Middleport Council discusses employment issue

By Michael Hart - Special to the Sentinel

MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Village Council discussed employment and received an update on a special visitor to the village during Monday’s council meeting.

Councilman Doug Dixon filled in as chairperson for Mayor Sandy Iannareli, who Dixon stated to be out sick.

At their Nov. 28 meeting, council was given an information packet by Mayor Iannareli, which the Sentinel was told contained legal interpretations of Middleport Village hiring practices, specifically concerning former employee Fred Older.

At that time, Iannareli stated the council should review the info for the following meeting.

Acting on that statement from the previous meeting, Dixon raised the information in the Dec. 12 meeting.

“Based on my reading, based on information from the solicitor, it is between Joe (Woodall) and the Mayor to hire Fred Older or not,” Dixon said.

No objections to that interpretation were raised by the council, which then asked Village Administrator Joe Woodall if he intended to hire Older.

Councilperson Sharon Older recused herself from the discussion and later voting pertaining to the matter.

Woodall’s answer was preempted by the council moving to executive session, which lasted 25 minutes.

No information was made public following resumption of public session.

A vague discussion concerning bonuses then occurred, but was shortly tabled.

At no point Monday night was mention made by any council member concerning Sunshine Laws, a heated topic from the previous meeting.

The council adopted three resolutions during Monday’s business.

The first, Resolution 223-16, provided village funding in the first month of 2017.

Clerk Sue Baker explained to the Council, “It’s routine measure, since we will have no second meeting in December, for January appropriations until a permanent measure is adopted. This resolution is no different than last year’s.”

Of resolution 222-16 , Baker said “The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is replacing a guardrail on Route 7 next spring, and the law requires a resolution” to allow that.

Baker said there was a process available, if the council desired, to give ODOT more latitude in the future.

The final resolution “renews the cafeteria plan permitting pre-tax withholding of insurance co-pays,” according to the meeting agenda. Baker said this was the same wording since the inception of the cafeteria plan.

Other village departments had no new business, though Middleport Building Inspector Mike Hendrickson did inform the Council Santa Claus made an appearance on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Middleport Village Hall.

Speaking after the meeting, Hendrickson confirmed Santa would also be present Wednesday evening to visit more children, and eat more cookies.

“Cookies, drinks, the kids having a great time. It’s wonderful,” he said, adding that the 2016 Toy Drive is still active.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Middleport Village Council will be Jan. 9, 2017.

By Michael Hart

Special to the Sentinel