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Police staffing, council member talking points

December 21, 2012
From staff reports , The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader

TILTONSVILLE - Efforts to return the village police force to its original status prior to resignations and the need for a council member drew attention during a recent Village Council meeting.

Three officers resigned from the department at council's last meeting.

Police Chief Jerry Davis said he's talked to several applicants, and at least one of them might be hired. He also expected more applicants when those undergoing police training graduate.

Council's police committee, including Jason Staskey and Kelly Klubert, reported on a meeting held last week, and the committee proposed a police pay scale for the finance committee to review.

Davis also read a thank you for council members who supported him in recent weeks. He said many things were said at council's last meeting by village residents and department members.

"Many things were said that cast a bad light on our clerk (Tim Rankin) and the village finances. There were statements made which were misleading and, in some cases, inaccurate. Our village clerk has never denied me anything (equipment or supplies) of a necessity for the operations of the department. My leaving was never about tires, pay raises or budgetary issues," the chief said.

Noting the village currently doesn't have 24-hour police protection, he said the department is operating with three part-time officers and himself.

Davis added, "There have been messages left on the answering machine from residents wanting to speak to an officer and the person did not leave a phone number for a call back.

"I want to emphasize that if a person wants a call back, they need to leave a phone number with their message. Also, if the incident is an emergency or an officer is needed, '911' should be called. An officer will respond from an adjacent agency if we are not on duty."

In other matters, Mayor Kris Prati asked that letters of interest be submitted from residents interested in serving the remainder of an available council term, which expires in December 2013. Letters may be given to any council member or mailed to the Village of Tiltonsville, P.O. Box 127, Tiltonsville, OH 43963, before the Jan. 8 meeting.

A utility construction manager representative for Horizon Telecom of Chillicothe attended the meeting at the request of Prati and Village Administrator Carl Sgalla.

Some of the questions asked by Prati were if the village would be provided with insurance if streets or utilities are torn up during the company's work, where poles were going to be erected and why the area of the "Welcome to Tiltonsville" sign on Farm Lane and Ohio Street was selected for some work by the company. Klubert said there is a large water drain in that area.

The representative answered most of the questions but wrote the rest down and will call the village administrator, who also is the street commissioner, with the answers. The Horizon representative and village officials agreed no work would be done until a meeting was held involving Sgalla.

Prati read a letter from the auditor's office about whether officials wanted to put a levy on the ballot.

Councilman George Beard suggested a levy for the purchase of a police cruiser, and council agreed to look into that possibility for the November 2013 election. It was noted the last cruiser purchase was in 2008.

The mayor thanked council for helping with the float for the YTR Christmas parade.

She also commended Rayland Mayor Tammy Morelli, Dana Brown of Yorkville and Rayland Fire Chief Jim Doughty for spearheading the parade and expressed the hope that it will be held every year.

A resolution for 2013 temporary appropriations was approved.

Beard reported he attended a meeting of a Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission, and the burned house on Walden Avenue is on the 2013 agenda to qualify for funds.

Prati reported on a Columbia Gas rate increase scheduled in May.

Clerk-Treasurer Rankin asked that a resolution be approved to have all purchases over a certain amount be pre-approved, with emergency purchases exempted. He indicated he wanted the resolution approved to make council aware of purchases being made.

Rankin referred to the Nov. 20 meeting when he was asked for a dollar amount to be in place so council will know what's spent and what was purchased. He went on to explain that he passes out finance reports to council every month.

A lengthy discussion was held about a dollar amount for the the proposed resolution but no decision was made in that regard. However, a motion was approved for all departments to submit monthly itemized reports of all purchases made.

Council's Jan. 8 meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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