City council discusses potential ‘compassionate city’ status

The+Kent+City+Council+meets+on+Wednesday%2C+May+3%2C+2017.

The Kent City Council meets on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Jack Kopanski

The Kent City Council’s annual joint meeting Wednesday between the city and Franklin Township focused on issues such as changes to Standing Rock Cemetery and zoning in Kent. 

The meeting opened with a unanimous appointment of Leo Lux and Keith Benjamin of Franklin Township to the cemetery’s board of trustees.

Tara Grimm, clerk of council, then asked the council to make a motion to extend the terms of any committee members to the end of the year for the purposes of having their terms run a full calendar year rather than staggering throughout the year. 

This motion passed unanimously after a brief discussion.

The remaining issues throughout the meeting included updating the council rules, zone usage modification, a motion to fund Kent grant awards, the instillation of a handicap ramp at the Standing Rock Gallery, city code updates for small cell wireless antennas, an Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) funding request and a 2017 budget appropriations amendment.

All of the issues were unanimously passed with the exception of two: the Standing Rock Gallery handicap ramp issue nearly passed unanimously save for one abstaining member, and the council didn’t vote on the small cell wireless antenna issue due to lack of information distributed to the council members.

After the meeting, council-at-large Roger Sidoti talked about what the future holds and what is coming up for the City of Kent, including the potential designation as a “compassionate city.”

“(It’s) something that is done all over the United States,” Sidoti said. “You have to apply for it, and you have to meet certain criteria to be designated a compassionate city. It took us awhile, but we got everyone on board to move ahead with the application, so we have an application in the pipeline for ‘compassionate city.’” 

While similar to the title of “sanctuary city,” Sidoti emphasized the difference in distinctions between the two titles, and said the designation of “sanctuary city” is a political issue and “has nothing to do with caring about one another.”

Jack Kopanski is an assigning editor, contact him at [email protected]