Delaware City Council will consider at tonight’s meeting to remove a member from the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for his conduct on social media.
Lucas Ratliff, who opposed the city’s failed income tax road levy, was banned from the Better Roads for Delaware Facebook page before the Nov. 8 general election. His comments on the pro-levy’s Facebook page towards a council member’s post were deleted.
Ratliff told The Gazette, earlier last week, that he did not think his comments were a “personal attack” and therefore felt compelled to re-post them again by creating another account.
But Councilwoman Lisa Keller, 2nd Ward, has said that Ratliff uploaded a photo from her personal Facebook account as a profile picture for his second account. She provided The Gazette a screen shot image to show such action was taken.
Despite the image, Ratliff has denied using her photo as a profile picture. He did admit to posting the same photo on the anti-levy Facebook page with the caption “Lisa Keller – Mrs. My Way or the Highway.”
Ratliff’s term was to expire on Dec. 31, 2018.
The proposed legislation, resolution No. 17-02, on Monday’s agenda, states: “Citizens who serve on City boards and commissions represent the City through their service.”
“Council desires to declare his seat on the Park and Recreation Advisory Board vacant to permit a new appointment. This conduct included creating a new social media account to gain access to a private Facebook group he was banned from and using that profile to disseminate an unflattering picture of a City Council member with the intent to embarrass that council member … City Council believes this conduct is unprofessional and unbecoming a representative of the City.”
In an email sent Friday evening, Ratliff said he will not be attending today’s meeting because of a prior commitment.
“I really have no further comments beyond what I’ve said. It’s unfortunate I can’t be at the meeting to bow before Mayor (Carolyn Kay) Riggle and Lisa; hopefully they are still able to get the pity they are so desperately seeking,” he said.
“The amount of support I’ve received over the past week and the number of individuals who have reached out to me has truly been amazing. There has also been five people who have reached out expressing their intentions to run for at-large seats this fall. It’s clear the majority of this community is tired of the dog and pony show we currently refer to as our Council. I think it’s great that citizens will finally have a choice for once.”
Board, committee and commission members are nominated by the mayor and approved by council.
Ratliff is also a member of the Hidden Valley Golf Course Working Group, which is a sub-committee of the park’s board. It’s unclear if the resolution removes him from that group as well.
Council also will have a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. for legislation to update the city’s permit process for circuses. The latest version of the ordinance includes two potential changes drafted at council’s request for consideration. One prohibits exotic animals unless they are animals native to the farm and sold at auction or by private sale. If approved, Delaware would be the first Ohio community to have such a ban.
The other potential change defines mistreatment based on citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Council can deny permission if a circus has more than five non-critical or two critical non-compliance citations.
In other business, council will:
• Consider two separate development projects that consists of more than 150 single-family homes: Bowtown Delaware’s Old Colony Estates Phase 2 development that consist of 55 single-family lots on about 15 acres north of Bowtown Road and west of the Kennsington Place subdivision; and T&R Properties’ Willowbrook West, which consists of 96 single-family units on more than 15 acres, located on the west side of North Houk Road, north of Arthur Place.
• Consider a resolution to move City Clerk Elaine McCloskey from part-time to full-time effective today.
The meeting will take place at City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St., 7 p.m. in council chambers.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.