Council focuses on procedures, not issues
BUCKEYE LAKE – Several Village Council members strongly disagreed Monday night about the appropriate place to discuss topics – open council meetings or committee meetings.
After Buckeye Lake Fire Chief Pete Leindecker reported that the department would soon receive new heart monitors, council member Peggy Wells asked him about a recent fire on Beacon Light Lane, specifically about mutual aid water tankers being automatically dispatched even though the village now has fire hydrants.
“I thought (your question) was going to have to do with the heart monitors,” said council president Jeryne Peterson.
“I just want to ask about a procedure we have set up about calling in water trucks,” said Wells. She said she understood three or four water trucks were automatically dispatched even though public water is available.
“I’m going to call a point of order because this should be discussed in a personnel committee meeting and not in a public open forum,” said council member Arletta Ruton, who is a fire department member and wife of Fire Captain Dave Ruton.
“This is the first time I’ve seen the chief...” said Wells.
Ruton reiterated the subject should be discussed in a “private committee meeting.”
“You just don’t want it to be reported on, Ms. Ruton,” said Wells.
“That is not it,” said Ruton.
Peterson urged council members to read the rules of council. “It’s imperative – read them, study them, and know them.”
Council member Barry Herron then asked Leindecker how equipment was working at the fire station.
“I object, point of order,” said Wells. “This is so unfair. Why can he ask a question and I can’t. It’s because Peggy Wells asked the question.”
“Peggy, you’re specifically bringing up an event that should be discussed in personnel committee,” said Peterson.
Wells said the “real meat” of her question was is the automatic dispatch of water tanks to structure fires when public water is available.
“I’m going to pound this gavel here in a second,” said Peterson. “I don’t want to hear in the council that he said, she said, I said, they said.” This is why it should be discussed in a committee meeting, she said.
Wells asked if Leindecker would come to the meeting.
Peterson said she’s sure Liendecker would attend the meeting if requested.
“We still have some areas of the village that are located far enough from a fire hydrant that a tank truck may be needed in the event of a fire,” said Mayor Clay Carroll Wednesday. “It is up to the person in charge of the scene to determine what is needed and what is not.” He said to his knowledge there is no cost to the village when a tank truck is used.
In other council news:
• Council members also debated the pros and cons of repairing the police department’s SUV cruiser, which is currently out of service. It needs a new engine at a cost of $3,000 to $4,000.
“Some of us voiced our support (for repairing it),” said Wells, but were waiting for Carroll to look into it.
Herron said if the SUV is repaired, it would exhaust the department’s repair budget for the year. “That’s the bottom line,” he said.
Wells said if the SUV is not repaired, the department is down to three cruisers. “What other options are there,” she asked.
Herron said the department could operate with three cruisers.
Police Chief James Hanzey said the remaining cruisers all have high miles and without the SUV would add miles faster, wearing them out even faster. “Then we’ll be down to two cars, then one, then none,” he said.
Wells said she understood one of the officers was driving his cruiser home following his shift.
“Can we get back to discussing the SUV, please,” said Peterson.
“It’s still about mileage,” said Wells.
“Well, not now,” said Peterson.
Carroll said looking into the SUV repair situation would be a priority.
• Carroll said the date of this summer’s Lakefest is still up in the air. He said June 14 is a possibility, but he believes there is also car show in Buckeye Lake Village that same day.
Peterson said maybe having them both on the same day would be a good idea, as they would each attract more people to the lake.
• During council members’ comment time, Wells said, “It is my understanding that we need to change the 9-1-1 (Center) run cards to reflect the fact that we no longer need water tankers automatically dispatched since we now have public water.” She added that it is a waste of mutual aid resources.
• Wells thanked Justin “Jutt” Wood of Downtown Cycles, and Cecil Booth and Jackson Johnson of Buckeye Lake for their help repairing a ramp at the village skate park. Wells told The Beacon that they replaced the framing and sub-base of the box jump.
“It’s now much safer and can be in full use, but we still need to finish it off with the 3/8” decking called Skatelite,” said Wells in an email. “That material is very expensive so we need to raise some funds to do that and some other much needed repairs. The skate park gets a lot of use by the youth and young adults of surrounding communities as well as our own. So, I would like to make a plea for anyone interested in supporting the continuation of the park to send a designated donation to the Village of Buckeye Lake or email me at email@example.com,” she said.