News

Council split on VP decision

Nikki Blankenship
Scioto County Candor

The vote for a Vice President of Council may be left up to the luck of the draw. Portsmouth City Council held their annual organizational meeting on Monday night, where they set out to select individuals to fill the roles of President of Council with the title of Mayor, Vice President of Council and City Clerk. However, when it came time to select a vice president, Council was divided.
Council member Jo Ann Aeh nominated Councilman Jim Kalb to serve another year as mayor. Council voted unanimously in favor of the decision; however, they were split as to who should fill the role of Vice President. Aeh nominated Councilman Kevin Johnson, who served as the Vice President of Council for 2017. The nomination was supported by the affirmative votes of Aeh, Kalb and Johnson. Councilman Tom Lowe nominated Councilman Gene Meadows. The nomination of Meadows was supported by Lowe, Meadows and new member of Council Sean Dunne.
With a tie vote, Solicitor John Haas had to check the City Charter for a solution. As explained during the meeting, according to the Charter, Council has five days to decide upon a vice president, putting the deadline at Dec. 8. If they cannot do so by that time, the Solicitor is to put names of each member of Council in a hat and draw one at random. That person will them be the Vice President of Council for 2018. Kalb would be excluded since he was chosen as President of Council.
Aeh also nominated City Clerk Diana Ratliff to return as City Clerk. This nomination was also supported unanimously by Council.
In addition to administering oaths of office for the for the Mayor and City Clerk, Haas also swore in newly elected First Ward Councilman Sean Dunne and re-elected Council members Gene Meadows and Kevin Johnson.
Before adjourning, Council voted to adopt the rules of Council as they currently read. Aeh explained that if any changes needed to be made, they needed to be done during the annual meeting; however, no changes were recommended. Council also voted for the times and dates of Council’s regular meetings to remain the same with Council meeting at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month in Council Chambers at the Municipal Courthouse on Second St. in Portsmouth.

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