The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

The grievances of former Genoa fiscal clerk Charles Brinkman were settled in private rather than in a public forum.

Brinkman, who was fired in late March days before he was set to retire, was supposed to have a public grievance hearing during Monday’s regular meeting of village council. However, prior to that, village solicitor Brian Ballenger met with Brinkman’s lawyer, Thomas Sobecki, who specializes in employment matters, and negotiated a settlement.

Village council entered executive session Monday and then returned and voted unanimously to accept the package, according to Village Administrator Kevin Gladden.

Brinkman, 62, who worked for the village for eight years, will be reimbursed for all of his accumulated 240 vacation hours as well as 260 hours of sick leave. Gladden said. Brinkman was paid about $62,000 annually at the time of his dismissal and had accrued more than 1,000 hours of sick time. He also received a full copy of his personnel file.

Brinkman’s firing followed a number of recent missteps including missed deadlines and lost documents, according to the administrator.

One of the biggest issues of late was the forgotten payment to cover village employee’s health insurance for the first quarter of 2015. The health insurance has been restored. Brinkman insisted in two previous interviews that the error was fixed quickly and employees were not out any money. He had no other comment regarding his employment.

A community introduction of Genoa schools’ new superintendent was quiet and unassuming.

Turnout was low for the two-hour meet and greet May 3, at the Genoa Elementary School cafeteria.

“It’s beautiful out,” Principal Brenda Murphy said understandably. “People probably are out enjoying themselves.”

Still, Michael Ferguson took advantage of the time to shake hands with those present and discuss everything from his administration style to school funding.

“Welcome,” parent Jeff Trainer said extending his hand to Ferguson. “You’re coming to a community that’s awesome … and tired.” Trainer explained that it was the tail end of a long weekend that started with the elementary carnival and ended with the high school after-prom.

Ferguson is currently employed in Rootstown, Ohio, near Akron in Portage County, and will join Superintendent Dennis Mock during his last 10 days on the job in late July. Mock is retiring after 21 years with Genoa and nearly 41 years in the educational system. Ferguson officially takes over Aug. 1. His starting salary is $94,000 annually.

Rootstown is just a little smaller than the Genoa school system. Trainer has family who used to live in the Rootstown area and jokingly told Ferguson they did some checking on him.

“We called and asked ‘Are we doing you a favor?’ or ‘Are you doing us a favor?’” Trainer said referring to Ferguson’s background and his pending arrival in Comet Country.

The Oregon Fire Division is planning to upgrade some of its older equipment, including handheld radios and cardiac monitors/defibrillators/AEDs.

The division expects to buy 15 handheld radios per year until it can replace all 55 of the current radios in use. The city was notified two years ago that service, support, and replacement parts would no longer be available for the radios.

Oregon council on Monday will consider the purchase of 15 APX6000 700/800 Model 2.5 800 MHz portable radios and accessories from P&R Communications Service, Inc., Oregon, for $44,507.25 for the fire division.

The current portable radios will be serviced until there are no more parts available, said Fire Chief Paul Mullen last Monday at a committee of the whole meeting.

“This is a preventative measure on our part. We will replace the [current] radios every year until we have our allotment of portable radios replaced,” said Mullen.

The fire division will also be upgrading three existing monitor/defibrillators/AED and accessories. Council on Monday will consider the purchase of three LifePak 15 v4 models from Physio-Control, Inc., of Redmond, WA, for $112,711.20.

“We currently have six LifePak monitors made by Phillips,” said Mullen. “Replacing three of them will “bring us into line with what Lucas County EMS has and our current Life Squad status.”

Kokosing Construction Company, Inc., of Elyria, submitted the lowest bid to resurface Corduroy Road in Oregon.

Council last August authorized the city to be part of a joint cooperation agreement with Lucas County Commissioners for grant and loan funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) equal to 47.29 percent of construction costs, with a maximum of $233,300 for the construction of the project.

The city in January advertised for bids. They were received and opened on April 23.

Besides Kokosing, five companies bid on the project. Kokosing had the lowest bid at $346,758.50.

“Kokosing was the lowest bid. It does meet with the city’s best bid criteria,” Public Service Director Paul Roman said at a committee of the whole meeting on Monday. The bids, he added, were “very competitive.”

Crestline Paving & Excavating, Toledo, bid $444,374; The Shelly Co., of Maumee, bid $383,376; Henry W. Bergman, Inc., Genoa, bid $372,370; Bowers Asphalt & Paving, Inc., Walbridge, bid $352,695; and Gerken Paving, Napoleon, bid $352,033.

Council is expected to approve Kokosing’s bid on Monday.

The city will resurface 4.03 miles of Corduroy, between Stadium and Decant roads, with 1.77 miles within Oregon, and 2.26 miles within Jerusalem Township, according to Roman. The work includes milling the existing asphalt surface, performing spot full depth repairs, placing a two course asphalt overlay, manhole and monument box adjustment, bringing drives and shoulders to grade, and pavement markings.

State Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) will host a public forum May 11 at 9 a.m. to discuss the pending state operating budget bill at the Bob Evans Restaurant in Levis Commons in Perrysburg.

As passed by the House of Representatives, the bill projects General Revenue Fund appropriations (state and federal monies) of $34.95 billion in fiscal year 2016, which starts July 1 of this year, and $36.57 billion in fiscal 2017 – increases of 11.4 percent and 4.7 percent respectively, according to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.

The increase of 11.4 percent is largely attributable to the inclusion of Medicaid funding for newly eligible individuals, according to the Legislative Services Commission.

The House version also includes a new funding component for public schools. Called capacity aid, it targets funds to districts below the median in total taxable property value and adds about $260.7 million in fiscal 2016 and $260.8 million in fiscal 2017 to the funding formula before a cap takes effect.

Reimbursements for local governments losing revenues due to utility deregulation and the elimination of the tangible personal property tax continue to be phased down. Appropriations for the reimbursements are being reduced from $127.6 million in fiscal 2015 to $66.1 million in fiscal 2016 and $40.4 million in fiscal 2017.

Although the Local Government Fund will continue to receive 1.66 percent of General Revenue Fund tax revenues in fiscal 2016 and 2017, the share for the Public Library Fund will increase to 1.7 percent.

Super Bowl penalties

Do you think the penalties levied against the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots for "DeflateGate" are fair?
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