It’s a new term for Amherst city council, which gathered Monday for the first time in 2016.
Oberlin Municipal Court judge Thomas Januzzi presided over a swearing-in ceremony at city hall. He led returning legislators, all reelected to their posts this November, in taking the oath of office.
Council endured only a minor reorganization heading into the new term, shuffling its seats at the request of president John Dietrich.
The city’s three Democratic representatives – Joe Miller, David Janik, and Steve Bukovac – now bookend the council row, with Republicans Phil Van Treuren, Jennifer Wasilk, Chuck Winiarksi, and David Goodell grouped in the middle.
Some partisan division reared its head already as Democrats nominated Bukovac for council president pro tempore, meaning he would preside in Dietrich’s absence.
That move failed 3-4 with Republicans dissenting. Wasilk, also chair of the Amherst Area Republicans (part of the Lorain County Republican Party) was elected to the post in a mirrored vote. She has held the pro tempore honorific for several years.
Council members were each assigned to chair committees: Wasilk, finance; Janik, building and lands as well as utilities; Bukovac, streets as well as technology; Goodell, community development; Van Treuren, executive; Miller, ordinance as well as recycling and annexation; and Winiarski, police and fire.
A minor rearrangement was made among the administrative ranks for 2016 meetings, with treasurer Richard Ramsey and auditor David Kukucka trading seats at opposing ends of the bench.
The biggest change was the addition of new safety-service director John Jeffereys at the right hand of new mayor Mark Costilow.
Council did not tackle any new business on Monday.
Two agenda items were scheduled for discussion at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18. The first is approval of replacement pages to the Amherst Codified Ordinances. The second is approval of a subdivider’s agreement and record plat with Oster Homes for Northpointe Estates.
Miller said he also intends to revive discussion of revision to Amherst’s rules on signage within the next few weeks.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Amherst city council president John Dietrich renews his oath of office with guidance by Oberlin Municipal Court judge Thomas Januzzi.