Fire department creating new position


By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]



Wauseon Fire Chief Rick Sluder will pursue the creation of a new multi-tasking position within the fire department that will ease the burden of paperwork and other time-consuming responsibilities.

Wauseon City Council on Monday approved a recommendation by the city’s Personnel Committee for an executive assistant position in the fire department. Sluder said the position will assist in fielding telephone calls, documenting and reporting major incidents on-scene, completing paperwork, and handling department-related problems, among other duties.

He said the position will free up himself and other fire personnel from those daily tasks. The executive assistant would also receive some fire training in order to respond to some calls.

Sluder told the committee at its Sept. 1 meeting the new position would not interfere with or overlap with the present assistant fire chief position. He said the position is part of long-range planning for the fire department.

The executive assistant position proposal will be sent to Clemans Nelson and Associates, a Dublin, Ohio, consulting firm, to determine job classification and wage before undergoing further review.

In related business, Personnel Committee member Heather Kost said the city’s updated Classification and Compensation plan is nearly complete through Clemans Nelson. The plan lists the job classification and salary assigned to each city position, and covers wage increases based on inflation, merit or certification.

The city will assess the market every few years to determine whether its wages are comparable. Kost said the Classification and Compensation Plan was first developed by Clemans Nelson in the 1990s.

In new business, council members approved a motion to agree to an alternate plan by the Fulton County Budget Commission to apportion the Undivided Local Government Fund on the basis of need and the prior year’s apportionment.

They also approved Mayor Kathy Huner’s recommendation that the salaries of Sluder and Director of Finance Jamie Giguere be increased to their positions’ minimum salary amount in the proposed revised compensation plan.

And motions were approved to schedule Halloween trick or treat for Monday, Oct. 31, 6-7:30 p.m., and fall clean-up for Wauseon residents only from Oct. 7-15.

In department reports:

• Sluder reported that the Fulton County Commissioners have purchased cutting-edge cardiopulmonary equipment for Wauseon’s fire department. He said the department has conducted training on the “highly successful” equipment the last few weeks, and has used it on a couple of occasions.

• Police Chief Keith Torbet said the annual eight-week Citizens Police Academy begins Thursday, Sept. 15. He said several spots are still available, and interested parties should contact the department.

He said sidewalks in front of the Wauseon Public Library on Elm Street will close for about two months in late September as work on the building’s facade is completed.

In response to a question by Councilor Shane Chamberlin, Torbet said car traffic can proceed through a section of Glenwood Avenue once daily barricades set up during morning and afternoon school hours are removed each day. Torbet said traffic can move through the area during the restricted times only if children are out of the area and the barricades have been removed by the crossing guard.

• Reporting for Public Service Director Dennis Richardson, who was absent from the meeting, Mayor Kathy Huner said contract bids for the city’s new community pool have been extended to Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m. Huner said the completion of concrete work scheduled for the project’s end has been extended to May 31, 2017, in anticipation of inclement weather.

• Giguere said August income tax revenue was down slightly from a year ago.

The city council also approved:

• The first readings of resolutions to adopt classification and compensation plans.

• The first reading of a resolution to accept a recommendation by the Revolving Loan Fund Committee authorizing the mayor to enter into agreement with Shannon’s Backyard Barbeque and Grill LLC and its principals.

• The first reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 148, Wage and Compensation Plan, of the city’s codified ordinances.

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.