Swanton Village Administrator Announces Major Changes To Village Personnel Manual

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One of the more daunting tasks that faced Swanton Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle when she was hired in March of this year was the updating of the Village Personnel Manual which had last been edited in 2013. This was in addition to learning a position that had been filled by a part-time administrator for over six months after the resignation of John Gochenour.

Ms. Hoelzle has been working on it as much as possible since then, creating policies that had not been addressed and taking into account changes in technology. At the Village Council meeting on Monday she gave a progress report to Council members explaining that the law firm of Spengler and Nathanson, who specializes in labor and public law, had thoroughly reviewed the manual and had offered recommendations to ensure compliance with any State or Federal laws.

Major changes were highlighted during the meeting including many in the second section. “We have a section of general employment policies. This is kind of the catchall section of policies that weren’t included in the previous manual or were included but we felt needed to be condensed in this,” said Ms. Hoelzle. “That includes cell phone policy, dress code, sexual harassment, other harassment, conflicts of interest, nepotism, fraternization, those we think are really important. Social media was not included in the last one so it was needed in this one.”

Council members were asked to review the manual when they had a chance. Once all changes are made there will be a motion to adopt it.

Health insurance costs are on the rise. Stapleton Insurance has provided a preliminary increase of 21% for medical insurance premiums.

Fiscal Officer Karla Sexton and Ms. Hoelzle are meeting to discuss in more detail.

The Village has received an application from ROW Telecommunications for a telecommunications tower in the public right of way on Woodland Avenue. This right of way is near the intersection of Woodland Avenue and Zeiter way (near one of the Swanton Welding buildings). Currently there are no regulations in the Village’s Zoning Code for telecommunication towers in a public right of way. Ms. Hoelzle is recommending that Council reviews the application then work on formulating regulations for this type of installation in the Zoning Code.

The 2017 proposed Village Calendar set Water/Sewer and Finance Committee meetings on the second Monday of the month, the Public Service and Public Safety Committee meetings and the Committee of the Whole on the fourth Monday of the month. The public is welcome to all these meetings.

In other news, Council passed a resolution to support a feasibility study to be conducted by the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association for a joint fire district in Eastern Fulton County. The fire district, if it is determined to be feasible, could include the villages of Delta and Swanton as well as the townships of Amboy, Pike, Royalton, Swancreek and York and could take up to three years to become reality.

The next meeting will take place on December 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Village Office Building.

Bill O’Connell may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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