By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer
PAULDING – In their weekly meeting with Paulding County EMA director Randy Shaffer, county commissioners put the squeeze on the director regarding turning in reports necessary to satisfy paperwork requirements for a grant that expires in June.
In last week’s meeting (March 31), Shaffer had assured the commissioners that he had sent in reports for the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of this year.
However, on Monday, the commissioners asked Shaffer once again as to whether the last quarter of 2013 had been sent in.
“Last Monday, I questioned you as to whether or not that stuff had been sent in and you said it had been sent in,” said Commissioner Tony Zartman.
“I thought it had,” said Shaffer.
Shaffer said that straightening out the matter will be this week’s project.
Zartman instructed Shaffer that he has a reprimand in writing concerning the matter, but if Shaffer could clear things up by next week, he would tear up the reprimand.
Commissioners also questioned Shaffer as to whether or not he needed copies of vouchers to send in. Shaffer responded that he needs copies of warrants (checks). Commissioner Roy Klopfenstein said he would speak with the auditor’s office to see if there is any way to simplify the process.
The commissioners and Shaffer spent a considerable amount of time discussing the possibility of an upgraded EMS vehicle. Shaffer said that there is a very disturbing noise associated with the current vehicle, a 2000 model with 202,000 miles on it.
Zartman referred to an EMPG grant that would cover 50 percent of the cost of an upgraded vehicle.
“I think we should look at lightly used vehicles,” said Zartman.
Shaffer referred to Statewide Ford in Van Wert which he said had supplied vehicles for other EMA agencies and commissioners agreed to inquire about the matter.
In the March 31 meeting, Shaffer had requested the assistance of part-time clerical help to assist with paperwork and reports. At that time, Klopfenstein said that it had been considered, and he instructed Shaffer to make a list of major duties that could be completed by a clerical assistant.
When Klopfenstein asked Shaffer for his list response this week, the EMA director replied, “The biggest thing is reimbursement grants. Secondly, we need someone to keep our list of resources updated. Twenty-five percent of businesses that we list as resources are probably out of business now. We need to call the businesses we have in there to see if they are correct.”
“I’m sure that the skill of the clerk would depend on how fast that could get done,” responded Klopfenstein.
In the March 31 meeting, a disagreement had occurred between Shaffer and the commissioners concerning the replacement of the county radio station because of its ineffectiveness to give total service to law enforcement on a countywide basis.
Shaffer’s biggest concern was that of the cost of monthly user fee for the use of a MARCS system of radios if the commissioners decided to purchase it.
In meetings on March 24 and March 31, the commissioners had confronted Shaffer, asking if he had initiated a a phone call to Lima Radio Service suggesting they interfere in an attempt by the commissioners to apply for a different frequency for county usage.
Shaffer said that he had verbalized a difference in opinion, discouraging the changing of options. But he emphasized that he did not suggest that a phone call be made to the FCC to interfere with anything.
Commissioner Fred Pieper stated that he believed that the commissioners should not doubt Shaffer’s word concerning the matter.