What started off as a first reading of a seemingly typical ordinance quickly turned into something else. There was some yelling, interrupting and a lot of gavel banging by Beavercreek’s new Mayor, Julie Vann, to restore order. It’s best described as more of a dust-up than a fight, but what happened to cause such a mess?

At the center of it all was what seemed to be a simple ordinance put forth to clarify how Beavercreek appoints members to outside boards. But the debate quickly turned personal when council member Jarrod Martin brought up the former mayor’s wife and said that she was the subject of the ordinance.

MP3 Audio Excerpt of
Discussion: 32 Minutes


INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the link
above to listen or right mouse click
and choose “Save File” to save to
your computer. File size: 3.8 Mb.
Length: 32 min. (audio compressed).

The ordinance that Beavercreek’s City Council was voting on would give council the power to appoint members to outside boards and commissions. Currently that power can vary and, in at least one case where the outside organization is following Ohio Revised Code, it rests with the chief executive officer in the city… presumably the mayor. And that’s where former mayor Scott Hadley took issue with the ordinance. Hadley said that the ordinance was an attempt to strip that outside duty from the mayor and give it to council. Hadley also said the only outside board the city appoints to is the Greene Metropolitan Housing Authority (GMHA).

If an outside group, such as the GMHA, has in it’s own rules set forth by the Ohio Revised Code that the mayor of Beavercreek appoints members to it’s board, the question arises as to whether Beavercreek City Council can pass an ordinance that would even apply to the group’s rules. Can an ordinance from the City of Beavercreek trump the GMHA’s own rules set forth by Ohio Revised Code?

But there’s another side to this story and it gets personal. Last December there were two people who wanted the job of serving on the GMHA Board. One candidate had already served there for 5 years and the GMHA had recommended she be reappointed. She is Nancy Hadley, former mayor Scott Hadley’s wife. City Council rejected the recommendation of the GMHA and instead voted for the other candidate by a vote of 3-2.

There’s probably no denying that it could have easily gotten personal for Scott Hadley, but he argued from the facts and never brought up his wife while making his point, that would be done by council member Martin. Hadley did, however, bring up the GMHA which definitely hit a nerve with Martin who feels Hadley’s association with the group represents a conflict of interest. Martin became so upset he was interrupting Mayor Vann while she was responding to Hadley. Vann had to ask Martin to wait until she was finished.

“In all honesty Mr.
Hadley probably should
not be participating in
any of this discussion…
his wife being the subject
of this ordinance.”

– Jarrod Martin

When he did speak, Martin said, “I don’t know why we had the long diatribe from Mr. Hadley. We discussed this in detail at our retreat. As a matter of fact we spent two and a half hours on it. In all honesty Mr. Hadley probably should not be participating in any of this discussion due to his relationship with the Greene Metropolitan Housing and his wife being the subject of this ordinance.”

And with that statement, everyone in the audience and viewers at home could see that there was a lot more to this issue. Martin had said that Hadley’s wife Nancy was “the subject of this ordinance.” Public and private matters rarely clash so openly while the cameras are rolling at Beavercreek’s City Council. The debate hinted at a lot of emotions stirred up behind the scenes. One might ask how anyone can be objective here. Martin went on to say that at the retreat there was strong disagreement whether the city’s mayor could single handedly appoint to boards and that is why the ordinance was being brought up.

But it’s important to keep in mind that former mayor Hadley never appointed his wife to the board. That occurred before he was even a council member. Hadley also recused himself from any meetings where the GMHA was being discussed. Had the city followed Ohio Revised Code in December, Hadley would not have made the appointment because of his recusals. The Vice Mayor would have had to step in for that duty. As it now stands it was City Council that overstepped their bounds back in December according to the GMHA which says it is following Ohio Revised Code.

The GMHA was the first to bring up the issue saying that City Council did not have the authority to make the appointment. On the GMHA’s website, in an area explaining the board, it says that the Mayor of the largest city in the county appoints 2 board members. This same explanation has been on the website since at least 2003.

The issue is really quite complex and the emotions have only complicated things. Emotions aside, it could be said that Scott Hadley has a valid point arguing that City Council shouldn’t attempt to take over an outside duty of the mayor. But Hadley’s personal connection lead some to question his motivations. City Council as well may have a point, arguing that Beavercreek is designed with a weak mayor form of government giving council most of the duties of mayor. But with emotions running so high, they also have left the door open for people to question their motivations. The GMHA has rejected the appointee put forth by the City Council in December and has asked that Nancy Hadley be re-appointed. That only further complicates matters.

