By JOY BROWN
Findlay City Council on Tuesday voted to transfer an additional $50,000 for insurance-related claims and fees into an account that the law director can access at will.
Opposition from two council members wasn’t enough to persuade the rest of council to keep the money where it was, which would’ve forced Law Director Don Rasmussen to ask for transfer legislation each time he wanted to pay a bill.
About $20,000 is typically placed in the account at the beginning of the year, but that amount already was spent on legal settlements and attorney fees.
First Ward Councilwoman Holly Frische and Andy Douglas, 6th Ward councilman, have been opposed to the transfer. On Tuesday, Frische wanted to separate the money transfer legislation from two other infrastructure spending requests, but her motion failed, with only five of the nine council members present voting in favor.
Frische said she objected to the transfer itself because Rasmussen could not give her details on the nature or total of the bills the city will receive for the rest of the year that will necessitate spending money from the fund.
On Tuesday, Rasmussen reiterated that a few such bills are outstanding. He did not provide details during the meeting, but afterward said they total around $4,000 and have to do with legal and arbitration cases involving two police officers.
“I was a proponent of the ordinance at the last meeting, too,” said Tom Klein, 4th Ward councilman, who voted in favor of the legislation. “We’re putting it someplace to have access to it quickly if we need it. I basically see it as moving things along in a business-like fashion.
“It’s money that is either sitting in one account or another account. I see this as expediting the day-to-day business of the city,” Klein said.
Rasmussen will keep council members informed when he needs to dip into the fund, Klein said. But without specific ordinances for individual money transfers, that activity won’t be immediately apparent.
Separately Tuesday, firefighters Fred Weiss, Adam Kidwell, Ryan Lease and Graham Thomas received Meritorious Service Medals for their actions on April 21 that revived a person who had overdosed on heroin.