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West Side News & Notes

2/28/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Norton settles Matheny case

NORTON — At the Feb. 19 Norton City Council meeting, members unanimously agreed to pay $15,000 to settle a federal case brought by Nicholas Matheny, a police officer who was fired by the city in November 2010.

The suit alleged discrimination and originally was asking for $1 million in damages, according to Norton Law Director Peter Kostoff.

Kostoff said the case was a “nuisance lawsuit,” saying there was never any evidence brought forward to substantiate Matheny’s claims.

The city could have spent significant resources fighting the case, said city officials.

According to Kostoff, Matheny has another state case pending — a collective bargaining issue now in the 9th District Court of Appeals.

“The city one is done at this point,” said Clerk of Council Karla Richards.

According to Administrative Officer Richard Ryland, the city will pay $10,000 of the settlement, and insurance will pay $5,000.

Councilwoman Charlotte Whipkey (at large) stated that in the long run, settling the case would be cheaper than to keep fighting it and paying more in legal fees.

Kostoff contends there was no wrongdoing on the part of city officials, and if decided in court, Council strongly feels the city would have prevailed.

In other business at the meeting, Council voted unanimously to adopt two ordinances, following third readings of the proposed legislation.

The first authorizes the mayor or his designee to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for resurfacing on Interstate 76.

The second authorizes the mayor and/or administrative officer to enter a cost-sharing agreement with the city of New Franklin for the resurfacing of a portion of Cleveland-Massillon Road and related costs.

[Council also met Feb. 25. For information on that meeting, see Page 5.]


Peninsula still pondering police chief position

PENINSULA — No decision has been made concerning whether to hire a full- or part-time police chief for Peninsula Village.

Village Council met Feb. 21 in a special session to hash out the issue, but no decision was reached, according to Fiscal Officer John Stiegel. Mayor Doug Mayer told Council at the Feb. 11 meeting he recommended hiring a part-time chief after reviewing village finances through 2015. Without an increase in revenue, the village would not be able to afford a full-time chief by 2015, he said.

Stiegel said Mayer also said at the meeting he intended to close the village’s Mayor’s Court at some future date.

Council also discussed the 2013 budget at the Feb. 21 meeting, but did not take action, Stiegel said. He said he expected Council to vote on the budget at the next regular Council meeting, which will take place March 11 at 7 p.m. in the second-floor Council room of Peninsula Village Hall, located at the corner of state Route 303 and Akron-Peninsula Road.


Summa creating strategic partnership with Catholic Health Partners

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Summa Health System Board of Directors has approved a letter of intent with Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners (CHP) to create a strategic partnership, pending final negotiations.

The decision comes following Summa’s announcement in July that it would seek a like-minded, larger nonprofit partner to enhance its strategic initiatives and strengthen its financial position in exchange for a minority interest in the organization in which Summa retains majority ownership and local control.

“We have had the unique opportunity to get to know several leading national health care organizations throughout this process,” said Norman Wells Jr., chairman of the Board of Summa Health System. “Our experience with each has been extremely positive, and we have learned a great deal about what makes them successful. When looking specifically at what is most important to us, I am confident that Catholic Health Partners is the right group to join us on our journey to transform the delivery of health care.”  

The decision to seek a potential partner is part of Summa’s three-year strategic planning process, which includes multiple initiatives to prepare the organization for a new era of health care, according to Summa officials. In addition, as Summa continues implementation of its Performance Improvement initiative to become more efficient throughout the organization, there are, officials said, clear synergies with CHP around the areas of care redesign, revenue cycle, supply chain and enhanced productivity that will help the system realize more efficiencies and value for the community.

Summa officials add that several strategic population health initiatives also are under way separately around which Summa and CHP share a common vision.

Summa and CHP already have worked together to expand the SummaCare Medicare Advantage product to new markets in 2012 for the 2013 coverage period.

Negotiations are scheduled for completion by mid-year.


Secretary of state announces adjusted campaign contribution limits

COLUMBUS — Secretary of State Jon Husted has announced the 2013 Adjusted Campaign Contribution Limits for Ohio. The updated limits took effect Feb. 25.

“Full disclosure and transparency in campaign contribution filings is important to the success of our democracy and is dependent upon all key players being aware of the rules,” Husted said in a press release. “To that end, I encourage all candidates and donors to familiarize themselves with the updated contribution limits.”

In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, campaign contribution limits are adjusted for inflation in each odd-numbered year by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. Adjustments are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers and certified by the Auditor of State.

