The Press Newspaper
A graceful transition into retirement isn’t happening for former Genoa Fiscal Clerk Charles Brinkman.
Brinkman, 65, submitted his intent to retire letter earlier this year, with a target final date of March 31. The decision seemed amicable between the fiscal officer and village officials until March 30 when he was terminated from the job he has held since August 2004.
His retirement letter followed an in-house agreement for Brinkman, whose employment has been apparently been plagued with repeated clerical problems, to leave his job with dignity. But that plan fell through when Brinkman’s restrictions regarding his final days went astray, according to Village Administrator Kevin Gladden.
“From the time he turned in his retirement date he was under administrative control. He was to work with the interim fiscal clerk and he was to clean up his office,” Gladden said, adding Brinkman’s office was littered with unorganized stacks of papers and files.
As March progressed, Gladden explained, the situation worsened. The administrator did not go into further detail because of a pending May 4 grievance hearing set by village council. He said documentation would be presented at the public hearing.
The mounting tension forced Gladden to make a hard decision. His view: Time to cut losses and let the chips fall where they may.
Around noon on March 30, Brinkman was escorted from the administration building.
“It seems pretty cold,” Gladden added, “But there were other situations that arose and they were just intolerable.”
Ohio Senate Bill 1, passed by the state Legislature earlier this month, will go a long way toward reducing toxic algae in Lake Erie, supporters say.
Gov. John Kasich signed the bill into law on April 2 at Maumee Bay State Park.
Last August, nearly 500,000 residents in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan were left without clean drinking water for three days after toxic algae blooms contaminated the water supply in the Western Lake Erie basin.
Rep. Michael P. Sheehy, of Oregon, called it “an important first step in protecting our most valuable natural resource for generations to come.”
“The current drought advisory in California only reinforces how precious of a resource Lake Erie is and how important it is to protect it,” said Sheehy.
Bipartisan support for the measure shows that the issue is still a priority with the public, he said.
“I am pleased we were able to come together in a bipartisan way to give the lake the attention it deserves,” he said.
The new law prohibits the application of fertilizer and manure on frozen and saturated ground within the western basin of the lake. It also will require municipal water treatment facilities to begin monthly monitoring of phosphorus by December 1, 2016. Starting on July 1, 2020, the legislation bans depositing dredged material in Ohio’s portion of Lake Erie and its tributaries.
Phosphorous and nitrogen, which are naturally present in livestock manure and commercial fertilizers, are widely recognized as a prime source of nutrient pollution that feed the growth of toxic algae. The nutrients also can be redistributed in the water column when harbor dredgings are disposed in the open waters just off shore of Toledo and other ports along the lake.
Twenty-two teams, consisting of over 300 adult and youth volunteers, have signed up to help clean up East Toledo neighborhoods on the Tenth Annual Global Youth Service Day this Friday and Saturday.
And, they are still counting. One Voice for East Toledo leader Jodi Gross says additional teams or even individuals who want to get involved can by reaching out to her.
“I have the churches, I have schools, I have the boy and girl scouts participating, I have health associations,” said One Voice for East Toledo leader Jodi Gross.
“Not only do I have 22 teams, I have groups that are partnering together, so within those teams there might be Waite High School students and a church working with them, or Young Men and Women of Excellence from Waite High School participating, and I have Raymer PTO that’s going to help out this year,” Gross continued.
“The biggest thing is we have partnerships that are working to clean all the parks up, especially the main parks — Navarre, Oakdale, and all the main parks that have equipment or need some cleaning sprucing up. We’ll be mulching that day also.
Fourteen year-old, Curtice resident Erek Hansen has been operating his denim and shoe recycling initiative under the project name of EcoErek for the last five years.
In an effort to promote continuity of denim and shoe recycling in Northwest Ohio after he goes to college, he has decided that it is the right time to update the project name and branding to reflect an overall message of recycling and one that is not solely based on his name and identity.
“GoGreen Ohio” is the new project name under which Hansen will continue his recycling drives. There will be no changes in the three annual live drives as well as the local drop box location sites placed at businesses in the Toledo area.
The most notable change will be the project name, logo and website name. See the 2015 calendar and the full history of his denim and shoe recycling project success at www.GoGreenOhio.org.
The name change doesn’t mean Hansen will be less involved in coordinating the recycling drives. “It was the right time to think about what will happen when I go to college in three years. If the project lives on to serve the Toledo area after that, it won’t be dependent on my name to operate,” said Hansen, who is a freshman at Clay High School.
He will launch his annual campaign under the new “GoGreen Ohio” name Saturday April 18 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Toledo Zoo’s “Party for the Planet,” where he will be on hand to accept unwanted, stained, holey, out-of-style denim clothing items.
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