Council opts for fewer ward changes

by Michele Collins

May 17 city council meeting

Just over 500 residents will find themselves in a new ward after Hudson City Council voted 7-0 on a map that amends the ward boundaries to align with population changes evident from the 2020 Census.

Council was asked to decide between two maps that were created to allow for equal populations in each ward based on the new Census data. Almost every council member said constituents with whom they had talked were split evenly between the maps.

In her comments, council member Nicole Kowalski pointed out that the first map, designated Map 1, affected ward changes for 524 residents, while Map 2 would impact more than 9,000 residents. Referring to the Map 2, council member Skylar Sutton said believed residents did not want that much shake-up in the wards.

In separate decision, council agreed to delay voting on an ordinance that would clarify the process by which ordinances and resolutions are introduced on council agendas and workshops. President Chris Foster stated that he was withdrawing his draft ordinance – which would have required the city manager to seek “advice of” council president before placing legislation on meeting agendas without similar restrictions on the mayor – in favor of one created by Sutton. Sutton’s ordinance requires a four-vote majority by council to add an item to the council agenda or workshop agenda.  

Earlier in the public comments section of the meeting, Hudson resident Eric Hancsak stated he felt Foster’s ordinance would “tamper with our system of government” and implored council to be transparent. He said he thought the council president was promoting a “strong mayor”-management style for the city.

Foster later said, “I have never supported a strong mayor for the city of Hudson. In fact, I am withdrawing my ordinance tonight, in favor of Sutton’s because his is better, more balanced.”

Sutton asked that his revised ordinance be brought before council at the next meeting. He said he wanted to follow the appropriate process and give members and residents an opportunity to review the new ordinance. 

In other business, council accepted a $211,612 grant for Brownfield remediation clean up through the Ohio Department of Development. The city sought these funds for removal of hazardous substances at the former Youth Development Center on Hines Hill Road. Hudson will add $70,538 in funding to complete the remediation project. 

Council also approved the purchase of an electrical substation transformer, with a projected budget of $900,000. This substation will replace the city’s Eastside Substation. 

Mayor Jeffrey Anzevino read a proclamation declaring May 20 and 21 as Poppy Days in Hudson and recognized the American Legion Auxiliary for encouraging residents to remember and support our nation’s veterans, active-duty service members and their families. ∞