Seven Hills Sanitary Sewer Assessment

One must have a “thick skin” to be both an attorney and to also serve as a mayor. I have been a practicing attorney for 34 years and am honored to have been involved in Seven Hills government since 2003. I take pride in the progress we are making to turn our city around in these difficult financial times.

We recently had an election in which our residents narrowly passed a trash levy. But it is clear from the many comments I heard at the polls that a clever political handout and an opinion piece in the Parma Observer had a negative impact on our residents’ understanding of that levy and overall city finances.

The writer of that Observer article apparently purchased a residence in Seven Hills a few years ago and angrily complained in the paper about assessments for EPA mandated sanitary sewers. With some exceptions, Ohio Revised Code Section 5302.30 requires that every person who is selling any residential real property in Ohio must complete a disclosure form and deliver it to prospective buyers. One of the required items to be disclosed is whether the property is subject to any pending assessments. 

The writer of the Observer article claimed that the City of Seven Hills had somehow improperly balanced its budget with these sanitary sewer assessments. The truth is that this would be first, illegal, and secondly, impossible, since among other things city financial records are audited annually for compliance with the state auditor’s office. Sanitary sewer assessments are used to install sanitary sewers as the law requires. There were other inaccuracies in the article as well, but the damage has already been done. 

We recently had a friendly meeting with Daniel McCarthy, the Publisher of the Parma Observer, to express our concerns over the failure to contact the city for comment before publishing that article. I was extremely pleased with Mr. McCarthy’s response over these issues and his clear interest in promoting journalistic accuracy and integrity in the Parma Observer. The City of Seven Hills looks forward to working with the paper in the future to prevent another dissemination of inaccurate information.

Richard Dell'Aquila

Mayor Richard Dell'Aquila

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 5:17 AM, 12.03.2012