The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Northwood City Council at a meeting March 25 gave first reading to an ordinance that would amend the city’s taxation code to eliminate the 10 percent income tax disbursement into the capital replacement fund. Those funds, which total approximately $1 million, would be reallocated into the general fund if council votes for final passage.

The city currently disburses 70 percent of income taxes into the general fund, 20 percent into the capital improvements fund, and 10 percent into the capital replacement fund.

If the capital replacement fund is eliminated, 80 percent of the income tax would be disbursed into the general fund, and 20 percent would continue to be disbursed into the capital improvements fund.

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Northwood council voted 4-3 last week in support of a new, three year contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., of Arizona, which operates the automated photo speed and red light enforcement cameras at two intersections.

The previous contract was set to expire on April 24.

The city will receive a greater share of the revenue received from traffic citations issued as a result of the cameras, which are installed at the intersections of Woodville and Lemoyne roads, and at Wales and Oregon roads.

Council members voting in favor of continuing with the traffic cameras were Jim Barton, Mike Myers, Connie Hughes, and Dave Gallaher.

Voting against the contract were Councilmen Ed Schimmel, Dean Edwards, and Randy Kozina.

The city last year discontinued the operation of its speed van, a mobile vehicle that cited motorists for speeding.

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Northwood City Council last week voted 6-1 to cut non-union city employees’ pay by 3 percent, and voted 5-2 to force all non-union management city personnel to take eight unpaid furlough days, effective immediately.

Councilmen Jim Barton, Randy Kozina, Ed Schimmel, Dean Edwards, and Connie Hughes voted for both measures, while Dave Gallaher was opposed. Councilman Mike Myers voted for the pay cut, but against the furlough.

The city has struggled with reduced income tax collections and has cut expenses since last year.

At the last council meeting, Mayor Mark Stoner reported that income tax collections this year have dropped $102,261, or 15.9 percent, compared to the same period last year.

Last fall, the city cut over $600,000 in expenses, with few departments spared the budget ax.

The 3 percent cut affects the civil service secretary, baseball commissioner, Web site coordinator, administrative secretary in the police department, animal control officer, crossing guard, the clerk of council/city clerk and deputy clerk.

The furlough affects the city administrator, police chief, fire chief, director of public service, finance and revenue director, clerk of court, police captain, and law director/city prosecutor. The unpaid time may be taken in increments of one hour up to eight days in consecutive order.

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Wood County commissioners describe their spending last year of public revenues as reflecting “a cautious, yet optimistic outlook” that maintained services, allowed for modest equipment purchases and capital improvements, and protected the county’s bond rating.

The commissioners released their 2009 annual report last week.

They began the year with a $14.7 million carry-over in the general fund which realized an additional $34 million in revenues. Total fund expenditures reached $37.1 million, leaving a carry-over to 2010 of $11.5 million.

Mirroring wide-spread trends, sales tax revenue in the county dropped from $16.1 million in 2008 to $15 million. Investment income also dropped to $2.75 million – a 30 percent decrease from 2008. Still, 2009 revenues were slightly higher than they were in 2007.

Despite the economic downturn, the county reaped two major development projects – each exceeding $100 million.

Construction on the CSX Intermodal Hub in Henry Township began in August and is expected to generate more than 200 jobs when operating, said Tom Blaha, executive director of the county’s economic development commission.

At the northern end of the county, an expansion at First Solar Inc., a manufacturer of photovoltaic cells in Perrysburg Township, increased total employment at the facility to almost 900.

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Oregon City Council on Monday unanimously approved a separation agreement

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with Oregon police officer Jeff Brown, who submitted his resignation following an investigation that he allegedly violated police department policy.

“He’s no longer an employee of the City of Oregon,” said Mayor Mike Seferian outside of the meeting.

Brown had been on paid administrative leave since late January while the city looked into allegations that he lent Oregon police equipment to a friend for Halloween.

As part of the separation agreement, Brown will receive 90 days salary. He is prohibited from filing a lawsuit against the city, and the city will not challenge his right to unemployment compensation with the state, said Seferian.

Brown will also not be able to challenge the agreement to gain back his employment.

Brown had originally asked for 120 days of compensation, while the city wanted to pay 60 days as part of the agreement, said Seferian.

“We decided to go with 90 and just get it over with,” said Seferian.

Had he not resigned, Brown would have been fired on Monday, Seferian told The Press.

Seferian said the matter could have gone to arbitration if Brown was fired, or refused to resign. Had that happened, it would have cost the city more in legal fees than the cost of the separation agreement, he said.

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NFL domestic violence

Will the recent reports of domestic abuse by NFL players affect your viewing of professional football?
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