With the resignation of full-time officer Steve Towns who left his position to serve as interim Williams County Sheriff, West Unity once again had an opening to fill on the police force. Chief J.R. Jones recommended that council move part-time officer, Phil Fry, into the full-time opening.
Sworn in back in April as a West Unity police officer, Fry has been a part-time member of the West Unity Police department up until now. A native of Edon, he has worked with both the Napoleon Police Department and the Williams County Sheriff’s Office as a full-time officer.
Council also approved moving Brian Fether from his probationary pay period into the full-time patrol officer pay scale. Fether has been a member of the West Unity Police department as a full-time officer for six months and has served his full probationary period.
Mayor Peg Bernath, serving as acting village administrator, informed Council of ongoing work throughout the village. In addition to weekly items like mowing and chipping, she stated that workers had seeded about six areas that were dug up for waterline repairs. She also stated that the EPA is working with village employees to correct the sludge issues at the water plant.
Council approved holding a special meeting on Tuesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. for the stated purpose of personnel matters. Council received more than 20 resumes for the vacant village administrator post and interviewed approximately 8 for the position.
In legislative matters, Council approved via emergency measures a payroll ordinance which establishes pay rates for both the new administrator to be hired and the maintenance worker 1 position. They also gave their approval to advertise for the maintenance worker 1 position from September 19-22 with a resume deadline of noon October 5.
In items from Council, Ron Hausch presented several concerns. First, he stated that the outlets at the open shelter house are not functional. “My brother is on oxygen and I had to go to nearly every outlet before I found one that was hot,” he stated. He also questioned Village Solicitor Ryan Thompson on the status of the Mann house on S. Defiance St. “It’s back in court,” Thompson said. “The prosecutor is recommending contempt of court charges.”
Hausch also asked if the village had received any notification of a meeting held recently concerning the sale or lease of the Ohio Turnpike. “Did we get notified? I read in the paper that the Turnpike meeting was very poorly attended and I just wondered if we received anything or not,” he said. “Had I known about it, I know there would have been at least one more there!”
Solicitor Thompson recommended that Hausch take up his question with Commissioner Lew Hilkert. “The county commissioners are staying on top of all this Turnpike stuff,” he said.
“The sad part is a lot of those meetings are called on such short notice that people can’t get there,” said Councilor Dave Chester.
“In talking to some of the other mayors we’ve found that if you are vocal at all at any of the meetings you don’t get a notice for the next one,” said Mayor Bernath.
The village Tree Committee will meet October 11 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss several suggestions given by Ron Hausch for obtaining trees for the village.
Council held a 30 minute executive session to discuss the personnel wage legislation that was later passed. With no further business, the meeting was adjourned. The next regular meeting of West Unity Village Council is September 27, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.