Middleport Council votes to increase police office raises; raises not been given since 2012, Chief Swift said

By Lindsay Kriz - lkriz@civitasmedia.com

MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Council members unanimously voted to give a raise to police officers, who Police Chief Bruce Swift said have not received raises since 2012.

The raise would begin as soon as the new pay period began, Fiscal Officer Sue Baker said.

Members also heard a second reading of an income tax ordinance and voted to waive the necessity for a third reading in order to pass the ordinance. According to Baker, Ohio House Bill 5, or the Ohio Municipal Tax Reform, changed aspects of income tax collection, and because of this the village had to adopt a new income tax ordinance to legally collect taxes in 2016. Baker said this will take effect Jan. 1, 2016. She added that nothing will change for residents and how much they will owe the village.

Mayor Michael Gerlach said that a third appointment must be made to the Board of Public Affairs, which is a three-person board that acts as a replacement for the position of village administrator. Recently, council voted to dissolve this position, effectively terminating Faymon Roberts, giving him a severance package between $54,000-$56,000.

A motion was made for Penny Burge to become the third member of the Board of Public Affairs, but died for a lack of a second. Roger Manley made a motion to have a first reading of an ordinance to change the form of government back to that of a village administrator form of government. Baker said that a second reading would require the ordinance to be typed up officially.

Two new hires were on the table: Jeff Darst for the Street Department and Carrie Gloeckner for mayor’s clerk. Council tied on votes regarding Darst, with the mayor breaking the tie to approve Darst for the position. Gloeckner was approved for mayor’s clerk.

An executive session was held at the beginning of the meeting, but no action was announced afterwards. Council also passed a resolution adopting the POP Plan for tax-deferred insurance withholdings, which Baker said council does every year.

In discussion not on the agenda, council members also agreed to restrict parking near the corner of Seventh and Main streets because any cars parking there narrow the lanes too much and hinders visibility. They also passed a motion allowing Swift to contact any parties are responsible for the newspapers thrown on driveways and in the middle of the road. Council members were not 100 percent sure during the meeting where the papers were coming from, but said that they’re considered litter. Swift said if things do not change once the letter to the responsible party is received, littering tickets will be given out.

Council also approved the minutes for the Oct. 12 and Oct. 19 meetings and bills totaling $16,237.17. Reports from the building inspector and the fire department were also read by council.

Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.

By Lindsay Kriz