Following a closed session July 16 in which Orange Township trustees met with Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Fowler, Trustee Lisa Knapp said she will work with four individuals who have made public records requests for videos she has made of trustees' meetings over the past four months.

Following a closed session July 16 in which Orange Township trustees met with Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Fowler, Trustee Lisa Knapp said she will work with four individuals who have made public records requests for videos she has made of trustees' meetings over the past four months.

During the regular session of the trustees' meeting, Knapp said she has never refused to provide the videos, but has needed time to review the matter with her attorney after an opinion written by Fowler in late May stated the videos are public record. She also contends the requests were overly broad.

Knapp has been taking videos of meetings and posting them on YouTube along with commentary on some of the videos. Fowler's opinion said Knapp can put commentary on the YouTube videos. Knapp has said she is posting the videos, in part, to promote decorum at the meetings.

Knapp also said at the July 16 meeting, as she has in the past, that she and her attorney do not agree the videos are public record. There is no case law that she and her attorney could find regarding such videos as public record, Knapp said.

"The county prosecutor's opinion is not binding," she said. "The only authority who could determine (that) would be a judge in court."

Knapp has disagreed with trustees Rob Quigley and Debbie Taranto and Fiscal Officer Joel Spitzer on the matter. Quigley has said township officials are concerned about possible legal liability if Knapp does not provide the videos.

Quigley, who also started taking video of meetings about a month ago, said after the meeting that too much time has been spent in recent months on this issue and it's time to move forward.

Knapp said after the meeting that trustees were advised she can work with those individuals. She said perhaps they can all participate in a new, free mediation program offered by the Ohio Attorney General's Office to resolve disputes over public records.

One problem in making the videos available is that their massive size makes it difficult to easily transfer them for copying, Knapp said. This is a unique situation in that these are not paper records but video recordings with several being four or five hours long, she said. She also said she will continue to videotape meetings.

After last week's meeting, Spitzer said he is not convinced the issue is resolved.

"I think she's playing games with the public records law," he said.

Also at last week's meeting, resident Bob Ruhlman questioned trustees about the three-year, 7.8-mill fire levy set for the November ballot.

During an exchange with Quigley, Ruhlman said he does not agree the township fire department needs a levy that will produce about $8 million a year when it has been operating on about $6.5 million a year in addition to about $600,000 set aside for capital purchases, such as fire trucks.

"You're asking for too much money. I want to know why," Ruhlman said.

Quigley told Ruhlman he has asked trustees the same questions in the past.

"Not everybody sees it that way (that the levy is too much)," Quigley said. "We did our due diligence to maintain the same level of service ... You as a voter can look at it any way you want."

Quigley and Taranto voted earlier this year to place the 7.8-mill levy on the ballot, while Knapp voted against it. She favored a 7.4-mill levy, which she said would raise about $7.5 million a year.

Collections on the current three-year, 5-mill levy expire this year. The effective rate of collection on that levy was at 4.93 mills, Assistant Fire Chief Matt Noble has said. Due to last year's property re-evaluation by the county auditor and the decline in residential property values, the collection rate was adjusted back to 5 mills, he said.

Ruhlman also questioned why trustees last year took $6 million from the general fund to create six road-improvement funds.

"These (funds) seem like wants, not needs," Ruhlman said.

Quigley, who is the only current trustee from last year's board, said trustees wanted to have money set aside in anticipation of needed road projects over the next five to 10 years. A study, in conjunction with the county, currently is under way on the U.S. Route 23 and Orange Road intersection. That is one of the projects for which a fund was established.

Ruhlman said the township needs to provide more information for residents. While Quigley said there is some information on the township website, he will have more information about the funds put on it.

Trustees also discussed the annual hog roast, set from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28, at the North Orange Aquatic Park. Ticket prices will remain the same as last year at $6 per person. Turnout in previous years has been good, but is completely dependent on the weather, trustees said.