NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Ten days ago, Niles experienced a strong thunderstorm that left damage in its wake.
Many expected the city to take away the fallen tree limbs caused by the storm. Niles City Council held a special meeting Friday night to address the cleanup efforts – but the result of the meeting left many in attendance upset at their city leaders.
“We are here to provide services to the citizen, and it’s a grave injustice to ignore them,” said First Ward councilman Doug Sollitto.
Niles City Council voted 4-3 against even considering a temporary ordinance that would use city resources to finish tree limb cleanup from front yards. Council members who voted against the measure pointed to existing ordinances.
“I understand their point and I’m so sorry for them, but there’s a way of doing it. I’m not going to go against the codified ordinance,” said at-large councilman Barry Profato.
“It’s part of the everyday trash service. Cut up, bundled, at the curb and the trash service will take it all away,” said Niles mayor Steven Mientkiewicz.
According to residents, the trash service the city uses doesn’t work well and they had to rely on neighbors instead of the city.
“If you put a trash can out there that’s the wrong size, they won’t even take your trash. We had a good samaritan come down and charged us ten bucks to pick up the entire street,” said homeowner Bill Tomory.
Even though a special meeting doesn’t allow for public input by rule, those in attendance still felt as though some leaders don’t care about their issues.
“Again, council won’t even hear us out, they won’t even hear us,” Tomory said.
“We’ve had safety issues with cars parked in the road and emergency personnel not being able to reach us and get to homes in an emergency situation and we were promised he would help us. When it came time to help us, it’s our councilman pushing for us, not the mayor. The mayor shut us down,” said Niles resident Jeanette Jackson.
“Council failed its citizens today,” Sollitto said.