WHEELING - As the first civil case relating to a planned East Wheeling sports field approaches at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Wheeling City Council - with Councilman James Tiu excluded - met in private to discuss the pending litigation.
"I would respectfully request council meet in executive session to discuss ongoing litigation," City Manager Robert Herron said at Tuesday's meeting.
Tiu announced he would not participate in the closed-door session.
Photo by Zach Macormac
Councilman James Tiu sits alone in Wheeling City Council Chambers as fellow council members and city administrators meet in private to discuss an upcoming civil case involving the city and Tiu on opposite sides.
On Friday, the city will seek to prove it plans to use land in the southeast block of 15th and Wood streets in East Wheeling for public purposes. The city still does not possess four of the properties in question along 15th Street and is attempting to use eminent domain to obtain them. Tiu owns one of them and announced one year ago that he refuses to sell it.
Ohio County Circuit Judge Arthur Recht will hear Friday's case, formally named City of Wheeling v. Poynton et al.
Following the 20-minute executive session, council and administrators made no public comment on the matter. Tiu likewise refused comment.
In open business, council unanimously approved seeking demolition liens against several property owners deemed neglectful by city property maintenance code. The liens total $135,895 and cover costs for asbestos inspection, asbestos abatement, demolition and removal.
Council also unanimously agreed to spend $30,000 for emergency repairs to a sewer interceptor at 400 S. Front St. on Wheeling Island.
Mayor Andy McKenzie gained council's approval of his appointment of Patricia Croft, director of the Children's Museum of the Ohio Valley, to the Wheeling Arts and Culture Commission.
Elm Grove resident Bill O'Leary commended the city for its recent security measures installed in the Wheeling Water Department office.
He suggested the next step should be an alternate entrance leading directly to the department office.
The only way to access the office is to enter through the front and walk far down the first-floor hall, a task O'Leary said is difficult for elderly water customers.