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Richfield Village Council honors safety personnel

1/30/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

A life-saving rescue led to commendations for some Richfield Village safety personnel during the Richfield Village Council meeting Jan. 21.

Mayor Bobbie Beshara honored Lt. Bob Jones; firemedics Dan Dopslaf and Kevin Urban; emergency medical technicians Mark Willis and Chris Najsztup; and police officer Rudy Prhne for their efforts in saving the life of Carole Kopowski.

When the firefighters arrived at her home, Kopowski was in full cardiac arrest.

“After six minutes of advanced cardiac life support, Mrs. Kopowski’s pulse was restored,” Beshara read from the proclamation.

A tearful Kopowski hugged the honorees in attendance as the audience applauded.

“It was a very busy evening, as we had three calls in two hours,” Fire Chief Jason Mihalek recalled. “I’m pleased to see how well you’re doing.”

Kopowski’s husband, David, expressed his gratitude.

“Your quick response was part of a miracle,” he said. “That’s from the doctors and nurses. They called her a miracle.”

In other news, Councilman Rick Hudak was chosen by his colleagues to serve again as Council president at the Jan. 2 meeting. The regular Jan. 7 meeting was canceled due to inclement weather.

At the Jan. 21 meeting, Council agreed to have Councilman Andy Ellis serve again as Council vice president. Other Council members include returnees Barbara Lanford and Mike Wheeler, and newcomers Mike Lyons, Roger Swan and James Kahoe. Swan also will represent Council on the Planning and Zoning Commission. [For more on the new Council members, see “Incoming Richfield Council members offer diverse mix” in the Jan. 16, 2014, edition or visit our archives at www.akron.com.]

Committee chairpersons include Hudak (Finance), Ellis (Safety), Swan (Public Works), Kahoe (Buildings and Grounds), Lanford (Streets and Highways, Cable) and Wheeler (Insurance).

Wheeler announced he is running for an at-large seat on Summit County Council this year.

Also at the meeting, Council approved Beshara’s appointments to the village’s boards and commissions. Former mayor Don Larsen returns to the Human Services Commission with a new four-year term, and Annie Taylor will complete the final three years on the commission in place of Robert Lehman, who no longer lives in Richfield.

Dawn Keske joins the Parks and Recreation Board for a new five-year term, replacing Steve McPeake. Lois Czekaj returns to the Public Tree and Landscape Commission for a new three-year term.

John Evans Sr. returns to the Cemetery Board, while Jeff Ferrara takes over for Helen Marshall. Both will serve for three years.

Former mayor and Councilman Ralph Waszak Sr. takes the seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission that was previously held by Rick Alkire. Waszak will serve a four-year term.

Bart Sauer returns to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for a full five-year term. Swan’s seat on the BZA is open due to his election to Council, and his term will expire at the end of 2014.

In other legislative action, Council approved:

  • a resolution to allow Service Director Melanie Baker to advertise for bids for gravel, pipe and asphalt products for the 2014 summer construction season;
  • allowing Summit County to bid the road-paving specifications for the village’s 2014 road paving program at a cost not to exceed $300,000;
  • a two-year contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation for mowing the Interstate 77 median and right-of-way, at no cost to the village; and
  • referring an ordinance regarding the clear-cutting of trees to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

In other news:

√ Finance Director Sandy Turk reported Gov. John Kasich has expressed a desire to eliminate state income tax in an attempt to prevent companies from leaving Ohio in favor of states without income tax, such as Texas, Florida, Tennessee and Nevada.
“Since income tax brings in 77 percent of the village’s revenues, we will continue to closely monitor their [state legislators] activity,” she stated.

√ Police Chief Keith Morgan reported Ohio has expanded the law requiring drivers to move over one lane when police cars are on the side of the road. The law is also now in effect when maintenance workers are on the roadside.

√ The Summit County Master Gardeners will have a series of programs on the second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Eastwood House, according to Recreation Director Ruth Jocek.

√ Beshara announced two public hearings on her proposal to use the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) as the village’s gas aggregator will take place Feb. 4 at 12:30 and 7:45 p.m. NOPEC is also the village’s electric aggregator.
“Their buying power is more local, mostly in Ohio,” she said. “Remember, residents aren’t required to use the aggregator company.”

The mayor also said three Richfield businesses will be honored at the Feb. 4 meeting for making the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management’s Weatherhead 100 list. They are Group Management Services, OEConnection and Ohio Realty Advisors. A fourth Richfield business, National Interstate Insurance Co., will be honored Feb. 18.

The next Richfield Village Council meeting is set for Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 4410 W. Streetsboro Road. A public hearing is scheduled before the meeting at 7:55 p.m. for the approval of a farm placement for Don and Gail Shumaker at 3999 Brush Road.

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