Milford City Council Plans Charter Review

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3On Monday, August 10, Milford City Council began planning to review the city’s charter. Mayor Bryan Shupe asked for one councilperson from each ward and the City Solicitor, David Rutt, to meet over the next few months to review the charter and make suggestions for adjustments or changes that may be necessary.

“The last time we did this, we began in September of 2008 and we finished in December 2009,” Councilman Owen Brooks said. “We met 17 times from 9 AM until Noon, going through every page. David explained what each item was. If we are going to do it correctly, we need to take the time and do it right.” Councilman Brooks volunteered to represent the 3rd Ward at the charter review meetings.

Mayor Shupe explained that the city charter must be considered an evolving document and reviewing it will be a big commitment. Prior to the 2008-09 review, the city charter was reviewed in 2000. Councilman Brooks said that he feels it is important for every city council member to read and understand what is in the charter. There were only four council members in attendance at the meeting. Since there is a vacancy on council after the death of Councilman Skip Pikus, Mr. Rutt explained that the four members did qualify as a quorum so that the meeting did not have to be adjourned. Council chose to table the nomination of council members for the review until all council members were present when the committee was organized.

In addition to discussion about the review of the city charter, council voted unanimously to annex two parcels of property. The request came from Key Properties and was part of the land that would be used for the new Bayhealth campus. The request had already been approved by the Annexation Committee. The land was zoned Agricultural Residential and would be served by a gravity sewer system associated with the new hospital. The annexation would not impact traffic or the environment and would provide consistency for the Southeast Master Plan Future Land Use Plan.

There have been issues recently with unauthorized electric use in Bicentennial Park. In one instance, a refrigerator was being used on an outlet that is not metered as it is owned by the city. The outlets are provided in the park for events, such as the Bug and Bud Festival or the Riverwalk Freedom Festival, but are not meant for constant public use. Chief of Police, Keith Hudson, said that the electric outlets in the park had been turned off to prevent unauthorized use, but that there was no ordinance preventing people from using the outlets without permission. Mr. Rutt said that an ordinance should be added to the electric tariff under theft of service.

“These are growing pains,” said Councilwoman Katrina Wilson. “As we are growing, these are some of the things we must deal with.” The issue will be discussed at the Public Works meeting scheduled for August 19.

Council also approved two alcohol requests for upcoming events. Arena’s will host the “Running of the Goat,” a fundraiser planned for the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, where guests will be provided local craft beer at a party in the parking lot after the race. Arena’s parking lot will be closed for the event. In addition, Eat in the Street, planned for September 20 as a fundraiser for Downtown Milford Inc., will close Walnut Street in order to set a dinner table up in the street. Local beer and wine is served along with a farm-to-table meal. Both requests were approved unanimously.