Swanton’s finance director submits resignation

Village resident raises fire, rescue concerns

By Drew Stambaugh - [email protected]

Swanton Village Council approved the resignation of Finance Director Jason Vasko and heard concerns about the Fire and Rescue Division during a pair of meetings last week.

Vasko had been in the position for a little under one year. Mayor Neil Toeppe reported at the Tuesday, Jan. 24 meeting that Vasko said he is “pursuing other interests.”

Also on Tuesday, Village Council approved four emergency resolutions. One was for an agreement with Soma Global on behalf of the Fire and Rescue Department for CAD software program upgrades.

The other three were for grant applications. The first is for an Ohio EPA water system equipment grant. The second is for the Ohio Department of Transportation Systemic Safety Program. The third is for the the FEMA Assistance for Firefighters grant program.

The emergency items were approved on Tuesday because Samantha Disbrow and Mike Disbrow were not at the Monday meeting due to a funeral. There were not enough Council members in attendance Monday to approve those items.

On Monday, village resident Chad Branum expressed to Council his concerns about the Fire and Rescue Department. He said he was looking for transparency regarding the department.

“I think the public needs to know how poorly things are being done and how poorly the state of affairs is at the fire and EMS department.”

Branum said that the Metamora Amboy department has more paramedics on staff than Swanton, despite being smaller. “Metamora has a better roster with more paramedics than Swanton does,” Branum said.

He said the number of employees in the department is not enough for the department with the second most runs in the county.

Toeppe responded on Wednesday. He said recently there were three full-time paramedics and one part-time. One full-time employee took a full-time job at Port Clinton.

He added a new paramedic was hired but “until he is familiar with our equipment and procedures, he will be supported for a few shifts by the paramedics from A and C shifts. They will work their 24 hour shifts then each work 12 hours on B shift to help acclimate the new paramedic.”

He added that training to become a paramedic is rigorous.

Planning Commission Chairman Roger DeGood spoke to Council about changes to land use codes in the village. He said about three years of labor has gone into the changes.

It will “update our current land use codes from an old antiquated system into something that is more up to date and more reflects what our goals are,” he said.

DeGood added that old codes were a mash up dating back to probably the creation of codes in the village.

Current properties will not be forced to change their land use to the new codes.

Council approved the first reading of the ordinance to update the codes.

In her report, Administrator Shannon Shulters gave an update on some safety related purchases. “There is no longer need for the discussion of a ladder truck that we had talked about in the fire advisory Board meeting, due to Delta Fire purchasing one,” said Shulters.

A Dodge Durango has been ordered to replace the chief’s Chevy Tahoe, she added.

Turn out gear was also purchased. Toeppe said it is a requirement to regularly replace turnout gear.

The date for the 2023 Independence Day fireworks was announced as July 1.

Also, Bob Simpson of the Pharaoh’s Car Club announced they will not be holding a car show at this year’s Corn Festival. He said they do not have enough members able to do it.

Village resident raises fire, rescue concerns

By Drew Stambaugh

[email protected]