The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Oregon plans to create an online exchange zone in the parking lot of its police department on Seaman Road for those who want an added layer of protection when they complete online sales.

The safe haven would allow buyers and sellers who do business on Craigslist and other online markets to feel more secure when meeting in person to carry out an online purchase and sale.

Craigslist, in particular, has received negative publicity over the years after the media have reported incidents involving buyers and sellers getting robbed, assaulted and even murdered during transactions.

“As more and more transactions take place as the result of individuals going online, like Craigslist, there’s been some significant press about robberies, cons, and murder,” explained City Administrator Mike Beazley at a council meeting on March 9. “A lot of communities are creating a safe zone outside police headquarters where people can pull in. If I’m selling you an antique, it’s an area where people can handle an exchange confidently…and engage in that sort of commerce in a place that’s a little bit safer.”

Mayor Mike Seferian noted that there are similar online exchange zones in other communities, adding that. Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre “thought it would be a good thing to do in Oregon.”

The search for a new Genoa fiscal officer has yielded only a handful of candidates.

“We were kind of disappointed in the response,” Kevin Gladden, Village Administrator said Tuesday.

Seven people turned in resumes by the March 16 deadline for the job.

Charles Brinkman, who has held the job since 2004, is retiring March 31. He submitted his retirement paperwork following a financial flub that resulted in the temporary loss of health insurance benefits for village employees and their families earlier this year. But Brinkman insists the mistake is not the reason for his decision.

While village officials see talent among the candidates, they were hoping to pull from a larger pool to fill the job.

They fashioned their search after the one undertaken by the Village of Oak Harbor for its fiscal clerk position in late 2014. That path included revamping the job description using the Oak Harbor description as a template and then advertising in a number of venues including newspapers and through the Ohio Municipal League.

Oak Harbor received more than 60 applications.

Ottawa County Commissioners don’t appear to be in any hurry to fill the open administrator’s job.

In recent days, board president Jo Ellen Regal was appointed to serve temporarily as the county administrator.

The former administrator, Dennis Jensen, left under mysterious circumstances on Jan. 8. He submitted his resignation after he’d been put on administrative leave Dec. 18 for reasons the three-person board is still unwilling to discuss.

Jensen had been the chief administrator of the county for nearly 3 1/2 years. He made nearly $50 an hour, according to the office of auditor office records. Jensen was hired in April 2011 with a base salary of $95,000 and a guarantee of a $5,000 raise after serving a one-year probation period.

His duties included working with departments in the county along with monitoring county finances daily.

Regal said Monday she is not sure how long the appointment will last.

“We are taking our time to look at our needs. We are looking at possibly restructuring the job, redistributing some of the job duties. We are hoping it won’t be a real long time,” she explained.

The Oregon school board on Monday appointed Hal Gregory as the new superintendent.

Dr. Lonny Rivera had announced at a special school board meeting on March 10 that he is stepping down as superintendent on April 24 after just a little over a year and a half on the job. Rivera, who was paid an annual salary of $119,000 as superintendent, is taking the associate superintendent position at the Ohio Department of Education in Columbus at an annual salary of $126,000.

Gregory, who has been assistant superintendent in the Oregon City Schools District since August 2008, assumes his new position on April 25. He will be paid an annual salary of $120,159.69.

“I’ve known Hal Gregory for 12 years,” said School Board President Carol Molnar. “I’ve watched him grow, I’ve watched him learn. He’s become a really great leader for our district. He’s helped hold us together through a lot of different things that have happened behind the scenes.”

Board Member Mike Csehi agreed.

Oregon City Council approved a 10 percent salary increase for Administrator Mike Beazley at a council meeting earlier this month.

Mike Beazley

Beazley’s annual salary increased to $132,000 from $120,000. The raise was retroactive to Jan. 21, which marked the fifth anniversary of his employment in Oregon.

In 2013, Beazley turned down a 2.5 percent raise offered by Mayor Mike Seferian.

It was not the first time Beazley had turned down a higher salary.

After Seferian defeated incumbent Mayor Marge Brown in 2008, he spent some time looking for a new administrator. He wanted Beazley, who was the administrator of Lucas County, even though Beazley had not submitted a resume. Seferian had offered him $135,000 annual salary at the time, but Beazley declined the offer and agreed to $120,000. He had also rejected a $5,000 vehicle allowance that was included in the contract of the previous administrator.

Beazley has accomplished much for the city since then, said Seferian.

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