Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — Villagers and municipal employees said Monday that efforts to appoint a new executive official and pursue a dissolution plan have brought uncertainty and distrust to the village.
Monday’s meeting was the first to happen since the village received $50,000 in state funding to come up with a dissolution implementation plan. That led Mayor Andrew Meier and members of the village board to defend their intentions and ability to realize cost savings through the appointment of a village coordinator.
“Our intent is to hire (a coordinator) and proceed with the dissolution plan,” said Meier, who along with the entire village board voiced continued support for the proposals. “I think we can multi-task.”
The board approved advertising the village’s intention to fill the long-vacant role earlier this month, a move tied to the retirement of Village Clerk/Treasurer Peggy Crowley. Former village Trustee Owen Toale and other residents expressed doubts the new position’s salary, which Meier said would be around $70,000 to $80,000, could be covered by retirement reductions.
Meier said the projected savings after the full turnover of two retirement-based vacancies to lower-wage replacements and the new position would be about $15,000. Toale later noted that equals the village’s contributions to an earlier consolidation study and the new plan.
“Where’s the money coming from,” Toale asked. “I don’t see a great savings.”
Meier said the savings would be revealed in the village’s incoming budget work and an “open process” for plotting out a dissolution. But many residents will need to see more from their officials to be reassured about the plans.
Residents also questioned whether the process of finding and hiring the coordinator was transparent.
The advertisement for the position, which is viewable in full at www.tinyurl.com/villagecoordinator, asks candidates to send their resumes to Meier via email or the mayor’s post office box. That opens the selection process to questions of fairness and favoritism, residents said.