Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Rebuilding New Orleans

WunderKraut.com » Some Tough Questions

Here is the obvious question: Why rebuild New Orleans? We have artificially kept the city alive for the past 200 years. Now the big one has hit and it sure does not look good.

Why rebuild a city that is below sea level? How is that a wise thing to do? Let’s assume we can pump billions into saving New Orleans. It is a long, hard road, but let’s say in 10 years the city is alive and thriving! Wonderful! The bars are once again packed on Bourbon Street! The Saints win the Super Bowl which was held in the Super Dome that very year! Yay! Then another Katrina hits and we are back where we started….

Billions wasted. Lives needlessly lost. Why?

Look at history. There are reasons there are ruins of once great cities. At some point the civilization that founded that city was unable to maintain the city. People left. The Earth reclaimed it. That is the way of history. Why try to float a city that is sinking?

When I saw the graphics of the levees, the river and the lake, I was shocked. Why the hell have we allowed people to live in such a disaster waiting to happen? Why rebuild it only to have it happen again.

The same thing happened in 1993 when the Mississippi flooded to bad. Some entire towns packed up and moved to higher ground. Why rebuild only to have it taken away again.

I think he has a point.

How to Gouge 101

Have you noticed the price of a gallon of gasoline (Hi OBX!) down at Jim’s lately?  As I understand it, a new shipment of gas came on last night (early Tuesday morning) and lo and behold, a gallon costs $2.919 a gallon.  (Don’t forget that $.009!)  I’m befuddled as to how Hurricane Katrina can mysteriously cause a tanker full of unleaded to increase in price thirty cents a gallon WHILE DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD. 

This is oil that was drilled from the ground, shipped from wherever, refined into gasoline, and was being shipped to Windham before Katrina made landfall.  For the price to climb like that with no cause but for to guess that it will be scarce in the next couple of weeks is pure speculation, and a cause to call it gouging.  Its a world different from a country full of SUV drivers filling up the 12 mpg vehicles and complaining because gas is three cents more than yesterday. 

Don’t blame this on Jim’s though, its likely that the store is only taking about 8–10 cents a gallon from the total cost.  The cause for the high price likely goes to the supplier.  Poor Jim’s, though, looked like a ghost town today.

I really miss my dad.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Color me surprised

Yeah, I’m as tired of Sheehan and the endless media coverage of her as the next guy.  As the next three or four guys most likely, because the first two I usually come across give me that blank stare and say, “Who?”  I’ll bet if I mention the word “Paris”, they’d perk up immediately.

Anyway, posted on no less than Arab News:

End the Debacle Ms. Sheehan

Ms. Sheehan and other appeasers around the world provide the fuel that feeds the fire of terrorism. If not for this fuel, terrorists would realize that they do not have a chance to sway the minds of people and would end the bombing. Terrorists are not stupid, they understand that bombing innocent civilians will not change the minds of the strong, but will break the will of the weak. So they attack the weak and the weak fold.

Huzzah to free speech!  In the Arab world at least.  I’d like to see the New York Times put this in their pages somewhere.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

StormTrack

Keep the folks in line for this hurricane in your thoughts over the next few days.  It looks to be a massive storm with a lot of damage.  Follow Katrina on the blog posted below.

StormTrack


 

Abstinence update!

There’s a phrase that I’d never expected to use in my entire life.  It could be one that gets used more often if this issue keeps coming up though.  Maybe I need a cool graphic to go with it.  Oooh, maybe a theme song.

Is It Enough To Abstain

Does it Work?
Atlanta's public schools have used PSI since 1985. Program Director Maria Mitchell says formal evaluation reveals the following results:

  • Seventh-graders who have completed PSI are five times less likely to become sexually active in the eighth grade.
  • Follow-up studies show students in the program are also one-third less likely to become sexually active a year later.
  • By twelfth grade, one-third of participating girls are less likely to become pregnant.

In Cincinnati, the program has operated in the public schools for more than eight years, sponsored by the Adolescent Clinic at Children's Hospital Medical Center. Citywide program director Christopher Kraus says, "PSI is teens becoming part of the solution rather than the problem. It's teens taking responsibility for themselves and their world. This contradicts the negative image most people have... that they're incorrigible, self-centered, even sociopathic." Each year, Kraus trains 80 Teen Leaders, kids on the same wavelength as their peers in fashion, music, appearance -- and, of course, in knowing what's cool. They're believable, effective messengers.

Read the whole article, its rather interesting.  I think that this is only part of the solution of the grander problem of the sexual proclivity of the youth in the U.S., as someone continually reminds me when this issue comes up, “You’re not going to stop it from happening.”  You’re right, we’re not going to stop it, but lets try to find the best way to keep it to a minimum if at all possible.

And lets keep this in mind also.  Timken High School is just one high school.  There are thousands across the United States involved in abstinence-only education.  I’ll grow more concerned about it when this high pregnancy rate is shown to be in more than just one random school.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Evil Conservatives UNITE!

Evil Conservatives UNITE!

Come on, you know I had to link to this blog at least once. Who doesn't simply LOVE that name?

Friday, August 26, 2005

More on Canton Timken

On the GrowOhio website, a Democrat-run blog that’s pretty much MoveOn.org for Ohio, “Jeff Seemann For Congress” begins to look a bit deeper at the reasons for the high pregnancy rate at Canton McKinley referenced a few posts down.

Its all “abstinence only” education’s fault. Obviously. But before he makes his main point, he takes the time to accuse a man who wrote a letter to the editor of the Canton Repository of racism.

Yes, that's right....sterilize the children of Timken High School (which, by the way, is populated with a majority who are African-American ). Something tells me that this idea was proposed before with a certain race of people....I wonder how that plan turned out?

Now granted, I don’t think sterilization is the answer for the pregnancy problem, but to take the step of calling the person racist (ok, fine, he was only VERY STRONGLY implying it), is to go too far.

Regardless, the author moves on to:

But the lesson here is simple. Abstinence-only was taught at Timken High School. Since that lesson was adopted, one out of every 7.6 girls got pregnant.

The facts cannot be ignored, and there is one solid fact that is not yet being talked about....

If these girls had been given a choice and had been TOLD about proper sexual protection, the pregnancy rate WOULD have been lower. Condoms are not 100% reliable. But clearly, neither is abstinence-only.

And…wait for it….

Tax dollars were given to fundamentalist groups which directly led to more teen pregnancy.

And there we have it. According to Jeff Seemann For Congress, abstinence-only education directly leads to more teen pregnancy. All over the country, schools that have adopted the program have seen marked increases in their pregnancy rates. There are an estimated 16.4 million high school students in the United States. If only 10 percent of those students attend schools that have adopted abstinence-only education programs, then according to Jeff Seemann for Congress’ reasoning, there are 215,789 pregnancies in those high schools alone.

The problem is that according to this site, teenage sexual activity has pretty much levelled off since the late 1990’s in spite of this horrible horrible abstinence-only program. How is this possible? Sure, we could go into all of the regression scales and linear curving and all kinds of other mathmatical fol de rol that makes little sense to me. That might even be interesting in the sense of…ok you got me, there’s no way I could make that interesting at all.

Consider the conclusion of teenpregnancy.org:

Why Are Rates of Teen Pregnancy Declining?

