By JESSIE HORTON
DUBLIN (February 9, 2015) — Only five of the eight members of the Dublin City Council were present for the meeting for the month. However, that didn’t keep the council from making some big changes permanent. While others are still in a holding pattern.
Council members approved major changes to the council and election system for the city of Dublin. Unanimously the council approved a motion to do away with the current ward system and begin an at-large election process. According to the motion, made by Alderman Jimmy Leatherwood, the council will retain the eight member system it maintains currently, but the council members will be elected at large.
This move will not effect the May 9, 2015, election which the council also called for and approved the contract for during the meeting. As previously reported (here), a council member from each ward and Mayor David Leatherwood are all up for re-election. Those council members will be elected by ward and Leatherwood at-large like the previous years. However, beginning in 2016, barring finding any rules against it, the council will change to at-large.
After nearly an hour in closed session, the council returned to announce, unlike Mayor Leatherwood had previously hoped, they were not able to narrow the search for a police chief down to one. According to City Administrator Nancy Wooldridge, the search committee has three finalists they are considering. And, according to the motion approved by the council following executive session, Wooldridge will ‘proceed with the actions requested by the council.’
“We narrowed it down to three that we interviewed last week,” Leatherwood said of the search after the meeting. “We should be naming the new chief in the next few days.”
In other business, the council approved the annual motion regarding the city’s curfew, which is from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. on weekdays and midnight until 6 a.m. on weekends; approved a motion to appoint Francesca Groppe as the records manager and (PIO) Public Information Officer as she is the human resources officer for the city; and sent an amendment to the water, wastewater and solid waste ordinance as it pertains to well drilling in the city limits to the committee for further review.
A number of items on the February agenda were tabled. Those included:
• the city’s 2013-2014 audit from Boucher, Morgan and Young
• an ordinance establishing guidelines and regulations for ‘vehicles for hire’
• recommendations from the Finance Committee regarding fee ordinances
• the city’s monthly financial report
• the city police department’s facial profiling report
• the report concerning annexation