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Fairlawn firefighters promoted during Council meeting

4/4/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

The April 1 Fairlawn City Council meeting was packed with friends and family of Fairlawn Fire Department employees Steve Brant and Jason Kershner, both of whom received promotions and were sworn into their new positions.

Brant, who was promoted from full-time fire medic to lieutenant, started with the department March 1, 2004, according to city officials. According to Fairlawn Fire Chief Russ Hose, Brant previously worked in Springfield Township and the city of Canton, and has more than 15 years of fire department service.

“Steve has been very active in the Fairlawn Fire and Rescue Association, currently serving as president,” Hose stated.

Brant thanked his family and his mentors for their continued support and patience.

“It’s been a long journey to this point in my career,” he said. “Today’s pretty overwhelming. It’s as humbling as it is rewarding. … Anybody that’s worked with me knows my passion. My passion’s this job, my passion’s this city. We are privileged people to work in the city of Fairlawn.”

Kershner, who has worked for the Fairlawn Fire Department for five years, was promoted from part-time fire medic to full-time fire medic.

“He has proven himself a dependable part-time employee and served us well for over the past five years,” Hose said. “I am confident Jason will continue to thrive as a full-time employee and be an asset in our department.”

Kershner called the promotion “very exciting.”

“I just want to thank everybody for giving me the opportunity to do this,” he said, “and thank my family for coming out here today.”

According to Hose, both firefighters are well respected by their peers.

“I know I speak for the entire fire department when I wish [Steve and Jason] long and successful careers with the Fairlawn Fire Department,” he said.

Also during the meeting:

  • Council unanimously passed a resolution “strongly opposing the passage of House Bill 5 by the Ohio General Assembly, which proposes uniformity measures for municipal income tax in the form of unfunded mandates and creates a loss of revenue for the city of Fairlawn.”
    “The state of Ohio, under the guise of reform, is trying to change the way municipal taxes are collected and taxes are enforced,” said Mayor William Roth. “The issue is that there have been things that have been inserted in the bill that really turn into unfunded mandates. Again, as cities we have to bear the burden, but also there’s some revenue cutting in there. It’s just another ratchet click to tamper with the revenue streams of the cities. Frankly, most of us believe that it’s just a first step down the road for the state to try to remove the city’s right to collect its own taxes.”
    Roth said Fairlawn is one of “a fairly large amount” of municipalities passing a resolution asking the state to reconsider House Bill 5.
    “We would like to send this to Columbus, to the governor, and to our own legislative representatives,” Roth said. “Our hope is that the legislature will read the resolution and slow down a little. We hope they will sit down and remove some of the egregious parts of the bill.”
  • Hose said a group of students in Barberton teamed up with Invisible Fence to provide 14 area fire departments, including Fairlawn, with oxygen masks for pets.
    “These are specifically designed for an animal,” he said. “Anytime in the past that we’ve had a fire and there’s been a pet, we’ve had to try to use a person’s mask on them. It’s difficult with the long snout of a dog, and these are designed to cover the snout.”
  • On April 16, the city will host four public meetings with residents at Fairlawn City Hall (3487 S. Smith Road) regarding the 2013 street repair program, said City Engineer Nick Spagnuolo.
    Those meetings are scheduled as follows: Barrington Road residents at 5:15 p.m.; Caladonia Avenue residents at 5:45 p.m.; Pembroke Road residents at 6:15 p.m.; and Brunsdorph Road residents at 6:45 p.m.
    “A letter will be hand-delivered to all residents on April 8 and 12 by the Service Department detailing the work that will be done and listing the contact phone numbers in case they have any questions,” Spagnuolo stated.
  • Police Chief Kenneth Walsh said Fairlawn’s Safety Town, a five-day program designed to educate prekindergarten children, will take place June 24-28 this year. Registration will begin May 21, and applications will be available at the Fairlawn Police Department (3487 S. Smith Road) and online at www.cityoffair lawn.com.
  • Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Beisecker said her department’s summer program guide is “just about ready to be printed.
    “It will be delivered to all Fairlawn homes as an insert to the West Side Leader,” she stated. “It covers June through September, so we’re going to get it out in early May.”
  • The minutes from the March 18 Council meeting were approved 5-0, with Councilwoman Susan Sullivan (Ward 5) absent from the meeting and Councilman James Butler (Ward 1) abstaining.

The next Fairlawn City Council meeting is set to take place April 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall.

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