Vandalia council approves retire/rehire policy

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — The Vandalia City Council passed the second reading of an ordinance that sets the salary range of the city manager and authorizes the manager to allow some city employees to retire and then be rehired.

The measure passed 4-1 with Council Members Mike Blakesly, Dave Gerhard, Bob Ahlers, and Dave Lewis voting yes and Mayor Arlene Setzer voting no. Vice Mayor Richard Herbst and Member Candice Farst were absent.

Under the terms of the policy, the retire/rehire option is open only to the Assistant City Manager, Police and Fire Chiefs, Public Service Director, Finance Director, and the Parks & Recreation Director.

Rehired employees will be subject to a 12.5% reduction in salary to take effect two months from the date of rehire. This is an increase from the original proposal which would have reduced salaries by just 10%. All accrued and unused paid leave balances will be carried forward to the new rehire date.

Those employees will not be eligible for cost of living increases but will be eligible for lump sum merit payments within the percentages approved by city council for merit increases.

Rehired employees will be considered at-will employees serving at the pleasure of the City Manager. The Manager will review each employee annually and, at the end of five years evaluate the appropriateness of retaining the employee beyond five years.

In other action, the council voted to renew its agreement with the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory for processing evidence. The city has been using the crime lab for over 40 years and described their services as “timely, excellent, and to date unchallenged in court.” Vandalia’s fee for 2019 is $29,244, an increase of 1.5% over 2018 but under the budgeted amount of $29,620.

Council also approved:

  • A renewal agreement with Pace Analytical Services for bacteria testing of the city’s water system. In 2017 and 2018 the city spent between $25,000-30,000 with the company who did not increase rates for 2019.
  • The purchase of a rough mower for Cassel Hills Golf Course at a cost of $60,175.24 through the State of Ohio Cooperative Purchasing Program. The mower replaces a 2006 model that is being declared surplus.
  • An agreement with OHM Advisors of Columbus to assist the city with an update of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. None Statements of Qualifications were received from firms, and the cost of this agreement is not to exceed $70,000 which is $10,000 under budget. The project is to be completed in 12-18 months.
  • An ordinance that establishes regulations for the operation of any new or existing indoor shooting ranges and to outdoor shooting ranges that were permitted under the zoning code prior to January 2019. (See story this page)

The Vandalia City Council will hold its next meeting on Monday, March 4. A study session will be held at 6 p.m. in the large conference room followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. in council chambers. Both meetings are open to the public.

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.