Analysis by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and other investigators (including the Alan Guttmacher Institute) suggests that both less sex and more contraceptive use are making important contributions to the decline in the teen pregnancy rate. That is, teen pregnancy rates have been declining because a smaller proportion of teens were having sex and the pregnancy rate among sexually active teens decreased due to better contraceptive use (and also, perhaps, to less sexual activity among those with some sexual experience).

Educators are divided about which of the two points to emphasize. Shall we give more deference to the fact that a “small proportion of teens” are having sex and run with that? Surely there is validity to some emphasis upon that. What about emphasizing that contraceptives are an effective tool in preventing pregnancy, and to a varying degree, in preventing sexually transmitted diseases? One should be able to realize the importance of at least teaching children of these points.

The ultimate discussion should not first be whether these things should be studied, because most reasonable people can see the importance of being knowledgable in both points. What should be discussed is who should be teaching these things to the children. Should it be federally mandated that evey high school freshman get issued a pack of Trojans on the first of every month? Should Mrs. Smith be hauling out the Old Testament and teach kids that sex outside of the marriage bond was punishable by being stoned with stones?

The decision should lie with the School Board. Yes, those duly elected officials who direct which way our schools go in every other point of curriculum. The federal government does not have the ability to understand what my kids know or do not know, and do not have the right to tell my kids that they are ready to understand the fullness of any kind of a sexual relationship at the age of 12. I’m also not saying that the School Board does either, but with them, I have a greater degree of control over what is being taught, in other words, if they don’t do the things I want them to do, I can campaign against them and vote them out of office.

My preference would be for the school to trust me enough (*gasp*!) to teach my own kids about this. The problem is that though I might be willing and responsible enough to teach my kdis about such things, not every other parent feels the same responsibility. And let’s be honest, who really looks forward to “the birds and the bees” talk? The responsibility is laid at the feet of the schools, who must find the happy middle ground of emphasizing the importance of abstinence (because as a preventative measure against pregnancy, its pretty good overall) and educating students about preventative measures, without enabling them at the same time. It is a very fine line, because either way that you go, someone’s going to be mad.

Finally, Jeffy says this:

If these girls had been given a choice and had been TOLD about proper sexual protection, the pregnancy rate WOULD have been lower.

Because you see, these HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS are smart enough to realize the workings of the sexual organs, but totally ignorant of condom use. I have never met a high school freshman who didn’t know what a condom was. Sure, there are still a few who giggle when someone says it, heck, even I do, but these kids aren’t stupid at all. I’d like to ask these kids why they are pregnant. If any one of them would say, “Well, my school didn’t tell me about condoms, so I figured it would be ok,” any one of us would slap them upside the head. Its an ignorant argument and we all know it. The excuses we’d get would be, “I figured I could get away with it,” “It was only the one time,” or “We didn’t have a condom/heat of the moment.” My next question would be, “If you would not have had sex that night, would you be pregant right now?” End of discussion.

Its one of the toughest lessons to learn in life. I hope these kids can get through it.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Aww Pat, not again

The blogosphere is in an uproar about Robertson’s recent comments.  Who calls for an assassination anyway?  That takes some serious fortitude to even suggest such a thing.  Of course, some are using this to say that Christians are just as nuts as the radical Muslim wing of Islam.  Not surprising in the end, but I did find this surprising.  Pat pat patty pat said back in 1999,

I know it sounds somewhat Machiavellian and evil, to think that you could send a squad in to take out somebody like Osama bin Laden, or to take out the head of North Korea  Source

Maybe he’s onto something here.

Don’t worry folks, I’m going to take the high road and not call for an assassination of Chavez, or anyone for that matter.

I know a few people that could use a good noogie though.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Write your own punchline

65 Girls at Area School Pregnant

School officials are not sure what has contributed to so many pregnancies, but in response to them, the school is launching a three-prong educational program to address pregnancy, prevention and parenting.

[insert punchline here]

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Any combination of Norton and Stalinistic

It must be trumpeted!  Head over to Red Wheelbarrow for this nifty tidbit.

As for Norton, whether this will now be followed by a Stalinistic purge of the local high school's French club remains to be seen.

Of course, you’ll have to go there to see why he said that.

Back Online

Well, thanks to the Road Runner tech guys, some seriously annoyed calls, and one bad lightning strike, we suffered a cable outage, and reuppage as of today.  You can all breathe a sigh of relief and go on with your lves as normal now.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Dedicated to Good News for NorthEast Ohio

There is some out there!  No kidding!

From OneCleveland.org

Intel Corporation has recognized Cleveland-Northeast Ohio as a Worldwide Digital Community based on the community's widespread use of the OneCleveland Network. Learn more here.

One of my thoughts about any kind of recovery in this area has been that people who run things have to think differently about the future, because its not going to be based solely on manufacturing.  I see this step in a technological direction as a good thing for our long term future.  Plus, Intel is a pretty good company to be cozying up to.

Now I've gone and done it

Every time I go to the Discussion Forum, I just quickly scan for the forums with new posts.  The last couple of days, I’d not seen anything new, because my computer had logged me out when I did my last spyware scan (curse you spyware!).  So I log in tonight and lo and behold, there’s new threads!  Whoohoo! 

Until I read them that is.  There are few things that really toast my muffins anymore.  Jerry Springer in any media form is a bit one.  What was going on in one of the threads is another.  It started out innocently I believe, “you and the Windhamite blah blah blah”.  “Don’t wake up the Windhamite hee hee hee.”  That’s all well and good, and was fine until things in the thread started to take a different bent.

Xxxxx and xxxx and Windhamite's? The three people who feel they are the conscience and voice of the community?

(The names have been changed to protect the anonymous, and yes, that makes no sense.)

Now I do have to admit that I’m a bit flattered that anyone would think that I speak for the community at all.  I promise to use my power for good, really!  The problem is that the post goes on to really come down hard on the three that were mentioned, even though I’d neither posted nor read the thread prior to tonight.  I know we’re all guilty at times of making suppositions about other people, I’ve likely done it once or twice in my life.  Or not.  Anyway. 

Why this has set me off tonight, I don’t really know.  Maybe its because of the tone of things.  Maybe its because someone’s calling me on the carpet for not living up to his standard of christianity.  Maybe I had some bad salsa tonight, the jury is still out on that one.

No wait, I know what it is.

I'm surprised the church on Wolf Road gives away free clothing, after all with your way of thinking people don't deserve it, they should pick themselves up and get a job to buy it themselves.

What an incredibly stupid assumption to make.  Have I ever said that it is an impossibility for people to be down on their luck and in need of these things?  No.  We’ve been blessed to help hundreds, actually thousands of families over the years, and all on differing levels of need.  We’ve received a few letters thanking us for helping to clothe families for all the years of elementary and high school.  This is a responsibility that we take upon ourselves, and have been incredibly blessed in doing so.  We’re blessed to have a community that supports us in doing this also.  In general, its thankless work, but it is the most that our small congregation can do for the needs that this community has.  To make an argument like this is underhanded.

