Hillsboro City Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott revealed that the city is tabling plans to implement a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in the city that would allow open alcohol containers in designated areas in the city until further notice during a Hillsboro City Council meeting Thursday.
The announcement was prompted by comments from Herb Day, who is running against current Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha, in the Primary Election Tuesday, May 2.
“I would like to direct a question to the administration,” said Day.
Hillsboro City Council President Tom Eichinger replied, “The only person you can direct a question to is the safety and service director or council.”
“Y’all can listen anyway,” said Day. “My question is about the DORA public meeting scheduled for the 27th. Can you tell me what happened with that?”
“It ended up being rescheduled — not rescheduled — cancelled,” said Abbott. “There were some issues with the timeline so it had to be pulled.”
A long pause followed after Day expressed uncertainty about the meaning of issues with the timeline. “And that’s your final answer?” Day finally asked.
“Yes,” said Abbott.
Day said that he noticed the agenda for the city council meeting noted that the application for the DORA had been filed with the state of Ohio.
“It was not filed with the state,” said Abbott.
“That’s what it says on the agenda,” replied Day.
“It is not filed with the state,” repeated Abbott.
“Mrs. Abbott, it says DORA application filed March 10,” said Day.
“Filed with the council, not with the state, and it has been pulled,” said Abbott.
“Oh, it’s been pulled?” asked Day. “So, this is going to be rescheduled?”
“Not at this time,” said Abbott. “It’s not an issue at this time. It had to be pulled due to timeline issues.”
“With the city or with the state?” asked Day.
“With the city,” replied Abbott.
Eichinger interjected in the exchange to clarify the “timeline issue” pertained to the city administration and not with city council. “Mr. Day, just to verify with that, the application process requires the city to file it with the legislative authority, which is us, the council, so it’s not filing with the state, it’s filing here,” said Eichinger.
“So, it was a process, a timeline filing with the council?” asked Day.
“It had nothing to do with the council,” replied Eichinger. “It had to do with them needing to relook at some timeline issues, and that’s why they pulled it, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Abbott did not clarify if or when efforts to implement a DORA in Hillsboro will continue and did not offer specific information about why the application for the DORA was pulled from the city council.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.