Kettering City Council approved 2 Ordinances and 7 Resolutions at its November 9, 2021 meeting


City of Kettering Ohio logo - Todd Elzey

Kettering, Ohio – The Kettering City Council met Tuesday, November 9, 2021. Council first held a workshop session at 6:00 P.M. in the Deeds Room of the Kettering Government Center. Following the workshop session, Council moved to Council Chambers for its regular meeting at 7:30 P.M.

At the workshop session, Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman told Council that the Montgomery County Board of Elections is expected to certify the results of the November 2, 2021, election on the morning of November 23, 2021. If the Board of Elections certifies the election results as planned, Schwieterman indicated that he planned to have the newly elected Council Members for Districts 1 and 2 sworn in prior to the Council meeting on the 23rd
so that they could be seated for the meeting. Schwieterman also stated that there would be a ceremonial swearing-in at the November 23, 2021, Council meeting. Lisa M. Duvall (District 1) and Bob Scott (District 2) were elected to complete terms of offices vacated because of resignations.

Schwieterman also indicated that there would be some upcoming changes to the Council’s schedule. In addition to the regular November 23, 2021, Council workshop and regular meeting, Council will hold a November 30, 2021, combined meeting with the Kettering School District Board of Education. In addition, Council’s meeting schedule will change for December. Instead of meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of December, Council will meet on the first and second Tuesday of December (December 7 & 14).

Schwieterman also announced Tuesday that all City Offices will be closed on November 25th and 26th to observe the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no garbage and recycling pickup on November 25th, resulting in a 1-day delay in pickup for residents who normally have their trash and recycling collected on Thursday and Friday.

In regular business, Council approved two Ordinances on Second Reading and 7 Resolutions. Each of the Ordinances and Resolutions was approved on a unanimous vote.

The first ordinances would amend various sections of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The enacted ordinance amended the professional office and research land use category to include professional offices and research facilities within mixed-use retail and high-density residential areas. Schwieterman said that these changes would allow more use of the business park district and would encourage economic development in Kettering.

The second Ordinance amended the Kettering Zoning Code to expand potential uses within a business park district. Schwieterman told Council that the amendments would include residential units, including residential facilities of 13+ units, and restaurants and conditionally permitted uses within the Business Park District. Schwieterman also said that the Ordinance amendment would correct several errors that had been discovered in the Code.

The first Resolution approved by Council accepted the recommendation from a State Employment Relations Board (SERB) Fact Finding Report (Report # 2020-12-MED-1405) related to the City’s contract negotiations with Kettering Association of Dispatchers. Schwieterman stated that the acceptance of the fact finding report would result in a new three year contract with dispatchers. The new contract would result in annual raises of 2.5% in year one, 2.5% in year two, and 2.25% in year three of the contract. Schwieterman also said that the Fact Finding Report made other minor recommendations that would also be incorporated into the new contract with dispatchers.

Council also approved a Resolution authorizing a cost sharing contract with the Kettering City School District Board of Education. The cost sharing agreement funds three of the City’s five School Resource Officers. The City of Kettering will pay 30% of the cost of the three officers while the School District will pay 70% of the cost. The City of Kettering does not contribute to the funding of the two other School Resource Officer positions, but during the Council work session, Schwieterman indicated that Kettering Police Department Officers on patrol also regularly interact with schools while performing patrol duties.

The third Resolution passed by Council approved the City entering a contract with the Montgomery County Public Defender Commission and the Montgomery County Public Defender Office. The contract would provide legal representation in Kettering Municipal Court for indigent defendants. According to the Resolution, Kettering is Constitutionally mandated to provide these services any time an indigent defendant is facing incarceration. The 2022 Kettering Budget allocates $50,000 for this contract.

Council also approved a Resolution authorizing the City Manager and/or the Law Director to accept the “material terms” of the One Ohio Subdivision Settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. This settlement agreement is part of litigation being prosecuted by the State of Ohio and numerous municipal governments against the Opioid industry. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has proposed a settlement of the claims raised against them. The State and municipal governments would share the proceeds of the settlement per the terms of a One Ohio Memorandum of Understanding entered into by the litigation participants. More information about the Opioid litigation can be found at

Council also authorized a contract with the Kettering Basketball Officials Association for officiating and scorekeeping services for the 2022 adult basketball leagues. Kettering received a proposal for the annual contract from the Association, and the Resolution waived sealed bidding. The estimated cost for the contract was $47,430. The budget allocated $47,500 for the program contract. The budget allocation was based on the number of individuals who registered for the 2021 basketball season.

The sixth Resolution approved by Council permitted the City Manager to use “competitive bargaining and negotiated quotes”, instead of sealed bids, to purchase fitness equipment for the Kettering Recreation Complex and the Kettering Fitness and Wellness Center. The resolution indicates that the estimated cost of this equipment would be $99,869. The City has allocated $100,000 for the project.

Council’s final Resolution made supplemental appropriations for the Kettering Police Department and the Parks and Recreation Department. The police department received $172,000. Schwieterman stated that this supplemental appropriation was necessary to implement the terms of the contract that was negotiated with the Fraternal Order of Police. $144,700 would come from the General Fund, and $27,300 would come from the Police Pension Fund. The Parks and Recreation Department also received $100,000 from the General Fund to cover the costs of purchasing the purchase of fitness equipment that Council approved earlier in the meeting.

Council also heard the first reading of an Ordinance to amend Chapter 478 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Kettering regarding “shared mobility devices”. Since the ordinance was only in “First Reading” Council could not vote on the proposal Tuesday. If this Ordinance is passed, the City would be able to issue permits to operators of businesses that provide shared scooters, shared bikes, etc.

It is rare that a journalist becomes part of the story he or she is covering. But being a resident of Kettering who happens to be legally blind and has a hearing loss, I did elect to make a presentation to Council during their public comment period regarding the shared mobility device proposal.

I spoke to Council about the problems share mobility devices would cause for pedestrians with disabilities. I spoke of how Kettering has many narrow sidewalks where the path of travel might be blocked by either bike/scooter racks, and by dockless scooters/bikes being left on sidewalks for hours at a time. I also spoke of how bike/scooter racks installed on private business property could also impede a patron who has a disability from accessing the business.

The proposed ordinance would require that shared bike/scooter operators include information on the devices about how community members can file complaints regarding the devices being left in the wrong place, etc. I spoke of how there is a long history of operators of shared scooters and bikes not making such information available in a format that is independently accessible to blind or visually impaired members of the community. I also spoke of how often operators require complaints to be filed via websites and/or mobile apps that are almost universally inaccessible to the blind.

Finally, I also spoke about the fact that electric bikes and scooters are so quiet that they cannot be heard by a person using non-visual travel techniques or by pedestrians with hearing loss. I discussed how this presents a serious safety hazard because, although required to do so by the proposed Ordinance, riders of shared mobility devices often do not provide an audio warning when they are going to pass a pedestrian. I also spoke of how a single verbal audio cue is often insufficient for a pedestrian with hearing loss because they may not be able to tell which direction it is coming from, and of how requiring riders of shared mobility devices to give an audio cue, rather than requiring the devices to make enough noise to be heard by all, takes away a disabled pedestrian’s ability to control their own safety.

I also told Council about how the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio, the State’s largest consumer organization of blind people, passed a Resolution in 2019 addressing the issue of dockless shared mobility devices. I provided the Resolution to Council, and it is attached below for readers to view.

Ultimately, I asked Council to reject the Ordinance as written. Following my presentation, Schwieterman told Council that the City would work with interested parties to see if the concerns that I raised could be addressed.

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