Hilliard City Council on Dec. 10 appropriated operating expenses for 2013 and approved a battery of other time-sensitive legislation at what is expected to be its final meeting of 2012.
Council members also bade farewell to Law Director Pam Fox, who announced last month she would resign to accept a post as law director of Worthington, and Councilwoman Stephanie Kunze, who last month was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and will resign from council at the end of the year.
In formal action, City Council members approved an ordinance appropriating almost $20.4 million for the city's general-fund operating expenses for 2013.
The ordinance was amended at the meeting to add $75,000 for the firm FrazierHeiby to assist the city with implementing a variety of branding initiatives next year, and also increased from $50,000 to $75,000 the amount set aside to fund a variety of community focus groups.
Deputy Finance Director David Delande said 2013 general-fund revenue currently is estimated at $20,390,195 and expenses are estimated at $20,368,667.
The time-sensitive ordinances required action before the end of the year. They authorized the city to purchase stop-loss insurance and excess of loss coverage insurance, both required by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation; authorized Mayor Don Schonhardt to contract with Franklin County Public Health for required services; established income-tax allocations for 2013; and approved contracts for professional information-technology services for the Hilliard municipal staff and the Hilliard Division of Police.
Council members also passed an emergency ordinance, after its first and only reading, extending a two-year lease for U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers' 15th District office.
For the past two years, Stivers has leased Hilliard's former police department headquarters. Upon his re-election in November, Stivers opted to seek a renewal of the lease, but council members were required to immediately approve the ordinance after it was introduced at the Dec. 10 meeting of the Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee that preceded the full council meeting.
The two-year renewal leases the city-owned property to Stivers' staff for $1,000 a month.
In other action, council members approved an ordinance amending two economic-development agreements, one with the Credit Union of Ohio and the other with e-Cycle.
The agreement with Credit Union of Ohio reduced the required number of new jobs because the company had met the required additional payroll.
The agreement with e-Cycle was extended for thee years as a result of the company moving its corporate offices to New Albany, but leaving the remainder of its workforce at the Leap Road site.
At the conclusion of the meeting, City Council President Brett Sciotto, on behalf of council, presented Kunze with a gift for her service to the city.
Kunze will resign effective Dec. 31, having completed three years of her four-year term.
Sciotto said council members will wait until the filing deadline for Hilliard's primary election, about Feb. 7, before choosing who to appoint to fill Kunze's unexpired term, which ends Dec. 31, 2013.
"It has been a pleasure and a joy to serve the citizens of Hilliard," said Kunze, who read a letter to the editor she wrote when elected to City Council in 2009. Kunze said sentiments she shared in the letter applied equally to her experience of being elected to represent residents of the 24th Ohio House district.
Fox thanked all the employees who supported her during her nine-year tenure with the city.
Sciotto, in turn, thanked Fox for her service to the city as a "consummate professional."