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Wellsville council may take administrators off the clock

WELLSVILLE — Five of the village’s full-time employees are more than just a little interested in how their contracts will shake out, after council voted Tuesday on ordinances repealing previous legislation governing their employment.

The ordinances govern the contracts of Village Administrator Jarrod Grimm, Fiscal Officer Hoi Wah Black, Fire Chief Barry Podwell, Police Chief Ed Wilson and police Lt. Marsha Eisenhart’s contracts.

Only Grimm and Podwell were in attendance at the regular meeting

Councilman Mike Lombardozzi voted against four of the five ordinances, which Mayor Nancy Murray said would change the employees, except Eisenhart, from hourly to salary.

The police lieutenant would remain hourly, utilizing a timeclock to document her hours.

Lombardozzi voted in favor of Black’s rewritten ordinance, which is pretty much the standard among city fiscal officers anyway.

Fire Chief Podwell expressed concerns about the new legislation governing his job, especially since he hadn’t been informed about any changes to the terms of his employment.

Council agreed to schedule a claims, rules and ordinances committee meeting at 6 p.m. July 14 at village hall and invite all the impacted employees.

Members also voted to accept their share of the CARES Act funds received from County commissioners, which is based on the Local Government Funds formula.

According to Mayor Murray, Wellsville expects to receive $49,661, which they have to send back Dec. 28 if they don’t spenD by Oct. 15 on general budget shortfalls and only COVID-related expenses.

In addition to supplies related to city hall’s efforts to meet state guidelines, Murray proposed spending $12,000 on 30 new Hewlett Packard laptops for the Wellsville school district to give to those students who have a need and don’t have access to computers at home.

In a letter included in the council packet, Wellsville Superintendent Richard Bereschik outlined the need, especially since he expected students to begin the school year with distance learning from home.

Council wholeheartedly approved the move.

Murray said that if the village is at risk of losing the money, she would rather spend it on the youth. “I’m not sending this back,” she added.

The district wil remain ownership of the laptops, which they will circulate as need much like East Liverpool does its Chromebooks.

She expects the laptops to cost $400 each.

Council as a whole is next expected to meet at 6 p.m. July 21.

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