Village of Thurston

Council Meeting Minutes

December 9, 2004

 

Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm by Mayor Barber.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 

 

Roll call:          Robert Ortman – Present

Roger Aubery – Present

Warren Simpson – Present

Ed Vanek - Present

Kevin Ety – Present

Rita Leiendecker - Present

Mary Barber – Present

Aaron Reedy – Present

 

Mary asked if any visitors wanted to speak.  No one did.

 

Diana Derringer from ME Companies presented the status for projects to Council.  Both projects are done.  Both came in under the budget estimates.  She gave Aaron the final docs on Third St.  She said money for Long/Wilson Street project should all come from the CDC, so Village should not have to put anything towards that project.  Aaron said he already sent a check for $500 to ME companies.  She said she’d check on that.  Contractors for both projects said they man need to come back in the spring to address issues that may arise, such as settling or re-seeding.

 

Warren said that water is still standing at the corner of Third & High.  He also mentioned a problem with a sidewalk.  Diana said she would drive over and check it out.

 

The Walnut Township Trustees were present to talk about the fire budget for next year and to look for guidance of what the Council would like to do with them for the future of the fire department.  Wally said he wanted to set the record straight as to how they feel.  The rumors about the Trustees taking over are not true.  They are looking at implementing a joint fire district down the road, but it will take some time.

 

Wally said the Trustees also have concerns about manning the new EMS vehicle that Chief Mike Jackson wants to purchase.  They are looking for whatever is best for everyone involved.  If the Thurston EMS can’t make runs, then they should do away with EMS.  He understands there is some pride for having EMS, but wasting time can be a life & death situation.

 

Wally said they are looking for what’s best for Millersport, Thurston & the Township.  They’ve had a lot of stalemates, and need more suggestions.  Rita said a lot of older people in town don’t want a district and don’t want to merge, so it’s hard to tell what to do.  Wally suggested maybe we leave it alone and keep doing things the way it’s done now.  Rita said do that, but then work towards a district.  Wally said the study done by Grile a few years ago said “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, but suggested a fire district for the long-term.

 

Billy Phillips said that at the last fire committee meeting, they voted to leave things “as-is” and work towards the creation of a fire district.  He said both Millersport and Thurston Councils must vote for it, and the Township Trustees.  Then the vote goes before the people.

 

Wally suggested possibly doing away with EMS at Thurston and shifting the money to Millersport to provide EMS service to Thurston, since they have paid people on-staff through the day.  Mike said they’ve had some rough times lately with people, but they are working on it; implementing duty crews.  Mike said we have the most EMS runs in the daytime and evening hours.

Mary asked about the monthly run sheet that Mike was supposed to be submitting to Council.  Mike said he forgot it.  Mike said there are some personnel issues, but they can weed out those who don’t respond.  He said there are a couple of people who want to get on.  Wally asked Mike how many of the 16 EMT’s on the roster live within a 5-mile radius of the fire department, so they can make a medic run.  Mike said 10 are within 5 miles.  Mike said they can always get a truck out.  He said they meet at the scene and get a first-responder to get the truck.

 

Rita said she didn’t like that – it seems unprofessional and makes the department look bad.  Mike said everyone does it.  Billy Phillips said that at Basil, everyone reports to the fire station, and they go to the scene together.  Jamie Carroll said that not all of them did.

 

Wally asked Mike what EMT’s lived within a 3-mile radius.  Mike said he understood the point he was trying to make.  Jamie Carroll said Thurston is full of old people; they aren’t going to run on the fire department.  Mike said he wanted to have a membership drive.  The roster is slack right now, but it’s getting better.  Sonny said we’re not in the same class as the Basil Joint Fire District, we’d have to add 2 – 3 more mills to reach that level.  Mike said he needs the new EMS truck.  The old one is really acting up.  Mike said we’ve never spent a lot of money on EMS vehicles, we’ve always bartered or bought super-cheap.