The debate that ensued went on for nearly 40 minutes. In the end the ordinance moved on to a second reading with a vote of 4-3. While there isn’t enough space to cover the entire debate, we have tried to provide you with a few capsules and analysis to better understand the issues and events. The Council meeting will rerun on Channel 5 over the next two weeks. This issue comes up 1 hour and 38 minutes into the meeting. We suggest our readers watch the exchange or listen to the MP3 audio file on this page to get a complete view of the issue.

The Beavercreek Record was first with this story.

City Council Seeks The Power to Appoint to Outside Boards

The ordinance titled Ordinance 08-6 Appointments of Outside Boards and Commissions would give City Council the power to appoint members to outside boards and commissions. Currently under Ohio Revised Code, that power rests with the chief executive officer in the city… presumably the mayor. In Beavercreek’s case, according to Hadley, the use of this power currently only applies to one outside board. That board is the Greene Metropolitan Housing Authority (GMHA).

Analysis: In the recent past, City Council has voted on appointments to the GMHA Board, even though they may not have legally had the authority to do so. There’s a big question as to whether any ordinance City Council passes would even apply. If an outside organization is chartered by the state of Ohio and must follow Ohio Revised Code for it’s own rules, can Beavercreek City Council pass an ordinance that in effect sets up new rules for that organization which supersede the state of Ohio? Also, many say that the term “chief executive officer” is vague and is not clearly defined in Ohio Revised Code. According to some, that could be the mayor or the city manager. Clarifying this term first may have been a better course of action as a first step to fixing the problem.

What Happened on December 10, 2007

City Council met on December 10, 2007. On their agenda was the appointment of a board member to the GMHA. Nancy Hadley, wife of Scott Hadley, was the current member of the GMHA Board. Members serve for 5 year terms and her term was expiring at the end of 2007. When a member’s term expires, the GMHA sends a letter to the city recommending a replacement. In this case they sent a letter recommending that Nancy Hadley be reappointed to the GMHA Board for another term. In the past, the city has honored the recommendation of the GMHA. In this case, however, they did not.

Another application had been received from Robert Sharp, who was also interested in sitting on the board. Sharp, a CPA, most recently ran unsuccessfully for Beavercreek Township Fiscal Officer in November, 2007. Council member Baker nominated Sharp, Braily nominated Hadley. A vote was taken. Sharp received 3 votes and Nancy Hadley received 2.

Analysis: In the past the city has honored the recommendation of the GMHA. For some reason this time City Council rejected that recommendation. There was no discussion at the meeting. If any discussion of the candidates took place, it happened somewhere else or at another meeting. As for Scott Hadley’s relationship to the applicant, it should be taken into consideration that Nancy Hadley was originally appointed before Scott Hadley began his term as a city council member.

Council Member Scott Hadley’s Issue With The Ordinance

Following the reading of the ordinance, council member and former mayor Scott Hadley made his argument against the ordinance. Hadley calmly presented his argument saying that the ordinance was being put forth to deal with a specific issue because it really only applied to appointments to the GMHA. He said this is true because Beavercreek is not a member of any other outside board. Hadley listed Ohio Revised Code as well as an outside attorney’s opinion saying that the City Council had no authority to do what they did on December 10, 2007.

Analysis: Hadley may be right but on December 10, 2007 he sat silently in his chair as the vote was taken. According to later comments during last night’s debate, it was the GMHA that originally brought up the improper appointment by City Council as a reason for their rejection.

Council Member Jarrod Martin Heats Up The Debate

Hadley’s comments incited council member Jarrod Martin. Martin said, “I don’t know why we had the long diatribe from Mr. Hadley. We discussed this in detail at our retreat. As a matter of fact we spent two and a half hours on it. In all honesty Mr. Hadley probably should not be participating in any of this discussion due to his relationship with the Greene Metropolitan Housing and his wife being the subject of this ordinance.” Martin went on to say that at the retreat their was strong disagreement that the Mayor could single handedly appoint to boards and that is why the ordinance was being brought up.

