A session of 'do-overs' for council

By Georgette Huff Mr. Thrifty Published:

Saying that it is "quite expensive and time-consuming to have everything farmed out," Mayor Frank Leghart asked council members during the Dec. 10 session, to "reconsider" the action they had taken at the Nov. 13 meeting mandating that all maintenance and repairs for fire department vehicles be performed by certified mechanics.

During the November meeting, Leghart said the Safety Operations Review Board had recommended discontinuing the practice of in-house repairs because of safety and liability concerns. At that meeting, Leghart said one way to avoid any confusion between routine maintenance procedures and major repairs would be to say that all work should be sent out.

At Monday's meeting, Leghart explained that maintenance checks are performed on the first Monday of each month, during the department's weekly meeting. Fire Chief Tom Mesler confirmed that logs are kept for each vehicle and that routine procedures such as oil changes had been done as needed.

Leghart said the "original intention" of the review board was to ensure that major issues were handled correctly, and that allowing "light-duty maintenance" to be done in-house would not create a liability issue.

Council members approved allowing department personnel to perform specific routine maintenance procedures while continuing the practice of sending major repairs to a certified mechanic.

Later in the meeting, village resident Stan Bright suggested the mayor and council consider the types of certification mechanics have when choosing where to send vehicles.

On an unrelated matter, although the mayor would not confirm that a 68-minute executive session during Monday's meeting, to discuss "imminent litigation," was related to the charges he had leveled against Chief of Police Ron Yeager in November, the mayor did say that "on advice of counsel," all charges have been dropped.

Leghart had informed Yeager in a letter sent last month, that he was being charged with over a dozen violations including insubordination, wanton and willful neglect in the performance of assigned duties, dishonesty, and assisting in falsifying or destroying village records. With no further explanation, the mayor said the charges also were made "on advice of counsel."

In other business, council:

• HEARD the Zoning Board of Appeals had approved a request by Alan Walters to build a barn to replace one that will be torn down because of expansion of the AEP substation, and had approved a request by Julie Shuman for a room addition.

• HEARD that Mark Meftah of Uhrichsville has been hired as a part-time police officer.

• CONFIRMED the village has signed a mineral-rights lease with Rex Energy with terms including a signing bonus of $3,500 per acre and 20 percent gross royalties.

• APPROVED an emergency resolution to amend appropriations.

• APPROVED renewing fire contracts with Lee, Union, Center and Washington townships at $5,000 per year for the period of Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2017.

• SET a Water and Sewer Committee meeting for 6 p.m. on Dec. 27.

• ANNOUNCED the next council meeting will be moved to 7 p.m. on Dec. 27.

• PAID bills and payroll in the amount of $164,055.47.

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