Councilman Marc Kotura Clarifies the Liberty Ford Issue
This letter was published in the Solon Times on October 19:
To the Editor:
On the campaign stump Councilman Edward Kraus has said repeatedly he was the only member of council to vote to save Liberty Ford. That is quite a stretch from what really happened.
At the city council meeting of July 16, 2006 Planning Director Robert Frankland reported that negotiations between the Liberty Ford and the city had broken off and there would be no need to pass the pending rezoning ordinance for the dealership’s new off-site service garage. Based on that information and recommendation council voted not to send the rezoning proposal to the ballot. Curiously Mr. Kraus still voted yes but made no comment nor lobbied in support of the rezoning or Liberty Ford.
Members of council then learned it was the city that had been too stringent in its dealings with Liberty Ford. At its August 1, 2016 meeting after a lengthy question and discussion period I moved and Councilman Robert Pelunis seconded to reconsider Ordinance 2016-122 (the rezoning proposal). It passed unanimously. Again, the minutes do not reflect any comment by Mr. Kraus on behalf of Liberty Ford. He only asked if Liberty Ford would reconsider if a time extension was given.
Then Councilman Doug Magill and I met separately with Liberty Ford’s Michael Herrick to try to resolve any conflict. In order to get an approved ordinance to the Board of Elections by August 10, 2016 a special meeting had to be quickly called.
Mr. Magill asked Vice-Mayor William Russo to call a special meeting and he refused. I then researched the charter and learned that a majority of council could call for a special meeting. The administration then lobbied members of council not to call a special meeting. Unfortunately we did not get enough consenting members to make that request to the Clerk of Council including Mr. Kraus.
Again, the record needs to be set straight on the Liberty Ford issue. All of this is in the council minutes of July 16 and August 1, 2016 and can be viewed online on the city’s website or at the Clerk’s office.
Councilman Ward 4