But you know what?  One of my dearest wishes is that there will come a day when Windham doesn’t need a Clothing Program because there won’t be a need for it.  There is a time and place for helping people with goods such as food and clothing.  There is also a time and place to say, “lets see what we can do to get you to the ponit where you don’t need to be given these things.”  Its not a matter of not wanting to help people at all, its a matter of elevating all people to a standard of living that is self-reliant, rather than relying on the benevolence of others.  We don’t give away clothing in hopes that next month, the people will come back, we do it so that next month, they won’t need to come back.  Of course, the other side of the coin is to help people realize the greater spiritual need in their life.  Many of those that we have helped have returned months and years later and donated clothing in thanks for the help that we gave to them.  That is a great attitude to have.  I doubt that we could have continued if not for the gratitude of so many.

So I guess in a way, yes, I do want people to get a job and buy the things for themselves.  Certainly not in the way that this fellow intended the statement to be taken though.  A friend of mine has wanted to make signs to publicise the church with some simple statements.  “Jesus loves you.  So do we.  How can we help?”  It may sound trite and cliched I suppose, but its right.

Maybe I should copywrite it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

From my eclectic blog travels, I give you The Black Voice News, and more directly, an article by the name of A Practice of Selective Protest.

I’ll highlight my favorite parts inline.

I often wonder why African American activists and concerned community members rush to rally against the police department o­n a regular basis at the slightest hint of impropriety but are conspicuously absent in the confrontation against criminals, except for sex offenders that is.

It’s hypocrisy to run every sex offender out of the neighborhood after he has served his time when other felons are allowed to roam freely. It’s an unreasonable notion to believe that every sex offender is destined to repeat his crime; however, no female sex offenders are run out of neighborhoods although the rate of females as sex offenders are o­n a constant rise.

Hundreds of felons ranging from drug dealers, murderers, robbers, burglars, arsonists, and gang members, to name a few, are released from California prisons everyday and none are barred from any neighborhood. Most violent criminals are released from prison without even being ordered to wear an ankle monitor, as the nonviolent Martha Stewart is required; but that’s another story.

I often wonder why community activists don’t rally to get known unsavory characters from their neighborhoods but are so quick to come out full force against the police department. It often seems as if the community turns the other cheek to the criminal behavior of many to crucify the misconduct of a few. Such actions from the citizenry are tantamount to the gazelles o­n the Serengeti protesting the illegal hunting of the lions. If a reduction of crime is the concern of the people then blatant and widespread poor parenting skills must be addressed.

It seems reasonable that if certain parents have consistently proven to have no control over their criminal children, the NAACP, Brotherhood Crusade, Project Islamic Hope, the Nation of Islam, well-known activists, and any number of the popular Black politicians, lawyers or newspapers would not turn the other cheek.

When a criminal is videoed being conked o­n the head with a flashlight by policemen, the usual uproar against the police department and sympathy coupled with civil litigation for the criminal is manifested; this is a constant pattern in the War o­n Crime in the African American and Hispanic community.

It’s discouraging to many to witness a community that marches and rallies, with their teeth clenched and fist balled up, against the police department or school district but behave as passive cattle being chased by predatory animals o­n the real battlefield for a safer community.

If a community assembles to get rid of sex offenders who have served their time, that’s fine, but why not also protest in front of the homes of other known violent criminals and troublemakers; including the homes of parents who cannot or will not properly train their children to respect the law.

I believe that if the concerned community activists could expose every household that is a haven for criminals and forbid them from returning to the neighborhood instead of turning the other cheek it would show true solidarity; not selective protest. This is not a bizarre or brutal concept; potential tenants of public housing and Selection 8 Housing Programs are required to sign moral conduct agreements at the risk of eviction for violation of the law or threatening behavior.

Poor parenting plays a greater role in the destruction of a community than most other possible causes. Poor parenting however does not anger the community. Parenting Programs should be made mandatory for parents in their child has more than o­ne arrest or school suspension within a o­ne-year period.

Many children are being raised by grandparents because their mom or dad is in prison or addicted to drugs. Unfortunately, it is often poor parenting skills of the grandparent that contributed to the decay of the family. Selective protest is tantamount to winning the Lottery but losing the ticket.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I have to say

The white Windham flags down Main toward the high school are a very nice touch.  They’re probably down School St. also, but I was driving and didn’t want to hit a tree or anything. 

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sheehan, and what not

Just go here.

LaShawn Barber's Corner

That’s pretty much it.

Movie Review of the day - "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo"

:: rogerebert.com :: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo

Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.

By popular demand

It seems that I’ve been called out.  I firmly believe that the nation in the midst of a robust economy.  Wanna know why?

Captain's Quarters

George Bush has had an unbroken string of growth since putting his economic plan into place in 2002 and 2003, which has now resulted in a significant and unexpected rise in tax revenues and a major drop in the federal deficit.

Yahoo! News

Low mortgage rates have supported robust housing activity for more than four years. While many economists earlier forecast some slowing in home sales this year, many have now bumped estimates higher and now see 2005 striking a record.

PoliBlog (From Yahoo! News)

The civilian unemployment rate dropped to 5 percent in June, down a notch from 5.1 percent in May and the lowest since September 2001. The jobless rate has drifted downward after hitting 6.3 percent in June 2003, its highest point during the economic recovery.

San Francisco Chronicle

Strong consumer spending, solid job growth and rising levels of personal income have spurred optimism in financial markets that the economic expansion is rolling along despite a series of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index, for instance, the broadest stock market indicator, gained 15 percent over the last 12 months, despite a series of dips, including Friday's 7.42 point drop.

Similarly, the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, a good barometer of inflation expectations, has bounced from 3.9 percent in February, when investors became concerned that growth was slowing, up to 4.65 percent in March, when sentiment abruptly shifted to concern about possible price spikes.

After another tumble to 3.9 percent in July, the 10-year Treasury yield has popped back up again to close at 4.24 percent Friday.

Personal income, the fuel of a consumer-driven economy, broke out of a pattern of stagnation and rose a solid 0.5 percent in June. Retail sales rose 1.8 percent in July on the strength of auto sales. Meanwhile, employers created a stronger-than-expected 207,000 payroll jobs last month, propelling hourly wages to their biggest one-month jump in a year.

"Bottom line, the economy is healthy”

(Of course, this is where the rabidly liberal newspaper sees fit to launch into why we are doomed to fall on our face.)

I know that you don’t hear most of this on the news anymore.  When the news is bad, its all you hear, but when its good, the hounds usually go silent.  We’re doing well.  The only newsworthy point concerning the economy is how the left has everyone seemingly fooled into believing that things are still bad.

Of course, keep my earlier post in mind. 

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Shouldn't I be napping?

Seriously, Sunday afternoons are made for the nice afternoon nap.  But alas, here I sit, watching my children watch “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” which is quite a charming little show.  But on to the more important stuff.

I have in my hands a nifty litte Standard Report concerning the General Fund for the Village.  As of 6/30/05, the Village is $36,019 ahead of the same time last year.  This is a 14 percent increast over 2004.  We’ve met 58.3 percent of the budget obligation for this year.

This is great news.  I think we can attribute to a few factors.  First, we have hired an excellent administrator for the tax department.  His diligence has certainly been a strong positive force in collections.  Second, I think we are finally seeing the first indications revenue-wise of some economic recovery in northeast Ohio.  Ohio has lagged behind the national recovery for a couple of years now, and our little corner has been even further behind. 

