At the opening of last week’s Genoa Township trustees’s annual reorganization meeting, trustees selected Rick Carfagna to serves as chair.
Trustee Karl Gephardt will serve as vice chair.
After his selection as board chair Jan. 8, Carfagna welcomed newly elected Trustee Frank Dantonio on board.
Township resident Steve Faulkner stepped to the podium and noted development issues on the township’s agenda.
“I’m happy with where we are today,” Faulkner said. “The question is, how do we feel about development going forward? I’m sure you’ll find your way.”
Another resident stepped to the podium with questions and concerns about current plans to update the township’s comprehensive master plan, and results of the recent township phone survey conducted by Paul Fallon of Fallon Research & Communications.
According to the survey, 82 percent of township residents believe that the township is moving in the right direction.
Fallon’s data came from cellphone interviews with broad mix of 301 adults 18 and older, 48 percent men and 52 percent women, living south of Big Walnut Road, north of Big Walnut Road, and east of Hoover Reservoir.
The speaker at the Jan. 8 meeting said she believes the survey pool was thin and that at no point was anybody asked if the existing 2008 comprehensive plan should be changed.
“Surveying only 300 people, and with all cellphones, you limit the survey,” she said. “That makes the survey invalid and unreliable.”
Genoa development and zoning director Joe Shafer said the number of people interviewed was large enough to get the statistical average with a 5 percent variance.
“We had to keep the questions general enough for laypersons who don’t have degrees in planning,” Shafer said. “The survey is just one tool of many that will be used to update the master plan.”
Dantonio said he believed the survey questions were misleading.
“I think the survey indicates Genoa residents don’t want continued commercial development and high-density housing,” Dantonio said.
When trustees were approving $40-per-meeting compensation for members of the township’s zoning board and board of zoning appeals, Dantonio recommended raising the rate.
“I think $40 a meeting is an insult,” Dantonio said. “It’s only appropriate we bring these people up. I recommend $100 per meeting.”
Carfagna agreed with Dantonio that there should be an increase in the stipend for zoning board and BZA service, but did not think the increase Dantonio recommended was appropriate.
“I believe in everything you said, except $100,” Carfagna said. “I agree they do wonderful work for us, but I also think we’re in line with other entities. I would be in favor of some other number, but $100 per meeting is excessive.”
Gephardt moved to increase the zoning stipend to $60, including walkabouts. The motion was approved.
In approving the 2016 township cemetery fees, it was noted that only one lot remains to be sold.
“We need to look at acquiring more land,” Dantonio said.
Dantonio also said he opposed waiving grave opening and closing fees for township employees and former employees. He said that’s special treatment.
Dantonio recommended spending $4,000 to supply township trustees with separate computers, printers, software and cellphones for trustees because of public records requirements. Trustees approved the request.
In other business, trustees approved the electricity and natural gas governmental aggregation plans of operations and governance.
The township’s energy broker, Scott Belcastro of Trebel LLC, will submit the plans to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. When the plans are approved by PUCO, then Belcastro can go out for bids.
When bids are selected and approved by trustees, letters would be sent to township residents who would have 21 days to review the offers and opt out of the programs. If residents do nothing, they would be included in the aggregation plans.
Township Administrator Paul Wise said residents could expect the aggregation plans to be in effect in April or May.
Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.