By: Bill O’Connell
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
The Swanton Village Council met on Monday, May 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM and continued with its recent trend of holding a lengthy executive session to discuss personnel issues, some of which are still in search of a resolution.
The Council took care of some unfinished business by making a decision on Village employees that had served their one-year probation. They decided to continue to employ the following individuals: Amy Miller (Office Assistant), Anthony Bernal (FF I/EMT), Chad Branum (FF II/Paramedic), Tyler Ellis (FF II/EMT), Joel Flory (FF I), Daniel Johnson (FF I/Paramedic), Chris Schultz (Paramedic), Adam Berg (Police Chief), Tyler Gearig, (Police Sergeant), Zachary Shirkey (Patrolman). James Mills, a probationary member of the Fire Department, was relieved of his duties with a written notice.
The suspension of Fire Chief Howard Myers with pay has been extended for another fifteen days pending the results of a hearing. Deputy Fire Chief Gary Roytek will continue to oversee the department during that time. In that role, Deputy Chief Roytek promoted Jamie Blake to Shift Commander. Ms. Blake will receive a $0.10 per hour raise and begin a new probationary period.
To help with the recent rash of personnel issues and any labor issues going forward the Council unanimously approved Emergency Resolution 2016-05, authorizing the utilization of Spengler Nathanson P.L.L. for legal service and declaring an emergency. In her report Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle wrote, “With the upcoming revision to the Village Handbook and the ever increasing importance of labor relations, I believe it is in the best interest of the Village of Swanton to enter into an agreement with a law firm which specializes in employment law as it relates to public entities.”
Also, on the employment front, the hiring of two Water Operators was approved by the Council with a 6-0 vote. Ross Stambaugh was hired at a rate of $15.00 per hour and Kody Crabb was hired at a rate of $16.00 per hour. The hiring of both employees will be contingent on the results of a background check and a drug test and subject to a one-year probationary period as well.
In other new business, Council approved Emergency Ordinance 2016-13 authorizing Village Administration to enter into an agreement for the Clark Street Sewer Separation Project and declaring an emergency. With the contractor bid already approved, the resolution is official acceptance of the bid.
Ms. Hoelzle also reported she met with representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation concerning the Airport Highway/Main Street Project and current plans indicate the Main Street bridge will not be closed until September.
The new LED electronic sign, destined to replace the current marquee at Memorial Park, is on order and is expected in later this month. The Village Administration will be working with Swanton Lions Club member Joe Kahl who spearheaded the fund raising campaign to obtain the sign, on policies and procedures and overall management of this new, state-of-the-art, public communications resource.
Ongoing discussions between the Villages of Delta and Swanton regarding the sharing of equipment to save tax payer money was confirmed by Ms. Hoelzle, stating the talks are in currently their “infancy”. Swan Creek Township may also be included in any future agreements.
On a more somber note, the Council recognized John Syx, a former Village Administrator who served Swanton for 15 years, who had passed away at 84 years of age just a few days before. There was a moment of silence followed by a recommendation from Council President Paul Dzyak and an approval to fly all Village American flags at half-mast.
The next meeting is scheduled for May 23, 2016 at 7:00 PM in the Village Conference Room.
Bill O’Connell may be reached at