Conflict within Powell City Council Erupts, Ebersole Escorted Out

YouTube via Andrew Gartner

Sophia Englehart, Community Editor

Tensions between the Powell City Council and its constituents reached a tipping point at the city council meeting on Sept. 19.

Among the many decisions and announcements issued during the meeting, Ordinance 2017-14 drew the largest crowd. Powell Mayor Brian Lorenz, along with the other Councilmen, voted 6-1 in agreement to settle a $1.8 million lawsuit filed by CV Real Property, a real estate developer currently building the Center at Powell Crossing. The settlement will be split between Powell and Great American Insurance Group, with Powell taxpayers paying $950,000 and Great American $850,000.

Dave Ebersole, a member of the Powell charter movement, was forcibly removed from the proceeding in the midst of a heated argument with Mayor Lorenz.

The charter movement, which was first filed back in 2016, was submitted in an attempt to prevent the ordinance from moving forward. Unfortunately, the motion was denied and did not halt the progression of said ordinance.

Ebersole accused the Powell Council, particularly former mayor and Councilman Tom Counts, of working behind the public’s back to bring forth certain laws and directives that would benefit himself, and the rest of the Council.

“The principle that makes America great is that the government serves the people,” said Ebersole. “This paternalistic view that you have is not going to fly in Powell anymore.”

Ebersole also implied that were financial and legislative cover-ups initiated by the Powell Council.

“You have clear public band aids,” stated Ebersole during the Council meeting. “There is no theory of representative democracy.”

Mayor Lorenz was “heartbroken” that the decision would so greatly affect Powell, but was firm in moving forward with the passing of Ordinance 2017-14, feeling that the cost of not going through with the settlement would be “insurmountable.”

“I see it in your faces, I know how exhausted you are, and for that [the ordinance] is disappointing,” said Lorenz, addressing the elephant in the room in conclusion of the Council meeting. “But today offers us a time for healing, and I’d like us to move forward.”