Two interested in SWD job
CARROLLTON — Two people so far have applied for the director job at the Solid Waste District for Columbiana, Carroll and Harrison counties.
The position became vacant following the recent resignation of director Barbara Walton, who stepped down on Jan. 29, two days after a somewhat contentious board meeting, which is comprised of the county commissioners from each county.
At the Jan. 27 meeting, Columbiana County Commissioner Tim Weigle expressed his displeasure with how Walton handled the purchase of a new crane truck, which is for emptying dumpsters that are used in the SWD’s voluntary recycling drop-off program. He was under the belief Walton was going return to the board after checking with the truck manufacturer and their recycling coordinator Anthony Guidone about the crane’s position on the truck bed.
Columbiana County Commissioner Jim Hoppel said Walton should have returned with the information for the operations committee to review before going ahead with the purchase. “You just went ahead and did it,” he said.
Walton said a review of the tape-recording of the December meeting clearly shows she was told to go ahead with the purchase after checking with the truck manufacturer and Guidone about crane placement, which she did, but Weigle said she did not talk with them until after the fact.
Weigle, who worked in the waste business and for Caterpillar Inc., said he heard that Walton stated in front of office staff he “did not know what he is talking about” in regard to crane placement. “It’s disappointing you would say that,” he said.
Walton apologized for making that comment, but she pointed out she has been working on purchasing a new truck for a year and had done her homework.
Also at the meeting, Halleck said he heard that Walton commented about how he does not like meetings. Halleck said that is true, especially overly long meetings, but that is beside the point.
“I don’t feel I’m being respected either,” Walton said.
Administrative assistant Missy Burchfield spoke up and said Walton also stated that a Harrison County commissioner did not know what he was talking about on a particular financial matter. Walton denied saying any such thing.
The Columbiana County contingent was also critical of the director for how the minutes of the December meeting were prepared, with Weigle pointing out the minutes failed to completely reflect what he said at the meeting. They were also concerned about Walton’s practice of making corrections and additions to the draft copy of the meeting minutes as prepared by Burchfield. Weigle and Hoppel said only the board can make corrections or additions.
Walton said she reviews the meeting minutes for spelling, grammar, factual corrections and for pertinent information that may have been ommitted.
“If they need changed, we’ll change them as a board,” Hoppel said.
Walton said she attempts to accurately summarize what goes on at a meeting as best she can but they are not meant to be a verbatim transcript of what occurred.
After the meeting, the board scheduled a meeting of the personnel committee for Jan. 30. In her resignation letter of Jan. 29, Walton noted Halleck told her at the Jan. 27 meeting “maybe it was time to part ways.” Walton said upon further reflection, she agreed and was therefore resigning immediately.
Walton was paid $10,790 for accumulated vacation pay and comp time.
Weigle is serving as the de facto director until a new director is hired. The application deadline is Feb. 21.