MARIETTA - Thursday's Marietta City Council meeting began with a request from Police Chief Brett McKitrick for any information that would lead to the arrest of suspects from recent burglaries within the city.
"We're investigating a number of daylight burglaries in the city that involve suspects who are white and around 20 to 30 years of age," he said. "They're gaining access through unlocked doors or by kicking doors open, shortly after the property owner leaves."
McKitrick said anyone with information about these burglaries should contact the Marietta City Police at 376-2007.
In other business, Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, who was acting as council president pro-tempore in the absence of council president Walt Brothers, noted recent ordinances passed by city council were being published in the Marietta Times classified section.
"I don't recall publishing ordinances in the newspaper before," Vukovic said, and asked city law director Paul Bertram III to explain.
Bertram said the process is required by state law, and city legislation has been published previously in the local newspaper.
"The reporting of ordinances and resolutions are to be published by the paper of record for the purposes of validation as required by Ohio Revised Code," he said.
Vukovic expressed concern that the cost of publishing legislation would require adjustment of the municipal budget.
And assistant safety-service director Bill Dauber noted it would be difficult to project the amount needed on an annual basis to cover such communication costs.
Bertram agreed and asked Mayor Joe Matthews to contact state representatives about amending the state code requirement so new legislation could be posted on the city web site instead of being placed in the newspaper.
Also on Thursday, council approved an ordinance authorizing the local ReStore Marietta group to install a new Harmar Village sign, planters, and landscaping in the pocket park on the corner of Butler and Front streets near the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Hall.
Councilman Denver Abicht, D-at large, who chairs council's streets and transportation committee, said ReStore Marietta had received a $2,500 grant for the project from Peoples Bank.
"This is just one of the many things ReStore Marietta does to help beautify Marietta," he said. "And we really appreciate what they do."
Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward, added thanks to Peoples Bank for contributing the grant funding.
Two pieces of legislation, authorizing curb cuts and parking pads on the city right of way, were passed by a 5-2 vote because permission was requested from council after the work had already been done.
Municipal code requires permission from the city before installing curb cuts or parking facilities on city right of way.
The two ordinances, from property owner Andrew Moore at his 525 Third St. residence, were for an access permit to install a curb cut, and authorization to build a driveway and parking pad on city right of way at that location.
During a streets committee meeting last week the contractor for the job, Ty Taylor, admitted he had proceeded with the job without first obtaining city approval, and asked council's forgiveness.
"The contractor didn't follow the law and begged forgiveness, which we're providing with this legislation tonight," Vukovic said, but added there is no reason a contractor doing work within the city should not know about the curb cut and right of way regulations.
For that reason he and Councilman Harley Noland, D-at large, voted against the measure.
It was noted during last week's streets meeting that other contractors and residents have also made improvements in the city right of way without seeking permission first.
During Thursday's council meeting, Vukovic read from a city comprehensive plan prepared in 2003 by the Marietta Development Advisory Board that recommended a reduction in the number of permits being issued by the city for curb cuts.
Bertram said doing such work without the proper authorization is considered a misdemeanor offense that could require a court appearance, according to city code.