 21 CV 378 and any future appeal.”
The second resolution would authorize the Director of Public Service and Safety “to file, or to have filed, a Notice of Appeal regarding Common Pleas Court Case No. 21 CV 378 in support of the City of Troy Board of Zoning Appeals”. An appeal, that as time goes on, appears to be more in the financial interest of a few select individuals, rather than the interest of the general public.
My question to the second resolution is has the Troy Board of Zoning Appeals, as a body, indicated their support for this decision to appeal? If so, when and where was this decision made? Would it not be prudent to get the advice and guidance of the Board of Zoning Appeals on any future appeal, since that is the body in which this litigation is pertaining to?
If this Mayor and Service and Safety Director have treated the Board of Zoning Appeals anything like City Council, we know the answer to that question. Of course, the Board of Zoning Appeals have not been asked for their advice or guidance. Why would those that have the responsibility of running this community start looking for guidance and advice now?
Those individuals that have the responsibility of running this community on a day to day basis have again failed to clearly communicate any strategy to our elected Council Members of this community and have placed City Council in the most precarious position."