By SEAN RICE
Celina City Council held part of their meeting behind closed
doors Monday night, marking the second time in as many meetings
they chose to discuss an issue out of the public eye.
After the 20-minute executive session, council members passed
an emergency ordinance that eliminates the position of executive
secretary and begins the procedure to notify that employee,
Diane Link of St. Henry.
Link, who was told to no longer report to work nearly a month
ago, hired an attorney and filed a petition with the Celina
Civil Service Commission, claiming she was unjustly fired from
the position by Mayor Sharon LaRue in early January. City officials
have said Link was not fired and was on paid administrative
Council members indicated the executive session was to discuss
the Link ordinance, and after the meeting Celina Safety Service
Director Mike Sovinski said the legal reasons for closing the
meeting were to discuss negotiations and potential litigation.
Celina has the potential to gain 13 new jobs this year, after
Celina Tent Co. completes a planned building expansion.
Community Development Director Sue Canary announced that the
Ohio Department of Development approved a $47,500 grant for
Celina to help pay for a sewer extension to the property, on
the west end of Celina on Ohio 29.
A $30,000 grant from the city’s revolving loan fund, a
$10,000 grant from the county’s revolving loan fund and
$7,500 from the city’s sewer fund will cover the remaining
balance of the project.
Celina Tent owners plan to add a new 7,200-square-foot storage
and manufacturing building at the site. The company manufactures
tents, awnings and tarps.
With a light agenda for the meeting, council members quickened
the meeting by delaying some decisions. Members tabled the 2004
budget appropriations ordinance, to allow for public meetings
Monday and March 1.
Members also tabled a resolution accepting a 15.9-acre donation
from The Daily Standard publisher Frank Snyder. Members have
asked the acting law director to investigate the deed. Some
members are concerned about accepting the property because the
deed stipulates the land be used as an arboretum, preserved
in its natural wooded state.
At a recent parks meeting, city officials shared ideas about
making trails at the wooded site near Westview Park, installing
signs explaining the trees and wildlife and building an education
center. An arboretum is defined as a place were woody plants
are cultivated for educational and scientific purposes.