By Leigh Ann Rutledge
CARROLLTON – Village council accepted the resignation of Fire Chief Tom Mesler during the Feb. 26 meeting.
Mesler’s letter stated he was stepping down as chief effective Feb. 28.
“I have a passion for the fire service and wish to remain on the department to continue to serve the people in this community,” Mesler stated in his letter.
Mesler joined the department in 1972, and began serving as chief Jan. 1, 2008. Council approved a motion allowing Mesler to remain on the department as a captain.
Mayor Bill Stoneman thanked Mesler for his work and years of service as fire chief.
“I don’t think people realize all the work and extra time that goes into that,” Stoneman said. “I personally think you have done an outstanding job. I wish you were going to stay on but circumstances happen. I just want you to know, I personally thank you very much, Tom, for the work you’ve done as fire chief and I’m glad you’re staying on as a fireman.”
Assistant Chief Bill Wells will serve as interim chief until a new chief is appointed.
Due to the mayor having Mesler’s resignation letter for a period of time, he began the process to appoint a new chief. The position was posted in-house. Captain Chris Brooks and firemen Kevin Keyser and Shane Thomas applied.
Stoneman explained the process to select a new chief. Village Administrator Mark Wells contacted the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association for assistance. They recommended forming a committee, which Stoneman has done. It will be comprised of Stoneman, Wells, Councilman Tom Parker and two members of the fire dept., who at press time had not been appointed. Parker was chosen from council because he is a former fire chief and can bring expertise to the interview.
A representative from the association will meet with the committee to discuss the interview process. The candidates will be interviewed and the representative will recommend the person they feel is most qualified to be chief. Stoneman will make a recommendation and council will vote.
Stoneman noted it could take up to three weeks for the process.
The association will charge $950 for their services. Council approved the cost.
Tom Indorf and Nick Trussell, CEO and secretary of SAVE22 respectively, visited council for permission to hold the SAVE22 3rd Annual Veteran Suicide Awareness Hike May 5. The hike will begin at the Carroll County Vet’s Club on Brenner Rd. and travel a similar route as last year. Along with the walk, a car, bike and military vehicle show will be held and crafters and vendors will be set up. Council approved the request.
Indorf told council the first Saturday in May has been designated as Veteran’s Suicide Awareness Day by the Ohio House of Representatives.
In other business, council:
-LEARNED the police department received the new MARCS radios. All the portables are in use. Sgt. Geno Cook said he has three new mobiles installed. Cook also explained the state and courts are pushing for all tickets, etc. to be filed electronically. He looked into this and found it would cost approximately $8,000 to develop that system. After complaining to the company who creates the system, Cook said they contacted him and are working on formatting a system and want the Carrollton Police Department to pilot the system before it is released to the public.
-APPROVED a motion for a 50-cent pay increase for all full-time, hourly, non-elected, non-probationary employees. Council waived the three readings on a non-emergency basis.
-AGREED to change the status of the part-time position (former water meter reader) in the water department to a full-time position in order to remain compliant with the EPA Water Department staffing regulations and to greater facilitate the operation of the Hydro-Vac/Excavation truck.
-SCHEDULED the next work session for April 16. Councilman Chris Barto noted he appreciated the work session and thinks they are on track creating a five-year plan for each department.
-LEARNED the new LED lights were installed in the downtown area.
-SET the next council meeting March 12 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.