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Richfield Village welcomes former mayor at meeting

5/16/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Village Mayor Bobbie Beshara welcomed former Mayor June Feiber to the Richfield Village Council meeting May 7.

Feiber’s photo is on the Council chamber wall with those of Richfield’s other former mayors. She served from 1980 to 1988.

Council President Richard Hudak said Feiber was “a phenomenal mayor.”

“You are one of the reasons we have this building to sit in and much of the infrastructure we rely on every day,” Hudak said.

Councilman Ralph Waszak served on Council and the Park Board during Feiber’s administration before eventually serving as mayor himself.

“You were a wonderful  mayor, teacher and friend, and I appreciate the wisdom you imparted to me,” he said.

Beshara also expressed condolences at the meeting for the passing of Tom Hooper, who served in Richfield’s fire and service departments. She attended his “last alarm” ceremony in Millersburg along with some members of the Richfield Fire Department.

Council accepted Beshara’s recommendation to hire Kevin Urban as a full-time member of the Fire Department. He had served part-time in Richfield since 2003, winning five awards and serving as a fire safety inspector and CPR instructor.

“We’re very lucky to have a young man of this capacity who lives in town,” said Assistant Fire Chief Phil McLean.

Councilwoman Barbara Lanford voted no on Urban’s hiring, citing the village’s nepotism policy after complimenting Urban’s qualifications.

Hudak said the law director had advised Council that Urban’s hiring did not violate the policy.

Beshara also said she has had meetings with three gas aggregation companies and is waiting for the numbers to come back.

Also, Beshara said Richfield Night with the Akron Aeros will take place July 13 at Canal Park. Tickets are available at the mayor’s office. The mayor said a Richfield resident will sing “Take Me out to the Ballgame,” the Richfield Color Guard will appear, and she hopes to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

In other news:

  • Police Chief Keith Morgan reported one of the new police vehicles is in service, with the other two to follow soon. He thanked the mechanic staff for their quick and efficient installation of the police equipment.
  • McLean presented the Fire Department report, which included that University Hospitals will land its MedEvac helicopter in front of Town Hall June 12 for the Fire Department’s EMS training night. The public is welcome to view the helicopter.
  • Service Director Melanie Baker reported brush chipping will continue through the end of May. Also, residents can pick up free mulch in the Town Hall area if they bring their own vehicle or trailer. The free mulch is not for private landscapers.
    Baker also reported her workers have been busy renovating the Eastwood House and the Masonic Temple.
  • Recreation Director Ruth Jocek reported Richfield residents cleaned up 500 bags of trash April 27 for Project Pride Day. Residents also shredded paper, recycled computers and took home all of the available trees for the Arbor Day Tree Giveaway.
    Also, the weekly Richfield Farmers’ Market will begin June 19 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz reported he and Beshara met with the owners of the former Consolidated Freightways property to discuss ways to make it look more pleasing.
  • Finance Director Sandy Turk reported income tax collection for April was 13 percent higher than one year ago. For the year 2013, tax collections are up 7 percent for the first four months of the year.
  • Councilman Mike Wheeler said a task force for a new recreation center will meet May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Recreation Department, 3333 Brecksville Road.
  • Hudak announced that Community Days will take place Aug. 9 (parade), Aug. 10 (steak fry) and Aug. 11 (main celebration). The parade will start at the old Richfield School, while Richfield Woods Park will be the site of the other festivities.
    Other upcoming events include the circus sponsored by the Richfield Town Trust July 27 and the Sweet Corn Ride July 28.
  • Council passed resolutions to declare a 2006 fire heavy rescue vehicle and three 2009-10 Ford Crown Victoria police cars to be surplus property so they can be sold. The police cars will be sold to Serpentini Chevrolet and the money will be used toward the purchase of a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe as a special services vehicle for the fire department.
  • Also, Council recognized Mark Parker and Suzanne Serdinak for contributing a perpetual easement interest for a village trail.
    “It was an extremely generous contribution by the Serdinak-Parker family to allow access from the Eastwood property to Richfield Woods Park, and I think it’s wonderful that they did that,” Hudak said.
  • Consultant Greg Myers closed the meeting with a retail market analysis of Richfield, which he said is the home of 286 businesses with 5,800 employees and a total payroll of $308 million.
    He said considering the businesses in town and the available businesses within a 15-minute drive, some ideas for new businesses in Richfield would include antique shops and specialty grocery stores.

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is scheduled for May 21 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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