Local Pictures
Classified Ads
 Announce Births
Email Us
Buy A Copy
Local Links

click here to
The Daily

web page consultants:
Servant Technologies


12-12-02: Jefferson Township Trustees prepare secret offer for Celina fire protection
The Daily Standard
    Jefferson Township Trustees apparently are not pleased with the city of Celina's announcement that the township's fire protection payment needs to increase by nearly 100 percent.
    The trustees have devised a sort of counteroffer to Celina in response to the proposed increase.
    But the details of that counterproposal are being kept secret by the township, as well as the discussion that took place to devise the proposal.
    Jefferson Township Trustees met Wednesday night to consider the city's proposed increase. The trustees immediately moved to enter an executive session to discuss the matter, stating that contract negotiations are allowed to be discussed in private.
    This morning, trustee clerk Grant Cook said trustees decided on a proposal for the city but refused to give further details of that counterproposal. He said the trustees want to keep the issue between the trustees and the city, without outside influences.
    Ohio Sunshine Laws and results of state supreme court cases specifically prohibit deliberations and decisions in closed sessions of public bodies. Jefferson Township Trustees may be in violation of Ohio law by making Wednesday's decision. The law says that decisions, if challenged, may be ruled invalid and must be rescheduled.
    The slender list of reasons for excluding the public from a meeting does not include discussing intergovernmental contracts.
    Ohio Sunshine Laws, released by the Ohio Attorney General's office, outlines the seven valid reason for executive sessions. Those include: specific personnel issues (hiring, firing, compensation); possible property sale/purchase; pending or imminent court actions; collective bargaining strategies; trade secrets; security arrangements; and matters required to be kept confidential by federal or state laws (such as medical information).
    It has previously been mentioned in Celina utilities committee meetings that the trustees are not pleased with the increase.
    "They have their ideas and we have our ideas," Cook said of the city's proposal.
    This summer, Celina announced the payments for fire protection from Center, Hopewell and Jefferson township were not recouping the city's costs. The city increased Center and Hopewell townships' cost, and those townships subsequently passed fire levies during the November election to handle the increase.
    Jefferson Township's increase was the largest of the three, with city officials saying the annual payment to the city needs to increase from $57,267 to approximately $100,000.
    Of the fire department runs outside of the city limits, Jefferson Township accounts for more than 60 percent, Celina Fire Department records show.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2002
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822