Macedonia Council mulls COVID-19 stand, dumpster regulations

Ken Lahmers

MACEDONIA – When it reconvenes in the new year, City Council could take a stand to oppose Gov. Mike DeWine’s executive orders regarding the coronavirus crisis.

Also in the new year, Council will consider whether to enact a new chapter of the codified ordinances focusing on portable, on-demand storage devices (PODS), construction dumpsters and dumpster bags.

Council introduced a resolution at its Dec. 10 meeting – its last one of 2020 – opposing the governor’s executive orders which the resolution says “have limited the freedoms, livelihoods and economic standing of the residents of Macedonia.”

About the COVID-19 situation, Councilman David Finley said the governor should “let us live our lives and move on.” He urged city residents to make their feelings known to city officials prior to Council’s vote on the resolution.

“The governor’s overreach and abuse of power is causing more hardship than safety for residents of the city,” states the resolution. “His appointed public health officials are not elected and should not dictate rules and regulations that were not passed by the Ohio legislature to perform a social science experiment on the residents of the city.”

The resolution points out that three infectious disease epidemiologists have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, drafted by the American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, Mass.

It advocates an alternative, risk-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic that involves “focused protection” of those most at risk, and seeks to avoid or minimize the societal harm of pandemic lockdowns.

The declaration expresses “grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommends a ‘focused protection’ approach,” according to the proposed resolution.

“The Council of Macedonia strongly and vigorously opposes the governor’s abuse of power, and urges the Ohio legislature to pass legislation to restrict his power in responding to the pandemic and establish the tenants of the Great Barrington Declaration,” says the resolution.

As for the proposed PODS and dumpsters ordinance, Councilman Vinnie Ventura said it was drafted to reduce “eyesores” on city properties. He noted some residents and businesses allow the containers to remain on site for lengthy periods of time, causing unsightliness in neighborhoods.

Residents using such containers would be required to obtain a permit for $5, which would allow the container to remain for 30 days, with an extension if necessary. Anyone not complying would be subject to a minor misdemeanor citation.

Some Council reps asked Law Director Mark Guidetti to make revisions to the legislation, including that property owners who intend to use the containers only for one day be exempt from obtaining a permit. Some concerns also were expressed that the ordinance only focuses on residential properties and not commercial/industrial.

Council’s next scheduled session will be Jan. 14, when the COVID-19 resolution and PODS/dumpsters ordinance will be on second readings.

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