Compromise a possibility between Nelson and Steubenville City Council
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio —
Compromise is on the table after a lengthy legal battle between Mark Nelson and the Steubenville City Council.
The city had previously made the motion to take Nelson to court as a result of unpaid vacant property fines, per the city’s vacant property ordinance.
Nelson has always argued that his properties don’t qualify as vacant because they have electricity. The Board of Property Maintenance decided that Nelson would not be fined, but Steubenville City Council disagreed with that decision and moved forward with filing a lawsuit.
Councilman Villamagna presented a compromise at this week’s council meeting, and his proposal was passed in a 5-to-1 vote.
Councilman DiLoreto was the only one who voted against the settlement.
"If we're going to do it for one, then we should do it for all. No picking and choosing, no favors granted,” he said.
While the details of the proposed settlement are being kept private for the time being, we do know that both the Board of Property Maintenance and Nelson have to agree on the terms; otherwise, the case will continue on to court.
According to Nelson, the entire situation has been disappointing - not only for himself, but for his family.
"It’s discouraging, and really, I think it’s an issue between the city and the review board, not really an issue between the city and myself – but, of course, we are the ones named in the lawsuit,” he said.
He also questions the validity of the proposed settlement.
"I don’t understand how we're even able to have any kind of settlement. That’s not something that’s spelled out in the city charter. It says that the review board’s decisions are final, and the only other option would be to have it reviewed by the common pleas court,” he said.