A unanimous vote with all five of Greenfield Village Council members present brought an end to the village’s Civil Service Commission at Wednesday’s meeting.
The legislation was set for its second reading, but council members voted to suspend the rules and adopted the ordinance as an emergency, meaning that the effect is immediate.
According to council chair Betty Jackman on Thursday, since it is a village, Greenfield is not required to have a Civil Service Commission. “We don’t need it. It’s not required, so why have the commission?” Jackman said. As to voting the legislation as an emergency instead of leaving it to go for three readings, Jackman said the thought was to “go ahead and be done with it.”
There has been no discussion in open session on the matter since it was first brought up during a council meeting in May when, following an executive session, council passed a motion allowing the village to move forward in the process of dissolving the commission.
Dissolving the commission comes about eight months after the beginning of litigation against the village and the commission in regard to matters involving testing to fill former police chief Tim Hester’s position. Currently, Sgt. Jeremiah Oyer is acting chief.
According to law director Brian Zets on Wednesday as to whether the passage of the legislation dissolving the commission makes the litigation moot, he said the matter remains up to the courts.
In other matters, Greenfield City Manager Ron Coffey reported that the Greenfield Police Department so far this year has investigated far more incidents than this time last year.
In the report provided by Coffey, so far this year the GPD has investigated 656 offenses. At this time last year the number of offenses investigated was 197. Another statistic listed is that of calls received and handled by the department. The report shows that for January through May of this year the GPD has received 1,897 calls, while through the same time last year the department had received 1,726 calls.
Acting police chief Jeremiah Oyer said Thursday that the main reason for the difference in the amount of offenses investigated is that rather than waiting for calls to come in, the officers are out patrolling. He said that the officers “go out and do their job,” and he said that is how things will continue as long as he is at the helm.
Also listed in the report is that the department was able to provide a $500 scholarship to a McClain High School student. The department also donated $100 to help support the annual Daryle Unger & Peanut Memorial Kids Fishing Derby. In other community support endeavors, elementary students were treated to a demonstration by Greenfield’s K-9 Rony when the students took a field trip to the Greenfield Historical Society in May.
In other business, another ordinance had its first reading on Wednesday allowing Coffey to execute a memorandum of understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police in regard to law enforcement contracts as to hiring and promoting due to the lack of a Civil Service Commission.
Council entered into an executive session for the purpose of preparing “for negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation and other terms and conditions of their employment.” No action was taken following council’s return to open session.
Coffey reported that he attended the grand opening of Friel & Associates on June 7 at its location at 1020 Jefferson St. Services offered at the addiction counseling center include intensive outpatient groups, substance abuse education groups, relapse prevention groups, after-care groups, individual counseling, crisis intervention, and case management.
As previously reported, the counseling center works with the courts, Children Services agencies, and accepts walk-in referrals.
“It takes everybody working together,” Pat Friel previously said, to combat the addiction issues that have left no community untouched.
The Greenfield Village Council meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building. The meetings are open to the public. To be put on the agenda, call the village offices at 937-981-3500.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.