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Commissioners promote clerk on split vote

By Nancy Schaar
FPS Correspondent

Commissioners have once again appointed a new clerk supervisor for their office.

Commissioners Tom Wheaton and Jeff Ohler voted in favor of promoting assistant clerk Janice Leggett to the position of clerk supervisor. Commissioner President Bob Wirkner voted no saying he believed another candidate for the job had slightly more experience to bring to the position.

Leggett will receive $16 per hour She was hired as an assistant clerk in May of this year at a salary of $12 per hour.

Leggett was hired as an assistant clerk after the office manager they hired last fall, Heather Campbell, resigned and assistant clerk Victoria Peoples was promoted to clerk. Campbell, who lasted less than six months in the position, was hired when former clerk Sonja Leggett was hired by commissioners as director of Carroll County Transit last September. Peoples left the commissioners office earlier this month to accept a position as an assistant to Leggett at Carroll County Transit.

Commissioners also hired Chris Modranski as an assistant clerk late last year citing an increased workload as the reason to hire a third secretarial employee for the office.

During last Thursday’s meeting, Ohler made a motion to hire Leggett for the clerk position Thursday. He then voted yes on his motion. Wirkner voted no, and Wheaton, at first, voted to abstain, but later  said he wanted to change his vote to yes.  Wirkner said he would have to consult proper procedures before allowing that to happen.

Commissioners also briefly disagreed as to whether the matter needed handled in executive session but did not call for one for this issue.

 Later Thursday afternoon, after consulting with the county prosecutor, Wirkner said if Wheaton had voted no, he could have changed his vote but by abstaining his vote, another motion would have to be made to appoint Leggett to the position and the motion would have to come from someone other than Ohler.  So Wheaton made the motion to appoint Leggett, Ohler also voted yes, and Wirkner again voted no, stating the same reason.

Commissioners then assigned additional job responsibilities to Modranski  (he will continue to work 40 hours per week) and increased his salary to $14 per hour, up from $12.36.

Commissioners did not discuss filling the empty position of an additional assistant clerk at this time.

Commissioners also hired Tait Carter of Carrollton as the assistant to the economic development director. She will be paid $17 per hour and will work 40 hours per week.  She will begin her duties August 18.

 Carter was recommended for the job by a committee consisting of Economic Development Director Aaron Dodds, Dave Wheeler, and Ed Lumin. Three candidates were interviewed and one withdrew because of the salary, according to Dodds.

Following weeks of discussion, commissioners agreed in a split vote to permit Lauttamus Communications to have a space on the county’s Route 9 communications tower.   Wirkner and Ohler voted in favor of the agreement and Wheaton voted against the contract.

Wheaton said he has nothing against the business or the agreement but did not agree with the way the matter was handled. He asked if the Community Improvement Corp (CIC) needed involved in the decision, questioned who actually owned the tower, and questioned language that he didn’t think had been approved by the prosecutor in the contract.

Wirkner told Wheaton that the prosecutor had approved the contract for form and function, but Wheaton said he had no proof of that.

Wirkner also told Wheaton that after checking with the auditor he confirmed that the tower is the real property of county commissioners.

Wheaton wanted language included in the contract granting the county first approval of any business or company Lauttamus granted space to on the tower.

Lauttamus will provide the county with $25,000 worth of pagers and equipment and will also remove old, outdated and nonfunctioning equipment from the tower at no cost to the county.

In other business commissioners:
- HEARD EMA Director Tom Cottis report the frack out on Mobile Road has finally been stopped.  Reclamation is ready to begin.  Cottis has been involved with the situation for 28 days.  Cottis said there have been 145 call outs so far this year and said there were only 171 total in 2013. 

- LEARNED Wheaton continues to negotiate for an oil and gas leases for the Atwood lodge property.  With only $150,000 left in the lodge fund, he advised there will not be any spending until additional funds have been put in place.

- LEARNED that bid opening on county landfill project will be postponed until Thursday, July 14.  All contractors have been notified of the delay and have agreed that it is in the best interest of all parties to delay the bid openings due to the magnitude of the project.  No bids were received by commissioners as of last Thursday.

- OPENED four bids for the 2014 leveling course resurfacing projects for Briar and Bane roads.  Two bids were received for a Loudon Township paving project.  The bids were tabled for review.

- AGREED to wait to make a decision regarding the water sales agreement with the village of Malvern until commissioners have met with Malvern council to discuss the matter.  Commissioners did meet with Ralph Castellucci on Monday to discuss the water contract but took no action.

- WAS ADVISED Carrollton Mayor Frank Leghart has scheduled a meeting in council chambers on Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. to meet with businesses regarding a proposal to annex the Industrial Park on SR 332 south of the village into the village. 
- TABLED the Golden Age Retreat renovation bids until Aug. 18.

- RECEIVED the dog pound report showing four dogs impounded, six tagged and one redeemed.

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