EAST LIVERPOOL - City Council Clerk Patrick Scafide offered an apology at Tuesday night's meeting for missing a filing deadline at the county Elections Board that resulted in a fire levy renewal not being placed on the November ballot.
Saying he took "full responsibility" for missing the deadline, Scafide said, "I'm not accustomed to making excuses and I will not make any now; the responsibility is mine and only mine."
He said he did not believe the situation could get any worse until it was brought to his attention that some people believe missing the deadline was a premeditated act on his part.
"This couldn't be further from the truth. If you only ask yourself this question: Why would I jeopardize my job and the job or jobs of a firefighter(s)?" he asked.
Scafide pointed out that he takes his appointment as council clerk seriously and has never missed a filing deadline in nearly eight years in that position.
"So, for those who believe this something other than an honest mistake, you are wrong," he said. "To those who can see passed a mistake and forgive, I thank you and it will never happen again."
He apologized to council, the members of the fire department and taxpayers for the mistake, and after the council meeting offered his thanks to Elections Board Director Adam Booth for his help and council for its support.
The Board of Elections had considered the option of allowing the issue to be placed on the ballot, despite its lateness, but decided against it during a recent meeting.
Asked after the meeting how he missed the deadline, Scafide would say only that it was his responsibility. For those who may have thought it was deliberate on his part, Scafide also said after the meeting that this is not the first time he has had the responsibility of filing a fire levy with the Elections Board.
The city has two more chances to have the issue placed on an election ballot.
Councilman Chuck Wade said during miscellaneous comments that he accepted Scafide's apology, saying that, while it shouldn't have happened, there were "some other things involved," but he did not elaborate on what those were.
During legislative business, council approved several ordinances that had been recommended by the finance committee, including those authorizing contracts for a lease to own two 20-yard rear loader packers for the refuse/recycling department; a lease to own contract for a new digital radio system; a contract with JEO Consulting for engineering services for upgrades to the water treatment plant; an amendment for the salary of the deputy service-safety director to have half his pay taken from the street department and half from refuse/recycling and adjusting appropriations for that amended salary; and changing a typographical error regarding longevity pay for employees.