In a special ceremony during the city council meeting, state auditor Dave Yost honored the financial management of Delaware. Yost presented a state certificate for excellent financial reporting to Finance Director Dean Stelzer, who accepted the award on behalf of his staff. Stelzer was joined by Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle and City Manager Tom Homan, and Yost noted that Delaware was part of the five percent of cities that receive this award.
During the section for public comment, resident Amanda Henning spoke to the Council about the urgent need to help Delaware’s homeless community find shelter from the coming winter cold. Henning works at the Delaware County District Library, and said she knows 15-20 local residents who stay in the library most if not all day to have shelter, but after they close must sleep outdoors.
“I think, if we’re honest with ourselves, any one of us is a lost job, a lost relationship, a few bad decisions away from being in a similar situation,” Henning said.
Vice Mayor George Hellinger responded on the importance of the issue – one of life and death, he called it – and said that while most city finances go to “needs and wants,” few of them have this kind of impact on residents.
He’d already spoken with Manager Homan about a city response; Henning’s comments to the council followed a weekend discussion in a community forum on social media about the cold’s effects on those outdoors.
In the invocation, councilman Joe DiGenova also reflected on events from this weekend – specifically the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War Two.
“I don’t think there’s enough emphasized at present in our media and in our education in the school system as far as what that really meant to the American people and the freedoms we have today,” DiGenova said.
The city council also looked at several ordinances concerning land and building developments, including approval – as the proximate city – of a territory acquisition for Jerome Village and a new commercial authority for Berkshire Township. They also approved an amended plan for MI Homes’ development north of Silversmith Lane.