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Marysville City Council meets for last time in old city hall

First meeting in new city hall is Dec. 9

By Jim Bloch

The names and faces will remain the same, but everything else will change.

The Marysville City Council has met for the final time in the Joseph S. Johns Council Chambers in the old city hall.

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“Welcome everyone to the regular meeting of the Marysville City Council,” said Mayor Wayne Pyden. “It’s Nov. 25, 2019. Side note: This will probably be the last meeting here at the Joseph S. Johns Council Chambers, 1111 Delaware. Hopefully, our next meeting will be down the street.”

The city plans to open the new $2.1 million city hall at 8 a.m. Dec. 2.

The city council chambers in the new facility will also be named in honor of Joseph S. Johns, the longest-serving council representative in city history.

“About six years ago, this chamber was after my father,” said Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman. “It meant a lot to him and to our entire family. This was the second city hall he presided over. He was also in the original one down at the park.”

The old, old city hall sits on the south side of Marysville Park. It subsequently served as the city’s historical museum until being shuttered in the wake of the Great Recession. The lobby of the new city hall will now showcase artifacts from the city’s past.

Joe Johns in 2013.
Joe Johns in 2013.

On Feb. 25, 2013, Mayor Gary Orr officially dedicated the council chambers to Johns as a standing-room-only crowd of family and residents celebrated Johns’ 90th birthday. Johns had turned 90 on Feb. 23.

Orr also proclaimed Feb. 25 as Joseph S. Johns Day in Marysville.

Johns served as member of the Marysville City Council for 55 years, beginning in 1951, including 12 years as Mayor. He died at 95 in 2018.

“He would be very impressed with our new building,” said Hayman. “It’s very nice to see his name up at that building, too. So thank you from my family and myself.”

Meeting dates for December

The city council moved the date of its first meeting in the new facility at 1255 Delaware to 7:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 9.

The city council meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month except during December, when it typically meets on the first and third Mondays due to the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Randy Fernandez showing off the new Joseph S. Johns Council Chambers in early November.
Randy Fernandez showing off the new Joseph S. Johns Council Chambers in early November.

“The way the schedule would be laid out is that we’d have the meeting tonight, we’d have a meeting Monday, Dec. 2, we have a goal-setting meeting on Dec. 9 and we’d have a regular council meeting on Dec. 16,” said City Manager Randy Fernandez, addressing the council on Nov. 25. “So that would be four weeks in a row.”

Old city hall was officially closed on Wednesday, Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving, to facilitate the move to the new building.

“Basically, we would have less than 24 hours to turn over a new agenda for you for next Monday night (Dec. 2), which means there would be nothing on that agenda except to approve the minutes from this meeting,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez contacted City Attorney Gary Fletcher to find out if the city could hold only one regular meeting in December, just as Port Huron does. Fletcher said no.

“Our charter specifically states we must meet twice,” said Fernandez.

Acting City Clerk Rene Stoia suggested holding both the goal-setting session and the council’s regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 9.

“So it’s our recommendation that we move the regular meeting from Dec. 2 to Dec. 9,” said Fernandez. “We will meet from 5:30-7:15 p.m. for our goal setting session at the new city hall, then promptly adjourn and go into the new council chambers for our regular meeting.”

The goal-setting session will likely be held in the conference room of the new building.

The council approved the new date 7-0.

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