 

Ralph Zollinger asked Council what they wish to do.  Ed made a motion to go into executive session to discuss possible contract issues and personnel issues.  Council wishes the Township Trustees, Clerk, and Billy Phillips to stay in the session.  Roger second.  All yea.  The time is 7:43 p.m.

 

At 8:28 p.m., Rita made a motion to come out of executive session.  Roger second.  All yea.

 

Roger made a motion to begin the process to start a joint fire district.  Rita second.  All yea.

 

Warren made a motion to approve the November 2004 minutes.  Kevin second.  All yea.

 

Mike Jackson asked about the discussion of the Fire budget.  Sonny inquired about the new EMS vehicle costs.  Mike included $17,000 on line item 2901-800-590, but that should really be down in the line items for interest & principal.  Mike wasn’t sure what it would be yet.  Council discussed what amount might be available for down-payment on the vehicle.  Mike will get some quotes from Dublin Capital.

 

Rita made a motion to approve the November 2004 financial statement.  Warren second.  All yea.

 

One of the trustee positions on the Walnut Creek Sewer District comes up 12/31/04.  Bryan Shook currently holds that position.  He sent a letter stating he would like to be re-appointed to the position.  Kevin made a motion to appoint Bryan Shook to the position, term ending December 31, 2007.  Ed second.  All yea.

 

Roger made a motion to waive the three-reading rule and declare an emergency for Resolution # 2004-26, A Resolution authorizing the transfer of funds and the declaration of an emergency.  Kevin second.  All yeah.

 

Robert made the motion to adopt Resolution # 2004-26, A Resolution authorizing the transfer of funds and the declaration of an emergency.  Ed second.  All yeah.

 

Ed made a motion to waive the three-reading rule and declare an emergency for Resolution # 2004-27, A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE AUDITOR OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY, OHIO, TO CERTIFY TO THE VILLAGE OF THURSTON, OHIO, THE TOTAL CURRENT TAX VALUATION OF THE SUBDIVISION AND THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF REVENUE TO BE GENERATED BY A REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING FIRE PROTECTION LEVY AND THE DECLARATION OF AN EMERGENCY.  Roger second.  All yeah.

 

Warren made the motion to adopt Resolution # 2004-27, A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE AUDITOR OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY, OHIO, TO CERTIFY TO THE VILLAGE OF THURSTON, OHIO, THE TOTAL CURRENT TAX VALUATION OF THE SUBDIVISION AND THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF REVENUE TO BE GENERATED BY A REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING FIRE PROTECTION LEVY AND THE DECLARATION OF AN EMERGENCY.  Roger second.  All yeah.

 

Rita made a motion to waive the three-reading rule and declare an emergency for Ordinance # 2004-28, An Ordinance to amend the 2004 appropriations ordinance and the declaration of an emergency.  Warren second.  All yeah.

 

Robert made the motion to adopt Ordinance # 2004-28, An Ordinance to amend the 2004 appropriations ordinance and the declaration of an emergency.  .  Roger second.  All yeah.

 

Rita made a motion to waive the three-reading rule and declare an emergency for Ordinance # 2004-29, An Ordinance to amend the 2004 appropriations ordinance and the declaration of an emergency.  Ed second.  All yeah.

 

Roger made the motion to adopt Ordinance # 2004-29, An Ordinance to amend the 2004 appropriations ordinance and the declaration of an emergency.  .  Robert second.  All yeah.

 

Aaron announced that Michelle Shumaker has been with us for over 6 months now, and has been doing an excellent job for the Village as secretary.  Everyone on Council agreed.  Roger made a motion to take Michelle Shumaker off probationary status as Village Secretary.  Ed second.  All yea.

 

Report from Fire Chief - Mike Jackson was present.  He passed out the new roster to everyone.  He discussed a letter that was given to the Walnut Township Trustees regarding some “problems and issues” at the fire department.  Mike said that was not intended to be given to anyone.  He said it was written by Mike King.  Mike said he and Mike got together and came to an agreement; they are going to get things cleaned up.

