April 18, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Westfield Twp. looks to appoint fiscal officer soon

Westfield Township trustees hope to appoint a fiscal officer next week to fill the unexpired term of Sandy Tryon.

Trustee James Likley said two residents have applied for the position as of Wednesday: Kathy Zweifel and Linda Farnsworth.

Trustees have 30 days — until Wednesday — to make an appointment and will hold an executive session meeting at 5 p.m. Monday to interview both candidates.

“We expect to come out with an appointment,” Likley said.

Zweifel is an alternate on the Zoning Commission and earlier has served as a zoning commission alternate from 2009 to 2011. She has a bachelor of science in pre-law from the University of Akron and has 20 years of experience in the construction industry, according to her resume.

Farnsworth has served as the treasurer for the Cloverleaf Booster Club for more than 15 years, and studied accounting at the Wayne County Career Center while in high school.

Her most recent employment, according to an email she sent to Likley, was as a data processing manager and supervisor at The Mail Room Inc. in Medina from 1991 to 2002.

The trustees had set Jan. 25 as a deadline for applying, but Likley said the trustees will accept all applications from residents interested in serving the township.

The township was left without a fiscal officer after Tryon resigned Jan. 6 and assistant fiscal officer Martha Evans resigned at a trustees meeting three days later.

Evans was elected as fiscal officer in November 2011 but resigned before her term began in April 2012. She had agreed to serve in an interim capacity until a new fiscal officer was appointed.

Tryon was the only one to file with the Board of Elections and ran unopposed. Trustees appointed her to the position and she was officially elected in November. Tryon then hired Evans as assistant.

On Jan. 10, trustees struck an agreement with Guilford Township fiscal officer Ray Ruprecht to serve as fiscal officer in a temporary emergency capacity.

“Mr. Ruprecht is doing an excellent job for us, meeting all the needs of the township, and just getting bills paid and keeping the lights on,” Likley said.

Former trustee and now zoning inspector Carolyn Sims said that if trustees fail to appoint a fiscal officer by Wednesday, they will have to pull Tryon’s candidate petition from the Board of Elections to see if she appointed a nominating committee.

A nominating committee would be responsible for naming her replacement in the event of an unexpired term that trustees cannot fill.

If there is no nominating committee named on the filing, a county judge would then appoint a replacement.

Sims said fiscal officer candidates need only be eligible voters, meaning they are 18, have no felony convictions and live within township jurisdiction. They must also be eligible for bonding.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.

  • Carolyn Sims

    Dear Dan Pompili:
    Why am I quoted in your news article today? You contacted me yesterday clearly stating you were in need of reference information and the conversation would not be made part of your article. Under those conditions, I assisted you in referencing the Ohio Revised Code requirements for Fiscal Officer, the timeline and the Board of Elections procedures for filling the vacancy in Westfield. I
    further directed you to confirm those references through the BOE, ORC and
    township meeting minutes. My concern is that the article is misleading by attributing this general Fiscal Officer information as a quote from me. Your news article gives the false impression that I am involved in the appointment procedure – which I am not. Only because I am knowledgeable, I merely assisted you in good faith towards locating readily available public information about the Fiscal Officer position in general, and it’s requirements. I hope this was an oversight, and not a case of “no good deed goes unpunished” in my on-going attempt to assist the Gazette in gathering timely and accurate information for it’s readers.
    Thanks Dan.
    Carolyn Sims

    PS: I have provided below the Ohio Revised Code section I referenced:
    503.24 Vacancy in township office:
    If there is a vacancy by reason of the nonacceptance, death, or removal of a person chosen to an office in any township at the regular election, or if there is a vacancy from any other cause, the board of township trustees shall appoint a person having the qualifications of an elector to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term or until a successor is elected.If a township is without a board or if no appointment is made within thirty days after the occurrence of a vacancy, a majority of the persons designated as the committee of five on the last-filed nominating petition of the township officer whose vacancy is to be filled who are residents of the township shall appoint a person having the qualifications of an elector to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term or until a successor is elected. If at least three of the committee members who are residents of the township cannot be found, or if that number of such members fails to make an appointment within ten days after the thirty-day period in which the board of township trustees is authorized to make an appointment, then the presiding probate judge of the county shall appoint a suitable person having the qualifications of an elector in the township to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term or until a successor is elected.