Shouting matches not tolerated at Niles City Council meeting

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NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – The Niles City Council meeting Wednesday night was routine and quiet, a much different scene from the last meeting two weeks ago.

Shortly after the meeting began on Wednesday and before anyone was permitted to speak, President Bob Marino laid down the ground rules.

“Should anyone decide to raise their voice, impugn character and act in a way that the chair feels is unprofessional, you will be directed to sit down. If you choose to disregard the chair’s directions, the chief of police and Officer Mikita will remove you.”

Though Marino did not mention him specifically, those remarks were meant for George Kuriatnyk, who had a shouting match with Service Director Jim DePasquale at the last meeting.

Kuriatnyk, a Niles resident, attended the meeting Wednesday night and was apologetic.

“I do want to apologize to you for last week, and the council and the public. As you said, tensions are high and I want to apologize.”

One person questioned the need for new trucks in the light department.

Doug Sollitto, of Niles, reminded council that before the recent income tax increase was passed, the public was led to believe that laid-off policemen and firemen would be called back.

“If you got to cut from other areas, that’s unfortunate. But you don’t cut from safety and security,” he said.

Acting police chief Jay Holland was praised several times for bringing back one policeman and keeping an understaffed department operating efficiently.

“We recognize your leadership and it is certainly appreciated, so keep up the good work,” Marino said.

Additionally, council passed several ordinances allocating money for certain city employees to be paid.

The positions of service and safety directors were combined, and the development of a competency test for new employees was sent to a second reading as well.

Next Tuesday, the precinct committee in Niles will vote on a new city treasurer.  Three people have applied, including interim treasurer Janet Rizer-Jones.  Two members of council and President Marino publicly endorsed Rizer-Jones on Wednesday, and commended her on her work so far.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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