On the downside, we are carrying a deficit above and beyond our budgetary obligations.  We should have some finances this year to “pay down” our deficit.  While the U.S. government has the ability to run deficits without any real obligation to fulfill (hey, its politics, and somehow it works), small-scale deficits can destroy a Village like ours. 

I continue to be torn concerning the recent decision by Council to put a 0.5 percent income tax increase on the next ballot.  Certainly we can all agree that it is needed, especially in light of the recent statement by the Chief of Police.  If things continue, we will have repaid our deficit in a few years, but it would seem that a few years is too long to wait to upgrade our Police Department facility.  Perhaps the upside to the proposed increase is that it expires in five years (unless of course the voters allow it to continue).  Its a clever addition that may push the tax increase’s support over the top.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Chief speaks concerning the Police Department and its facilities

This is a letter dated February 28, 2005 that has been presented to Council at the recent August 9 meeting to be entered into the official Village record.  It addresses many issues that have been spoken about on the Discussion Board.  It is very long, but read it all as it is very in depth about the Police Department’s needs.  (Assume all typographical errors are on the part of my scanner and textreading software.  I’m not proofreading this one again.)

To: Mayor Starkey, Council & Fiscal Officer

Re: Issues concerning the Windham Police Department

This is a follow up letter to the one that was written on September 04,2002 and given to the Mayor and Council members at that time. Many of the problems still exist, though some have been rectified.

I. Building and Facility

A. Site

As stated previously, the current Police Department building was built over 60 years ago, and was not designed to be a Police Station. The garage area has numerous places in the ceiling which has leaked so often, that the drywall has rotten and fallen down. A storage room inside the garage, which could be used for additional storage space is still full of unused/unwanted fire department equipment. The garage still holds the street department dump truck, snowplow, and other items. The room which houses the radio base is also used for office supply storage and personnel files. The office of Chief of Police has to be shared with the entire department. Additional evidence must be stored here when it will not fit into the evidence lockers, or is even too large to be placed in the evidence room. The door to the evidence room is located in this office, which is a problem when the office has to be used for interviews and interrogations. The officers' room, located outside of the dispatch area, is not suitable for interviews as it is too crowed and lacks privacy. It also houses the BAC (Breathalyzer) machine, as well as ammunition storage and the departmental "library". Neither room has any ventilation. The Dispatcher area is open and visible to persons who are inside of the department. These "persons" can be prisoners or suspects, victims, witnesses, and unless they are in the capacity of Law Enforcement persons conducting business, are not to have access to the LEADS terminal.

This includes printouts and reports that may be lying on the counter of the office. More often than not, they are simply Village employees who walk through the office. Again, recently, Administration employees have walked into the department while a juvenile prisoner was handcuffed to the bench. Will it take an invasion of privacy lawsuit against the Village and those responsible before this problem is attended to?

B,) Safety and Security

The lobby of the Police Department is an area of about six feet by seven feet. A small desk with two chairs is located there for individuals coming in to sit and write statements. Any more than three (3) people in it and it are overcrowded. The interior door is magnetically sealed and has to be opened by the dispatcher. Many times while persons are in the lobby other persons (village employees clocking in/out, other complainants, or suspects) walk in interrupting the victim/complainant. Many times these persons cannot be brought into the department due to a prisoner being shackled to the holding bench, other victim/complainants, juvenile suspects or victims who are being attended to, or simply other circumstances beyond the Officers' control.

The booking area is located in the hallway, outside of the Chiefs' office. It is also directly behind the Council Room. This area is a large Safety and Security problem especially when there is a council meeting or court is being held and a prisoner is being booked in. The hallway is also where the officers and dispatchers "locker room" is located. The "men's" restroom is located on the far end of the Council room. This restroom is in even worse condition than the front restroom. There is no heat or ventilation in either. This makes it extremely hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Recently a thermometer was placed in the back bathroom and recorded a temperature of 35 degrees. Several times this winter, the pipes have frozen. The distance the water travels from the hot water tank means there is no hot water. The bathroom is shared with prisoners, whom while being held before being transferred to jail, need to use a bathroom. Many of these persons, male and female, are known to have communicable diseases. The Dispatch area is located within sight of the holding bench. The dispatchers are often forced to listen to the prisoners' comments as they are being processed. This is a safety hazard for the dispatcher, as their work area offers no protection if the prisoner became violent. It is especially a problem if the prisoner is disruptive and yelling, making it difficult for the dispatcher listening to and talking on the numerous radios and telephones as well as the aforementioned LEADS security issues.

The man door entrance to/from the garage previously had a numeric combination lock. The lock broke around 1999, and was "too costly" to repair. The door now has a key inserted into the lock all the time, which means anyone who could gain access to the garage could walk right in to the Police Station.

There is minimal security in the hallway to the Administrative Offices. The time clock is located in this hallway, which is part of the problem with the employees entering the police lobby. The hallway is also the access to the "ladies" restroom. This is actually a "unisex" restroom, as the Department does now have male dispatchers.

The garage has no ventilation. It is extremely humid during the summer months and cold in the winter. As previously noted, several parts of the ceiling are falling in.

The area in front of the garage doors is unsuited for the exit of police and emergency vehicles. This is a safety hazard and a liability issue for the Village. The area on the north side of East Center Street should be "no parking" in front of the Police and Administration building. With vehicles parking in front of the building, a large "blind spot" is created and on countless occasions cruisers have narrowly missed collisions with vehicles traveling on Center Street. The book drop-off is also in the way of a driver's view when pulling out, and many times, vehicles pull in front of the garage door to drop off books, creating delays and hazards. Also, persons parking in the area on the western side of the building must cross in front of the garage door to get to or from the building. There have also been times when these pedestrians have almost been struck by a cruiser backing out of the garage.

The parking area is not monitored, and on several occasions employees have had their personal vehicles vandalized, or attempts were made on them. The most recent damage done to a vehicle was several months ago when unknown persons poured about a gallon of water into the gas tank of an Officer, whose car was parked in the parking area. There have also been accidents involving vehicles leaving the parking spaces due to the library and day care traffic coming through the parking lot. At night the area is dimly lit and evenings when there may be an event at the Community Center, departmental personnel are forced to park farther from the station than normal.

The Evidence Room is basically a non-ventilated closet in the Chiefs' Office. The Department takes in a large proportional amount of evidence and property, and storage space is at a high commodity. The Department is required to hold evidence until it is to be released or destroyed by a court order. The ceiling has leaked in the past and damage has been caused to evidence in it. The integrity of the evidence is lost and the Village and the Department can be financially held liable if the property is returned from our custody damaged. There are many occasions when an Officer is forced to work alone. The issues of only one officer working is not only a major concern of the Officer, but also an extreme safety issue. Many times a lone officer must deal with a situation were two or more officers are needed. If this lone Officer arrests an individual and transports them to the county jail, there is no Officer to continue patrolling the Village. If another emergency call comes in while the Officer is in transport, assistance has to be called from the Sheriffs Office or Garrettsville Police. If they are available, they could be many minutes away. This is an eternity when a dangerous situation is impending.

