LIMA — City hall was busy with a pair of back-to-back meetings on Monday and although the topic was to be the city charter, the story was 6th Ward councilor Derry Glenn demanding respect from president John Nixon.
During the first meeting, Glenn was sharing his opinion about what should be required for proof of residency in mayoral elections when he became agitated after multiple Nixon interruptions. Glenn then went off-script to make it clear to Nixon that he expects to be treated with the dignity and respect the president treats the other members of the council with.
“I don’t care if you like me or not, this needs to stop now. Whenever I am out in my ward I am always being asked why John Nixon treats me so badly. They watch the meetings on TV and everyone is able to see the way you treat me and I am putting you on notice now. I don’t want to hear it anymore — if you have something to say, then say it now. Otherwise, I’m not taking it anymore.”
Second Ward councilor and committee chair Tony Wilkerson quickly gained control of the meeting with no further incident and Nixon didn’t have any response to Glenn’s ultimatum for respect.
With all the tension out of the way, the councilors finished the meeting with a general agreement that the city should have 11 different categories of acceptable documentation to prove residency. Of those 11 categories, the committee was divided between whether four or five categories should be the threshold for proof. They closed the meeting before coming to an agreement with the intention of meeting at least one more time to iron out the rest of the details.
During the second meeting, the city council of the whole, Nixon shared the 2020 census accounted for 35,579 Lima residents. The city charter requires at least one ward per every 5,000 residents. The charter also excludes incarcerated individuals living in the city, of which there were 1,513 individuals, making the total 34,066, so the city could reduce the number of wards from six to seven.
“My view is we have no reason to redesign the wards,” Nixon said.
The council of the whole concluded with councilors agreeing to look at adjusting the seven wards after reflecting on and taking into considerations other changes in the city, such as annexations.
Reach Joe Gilroy at 567-242-0398 or on Twitter @TLNJoeGilroy