Per the statutory formula, current contribution limits were multiplied by the 5.3 percent increase in the CPI from 2010 to 2012, and the product was then added to the existing contribution limits. The limits will remain in effect until February 2015, when the next adjustment is scheduled. The numbers are no longer rounded due to changes made in House Bill 1 of the 126th General Assembly, Special Session.

The 2013 Adjusted Campaign Contribution Limits report, available at www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/news/20130225.pdf, contains an explanation of the procedures used in adjusting the contribution limits, a breakdown of all campaign contribution limits and a reference chart containing the adjusted contribution limits.

The reference chart can be accessed via www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/CampaignFinance.aspx. Click on “limit chart” under the “filing information” menu.


Author Fawn Germer to speak in Akron March 13

Fawn Germer
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Four-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and author Fawn Germer will deliver the keynote address at the Women’s Endowment Fund’s “For Women, Forever” annual dinner March 13.

According to event organizers, Germer is known for her no-holds-barred advice on finding success in work and life. She personally interviewed more than 300 trailblazers to uncover their secrets and now travels the globe sharing that wisdom with women, according to organizers. Her first book, “Hard Won Wisdom,” features interviews with female Nobel Peace Prize winners, Olympic athletes, scientists and business executives.

Today, Germer is the best-selling author of seven books, including “Pearls” and “Mustang Sallies.”

As a leadership speaker, Germer has presented at conferences for major national corporations and has spoken at Harvard Business School’s leadership conference, the International Women’s Forum and many other events.

“Fawn Germer epitomizes the power of female leadership, as does the Women’s Endowment Fund,” said event co-chair Eve Belfance, who is a 9th District Court of Appeals judge. “Twenty years ago, the Women’s Endowment Fund began with an extraordinary group of ‘Mustang Sallies’ who envisioned how women in this community could lead the way to address the needs of women and girls. At the same time, they showed women that they can be philanthropists in their own right.”

This year’s dinner will take place at Quaker Station at Quaker Square Inn at The University of Akron, 135 S. Broadway St. The annual event celebrates women’s philanthropy in Akron and raises money for the Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. In addition, the event will honor leadership donors to the fund’s “For Women, Forever” endowment campaign, which aims to raise $2.013 million in honor of the fund’s 20th anniversary. It will also feature pre-event presentations from the fund’s most recent grantees.

The event will feature a sponsor reception with Germer at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and a program at 7.

Tickets start at $75. Individuals and organizations that purchase tickets at or above the $225 level will be invited to the sponsor reception. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.regonline.com/forwomenforever or call 330-376-8522.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact event co-chair Cindy Johnson at 330-255-2437 or cjohnson@bobermarkey.com.


More than 9,000 job seekers assisted by Goodwill Industries in 2012

WEST AKRON — Resources provided through Goodwill Industries, serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland counties, helped 9,152 people this past year, according to agency officials.

With the mission of helping individuals prepare for, find and retain employment, the nonprofit agency provided a variety of services to those looking for a new or better job, or the opportunity to advance toward gainful employment.

“We take pride in our commitment to help individuals prepare for, find and retain employment,” said Nan McClenaghan, Goodwill’s CEO and president. “We continually look for ways to increase and improve the services Goodwill offers.

The agency boasts an eight-year placement rate of 80 percent or better. Also, its 82 percent retention rate for 2012 means that most of the 328 individuals Goodwill placed into jobs in 2012 were still on the job after 90 days, and it is probable that their employment will continue, according to agency officials.

Goodwill’s impact on the local economy as the value of the first year’s wages of individuals placed was more than $9 million — dollars that purchased food and services and paid taxes in local communities, according to agency officials.

Goodwill’s business lines, which include its Contract Services and Retail Operations, are utilized as a training ground for many of the participants receiving services. More than 349 program participants worked within these business operations for a total of 132,153 hours.

Goodwill will formally present its service numbers with the release of its 2012 Annual Report at the agency’s Annual Meeting March 28 at Tangier, 532 W. Market St. Hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and networking will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the program at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 each ($5 donative value). Contact Beverly Sherrard at 330-724-6995, ext. 229l, or bsherrard@goodwillakron.org for tickets or more information. Reservations are requested by March 18.

A “Celebration of Champions” will be the focal point of the evening. The agency will honor successful program participants and recognize businesses across its service territory that have partnered with Goodwill to provide skills training opportunities, hired Goodwill graduates or used the agency’s services to help recruit qualified applicants.


Ariel Hakim, Stephanie Kist and Pam Lifke contributed to these reports.

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