C.) Health

The Police Department building has been described as a "sick building". Many of the employees have developed illnesses while working here. A lack of proper ventilation, inadequate heating and cooling systems, and non-ergonomic Workstations are only a few of the problems. Due to the buildings age, it can only be assumed that it contains lead-based paint and asbestos. The officers and dispatchers must perform the general cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep. Citizens have noted that the officers should be out patrolling the streets instead of mopping the floors or taking out the trash. On a rare occasion, a community service worker may come in to serve their time and can perform these tasks. However, these individuals are persons who have been convicted of various criminal offenses. This requires that an officer stand by, as it would not be safe to leave them with an untrained and unarmed dispatcher. Again, there is the dilemma of what to do with them when a victim, prisoner or a juvenile is brought in to the station. The restroom in the front hallway has caused emotional problems. New employees arrive and find the condition of the facilities appalling. This continues with the new Administration employees. The bathroom has been in this condition since the remodeling in 1985, and is not a pretty site.

Positive changes since 2002;

1. The room across from the Chiefs' office was torn down.

2. An auction was held to dispose of unneeded items.

3. The garage roof was patched.

4. An air conditioner was replaced in the dispatcher area.

5. Storage shelves for reports and files built in garage.

Negative changes since 2002;

1. OSHA was in the building around November of 2003. Numerous violations were cited, but have not been corrected.

2. The Health Department was in to inspect the building in the spring of 2004. They made lists of recommendations.

3. The roof, though patched, continued to leak in some areas.

4. The items removed from the room that which torn down, are now piled up in front of the men's room and, are full of mold and mildew.

5. Sergeant moved office to garage area, with no phone or computer access.

6. Batiste's inspection was done in the Fall of '04, yet there is no copy of the report issued to the Police Chief or Department.

II. Personnel/Officers and Dispatchers

A. Dispatchers-Deputy Clerks

There is a high turnover rate for this position. The Department currently employs' two full-time dispatchers and eight part-time dispatchers. Within the last 5 years this department has lost no less than 20 part-time dispatchers for various reasons (see attached list). Often cited is a lack of opportunity in obtaining a full-time position. More often than not though, is the excessive workload. At any given moment the dispatcher may: have a phone call for the Fire Department, then talk with the FD over the radio, a Squad/ Ambulance call for someone sick or in an accident, coordinate with Life Flight have a person in the lobby who needs assistance, have Police Officers on a call that could be anything from a traffic stop to violent domestic, and answer one or more of the regular phone lines. All of this may, AND HAVE happened at the same time. The dispatchers are also Clerks of the Court and are responsible for taking of ticket and Bond moneys. They must type and clerk criminal charges, file reports, and other tasks in addition to answering the phones and radios. All of this for less than most agencies pay their employees for merely handling police or fire calls. They are expected to work nights, weekends, and holidays with no pay differential. They may also be called in on very short notice due to a call-off. Also, the LEADS terminal allows access to sensitive information and the operator must have had a thorough background check. This means that not everyone can fill this position. Due to personnel shortages in this position, some Officers have had to fill in this position. Because Officers can not be Clerks, they cannot take bonds or clerk charges. This has caused undo hardships not only on this department, but the Highway Patrol, which uses our Police Station for bonding, and citizens who merely wish to pay their traffic citation.

B. Police Officers

Currently, a person applying for a position as a police officer with the Windham Police Department must have already completed a police academy. At the present time, tuition for an academy class ranges from between $2,400 and $2,800. While attending an academy, a student is expected to provide his or her own sidearm. This can range in cost from $400 to $800. They must also provide a duty belt, holster, magazine pouches, handcuffs, and other various items for their "duty rig". If the Windham Police Department hires the individual they are also expected to provide themselves with a basic uniform to start as a Reserve Officer. For the basic set consisting of a shirt, trousers, shoes or boots, it will cost between $200 and $300. A few additional items such as a coat, hat, gloves, etc. the prospective Officer will be expected to pay another $200 to $400. The newly hired, untrained Officer has just spent over $4,000 for a job that has no pay to start. After they have worked hard and tested for a part-time position, they may earn @$8.50 an hour to start. For any extra duties or special details (wedding receptions, school events, etc.) they may earn $20 an hour. Most Departments pay their part-time officers more than a full-time Windham Police Officer makes, @$13.50/hr. An off-duty job pays one and a half times the normal pay rate of @$20/hr.

Positive changes since 2002:

1.) Special detail pay increased from $15/hr to $20/hr.

Negative changes since 2002:

1.) The costs of uniforms have increased.

2.) The cost of the academy training has increased.

3.) Uniform allowances were not paid on anniversary dates in 2004, in violation of Ordinance 139.01 c.

4.) Still no Officers have received the listed "issued" uniforms as outlined in the ORD.

5.) Some dispatchers were "lost", but were replaced (more training and inexperience).

III. Pay and Benefits

A.) Dispatchers

According to the latest information, the communications supervisor's (head dispatcher) pay rate is $11.34 an hour. A full time dispatcher pay rate is $10.82 an hour. The clothing allowance for these full-time dispatchers is to be $225 a year. Also, according to the Administrative Code, 139.01b, full time dispatchers are to receive three complete uniforms to start, after 90 days, as specified by the code. Part-time dispatchers start at $8.22 an hour, after their training is complete. During the training period, they earn only the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. After two years, their top rate is $9.88 an hour. There is no uniform allowance for part-time dispatchers. There had been an agreement previously in which a part time dispatcher would be provided with two "polo" style shirts as uniforms, at a cost around $20. With the addition of embroidery, the cost is over $30. The department does not represent a professional appearance when wearing "street clothes" on duty. Additionally, the department needs to create a position for a Chiefs' secretary/records clerk. This person would be responsible for typing correspondence, filing reports, making appointments, and maintaining records and other duties necessary to maintain a cohesive operation within the Department.

B.) Police Officers

When the Police Department hires an individual, the person starts off as a Reserve or Auxiliary Officer. After a thorough background check, the Officer candidate must then also complete a Psychological and Polygraph examination. The tests cost @ $650. The department has cut costs by not hiring anyone in the past two years. By law, the Officer candidate must also complete a physical examination, including a stress test, before employment. This Officer will have all the responsibilities of a regular sworn Officer, but their time is not paid. After a training and probationary period, they may test for a part-time position. At this status, the Officer is paid for working his/her shift. The starting pay is $8.50 an hour. After two years of service the Officer makes their part time top rate of $10.41 an hour. Part-time Officers are to receive a uniform allowance of $100 per year after one year of service. In addition, part-time Officers are also to be issued uniforms as prescribed in Ordinance 139.01 a 2. A ballistic vest should also be provided by the Department, after being purchased by the individual. The vests generally cost about $500 each. If a position is made available, the part-time Officer may test for a full-time position. When hired, the full-time Officer is to be supplied with the appropriate sets of seasonal uniforms, according to Ordinance 139.01a 2. A yearly uniform allowance of $400 is to be issued to each Officer on their respective anniversary date. No officer or dispatcher, since at least 1997, has ever received their "issued" uniforms. Also, no uniform allowance has been issued for 2004. Additionally, with current uniform costs, no officer can reasonably supply themselves with the required uniforms. This can result in an unprofessional appearance, as perceived by the public, the court system, and other Law Enforcement agencies.

