Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

City Council Update for April 1

Oberlin City Council convened Monday for a regular meeting. Council President Eboni Johnson, OC ’97, presided over the meeting. Council Vice President Michael McFarlin was absent. All other Councilmembers were present. 

City Law Director Jon Clark summarized his memo to the Council, noting that following the recent charter amendment, the Council can now vote for ordinances to go into immediate effect. This is the first meeting following that amendment. In relation to this, Clark advised the Council on the correct language to use while approving ordinances.

Oberlin Enters Agreement with Slidr Inc. to Provide Public Transportation Within City

Council voted unanimously to pass this ordinance, allowing the city to enter into an agreement with Slidr to provide free public transportation within the City of Oberlin for the next year. The Slidr vans will run a fixed route within the City of Oberlin to supplement the service provided by the Oberlin Connector. The proposed route is not set, but there are plans to include stops at Mercy Health – Allen Hospital, the Oberlin Enrichment and Activity Center, Stevenson Dining Hall, Oberlin Community Services, Kendal at Oberlin, City Hall, and Walmart. Rides will be free to all. The vans will be wheelchair-accessible, and stops will be marked by temporary signs, with the option for more permanent bus stops in the future if the program is a success. The Slidr package will include two electric vans and chargers, and Slidr will work on locally hiring drivers. The vans will be parked and charged in the OEAC lot. One van will always be charging while the other is en route. Lorain County Transit will match 50 percent of the cost for these vans, and the City will pay the other half. The City hopes to start providing services by June 1. 

Council Votes to Enlarge the Area of the Community Garden at Legion Field Park 

Council unanimously approved an ordinance to enlarge the community garden at Legion Field. The ordinance will go into immediate effect. The community garden has been managed by Fathers and Mothers Involved in Local Youth for two years. Sander Ferrazza, who works with Our F.A.M.I.L.Y. through the Americorps VISTA program, spoke at the meeting and highlighted how the organization plans to use the space. These plans include installing a wheelchair-accessible concrete path, rain gardens to help manage runoff, and a children’s garden. 

Council Makes Chair of Human Relations Commission Ex Officio Member of Social Equity Plan Steering Committee 

Council passed an ordinance making the Chair of the Human Relations Commission an ex officio member of the Social Equity Steering Committee, meaning that whoever holds the position will also sit on the Committee. The Chair is already a member of the Steering Committee. Law Director John Clark said at the meeting that this amendment was put in place so that Council would not have to reappoint the Chair to the Steering Committee every time the position turned over. Council waived the three-reading rule and unanimously passed the ordinance to go into immediate effect. 

Finance Director Gives Financial Summary Presentation

Salvatore Talarico, finance director for the City of Oberlin, presented a financial report in accordance with Ordinance 07-10, which requires that the Council be updated regularly on city finances to aid in their decision-making. Talarico updated Council on how the City ended 2023 financially and gave projections for 2024. Talarico discussed how the City generates revenue from property and income taxes and how those funds have been allocated. He noted that Oberlin voters’ track record of approving tax levies shows trust in City Council. 

Council Proclaims April 13 American National Friendship Day  

The Council declared Saturday, April 13. as American National Friendship Day. The proclamation emphasized the importance of friendship and was presented to John Elder of the Community Peace Builders, who thanked the council for continuing the tradition. The Community Peace Builders regularly demonstrate at noon on Saturdays at the corner of Tappan Square on West College Street and North Main Street. On April 13, CPB will read the proclamation after their regular demonstration at 12:30 p.m. to commemorate the day. 

Council Proclaims April Fair Housing Month 

The Council next declared April as Fair Housing Month. The proclamation highlights the City’s commitment to fair housing, everyone’s “right to acquire residence without prejudice,” and also noted that in 1961, Oberlin passed Ordinance 235 AC, the third fair housing law in the United States and the first fair housing law to survive a legal challenge in the state’s Supreme Court. It was presented to Lydia Young, the chair of the Oberlin Human Relations Commission. 

Council Proclaims April 9 National Library Workers Day 

Finally, the Council declared Tuesday, April 9, 2024, as National Library Workers’ Day to honor the unique role that library workers play in fostering community. This proclamation will be presented to the Director of the Oberlin Public Library at a later date.

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