By Mary Spicer
In accordance with Pennsylvania’s Third Class City Code, members of Meadville City Council assembled Monday morning, for, in the words of the code, “the purpose of organizing, at ten o’clock in the forenoon of the first Monday of January next succeeding the regular municipal election.”
Before organizing for the new council term, however, council briefly convened to wrap up a few loose ends, including approving the minutes of the last regularly scheduled meeting of 2013.
After calling the organizational meeting that followed to order and inviting the Rev. Dr. Richard Elberfeld of Christ Episcopal Church to deliver the invocation, City Clerk Andy Walker proceeded to administer the oath of office to Christopher Soff, who is beginning his second four-year term as mayor after serving two four-year terms on council. Soff then proceeded to administer oaths of office to councilmembers LeRoy Stearns, elected to his fifth term; Bob Langley, elected to the final two years of the term vacated by the resignation of Chandler Mason immediately after the 2011 election, a seat Langley was appointed to fill in early 2012; and Sean Donahue, elected to his first term after defeating incumbent Nancy Mangilo-Bittner.
Stearns was then appointed deputy mayor. Councilmember John Battaglia was re-appointed delegate to the French Creek Council of Governments, and Donahue was appointed alternating delegate. Council also authorized city employees Rick Williams, Jeanne Smith and Joe Chriest to serve as alternates on behalf of the city.
Council also approved a resolution setting the time and date of public meetings. Work sessions will begin at 4:15 p.m. on he first Wednesday of each month while regular meetings will begin at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month; council may conduct any or all business at any of the meetings, which will take place at Meadville City Building, 984 Diamond Park.
The council subcommittee meeting on an intermittent basis with members of the city’s tax-exempt community now consists of Soff and Langley; the subcommittee meeting intermittently to explore ambulance service feasibility now consists of Battaglia and Stearns; the employee parking subcommittee now consists of Langley and Soff; and the redevelopment and recreation subcommittees now consists of Soff and Stearns.
Council’s organizational meeting was immediately followed by the organizational meeting of the city’s Board of Health, which consists solely of all five members of City Council. The board elected a chairperson and vice chairperson, Battaglia and Stearns, respectively; appointed Assistant City Clerk Janet Niedermeyer as secretary; reviewed the summary report for 2013 prepared by Health Officer Gary Johnson; and passed a resolution affirming the City Council resolution of Dec. 18, 2013, to ask the state, through its Department of Agriculture, to license and inspect retail food facilities located within the city beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com.