C.) Health Care

The Village of Windham provides health care to its full-time employees. Though not as comprehensive as other municipalities, or private industries, it is nevertheless provided. The dental plan portion was removed in March of 2002, and a one- percent increase in pay was given to those employees to offset the cost. This caused many hardships for those individuals who were in the process of having dental work done.

Positive Changes since 2002:

1.) The addition of a BDU style uniform allowed to be worn by the Officers. They are

less costly than the regular uniforms.

Negative Changes since 2002:

1.) Employees now pay ten percent per month of their health insurance.

2.) There has been no pay raises or even COLA increase in 2003 or 2004.

3.) The uniform allowance was not paid until the end of 2004.

4.) Other Village employees had Longevity pay increased to $10 per year of service, but the Police Department personnel are still paid at $5 per year of service.

IV. Training and Equipment

A.) Dispatcher

Personnel whom after being sworn in to the dispatcher/clerk position receive 80 to 120 hours of training. The training period is flexible due to the fact that some individuals may have more experience than others may. This training period is now paid at the rate of $5.15 an hour. While training the dispatcher sits with another dispatcher and is shown many of the tasks. Duties and tasks include operating the LEADS terminal, typing and clerking complaints and citations, entering reports into the computer, and answering the fire department and police telephone calls. Not all tasks can be shown, due to the fact that a particular type of call, LifeFlight for example, may not occur during the training period. When compared with the Highway Patrols' dispatch training period of 240 hours, paid at the rate of $15 an hour, the Windham Police/Fire dispatch training period is far behind the curve.

B.) Police Officer

As stated previously, after completing the police academy, which is currently over 600 hours of schooling, the Officer may now need to complete additional training for the many facets of police work. These could include RADAR, BAG Datamaster, LEADS, and or Alcohol Detection and Prosecution courses. Additional continuing education courses such as Interviews and Interrogations, Child Abuse Investigation, or dealing with the mentally challenged are just a few which are extremely helpful in allowing the Officer to complete his job. Other more specialized courses such as Evidence or Field Training is also needed to keep the Department operating efficiently. These courses can not only be costly, but time consuming as well. In addition to all of these, the Officer MUST re-certify yearly in firearms training, and many other courses as mandated by the State of Ohio.

C.) Equipment

The Police Department currently has three marked police cruisers. All were purchased in 2000. A fourth car was sold at auction this year due to it being a safety hazard and in non-running condition. Of the three remaining vehicles, Unit 2 has @ 125,000 miles, Unit 3 has @92,000 miles, and Unit 4 (K-9) has @62,000 miles. These vehicles are past their warranty, and are showing signs of wear and tear. Unit #2 had the top end of the engine repaired in 2004, and Unit #3 has a battery that continually goes dead. A fourth vehicle, a 1991 Dodge Shadow is used as an unmarked vehicle. It has @96,000 miles on it. This vehicle was donated to the Department by Wolfe's automotive, with the understanding it is returned when no longer used. Currently, it is in non-running condition, as the battery is dead and several tires are flat. The equipment on the marked cruisers is also wearing out. Neither spotlight is working on either Unit #2 or #3. A rotator light on Unit #2 is also not functioning. The video camera system in the cruisers is working, however, the portable microphones and control (belt) packs periodically need repaired or replaced. Mobile Data Terminals, including laptop computers, were obtained for each cruiser with a Grant. This piece of equipment is a vital source of information for the Officer on the road, as it can save them from using the car radios to run license plates or persons who may have warrants. The Officer may not want to use their radio, as many wanted persons own portable scanners, and they, or their associates would have a "heads up" that the Police are looking for them. The Police Department has @12 portable radios. Six of these were purchased in 1999, to be issued to the full-time Officers. The other eight are a much larger and heavier model, and are used by the part-time officers. Only 6 of these 8 are working currently, but many of the portable microphones and carriers are broken. Soon the batteries will need to be replaced also. Of the newer radios, only five are currently working properly. Four of these were recently in for repairs. The department has eight MagLite re-chargeable flashlights. Only three of these are in working condition. Four are in need of bulbs, and at least one is in need of a switch assembly. Gunner and PTL McComas replaced Nikko and Mike Gerardi as the K-9 and handler. Booking photos are kept on floppy discs. When preparing a photo line up, it may take an hour or more to go through the discs to find individuals matching the suspect's physicalcharacteristics. Photo line-up software is needed to keep these photos in our computers. As noted before, reports are entered in one of the three computer terminals within the Police Department. The memory is getting full, and an upgrade is needed. Recently, the Department was behind in its daily back-up report because WPD was out of the tapes used in this report. If the computer had "crashed" much, if not all of the information entered in this time period could have been lost. Also, another terminal would be well used, as on many occasions, Officers have to wait to use a terminal to enter or work on a report The Department Library is still inadequate, but a bookshelf was donated to get the Law books out of a storage box and onto the shelf. There is still no back-up generator for the Police Department and Administration office building. Even the emergency light in the dispatch area does not work. There has been shown an expressed need for the Department to have mobile/cellular phones. These are proven tools in civil and natural disasters. Many of the Officers carry their own cell phones, and use them for police business, without reimbursement. Other Village employees have cellular phones provided, or they are reimbursed for the use of their phones.

Positive Changes since 2002:

1.)

Negative Changes since 2002:

1.) Officers and Dispatchers have been unable to attend many classes and courses.

2.) Equipment continues to be in overworked and in disrepair.

3.) Supplies have to be requested instead of having on hand.

4.) Department is short a marked cruiser.

5.) Currently no Reserve Officers in Department to move up ranks and fill positions.

V. Conclusion:

There are many problems which "plague" the Windham Police Department. Some of these are old, continuing problems, while others are relatively new. The themes, however, are mainly the same. In order to keep competent, dependable employees, their employer, in this instance, the Village of Windham, must provide them with an environment that nurtures a sense of accomplishment and achievement. It must also compensate those employees monetarily and with adequate benefits to keep them loyal. They also need to keep the employees informed and the lines of communication open so the rumors do not run morale into the ground. Finally, because of the "Fiscal Emergency" over the past three years, the Department supplies and items necessary for the continuous daily operations, as well as equipment repairs have been curtailed to the point it is effecting the basic operation of the Windham Police Department.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE WINDHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT

