Long-time road supervisor announces retirement
MILLERSPORT – Walnut Township road supervisor Randy Kemmerer will beat his long-time boss out the door.
Trustee President Ralph Zollinger is retiring at the end of the year after 20+ years as a trustee. Kemmerer surprised trustees Tuesday night when he submitted a short letter announcing his retirement effective Sept. 30. He is going to focus on his wife’s health, who has been battling cancer for months and faces months of treatment. He asked trustees to pay him for all his unused vacation and sick pay.
“We appreciate your years of service to the township,” Trustee Terry Horn told Kemmerer. Trustee Sonny Dupler was too choked up to speak. Zollinger was surprised that Kemmerer was leaving before he does.
Kemmerer has worked for the township for 22 years (11 trustees) and put in 10 years with the county engineer’s office before coming to Walnut Township. He was the only employee for the first 10 or so years of his tenure. He recalled using bagged salt to mix with cinders for snow and ice – one bag for 10 tons of cinders. He offered to return on a part-time basis to help during major snow storms.
Trustees spent about 45 minutes in an executive session discussing Kemmerer’s payment request. When trustees returned to their public session, Horn moved to have the county prosecutor’s office review Kemmerer’s request and the township’s 2006 employee manual. “There appears to be a discrepancy (between the two),” he said. His motion was unanimously approved.
In other business Tuesday night, Thurston fiscal officer Aaron Reedy asked trustees if they expected Bill Yates to resign as Millersport Fire Chief if he is elected to replace Zollinger as trustee. Dupler said they hadn’t discussed it. Neither Horn nor Zollinger commented.
Yates arrived at the meeting shortly thereafter and Fairfield Beach resident Floyd Duncan suggested that Yates be asked the question directly.
Yates said he didn’t plan to resign at this point based on a 1986 Ohio Attorney General’s opinion. “I’m an employee of the Village of Millersport,” he added.
When Reedy pressed him on how he could serve in both positions given that the township contracts with the village for fire/ EMS services, Yates said, “It is a four year contract. There is no issue.” The contract runs through December 2014.
Duncan asked trustees to push the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office to regularly patrol the township’s Fairfield Beach recreation area between 9 and 11 p.m. Duncan, who lives across the street from the complex, said juveniles routinely ignore the sign that says the park closes at dusk, disturbing neighbors and damaging fixtures.
“We aren’t police,” Dupler told him.
“They (sheriff’s office) are aware we have a major problem,” township worker Tim Morris said. He and Kemmerer have filed reports about the all too frequent vandalism.
“I think the pressure needs to come from township officials,” Duncan said. “It might help to remind them…those kids are out there every night of the week.”
It’s a problem everywhere,” Morris added. Zollinger said he would call the sheriff again.
Horn was surprised when Zollinger announced that township trucks would not participate in the annual Sweet Corn Festival Grand Parade next Wednesday.
“What’s the basis for not being in the parade?” Horn asked.
“To cut costs,” Zollinger told him. Horn asked how much he expected to save. Zollinger said it was to save fuel. Horn called that savings “insignificant.”
Resident Deane Maughmer urged Zollinger to reconsider, noting that the parade was excellent exposure for the township and represented “free” advertising. Zollinger stood his ground and by a 2-1 vote, with Horn voting “no,” the township will sit out this year’s parade.
Dupler then moved to pay off the township’s 2009 dump truck early. By paying the last two payments totalling $14,777 now, the township will save a little bit on interest according to fiscal officer Lynn Kraner. The vote was 3-0.