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Police chief resigns; says working conditions ‘unfair, unpleasant’

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
FPS Reporter

Carrollton Police Chief Ron Yeager resigned his position Monday saying the last two years have been “unpleasant.”

In his resignation, dated Feb. 18, Yeager stated, “The last two years have been both unpleasant and unfair working conditions for me and I have chosen to retire rather than continue.”

Yeager has been with the department for 43 years, serving as Chief of Police for 26 years.  He also noted he would continue his law enforcement career with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. Yeager has been on vacation since Dec. 31.

Sgt. Robert Ellington has been filling in as acting chief since Jan. 4. At the Feb. 10 council meeting, he was given a five percent pay raise retroactive to Jan. 14. (According to the Policy & Procedure Manual, an employee must serve in a higher position for 10 days before the pay increase comes into effect.)

Mayor Frank Leghart read Yeager’s letter of resignation and told council he would entertain a motion to make it effective at 12:01 a.m. March 4. Leghart recommended appointing Ellington to the position of Chief of Police at the date and time of Yeager’s resignation. Council approved both the resignation and the appointment.

“Sgt. Ellington has been acting chief since Jan. 4,” explained Leghart. “He has done an excellent job and showed himself to be successful in the position.”

Ellington began his law enforcement career Nov. 22, 1993, with the village. His current salary is $18.08 per hour or $37,606.40 annually (without overtime or the rate increase for acting chief). Yeager was making $44,749.02. Council agreed for Ellington’s rate of pay to increase to $44,749.02 when he becomes Chief of Police.

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance waiving the residency requirement for the Chief of Police of the Village of Carrollton since Ellington doesn’t live in the village limits.

Don and Lydia Lucas of 351 E. Main St., Carrollton, attended the meeting for an update on the retaining wall/ property damage and sanitary sewer issue. Leghart said village employees televised the line and were able to deduce the problem is not related to the wall damage but to a repair made prior to the Lucas’ owning the home. A Fernco fitting, similar to a rubber boot, was used to repair the line at a previous time. The fitting is now failing and may be causing the issue. The remainder of the pipe is in good shape.

Don Lucas said he can’t understand how the fitting failure is not the village’s problem. “When the trucks hit the wall and tear everything up, the dirt and land move,” said Lucas. “When you move the bank back four feet, it’s going to cause a problem.”

Leghart noted it is going to be hard to convince someone it is their fault and not just the failure of the fitting, when historically Fernco fittings fail. Lucas asked, “Who’s to say the village of Carrollton didn’t do the repair over 30 years ago?” Leghart felt since the repair was on private property, the village probably did not do the repair.

Regarding the retaining wall and property damage, Leghart said he is still pursuing what can be done and has contacted State Representative Andy Thompson.

In other business, council:
-HEARD monthly supervisor reports.

-LEARNED one bid was received for replacing the spouting on the west side of the Safety Building. The spouting is rusted and, with freezing conditions, is making the sidewalk slick. Dorsett Construction and Remodeling of Greentown submitted a bid of $3,700 to remove and haul away the old spouting and install new spouting. The bid included the use of existing hangers. Councilman Andy Gonda questioned if the company knew the spouting and fascia were one piece and remarked the existing hangers cannot be reused. Gonda is going to contact the company for details.

-APPROVED the purchase of 2014 Charger equipped with a police package for Carrollton Police. Greve Chrysler of Van Wert submitted the state contract bid for $27,182.75. The cost does not include light bars, etc.

-HEARD Leghart and Village Solicitor Clark Battista attended a meeting which lasted over four hours with Advanced Power, Washington Township trustees and representatives of the Carrollton Exempted Village School District regarding a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) and in conjunction with an enterprise zone agreement. “There is still a lot of work to be done,” noted Leghart. He will keep council apprised of the situation. The next meeting will be held in March.

-WAS told the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad will make repairs on the crossing on W. Main St.

-SCHEDULED a public works committee meeting March 10 at 6 p.m.

-AGREED to advertise for an auxiliary police officers. With recent resignations in the police department, a part-time officer will be promoted to full-time status. Ellington will post the option and make a recommendation at a later time.

-DISCUSSED increasing Street Department Supervisor Ken Skinner’s wage to match the previous supervisor’s rate of pay at the time of termination. Councilwoman Wilma Lambert suggested taking the issue to committee for discussion. A personnel and safety meeting is set March 10 at 6:30 p.m.

-LEARNED the village has “POTHOLES” and they are being filled.

-PAID bills totaling $106,205.05 for vendors and $38,681.24 for payroll.

-SET the next council meeting March 10 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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