Work Session

Perry Township Board of Trustees

Work Session

July 10, 2012 7:00pm

Excused absence:  Trustee Doug Haines and Fiscal Officer Joe Schlegel

Discussion of Proposed General Fund Levy

Trustee Chessler stated that the Board has allocated time at the last meeting and at this meeting for the public to come and state their comments regarding a proposed general fund levy.  There was an editorial in the Independent newspaper encouraging residents to come to the meeting and speak on this matter.  The Board has received a few comments so far from some residents who put forth ideas on what they think the Board should do prior to seeking an increase in taxes.  Trustee Chessler stated that Mr. Schlegel has made a compelling case on why the Township is in need of a general fund levy.  The Township is going to be losing revenue that previously constituted a rather large portion of the general fund budget.  The Board opened the floor to anyone who wished to address the Board.

Konrad Fuetter- 1115 Western Ave. SW.  Mr. Fuetter stated that he strongly supports the proposed general fund levy.  With all of the cuts from the State of Ohio there is no way for local governments to make up the money that they will be losing.  Trustee Chessler stated that Mr. Fuetter works for a government entity outside of Perry Township and has an understanding of the affect that the cuts have on a budgeted public sector.  Mr. Fuetter stated that he works for Cuyahoga County Budget Management.  

Tim Blythe- 2956 Bridgeton St. NW.  Mr. Blythe inquired about what other residents are suggesting and whether or not the Board has done anything to implement any of those changes.  Trustee Chessler stated that Mr. Blythe has taken the most time and provided the most comments so far.  There were other comments received at last weeks Board meeting and others were received electronically.  Those comments mostly echoed what Mr. Blythe has stated but in less detail.    Trustee Laubacher stated that he has received some information regarding the street lighting from AEP and there may be some areas where the Township may be able to cut some things.

Mr. Blythe inquired if there has been any discussion regarding the health care for the elected officials.  Mr. Blythe stated that the Law Director has his own business and works for several other Townships but chooses to receive benefits through Perry Township.  Trustee Chessler stated that he has his own thoughts and has done his preliminary investigations but what he is most uncomfortable about is that the Board has imposed on themselves a very short time frame in which to operate in order to get an issue on the ballot for November.  Trustee Chessler stated that he commends Mr. Schlegel for looking ahead to see what was coming down the tracks and indentifying that the Township has a problem that will definitely be here in the future.  The Township is going to make it through 2012 and it is going to be tight for 2013.  Trustee Chessler stated that he feels the Board needs to take a serious look at all of the issues raised and he would be pushing to not rush into a decision where the homework isn’t being done.  The Board should have an adequate plan to propose to the voters on efficiencies and sacrifices.  Trustee Chessler stated that he is more in favor of waiting to put this proposed levy on the ballot until next May.

Mr. Blythe stated that Mr. Schlegel has been informing the Board of these issues for over a year.  The Board knew that in 2013 the funds were going to be tight.  Mr. Blythe stated that the Board should have been having discussions over the last six (6) months to make changes and cuts to prepare.  Trustee Chessler stated that the Board was made aware and have been considering options.  It’s easy to say, “do we really need this person and their job or do we really need to provide this person with benefits.”  Those are great ideas and they sound fantastic but to implement them unilaterally is cold.  Mr. Blythe stated that regardless of whether or not there is a levy the Township still needs to look at these issues to be fiscally responsible.  Trustee Chessler stated that he understands that but you can’t just knee jerk and say “ok we did it.”  Mr. Blythe stated that in business if something happens you immediately make changes and take the steps to do what you can to bring those services back as the money comes in.  You can’t keep operating as is and hope for the best.  Trustee Chessler stated that he believes that he and Mr. Blythe are on the same page but he is concerned with the timing of it all.  Trustee Laubacher explained that if the Board waited until next year to place the levy on the ballot there would be two (2) opportunities to do so.  If the levy passes then the money will start coming in at the beginning of 2014.  Therefore, during the next six (6) months the Board can begin to implement some of these ideas that the residents are coming up with.  Trustee Laubacher stated that Administrator Fetzer is attending a meeting in the morning regarding health insurance to find out if there are ways the Township can save money.

Trustee Chessler stated that he understands that the residents will want to see that the Board has made some efficiencies and that the services have been prioritized.  Once the Township shows that sacrifices have been made and we are down to the bone then if you don’t want to vote for this levy then these are the things that will have to be cut.  Mr. Blythe stated that he truly does want the levy to pass because you can’t cut $600,000.00 from a one million dollar budget and still expect there to be parks and other things that are in the Township.  If the levy passes, there should be a plan to continue to address cost saving problems.  Mr. Blythe stated that Perry Park is an embarrassment.  Trustee Chessler stated that if Perry Township had a similar budget to neighboring Townships for parks then improvements could be made.  Mr. Blythe stated that he is not trying to compare Perry Township to Jackson or Plain.  Trustee Chessler stated that a lot of the things Mr. Blythe characterizes as an embarrassment are a function of the lack of funds.  Mr. Blythe stated that he and Trustee Chessler will have to agree to disagree because a lot of the things that can be done at the park wouldn’t cost anything.  It’s a matter of maintenance.  It takes time and a little bit of effort.  The parks employees should not be mowing the grass.  The Township could contract the parks out for less then what they pay the employees to mow the grass.  The Park Superintendent should be indentifying issues with the parks.  It doesn’t take that much to fix those things if they are identified and attacked when they need fixed.  Trustee Chessler stated that he understands Mr. Blythe’s concerns.  

Additions/Deletions to Agenda: None.

Public Hearings/Invited Guests: None.

Communications:  None.

Public Speaks on items up for Board Approval: None.

Township Business requiring Board Action: None.

Unfinished Business:

New Business:

Trustee Chessler made a motion to approve bills in the amount of $21,062.38 for the week ending July 10, 2012; Seconded by Trustee Laubacher.

ROLL CALL: Mr. Chessler, yes.  Mr. Laubacher, yes.  

Fiscal Officer:  None.

Administration:  None.

Fire Department: None.

Police Department: None.

Road Department: None.

Law Director: None.

Zoning: None.

Parks/Recycling: None.

Executive Session(s):  None.

Department Matters Not Requiring Board Action:

Administration: None.

Fire Department: None.

Parks/Recycling: None.

Police Department: None.

Road Department: None.


Law Director: None.

Upcoming Events:

  1. Perry Township Business Exchange Meeting- July 17, 2012 at 7:30am at the Perry Township Police Department Community Room- Submit on line RSVP response at

Public Speaks-Open Forum: None.


With nothing further to come before the Board, Trustee Chessler made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:20pm; Seconded by Trustee Laubacher.

ROLL CALL: Mr. Chessler, yes.  Mr. Laubacher, yes.  Mr. Haines, yes.


Craig E. Chessler, President                                   

 Joe Schlegel, Fiscal Officer