Amherst News-Times, 1998-09-30
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O ►-» c o '-0 i r1 jro's life remembered — Page 3 Volleyball team in first place — Page 7 a tti o ossi 3? < X •yi i— .y> 3t H J> O I> H nn j, e oiiherst News-Times H < opt^mhor 30. 1'WH Amhci \t SO rents bjections d to idea ■ u i—i luiu of electing next mayor full-time by QLEN MLLER News-Times reporter There was little question about the need Tor a full-time mayor during a Sept 21 public hearing but more of a question about his need for full-time help. Less than a dozen Amherst residents turned out for the special meeting held to get public input on upgrading the mayor's job to full- time. Another meeting was scheduled for Sept 28. Those who attended were supportive, including Dan Brown of Woodhill Drive. He noted that mayor John Higgins has shown Ius dedication by working at city hall as well as pitching in on a variety of community projects. He has seen Higgins "often covered with mud" or -working with hand tools along with other residents and city council members. Mayfleld Drive resident Michael Keller said running the city is now a full-time job. "I think it's time we'd better grow up and pay full-time and decent wages for a full-time mayor," he added. j There was no council opposition to the proposal to make the mayor's job full-time. Most council members ■greed die mayor often works more than 60 hours weekly for $16,450 a year. Council is in the process of determining the pay for full-time mayors in area cities about the size of Amherst. Some privately have suggested a range of about $40,000. Regardless of the pay,' several council members said upgrading the mayor's post only may be the first step in improving the city administration. "You can't run a multi-million dollar business like the city with part-time help," councilman John Dietrich said. "We need to install at least one new full-time position in the administration, so that when the mayor is gone, decisions can still be made.'' Suggestions included hiring a full-time safety-service director or an administrative aide who has experience in government "The salary is a very crucial thing, but I also think there has too be another body in there because he — any mayor — can only do so much," added treasurer Kathleen Litkovitz. Higgins frequently has said daily job demands leave him little time to read and research important materials and documents unless he takes them home in the evening. Executive committee chairman John Mishak noted the mayor's job has significantly increased as the city has grown. "Fifteen years ago we had about 6,000 people and now we have between 12,000 and 14,000," he added. "And, the budget used to be $2.6 million, too. Now it's $23 million." The recommendation for a full- time mayor came from a citizen committee headed by Amherst resident David Williams. Originally, the group had thought the issue had.** be decided by voters. The public meetings are being held because law director Alan Anderson discovered the change is the responsibility of city councils in statutory cities like Amherst. Williams said he supports the need for administrative help but added council's first objective should be to upgrade the mayor's job before making any other administrative changes. Master mason and brick layer Walter Mackin (at center wearing hat) instructs his employees on some of the tricks of the trade while dismantling Obertin's war memorial. From left are Robert Sobon, Gabriel Tolento (with jack hammer), Mackin and his son John Mackin (sitting on wall) Pat Sobon and John Sobon. Father, son team fix monument by QLEN MILLER News-Times reporter Amherst masonry contractors Walter Mackin and his son John have taken on the job of carefully preserving the honor of men who served and died for America. City calls on local masons to help them repair history of re prises, Inc., is la tha building a 56-year- ial honoring Oberlin veterans killed in conflicts since the Civil War. Working in the college town isn't new to the Mackins. They helped build the NASCORP headquarters on E. Lorain Street and constructed a brick sign displaying the name of the Oberlin Inn. Locally, they've done work on dozens of buildings, including Heritage Plaza on Kresge Drive and the city's utilities complex off N. Lake Street Mackin, who has been in business for 30 years, has been carefully tak- brick structures for two decades. The Oberlin structure is his first war memorial, so he's taking special care. Doe to a shoulder injury in his younger years, Mackin never served in the aimed forces, although many relatives and friends have. He wants his work to last 100 years. "So, I want to take special care because I fully realize the meaning of the names listed here. It's more than just a brick