Analysis: Martin brought up debate that occurred at another meeting, namely the “retreat’. Some refer to these type meetings as “shadowy” because discussion and debate takes place far from the cameras. According to the city’s media policy, no real decisions can occur at these type of meetings when cameras are not running. Martin may feel like the issue was debated and even agreed upon at the retreat, but in fact Hadley was well within his rights to bring up the matter for debate with the cameras watching. If Scott Hadley had not given his “long diatribe” as Martin put it, viewers and residents would have had no idea what the issue and disagreement was about.

Other Council Members Voice Their Opinions

Council members Jerry Petrak, Julie Vann and Vicki Giambrone were not part of the City Council that made the decision back in December. Council member Jerry Petrak said that he felt City Council made the appointment in December in good faith and didn’t know they weren’t following the rules. Council member Phyllis Howard said that she didn’t want the discussion to stray to far away from the matter at hand, the ordinance. She also said that she felt since Hadley had been recusing himself he really shouldn’t be discussing this issue now. Vice Mayor Vicki Giambrone said the ordinance was being put forth to fix a flaw in the process and agreed that City Council acted in good faith in December. Council member Tom Leonard brought up that the GMHA had rejected City Council’s appointment and City Council would need to put up somebody else. He also disagreed with the language of the ordinance. That led to a debate as to whether the GMHA had legally rejected the appointment or not which led to a legal opinion by city attorney McHugh that they may not have legally done that yet. Mayor Julie Vann weighed in with her opinion after about 25 minutes of debate. Vann said that in the past the GMHA would suggest an appointee and the city would usually honor that request.

Analysis: Council members in support of the ordinance seemed to gravitate toward creating a mirror of the process currently used for appointing members to city boards. In that process applications are solicited and City Council votes on applicants and majority rule wins. They also point out that City Council was acting in good faith back in December because they were unaware that the mayor had that duty. Opponents of the ordinance seem to feel the mayor should be able to act in an executive role in such matters, especially when it applies to an outside duty of the mayor. Ohio Revised Code backs them up. They also say that while most of the mayor’s duties are ceremonial, there is also an official capacity with regard to the mayor being recognized as head of the city government by the Governor for purposes of military law and by the courts for civil process involving the City.

40 Minutes of Debate, Some Heated

The debate was by no means a fight, but Mayor Vann did get to give her gavel a healthy workout as she tried to restore order. Most of the problem seemed to come from council member Jarrod Martin who was found interrupting other council members and at one point, after hearing numerous bangs of Mayor Vann’s gavel, defiantly banged the table back at her with his fist and smiled. At other times, however, the debate could be described as dull as the city attorney explained legal concepts and council members probed for information.

Analysis: Most of the heated debate came from Martin who argued that Hadley shouldn’t even be a part of the discussion because his association with the GMHA and the candidate that was rejected, his wife, represents a conflict of interest. But Hadley never brought his wife into the discussion, Martin did. Hadley did bring up that the ordinance would only apply to the GMHA which Martin may have considered as Hadley’s bringing his wife into the discussion. But viewers wouldn’t be aware of the connection if not for Martin saying Hadley’s wife was the subject of the ordinance.

A Conclusion is Reached, Sort Of

Vicki Giambrone made a motion to move the ordinance forward. Phyllis Howard seconded. Then, upon hearing that the language was not the same as what was discussed at the retreat, Howard withdrew her second and Giambrone withdrew her motion. Then City Attorney McHugh said that they could move the motion forward and amend the language before the second reading. Jerry Petrak then put forth that motion, it was seconded and voted on. Leonard, Hadley and Vann voted no. Martin, Howard, Petrak and Giambrone voted yes. The final vote was 4-3. The motion now moves on to a second reading to fight another day, so to speak.

Analysis: Probably one of the fuzziest votes that will ever go on record. City Council approved moving an ordinance on to a second reading without really knowing what it will say. Those who voted in favor of it did so on the promise from the City Attorney that the language would be fixed, but what will that language be?

MP3 Audio Excerpt of the Discussion Below

INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the link above to listen or right mouse click and choose “Save File” to save a copy to your computer. Length: 32 Minutes (Compressed from 38 Min.). File size: 3.8 Mb.
The Beavercreek Record is making this audio available to further help readers understand the issue. The original audio length of 38 minutes was shortened to 32 minutes using a compression technique which slightly increases the speed of the audio while maintaining the pitch at regular levels. The audio is otherwise unedited.

Story by staff. Source: Beavercreek City Council Meeting, Jan. 28, 2008.   BR20080129-01