I. BUILDING: A NEW FACILITY, OR,

A. THE BATHROOM PROBLEM, MUST BE RESOLVED.

B. MOVE STREET TRUCK AND PLOW OUT.

C. HAVE FIRE DEPT. ROOM CLEANED OUT FOR EVIDENCE STORAGE.

D. REPAIR AND/OR EXPAND EVIDENCE ROOM.

E. KEEP OTHER VILLAGE EMPLOYEES OUT OF POLICE DEPT.

F. REPAIR LOCK ON GARAGE MAN-DOOR.

G. MARKED NO PARKING ON CEMENT IN FRONT OF GARAGE DOORS.

H. MOVE DROP BOX FOR LIBRARY.

I. AIR PURIFICATION SYSTEM FOR BUILDING.

J. HAVE AT LEAST TWO OFFICERS PER SHIFTS FOR SAFETY.

K. JANITORIAL SERVICE TO CLEAN BUILDING.

L. SHELVES FOR P.O. RECORDS (DONE).

M. TEAR DOWN ROOM OR REFINISH (DONE, TORN DOWN).

II. PERSONNEL

A. DISPATCHERS: ADDITIONAL FULL-TIME POSITION.

B. POWER SHIFT FOR DISPATCH AT PEAK TIMES.

C. PART-TIME POSITION FOR CHIEF SECRETARY/RECORDS.

D. OFFICERS: ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL NEEDED.

III. PAY/BENEFITS

A. PAY INCREASE TO BRING UP TO SIMILAR AGENCIES.

B. INCREASE UNIFORM ALLOWANCE OR SUPPLY UNIFORMS.

C. COMPENSATE CHIEF SALARY WITH OVERTIME PAY.

D. LOOK INTO OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDER (DONE).

IV. TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT

A. ALL PERSONNEL RECEIVE ADEQUATE AND APPROPRIATE TRAINING, PAID.

B. TASER(S).

C. KEEP UP-TO-DATE EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING COURSES.

D. REPLACE CRUISER UNIT #1, COMPLETE.

E. BACK-UP POWER SUPPLY FOR BUILDING.

                    F. SUPPLIES ON HAND (BATTERIES, TAPES, AUTO SUPPLIES...).

                   G. ADDITIONAL ITEMS FOR CIVIL/NATURAL DISASTERS.

                   H. BOOK SHELVES FOR LAW BOOKS (DONATED).

At this point, the report lists the names of all people that have been hired to dispatch and those who’ve been partially trained but left before training was finished.  Also, there is a listing of current and former officers and if they’ve left, the stated reason for leaving.  Both are rather lengthy lists.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Meeting held on July 25

These are the notes of the meeting.  *cue Days of Our Lives music*

Again, NOTES NOTES NOTES people.

At 7:00 P.M., Honorable Mayor Jess Starkey called the Meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call:

C. James Moore - present

Scott Garrett - present

Marian Garrett - present

Jodi Minotti - present

Francis Ballard - present

Robert Donham - present

Also in attendance, Mark Manlove, Village Solicitor.

Minutes of the June 14, 2005 Regular Council Meeting were presented and reviewed by Council J. Moore made a motion to approve, Second by S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

The Village Fiscal Officer's Financial Reports were tabled until the Regular Council Meeting on August 9, 2005.

The Village Council President's Report was given by Jim Moore. He reviewed a letter to the U.S.D.A. Rural Development dated July 25, 2005 requesting an available interest rate reduction on the East Center Street New Sewer Line. Reduction to be from 4-3/4 % to 4-1/4 % (1/2% reduction). Resolution No R-2005-9 was read to request the use of Multiple Advances during the construction of the East Center Street Sewer Line Project in order to take advantage of the lower interest rate. J. Moore made a motion to approve, Second by F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried. Letter dated 07/25/05 to U.S.D.A. attached and made a part of the minutes.

Jim updated the Council on the current status of the East Center Street New Sewer Line Project. The U.S.D.A. Rural Development Office of General Council is now reviewing all documents for the construction project. This is the final step prior to allowing us to go out for Contractor's bidding. The prior step of this process was approved and passed onto General Council. We should have our final answer next week. If so, Council would approve going out for bidding at the August 2005 Council Meeting.

Request from Village Administration Office to change office hours from 9 AM - 5 PM (M-F) to 9AM - 4:30 PM (M-F). The Office staff would continue to work 9AM- 5PM, this would facilitate the preparation of the daily deposit, required by the Ohio Revised Code. This change will become effective August 1, 2005. J. Moore made a motion to approve, Second R. Donham. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

Jim Moore reported that he attended the Newton Falls Joint Fire District Meeting on July 19, 2005 and gathered information about their Joint Fire District. Bottom line is they say joining their Township and City into a Joint Fire District was the best for both parties and their residents.

Mayor Jess Starkey extended his appreciation to Kevin Knight and the other village employees for their work in preparing the Village Park for the Hot Stove Tournaments.

Mayor Starkey recommended the appointment of Councilwoman Marian Garrett to serve as Chairperson of the "Good Start" Committee from the Village. In addition, he also appointed Marian Garrett to serve as the Village's representative on the Portage County Bicentennial Committee. Marian recommended that an alternate be named in case she wasn't able to attend the meetings. Scott Garrett volunteered to serve as alternate. J. Moore made a motion to accept these appointments, Second, F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Abstain: M. Garrett. Motion carried.

The Personnel Committee report was given by Jim Moore. He read Ordinance No. Q-2005-13 to authorize the Mayor and the Fiscal Officer to enter into an agreement with Mark Manlove authorizing him to serve as Village Solicitor for the Village from August 1, 2005 to July 31, 2007 setting the terms of his compensation. J. Moore made a motion to go into Executive session at 7:25 P.M. Second, F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

M. Garrett made a motion to return from Executive session at 7:30 P.M. Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

J. Moore made a motion to suspend the rules concerning Ordinance No. O-2005-13. Second, M. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

J. Moore made a motion to adopt as read Ordinance No. O-2005-13 on Mark Manlove's contract. Second, F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried. Mark Manlove remarked that this new contract will save the Village approximately $10,000 over 2 years.

The Finance Committee report was given by Marian Garrett. She reviewed the July 2005 planning Budget for the year 2006 budget, which must be provided to the County Auditor after Council's approval. M. Garrett made a motion to approve, Second S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried. The Fiscal Officer will provide a composite reflecting the total of all funds to Council by the next meeting.

Marian introduced Ordinance No. O-2005-14 authorizing the Mayor and Clerk of the Village to sign a mortgage release from 8954 Maple Grove Road, 9700 Grove Court, and 9703 East Center Street for Neighborhood Development Corporation for the amount of $23,550.00.

M. Garrett made a motion to suspend the rules concerning Ordinance No. O-2005-14. Second, F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

M. Garrett made a motion to approve Ordinance No. O-2005-14 as read. Second. F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

Marian reviewed the need to establish a levy committee for a Village Income Tax levy planned for this November 2005. The amount and other details of the levy will be decided at the August 2005 Council Meeting.

Marian introduced a request for permission from Council to donate the used cell phones (7) to the Portage County Battered Women's Shelter. The phones are refurbished and given to women once they are placed in "safe" housing so they have contact with the authorities if needed to guarantee safety for themselves and their children. M. Garrett made a motion to approve, Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

The Utilities Committee report was given by Scott Garrett. He introduced Ordinance No. O-2005-15 accepting a permanent easement from PEC Management II (Burger King) for a Waste Water Line at or near East Center Street. Scott declared an emergency and made a motion to suspend the rules concerning Ordinance No. O-2005-15, Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

S. Garrett made a motion to accept Ordinance No. O-2005-15 as read. Second, F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

Scott introduced Ordinance No. O-2005-16 accepting a permanent easement from Harbison Walker Refractories for a Waste Water Line at or near East Center Street. Scott declared an emergency and made a motion to suspend the rules concerning Ordinance No. O-2005-16, Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

S. Garrett made a motion to accept Ordinance No. O-2005-16 as read. Second, F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

Scott introduced Ordinance No. O-2005-17 accepting a permanent easement from Harbison Walker Refractories for a Waste Water Line at or near the front of their building on East Center Street. Scott declared an emergency and made a motion to suspend the rules concerning Ordinance No. O-2005-17, Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

S. Garrett made a motion to accept Ordinance No. O-2005-17 as read. Second, F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

The Records Commission report was given by Marian Garrett. She reviewed a request from the Administration Office to request permission from the Ohio Historical Society to destroy selected records from the Income Tax and Utility Departments. A comprehensive list was provided to each Council member. M. Garrett made a motion to approve, Second, F. Ballard. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

Mark Manlove advised that records should not be destroyed until the lawsuit issue with former employee Grace Krontiris was resolved.

