Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Concerning the Fire and EMS Service to the Village

Received today.  This was presented to the Windham Township Trustees on June 2, 2005 at their regular meeting.

Windham Village Mayor and Council Comments and Proposal to Windham Township Trustees

June 02, 2005

The Village of Windham’s Mayor and Council Representatives are here to offer a proposal that we believe will resolve the most important and continuing unresolved issues between us.

I am the spokesperson in presenting to you this proposal and comments.  What I am presenting to you and my comments have been cleared by Mayor Starkey, our Council members on the Personnel Committee and our Village Solicitor Manlove.

I would prefer that you first hear what I have to say on behalf of the Village. Afterward, I would like Jess, Marian and Scott to make any comments to you that they wish about this proposal or their concerns.

For the past 1 1/2 years the Village has tried to resolve the issues between us peacefully by trying to get an operating agreement that is fair and reasonable.  We have avoided our most extreme alternative which would be to separate from this Fire District causing both the village and Township to try to provide Fire and EMS Service each on our own.  Our impression is that you are trying to get us to knuckle under or force us to withdraw from the District.

It’s clear to us by the Township Trustees written responses to us that you will not ever again agree to an Operating Agreement that includes and equal Voice and Vote for the village as well as several other issues that the parties are unable to agree on.  The Village either lets you do what you want or we take alternative action.  We have discussed our alternatives and intend to act if you decide you do not want to work with us on our proposal offer to resolve our differences.

We’re here to offer you a proposal in your open meeting and open to the Township and Village residents and the news media.

Our proposal is a peaceful alternative that we believe is fair, reasonable and provide representatives from both sides equal voice and vote.  And most importantly, can provide an improved Fire and EMS service to Village and Township residents.

We are proposing that the Village Council and Township Trustees agree to form a Joint Fire District under Section [505.37.1] [505.371] of the Ohio Revised Code.

A Joint District will provide a separate Fire and EMS Board made up on one (1) Township Trustee Representative appointed by the Trustees and one (1) Village Council representative appointed by Village Council.  This would give each of us a Voice and a Vote.  In order to break any tie votes on issues and to provide input from our residents the Joint Board would have three (3) residents from the Township and the Village.  This provides a Joint Board with an odd number of five (5) total board members.  The resident representatives would alternate in such as way as to provide two township residents and one village resident for one (1) year and the next year two Village residents and one Township resident.

The Village could agree to two Township residents and one Village resident serving on the Joint Board during the first year of operation.

Good “examples” of Joint Fire Districts around us include Mantua Village, Mantua Township and Shalersville Township; Garrettsville Village, Nelson and Freedom Townships and Newton Falls Village and Township.

We have a copy of the Newton Falls Joint District which has (5) Board Members for your review.  It’s a pretty formal document and provides a guideline for us.  We want you to clearly understand that this is provided only as a guideline and we can agree to create whatever we wish to fit our Joint District needs, within the ORC law.

Obviously, we don’t expect you to give a response tonight.  We will try to answer any questions you have.  We believe that all of the unresolved issues such as; Equal Voice and Vote, Levies Funding, financial issues, EMS billing to residents, Fire Dept. additional storage building, a generator, Firemen and EMT pay, dispatch service, fuel and fuel tanks and other issues will be resolved with a Joint Fire District Board.

We need to set a timeline for your final response to a Joint District and need your response not later than your meeting on June 16.  We will make ourselves available between now and June 16 to meet or talk by telephone on any questions or concerns you have.

The June 16 date is important to the Village in order that we have time to decide on an alternative direction we will begin acting on at our July Council Meeting.  Such alternative direction may require that any needed levies that would have to be filed in August with the County Auditor and Board of Elections for the Nov. 2005 elections.

We have consistently tried to resolve the main issue of taxation without representation.  Due to your persistence, we feel that the Joint Fire District is the best possible approach to the Village and Township.

There are many issues we need to resolve with this proposal and if you are agreeable we need to begin forming a Joint Fire District in the very near future.

Respectively Submitted,


C. James Moore, Council President

For Mayor and Council

I have a copy of the Newton Falls Code concerning the creation of a joint fire district as mentioned in the presentation.  If anyone would like a copy, please email me at and I will send it to you directly.

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