Genoa resident Tim Reed worries about the excessive speed of motorists traveling Washington Street, a main thoroughfare in the village.
His concern has pushed him to come before Genoa Village Council several times in the past few months to plea for help. He is particularly concerned with the stretch of Washington Street running between State Route 51 and 13th Street. It’s the narrowest stretch of that street and children playing nearby are particularly vulnerable, officials say.
The posted speed limit is 25 mph. However, police officers have ticketed drivers traveling in excess of 40 mph, Village Administrator Kevin Gladden said.
“You come off Ohio 51 and they’re going at a pretty good clip,” he added.
Reed thinks a speed bump will slow down speeders. Mayor Mark Williams and council agreed to look into alternatives, including a speed bump, according to council minutes.
Council’s safety committee is reviewing options now, according to Gladden. The suggestions include the speed bump, installing stop signs at the 13th Street intersection, or putting up a speed control sign.
The speed control sign flashes a vehicle’s speed as the driver passes by and the general reaction is an immediate slow down, Gladden said.
“Elmore just put up one on River Road near the cemetery,” Gladden said.
The stop signs aren’t something new though. They were posted at the intersection until about seven years ago. Why they were taken down, officials are unsure.
“I remember taking them down. We got the work order,” said Gladden, who oversaw the public utilities department then. “But ours is not to question why. We just did what they asked.”
Interviews for chief to start
The village has been without a police chief for nearly six months, but officials are hoping to remedy that soon.
Eight candidates will be interviewed individually in the coming weeks for the top spot on the police department. The interview committee consists of Mayor Mark Williams, Village Administrator Kevin Gladden, Councilmen John Lewis and Daryl Bittner as well as Clay Township resident Mark Putnam.
“Given there are eight candidates, we will probably have interviews into the middle of May and we might have the final two by June,” Gladden said.
In the interim. Sgt. Todd Mocniak is acting chief pending the hiring of a new chief.
“Clay Township has been great, as always, without question. And our communication with the sheriff’s department has improved greatly,” Gladden said. He added Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton has another vested interested in Genoa affairs since he is a resident of the village.
Former Police Chief Randy Hill resigned unexpectedly, and without explanation, in mid-November. He had been, at the time, on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The focus of that investigation has never been revealed by the village administration.
Hill’s administration had been tattered with a number of complaints from residents and fellow staff. Most notable were complaint letters from village police force officers that surfaced last summer alleging a number of things, including hostile work environment and harassment.
Following Hill’s departure, village council employed Putnam to conduct community surveys to learn what attributes the police chief should have as well as community views of the department. He has an extensive background in law enforcement and previously worked for two area departments, including the sheriff’s office.
Putnam also has been involved in checking resumes and backgrounds of chief candidates.