 

Mike said one of the issues was people doing laundry.  He said if they are spending the night, they can do some laundry, but within reason.  He said most of the items on the list shouldn’t be there.  He was accused of buying some things (like a gas grill), but the Fire Association actually bought that.  He said the GOG’s have just been approved, and those will alleviate a lot of problems.  Jamie Carroll said people are leaving messes at the fire house, but there’s not much they can do about that.  Mike said things will turn around by the end of the first 3 months of 2005. 

 

Mike said the station car is the biggest pain he’s had for a long time.  He’s changed the car mileage log to allow for more accountability.  Rita wanted them to add a column for time of day.  Mike said he would.  Mike discussed the duty crew process.

 

Rita made a motion for council to take a small break.  Roger second.  All yea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon return from break, Mike Jackson said they feel they could fix the problems at the fire department.  He feels confident that we’re going to see a major turn-around.  Mike announced the training schedule:

 

            1st Wednesday - Officer’s Meeting/Truck Maintenance & Association Meeting

            2nd Wednesday – Fire Training @ Thurston

            3rd Wednesday – EMS Training @ Millersport

            4th Wednesday – Station & Truck Maintenance

            5th Wednesday (if there is one) – Optional Training/Special Projects

 

Ed said he doesn’t feel things are going to change.  He feels that Mike has been neglectful of a lot of issues.  Mike asked what the specific issues were.  Ed said that on November 12, Mike was seen out in the station car, however, he did not log it on the sheet himself.  Ed says he has to set the example for the others.  Mike agreed; he made a mistake.  Ed asked about the flagpole, and that it still wasn’t handled – that it looks bad.  Mike said that is going to be a winter project.  Mike said he doesn’t have a lot of time; he has wife, family, and a full-time job.

 

Mike said he didn’t appreciate the way Council handled the Danny Schultz issue.  Rita said they handled it properly; they looked at all the issues.  Rita said that some people on the fire department are afraid to speak their mind about Mike and his poor leadership.  They are afraid of repercussions, and that’s not right.

 

Jamie Carroll said that Danny Schulz’s attitude has changed 75%, and he’s getting better.  Rita said she felt we made the right decision.  She said people don’t feel like they can come to Mike to share their feelings.  Mike said they have to follow the chain-of-command.  Mike admitted he’s made a lot of mistakes, but there’s no “handbook” given to you when you become chief; nothing to tell you how to do it; no guidance; no help; blind in a snowstorm.  He said he’s made mistakes along the way, and takes responsibility for that.

 

He said that the leadership at the fire department is a team, and that he needs help from his officers.  Ed said it’s still Mike’s job to make sure the officers are doing their duties.  Mike said he’s put a process in place to make sure all State reports are entered in a timely manner.

 

Report from the Service Committee:  Robert said there were no visitors.  They didn’t discuss much of anything.

 

Report from the Safety Committee:  Rita said they talked about the same issues that were already discussed this evening.

 

Report from the Finance Committee:  Didn’t meet.

 

Report from the Rules Committee:  Didn’t meet. 

 

Report from the Regional Planning Representative:  Robert said he didn’t go, but there was nothing of any concern to the Village.

 

Old Business

Aaron brought up the Water/Sewer Billing & Collections Procedures Ordinance.  The Council now has the final draft, and it has been reviewed and approved by the Village Solicitor.  Aaron would like them to review it this month, and will ask them to pass the legislation in January of 2005. 

 

 

 

 

New Business

Ed brought up the Fire Chief.  He made complaints about Mike.  Ed’s opinion is that things aren’t going to get resolved like Mike suggested.  He said if we keep this chief, we’re letting the community down.  Aaron said that the Jeff Feyko, Village Solicitor, should be consulted before taking any action.  Ed wants a response from Jeff regarding the situation before January 1, 2005.  Roger said that Council has to have more of a hand in what’s going on at the fire house.  He said the training process is too loose.  We need more control over who gets trained and how many times.  It’s very expensive training.

 

Kevin made a motion to adjourn.  Rita second.  All yea. 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

_______________________________

Aaron L. Reedy, Clerk