December 17, 2014

Elyria
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Council clerk revises attendance logs

ELYRIA — The Elyria Clerk of Council says his office erred in recording Councilwoman Bonnie Ivancic as being absent at two committee meetings this past year. Figures provided by the Clerk’s office were used in a story about Council attendance in Tuesday’s Chronicle.

The error means that Ivancic, D-4th Ward, missed just two of her 23 committee meetings in 2007, not four of the 23, as was reported in Wednesday’s story about Elyria City Council members’ attendance over the past two years. 

Ivancic

“Now that you have verification that my attendance record was what I said it was, I repeat: I take attendance very seriously and schedule my life around these meetings,” Ivancic said.

Ivancic has touted Council and committee attendance as crucial indicators of her involvement.
Elyria Clerk of Council Art Weber said a review of committee minutes showed that Ivancic was absent at the Safety Committee meeting on April 12, 2007, and the Community Development Committee meeting just a few days before that. 

In the minutes from the April 9 Community Development Committee meeting, Ivancic is not recorded as speaking at the meeting, though she was the last person to sign off on a committee sponsorship sheet from that meeting.

Weber said meeting minutes from the following meeting, however, indicated that Ivancic said she was at that meeting.
Ivancic said it was possible she had arrived late to the meeting and was inadvertently recorded as being absent, and the Council Clerk’s office agreed that was a possibility.

Council Clerk Art Weber looked into the matter, and on Wednesday said the minutes from the April 30 Community Development meeting indicated that Ivancic asked committee members to amend the minutes to show she was late, not absent, at the previous meeting. That change was never reflected in the minutes that the committee approved.

Weber also said that handwritten notes from a secretary showed that Ivancic had indeed been at the April 12 Safety Committee meeting, despite being recorded as absent.

In a letter sent to Council members on Wednesday, Weber said that it was his opinion that “Mrs. Ivancic attended both meetings, and (his) office was in error.”

The correction means that Ivancic was absent at two of 23 committee meetings so far this year, missing about 8 percent of her meetings — roughly the same 2007 record as Mike Lotko, D-at-large, Jack Baird, R-at-large, and Herman Larkins, D-5th Ward.

Ivancic said she has attended numerous committee meetings that she was not required to attend over the past few years, none of which were reflected in Wednesday’s story on committee attendance.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.