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Members named to food truck committee

7/11/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

Akron City Council also honors Ziegler, Waters

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron City Councilman Jeff Fusco (D-at large) will chair a committee tasked with researching the topic of food truck vendors in the city of Akron.

The topic has headlined several recent Akron City Council meetings as representatives from the local food truck industry have spoken to urge Council to consider changing city law to allow the operation of food trucks in Akron. Currently, it is against the law in Akron to sell goods from a vehicle, with the exception of ice cream trucks.

Representatives from Downtown Akron Partnership and the city’s brick-and-mortar restaurants have pushed back, fearing that locally owned restaurants would suffer a decline in business if food trucks were permitted to operate in the city.

Fusco announced at the July 8 Council meeting that the following individuals will serve on the committee: Councilwoman Margo Sommerville (D-Ward 3), owner of Sommerville Funeral Home; Veronica Sims, an Akron Public Schools Board of Education member; Suzie Graham, of Downtown Akron Partnership; Guido D’Orio, of NEOSHRED, and a member of the North Akron Board of Trade; and John Buntin, of Kenmore Komics, and a member of the Kenmore Board of Trade. In addition, Fusco said, representatives from both the food truck and brick-and-mortar restaurant industries will be consulted as experts.

Fusco said the committee is gearing up for a thorough and lengthy exploration of the matter.

“We look forward to moving forward with this,” Fusco said. “It’s going to take a lot of time. We want to make sure we’re very thorough … so we can make informed decisions.”

In other business, Council presented retiring Community Health Center CEO Ted Ziegler with a proclamation. Councilman Mike Freeman (D-Ward 9), who has been involved with Community Health Center for six years, introduced Ziegler and presented the proclamation.

Ziegler, who retired June 28 after 34 years with Community Health Center, said he was fortunate to have a rewarding career he enjoyed.

“They say if you find a job you love you never have to work again,” he said. “That was me; but the neat thing was, they paid me.”

In legislative action, Council approved a resolution honoring a prominent historic Akron figure by unofficially renaming a street after him. A section of Olive Street between North Main and Butler streets in North Hill will receive the honorary designation of Frank Waters Way. The section of street borders Waters Park.

According to the resolution, Frank Hyde Waters, an Akron attorney, was instrumental in bringing running water and sewage relief to North Hill when his wealth and prominence led the city to run water and sewer lines to his estate. He planned and funded additional water and sewer lines throughout North Hill, and upon his death in 1933, his estate was donated to the city for a park and playground. Waters Park was dedicated in 1937.

The next Akron City Council meeting will take place July 15 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council Chambers.

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