wall," he explained. Restoration is the Mackins' specially. Mackin has worked around or studied historical structures. He's learned "what you have to do to keep them they way they are supposed to be." His son, 32. admits to learning from his father, 55, who he considers to be an artist and teacher. He currently employs three Polish immigrants, Robert, Pat and John Sobon. They and a fourth worker, Gabriel Tolento, say they are learning the trade from a master. Several years ago, the senior Mackin relayed stones to an ancient Incan temple in Peru. He's also spent time working on and studying ancient Indian ruins in Mexico. "I look at them from the point of learning things and how to restore them," he explained. "Restoration is an important part of preserving our history so people can enjoy it and learn from it" Oberlin is paying Mackin $38,000 to restore the war monument, the center of which is bowed out toward the Plum Creek due to the effects of years of continued freezing and thawing. Mother Nature has pushed out a section of a hill on which the monument is built causing it to bow outward. The structure is in no immediate danger of collapsing, although Mackin said it will fall eventually if left uncorrected. The memorial is located in Wright Park, a small city park that CONTINUED on page 5 City extends fire contract while negotiations continue by QLEN MILLER Mary and Bill White stand at the entrance to their dream home on Willow Creek Drive. It Is the only Amherst home chosen for a county- wide home tour thai will raise money for college scolarshipe. Couple build their dream home and invite 500 guests by QLEN MILLER News-Trmee reporter Little did BUI and Mary White realize whoa they bulk their dream home about six yrars ago that they aright have as many as 500 people come walking into their bouse in one day. But they are delighted ab out the prospect of so much company. On Oct 3, their home at 720 Willow CMek Drive will be the only Amherst home toured by huadreds of people wan, have purchased tickets for me 199t Tour of lloaan, Hold minMy by as Lorain branch of the wanrirt Asso- ciatioa of Utfvarssty Wow tha lour raises •ckotarehiB money far high trhroh I've always wasae! to do is but we aa»a aot had everything done em) **]*__ me way we wage* fc/alary * ak y«a» age eat we've just got the bouse to she -tr mmmwm^Tmm1>tT News-Times raporter City council has approved a 60-day extension of a fire protection contract with Amherst Township in the hope township trustees will soon approve a draft contract recommended by city officials. The extension was approved by city council police and fire committee Sept 21 aad was expected to be okayed on emergency by the entire council Sept 30. A contract with the township expiree Oct 1. The terms of the proposal call for the total cost of township fire pro- tection to be increased from the current $46,000 to $110,000 annually lor five yean. Although the increase is sizable, mayor Joan Higgins said the city hat been subsidizing the coat of township fire service based on the number of calls answered in the township. Last year, 29 percent of the Amherst Fire Department's calls were in the township. The township paid $46344 which represented 105 percent of the department's operating costs. Not all of $110,000 fee will be for service, though. About $20,000 will be set aside each year to pay for a new pumper-tanker. It must cany 3,000 gallons of water to rural areas without fire hydrants. The city's existing fire truck is 24 years old, about four years older than most equipment is retained by most fire departments. "We don't really need this truck for our use la the city, only in the township. So, we think it's fair they pay for most of it over the term of then* contract" the mayor explained. The base fee would be $40,000. Another $50,000 is sought for firefighter services and the upkeep and rental of fire hydrants placed in newer parts of the township. The mayor catted the fees "fair and equitable" based on the number of homes and businesses in the township and fire responses. He noted the foe is less expensive than the estimated $185,000 that would be generated yearly by a 2-mill fire protection tax levy sought by the township trustees. Although township officials want to start their own fire department various fire chiefs and experts consulted by the News-runes said start up costs may range between $250,000 to $375,000 depending on the equipment purchased. The esti- fightcr training or cc«strucaon of a fire station, they added. Great balls of fire! 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|Title||Amherst News-Times, 1998-09-30|
|Date of Original||30-SEP-1998|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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