EAST LIVERPOOL - Police Chief Mike McVay was remembered during Monday night's City Council meeting as a fine man and one of the city's top leaders for 30 years who left behind a capable department when he died suddenly Nov. 26.
During his report to council, Safety-Service Director Ryan Estell said the city had lost "a fine man" who had been important to the city and who has "done more than people know."
Saying McVay always took care of whatever needed done, Estell said, "Any man who fights for his department as he did is a good man. He wanted what was best for his department and wanted what was best for the city."
Estell said he has been trying to make arrangements for the department since McVay's death, including naming Capt. Norm Curtis acting chief, who he said he hopes stays on until a new chief takes over.
To that end, Estell said he has already petitioned the Civil Service Commission to hold a promotional exam for the chief's position and a patrolman's exam, saying there will be a patrolman's position to fill once the chief's spot is filled.
"I'm trying to take care of the vacancies in as timely a manner as possible," Estell told council.
He reminded council that an assistant chief's exam will be conducted by the Civil Service Commission on Wednesday night and a firefighters' exam is also coming up, the first one since 2002.
Once the written portion of the firefighters' exam is complete, the agility test will be held for those who pass.
Council members weighed in on McVay's impact on the city, with Councilman Sherrie Curtis expressing her sympathy to his family and also saying she has confidence in the captains, all of whom she said are capable of running the police department.
"The department is in good hands," she said.
Councilman Brian Kerr said McVay "trained them well," while Councilman Ryan Stovall who served as a police officer under McVay said he was shocked by the chief's untimely death but that "everyone stepped up as they are supposed to do."
A former city firefighter, Councilman Ray Perorazio recollected he and McVay negotiating their respective contracts and said the chief was fun but was always professional.
President of Council John Torma said he thought McVay's comments at the last council meeting were some of the most positive he'd witnessed in his 22 years in office, saying, "He was trying to make everything right for the city. He did leave us in good hands. I'm proud of the rest of the department."