Perrysburg wins residency lawsuit
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Written by By PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 21 May 2010 09:10
PERRYSBURG - A judgment in favor of the city regarding a lawsuit about its residency policies was announced at Tuesday evening's council meeting.
Law Director Mathew Beredo noted that a lawsuit had been filed in late summer 2009. Its plaintiffs were the Ohio Patrolman's Benevolent Association, Perrysburg Police Sergeant Jack Otte, and city communication officer Mary Kafara. Otte is a member of the Sergeants Bargaining Unit and Kafara is a member of the Communications Officer/Animal Control Officer Bargaining Unit.
The suit named the City of Perrysburg, Mayor Nelson Evans, and all seven council members as defendants.
According to the complaint filed with Wood County Court of Common Pleas, the suit asserted that the collective bargaining agreements for the Sergeants' and CO/ACO's units "contain provisions that restrict the area in which the bargaining unit members are required to maintain their residence as a term and condition of their employment" and were in violation of the Ohio Revised Code.
The City argued that the residency policy was a negotiated, agreed-to issue with the units and was not unilaterally imposed.
The Ohio Supreme Court, in the 2009 case Lima V. State of Ohio, had previously upheld an Ohio Revised Code provision preventing cities from requiring employees to live in a more restrictive residency area than the county and contiguous counties around a particular political subdivision such as a city.
In its May 17 decision, Wood County Common Pleas Court found that "since the residency provisions are the result of negotiated agreements entered into by the parties, they do not constitute requirements imposed by the City of Perrysburg" and were therefore not in violation of the ORC.
"Obviously, in a situation when the city wins a lawsuit, that's a positive thing," Beredo said in a later interview. "I believe the city, in negotiating this, acted in good faith and it was a part of the collective bargaining process."
"On one level it's encouraging because the city takes its collective bargaining process very seriously. We want to work well with the bargaining units."
In other business, council:
¥ Approved a resolution approving the addition of Ottawa Hills into the Northwest Ohio Aggregation Coalition.
¥ Approved a resolution describing potential municipal services relating to the proposed Friedley annexation on Five Point Road.
¥ Authorized the creation of a reserve balance account for the city and a law enforcement trust fund.
¥ Authorized $26,044.01 for the purchase of server technology from Hewlett-Packard, $4,252 for the purchase of Windows 2008 server software licenses from SHI, and $4,529.10 for the purchase of VMWare VSphere server visualization software.
¥ Approved an agreement with the company Reveille for $25,000 to provide economic development and planning services.
¥ Authorized a 14-day extension to contracts with Bayes Inc, Bryson Tucker Electrical Inc., and Rupp Rosebrock Inc. regarding the construction of the Police Division's indoor firing range.
¥ Approved an agreement with Pyrotechnico to present the Perrysburg-Maumee 2010 fireworks at a cost of $15,500 to the city.
¥ Authorized a three-year, $19,883.75 agreement with One Call Now to provide emergency communications services.
¥ Authorized City Administrator John Alexander to solicit bids for 2010 pavement resurfacing and for a heavy truck lift station.
¥ Approved a $24,900 agreement with Proudfoot Associates for design work for a multi-use path along Ohio 65 between Ohio 25 and Fort Meigs.
¥ Authorized a $24,637 contract with DGL Consulting Engineers LLC for engineering design services for Perrysburg's Safe Routes to School project.