Powell setting detailed goals

ThisWeek News – February 1, 2012

Powell City Council is taking a more detailed approach to setting goals for 2012.

Mayor Richard Cline scheduled a special Jan. 30 meeting for strategic planning, asking fellow council members to have more specific and less general goals in mind.

Moderated by consultant Marty Saperstein, the meeting focused on projects that each council member would like to champion and oversee to completion.

Members will bring back fleshed-out versions of their ideas to city council’s Feb. 7 meeting and set aside time at subsequent meetings to discuss progress updates.

Council member Brian Lorenz said he would like to develop a wellness committee with the parks and rec department and residents to hold public educational forums and physical activities.

Member Tom Counts wants to review and update the city’s capital improvements list. The current list includes road, sewer and pedestrian trail improvements and is about 7 years old. He wants to prioritize the list and develop the specifics of each project.

Member Michael Crites wants to develop a commission to review the city’s charter, to develop requirements for reviewing it at least every 10 years and to consider placing charter changes on the ballot. The process is standard practice in most municipalities, he said, and he’s not sure if changes would be needed.

Member Sara Marie Brenner wants to find a better way to involve local businesses in the policy-making process. She said she’d like to create a group of people who own and run businesses in Powell and Liberty Township that would provide input to council from the businesses’ perspective.

Member Jim Hrivnak wants to continue developing a comprehensive plan on projects for downtown Powell. The area has tax-increment financing (TIF) funds available for capital improvement projects in the TIF area. The plan would provide a multi-year list of projects, costs and funding possibilities.

Member Jon Bennehoof wants to “normalize” Powell and Liberty Township zoning and sign codes, to create a similar look in the city and township. He said residents have voiced support for the idea.

Cline wants to develop and present a capital improvement funding proposal to voters in November. Not yet certain what it would be, he said Powell could ask residents to support a property tax in the amount of the expiring parks levy and-or propose a 0.25-percent income tax increase.

Cline said such a measure is unlikely to pass at the ballot unless all council members support it.