Windham Twp. – Windham township monthly meeting started off with its regular format and quickly turned ugly after the trustees voted to not renew 15 year veteran Road Supervisor Rich Gano’s contract. The board took care of the new year’s business of appointing chairman and vice chairmen, filling zoning board positions and appeals position along with approving temporary appropriations including choosing legal counsel. The board adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters and returned shortly there after.
Chairman Dann Timmons asked for a motion to renew Rich Gano’s contract as road supervisor and no motion came forth. He moved on and asked for a motion to renew Mike Dye’s contract, a motion was made and the vote was taken with a unanimous decision to renew his contract at the rate of $16/hour as a township employee. Again Timmons asked for a motion on Gano’s contract and again silence was the response. Timmons stated that they had to do something so finally Brian Miller made a motion to not renew Rich Gano’s contract and trustee Jesse Wirick seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following results: Wirick, Yes; Miller, Yes; and Timmons, No. The motion carried with the trustees not renewing Gano’s contract. The residents in attendance were outraged and the meeting erupted with accusations of being unchristian, heartless and even having a vendetta against Gano, including accusing them of having some relative waiting in the wings to fill the slot. Most of the accusations were directed at the two trustees who voted to not re-new the contract and at times even a few threats were hurled. Folks question who would be plowing the roads and if Dye was released to return to work yet (He had been on a medical leave) and what would happen if we got hit with a big snow storm. Timmons responded by saying any of the trustees were capable of manning the plows and the roads would be done just as they had been done in the past. Residents wanted answers to why they chose not to renew his contract and trustees responded with, “We do not discuss personnel issues in an open meeting.”
It should be noted that Windham trustees traditionally offer 1 year contracts to employees and generally renew them at the beginning of each year.
In other employee issues the board voted to not renew Gano as the zoning inspector as well. A voice vote was taken with the following results Miller, Yes; Wirick, Yes; Timmons, No. Again the residents were outraged that the trustees would not re new his contract.
The trustees then voted to have Brian Miller serve as Road Supervisor, which again had the residents angry with their elected officials and accusing them of having an ulterior motive.
In other business, the trustees re-appointed Dann Timmons to represent them on the fire board. They are also working on finalizing road agreements with Braceville and Freedom. These two townships have roads that cross over into Windham Township and the trustees wanted some written agreement on which entity was maintaining and plowing which portion of the roads. The trustee also appointed Lynnea St. John to the zoning board of appeals and Tom Perry to the zoning commission. They also agreed to use the prosecutor’s office as a first line of legal counsel and Mark Finemore for other legal issues.
The board then accepted the Master’s Builder bid of $3408 for replacing ceiling tiles in the upper meeting room and sheriff’s office housed at the town hall. Lastly the board agreed to advertise for résumés for township worker and zoning inspector with résumés due by the next meeting which will be February 2, 2012 @ 7pm.