Council went into Executive Session to discuss the lawsuit filed by former Fiscal Officer Grace Krontiris against the Village, Village employee personnel issues, Fire District legal issues and to discuss Council members protocol with the Village Administration and employees. F. Ballard made a motion to move into Executive Session at 8:00 PM. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

At 9:32 PM, J. Moore moved to return to Open Session. Second, M. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, S. Garrett, M. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Motion carried.

At 9:34 PM, F. Ballard moved to adjourn the meeting. There were no objections, and the meeting was adjourned.

Agenda

At least this is what I’m hoping happens today.  First, we have the lovely and gracious Fifty Plus study at church, which I lead, even though I’m only 31, but they keep telling me that its cool and all, and I still question it sometimes, I think they’re just coddling the cute kid preacher.  You see, Fifty Plus is supposed to be a Bible study group for folks who are above the age of fifty.  Its a bit of a novelty for a “kid” like me to be teaching it.  I’ve learned at least as much from them as they’ve learned from me (hopefully).  A side benefit is that every few weeks, we solve all the world’s problems in the space of a half hour, so we have that going for us.

Later on today, I’m going to be posting two items of a Village Council nature.  First, there was a Council meeting during the last week of July that I’ll be posting; its more lengthy than I expected.  Second, Chief DeSalvo presented a statement before Council on Tuesday evening that was requested to be made part of the Village Council Notes/Minutes-To-Be.  Officially, these will be “attached” to the Minutes and not quoted inline, so I’ll be posting them here separately.  Its pretty clear where the Chief is coming from, and very eye-opening information for those of us who did not know the complexity of the situation at the Windham Police Department.

In a couple of days, I expect to have the Council notes from the most recent meeting.  I also hope to get hold of one of the Township Trustees and start getting some of their information to the public also.  Have a nice day (it looks to be a good one so far)!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Shout out

To everyone that was at the Village Council meeting tonight, hey there, good to seee you all out.  There were 10 members of the public in attendance when I was there (I got there late and left early).  One of those was from “the press”, two if you pathetically count me. 

I was only there for half an hour, and even in that amount of time, there was quite a bit discussed.  I’ll get the notes asap for those of you who weren’t able to be in attendance and speak more about it at that time.

So you live in the new homes...

…and you don’t have enough room in that space that purports to be a living room?  I ran into a fellow who did a bit of remodelling on his place that included an inventive idea.  Instead of packing the television against one of the two walls (or three if you don’t mind it falling into the steps one day), he built a shelf over the steps that leads to the lower level of the house.  By doing this, he could turn around his entire living room set to face the stairwell, adding quite a bit of space to the cramped living room.

I can’t really describe in detail how he did it or anything, but it easily held about 750 pounds of equipment, plus had an in-the-wall section for the components such as stereo, vcr, dvd and the like.  It was really well done.  If anyone would like to know how to get in contact with him, get in touch with me.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Personalities

If you have a few minutes today, take this test and see if the results match up with your actual personality.  I’ve found it to be remarkably similar to what I’ve seen myself.

Typology Test

The results page will bring up two links near its bottom. 

I tested as an INTJ…found here and a more detailed description here.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 05, 2005


Hard at work.

Work?

Shade was definitely welcomed on the hot Saturday afternoon.

I'd say this one is pretty self-explanitory.

This kid has a serious future on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange. He was calling down cars to park that were three hundred feet away. Nice to see that every job had a worker though.

The Loneliest Walk

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Dearest "uptight"

(Because I didn’t feel like posting it at the Discussion Forum)

Living up to that name, aren't we?  As for the pictures, they're still sitting on my comp here.  I'm pretty disappointed in them, as they didn't turn out as well as I'd wished.  And honestly, I lost a bit of interest in the whole State thing when our teams made an early exit.  I'll post the good ones soon.

Kudos to those teams though, to progress to that level is truly a great accomplishment of which they should be proud.

And as for...

Please don't tell me about being a Minister, because we all have our day jobs.

Actually, I don't think I've ever told anyone on here about being a minister.  Thanks for taking the responsibility upon yourself to reveal it unto the masses.  Am I ashamed?  Not in the least, but I've always believed that information of a personal sort (including names, addresses, employment, and the like) should only be revealed by those who are personally involved.  How often have we argued on here about people revealing names and where they work? 

I'd also venture a guess that there are many people in this village who are more informed about what's going on around here now than they were six months ago.  I attribute that to the discussion on the forum.  (And IMNSHO, here also.)  My belief is that in the next six months, we will continue to see more involvement by persons in the community, as there is always a tendency for involvement to lag behind interest.

We have an election cycle that people have already taken an interest in.  These people are not necessarily out in the community doing the heavy lifting, but they are taking an interest in Village matters.  Is their involvement less important because they weren't painting buildings?  Are those people who have no interest in sports of lesser citizenship because they didn't get involved with the Hot Stove tournament?  Be careful whom you denigrate, because the net that you cast may catch fish that you didn't intend to ensnare.

Wow, that was really longer than it should have been.

Unannounced

You say you didn’t get the memo?  I did.  It said that at least half of the bloggers that I read were required to take a long weekend.  So I took the time and decided to kick back myself.

Anyway, we did take a few days to ourselves, especially after learning that my mother’s house was broken into last Friday sometime (and no, she doesn’t live on Cloverleaf, she’s 100 miles from here).  The thieves made off with somewhere in the realm of $300.00 but any one of you who’ve had break-ins of your home know that its not so much the money that was taken, but simply the fact that the house was broken into.  They did take my dad’s wallet and a ceramic bank that I made for him about 20 years ago, which hurts since he only passed away seven months ago.  She’s readily armed with one of the shotguns beside her bed now, and hopefully is about to get back to sleeping well soon.  I did have the opportunity to talk to one of our Amish friends and he recounted the robbery that occurred in his own home, while the entire family was in bed.  I think that would frighten me the most, but I have a tendency to snore, so most thieves would think that there was a bear in the house and run away.  Except now I’ve given away the secret. 

Note:  If you’re planning on breaking into my house, I actually *do* have a bear. 

It was nice to be home for a day though.  The family owns about 40 acres of land in a nice quiet valley with twittering birds, bubbling brook, baying cattle, and playful fawns.  Its pretty much a Disney film come to life.  Except without the hot redheaded mermaid.  Disappointing, I know.  And by the way, being far away from people, with the nearest neighbor over a half mile away?  It is all its cracked up to be.  While Windham is a groovy little town with all kinds of little quirks to like and dislike, there’s nothing like living in the country.  When you jam people together like you do in a city, even a small town like this one, people just go out of their ways to find something to complain about. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s political division in the country, even on a single farm.  The difference is that the cows usually are more concerned about feeding time than whether we had proper cause to go to war in Iraq.  Believe me, if they don’t get their way, they get pretty persnickety.  Not all that different from some people I know.  In either case.