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Council approves re-organization

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At their Oct. 3 meeting, Village Council unanimously gave final approval to a re-organization of the Village government administrative structure proposed by Village Manager Mark Cundiff two months ago. Cundiff’s proposal came in response to Council’s request regarding how to decrease the workload of his job.

The re-organization calls for the hiring of a full-time assistant Village manager, and the letting go of two current part-time positions, that of assistant planner, held by Ed Amrhein, and economic sustainability coordinator, held by Sarah Wildman. Cundiff previously stated that he oversees too many departments and lacks back-up, and a full-time assistant would alleviate this workload.

At the Sept. 19 vote on the first reading of the re-organization, Karen Wintrow had voted against the proposal due to concerns that economic development would be de-emphasized in a position that requires a variety of focuses. The assistant manager position lists economic development and planning as its major responsibilities.

In response to that concern, Cundiff stated that “in a small organization, people wear many hats,” citing the varied job responsibilities of all department heads. Rather than being de-emphasized, economic development will be given more weight since the position is fulltime rather than part time, he said.

All Council members expressed support for the change.

“This is a smart move and the kind of move we have to think about as we face budget cuts,” Askeland said.

Wintrow said she supported the proposal “with the caveat that we need to see real movement in business development.”

In other Council business:

• Kelley Fox, head of the Village’s electric and water departments, reported on a recent meeting with representatives of DP&L regarding Village power outages. There have been six outages in the Village in recent months caused by DP&L substation malfunctions, the representatives said. They identified four out of the six as linked to severe weather.

“The number of storm systems in 2011 affecting Ohio is unprecedented,” Fox said. “The storms have been relentless.”

DP&L inspected its substation and four equipment problems were identified and fixed, Fox said.

“We’ll have a more reliable electric system with these improvements by DP&L and the Village tree trimming,” Fox said.

• During citizens concerns, Christine Roberts stated that economic development in the village “has lost direction.” She discussed an economic plan she created five years ago that emphasizes local strengths, and that she believes would address current development needs.

• Council members unanimously approved a new contract for Cundiff, and expressed their appreciation for his hard work and expertise.

• Council approved the first reading of a supplemental appropriations ordinance. The ordinance adds $32,295 to the 2011 Village general fund for wage increases and fees, according to Village Finance Director Sharon Potter. The ordinance also adds $232,635 to the Village electric fund for expenses involving the purchase of a new pole setter, tree trimming and siren repair.

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