2009-09-26 / News

Gabriel: ‘We have not seen it’

By Charles Prince

MILLERSPORT – Maybe Ralph Zollinger’s Beagle ate them.

Six copies – two signed and four unsigned – of Millersport’s proposed EMS/Fire Protection Services contract were handdelivered to Walnut Township Trustees last Friday. Zoning Secretary Karen Kentosh signed a detailed receipt for the contracts and other fire department records provided monthly to trustees.

The contract – which proposes 24/7 on-station coverage at the Fairfield Beach sub-station in return for restoring the Millersport Fire Department to its original 65 percent of fire levy revenues – wasn’t listed on the agenda for trustees’ Tuesday night meeting. Millersport Village Council members approved the contract at their Sept. 15 meeting and the terms were detailed in the Sept. 19 Beacon.

The EMS/fire contract wasn’t mentioned until Millersport Mayor Dean Severance asked about it during public comments. “We have not seen it,” acting Trustee President Wally Gabriel said. Trustees Sonny Dupler and Ralph Zollinger and fiscal officer Pauline Ety did not comment. Severance said he was certain the contracts were delivered Friday. His comments were met with silence.

One resident contacted Millersport mayor’s assistant Vince Popo after the meeting to confirm delivery. A very upset Popo arrived with a copy of the receipt signed by Kentosh. Popo asked to speak privately with Dupler in the garage area.

When Popo came outside a few minutes later he told The Beacon “They are so fond of calling everybody else a liar. Someone in this office is a liar.” Popo said that he doesn’t know who is lying, adding that Dupler denies seeing the contracts.

Popo showed The Beacon a cell phone record of a 12:36 p.m. message on Friday, Sept. 18 to Dupler’s phone. He told Dupler that he had the contracts and all the paperwork. Popo said he made three separate trips to the township complex Friday to hand-deliver the documents to Dupler.

“I”m pissed we can’t have honest and open discussions about anything,” Popo told The Beacon.

In an otherwise short meeting, trustees unanimously accepted Jim King’s resignation from the Zoning Commission for health reasons. “He’s been on a long, long time,” Ety said. Dupler thought it might be 30+ years. Trustees will send him a letter of appreciation.

Zoning Inspector Ralph Reeb suggested that the Commission’s alternate member – Clayton Lattimer – be moved up. After Reeb confirmed that Lattimer wanted to move up, trustees unanimously approved his appointment.

After some extended discussion, trustees agreed to advertise the now open alternate position in The Beacon and Eagle Gazette. Dupler originally wanted to just post it on the sign outside, but trustee candidate Terry Horn objected. He said a lot of township residents don’t typically drive by the township office. Gabriel proposed posting the vacancy in both newspapers and it was approved unanimously.

Farm Bureau member Roger Wolfe outlined Issue 2 for trustees and the audience. If voters approve, an Ohio advisory board will set regulations for livestock care rather than allowing an outof state group impose rules for Ohio farmers. Gabriel noted that trustees at last Saturday’s countywide trustee meeting endorsed Issue 2.

Trustees next regular meeting is set for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in the township offices.

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