Some Oxford residents worried following election

By Kelsey Kimbler - For The Register-Herald

OXFORD – Eleven members of the Oxford community expressed post-election worries during the public comments section of Oxford’s City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The residents expressed worries regarding bullying in the schools and the safety of their children. One member said, “Living in Oxford is like living in a big bubble,” but she added that even the “bubble” is starting to be affected.

City workers were thanked for their response in the week following the election. It was even shared that “liberals and conservatives alike” are being targeted.

Talawanda Communication Liaison Holli Morrish shared a letter from the school’s superintendent, stating expectations for behavior have been set and are expected to be upheld.

The Community Relations Commission actually has a vehicle for complaints on its website and there was a call to use it if anyone has need to.

Finally, council itself was praised for its work as local government. It was expressed that “local government matters” and can make a difference. Trust in council was shared and reaffirmed by many attending the meeting.

On a lighter note, a new restaurant called “Scotty’s Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company” is coming to Oxford in December. The establishment will be where Dakotas used to be located. This will be a “family friendly sports bar,” according to officials.

In other business:

•Police Chief John Jones shared that annually the police department waives parking meter fees from Dec. 19-Dec. 31, in order to promote local shopping for the holidays. The two-hour limit on parking will still stand, but there will be plastic bags placed over the meters stating, “Happy Holidays!”

•There was only one first reading ordinance. On April 19, 2011 Ordinance No. 3147 granted Glenwood Energy of Oxford, Inc. a franchise to provide natural gas service and regulating rates and charges for the utility. As of March 11, there has been a change in heating value of the natural gas. This will cause an increase in the monthly utility bill of a typical user by approximately $1.93 per month.

Ordinances for which second readings were held included:

• Two to expand Beta Theta Pi property and give the group a parking lot using an abandoned easement lot.

• An ordinance to make appropriations for 2017 fiscal year. This includes; a two percent cost of living adjustment for all full-time employees, a 21.5 percent decrease in workers compensation payment for Fire & EMS fund; 12.5 percent decrease in Workers Compensation payment for all other funds; capital improvement & equipment spending of $3,498,200; water capital improvement & equipment spending of $1,087,400; waste water improvement & equipment spending of $592,000; decreased revenue refuse fund 341 by $61,636 due to reduced overhead cost associated with landfill closure bond being retired; a two percent increase in water & sewer rates, and increase in the city’s contribution for medical insurance to $1,275 per employee per month.

The next Oxford City Council meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m. in Oxford’s Courthouse.

By Kelsey Kimbler

For The Register-Herald