The Board of Mad River Township Trustees met Monday, November 2 for a regular meeting to discuss township issues.
During the meeting, Trustee Joe Catanzaro said he had been in touch with Job and Family Services concerning the township’s filings for the past several years. Catanzaro he said he was curious to see how many late fees the township had incurred since 2010. He said he had a difficult time gaining access to the records he wished to see, saying it took a lengthy process to prove who he was, which he said concerns him because the board is wholly reliant upon the fiscal officer to keep them abreast of financial dealings.
“It’s fine in the case of Miss Leonard,” he said of Mad River Township Fiscal Officer Maralee Leonard. “But I think this is something we might need to push to the state,” Catanzaro said of trustees’ access to financial statements.
He presented a letter from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Office of Unemployment Compensation that he had requested concerning any late fees that have been applied to the township since 2010. Catanzaro said a representative of Job and Family Services responded to his request in the form of a letter stating that JFS has not received Mad River Township’s unemployment quarterly tax returns for several periods including: the fourth quarter of 2013, all four quarters of 2014, and the first two quarters of 2015.
The letter states that the returns should be filed immediately, with “payment of all amounts due,” and that failure to file will result in “assignment of a delinquency rate, loss of federal unemployment tax credit, and inaccurate calculation of taxable wages resulting in higher tax amount due for subsequent quarters.”
Catanzaro said the JFS representative told him that the same letter had been mailed to the fiscal officer, and he asked Leonard if she had received such a letter. Leonard said she had not received this letter in the mail, and that she handles JFS correspondences via email. He said the representative also told him that a late penalty could not be assessed until the returns were filed. Leonard said she would “look into” the matter and get back with the board.
Also during the meeting, Mad River Township Deputy Jeff Wise spoke on the recent school threats throughout the county, saying that an arrest had been made in the first threat against Greenon, but none have been made in the threat last week. Trustee Kathy Estep asked Wise if he thought the threats to be “copycat” acts. He said it was difficult to say, but noted that he thought kids really just wanted to get out of school.
Wise said that the recent threat against Tecumseh High School cost approximately $14,000 in man hours, adding: “That’s an expensive delay.”
Hustead and Enon Fire and EMS departments assisted with the threats at Greenon.
Hustead Fire Chief Larry Ridenour said that his department attended a meeting with Greenon administrators on October 27, along with Enon Fire Chief Tracy Young and Deputy Wise, to discuss methods of handling the now common threats against schools. Ridenour said the meeting was intended to put “everyone on the same playing field with the threats,” and said they had no clue that they would have to respond to another bomb threat at Greenon the very next day.
Ridenour said that multiple agencies will meet for a “county-wide tabletop exercise” in coming weeks to prepare strategies on handling the growing issue of school threats.
Ridenour urged residents to change the batteries in their smoke detectors on the heels of the time change, saying that home smoke alarms are “the cheapest line of defense a homeowner has against house fires.” He said this is the time of year that fires become more prevalent due to heating sources and issues.
Resident Loretta Lawrence attended the meeting to thank Deputy Wise for his dedication to breast cancer awareness. Ms. Lawrence said she is a breast cancer survivor, and wanted to bestow a gift upon Deputy Wise for his endeavors in the cause. She presented Wise with a blender/juicing system, saying that the healthy eating habits it promotes will keep him and his family healthy.
Deputy Wise said he could not accept the gift because of company policy, but asked Lawrence if he could donate the gift to the sheriff’s office’s match against the Junior Minutemen wheelchair basketball league on Friday, to which she agreed.
The Mad River Township Trustees meet the first and third Monday of each month at the fire station at 7:30 p.m., with the public always welcome.