Amherst News-Times, 2000-04-26
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Museum readies for summer viewing — Page 3 j Register for Safety City —| Amherst News-Tiim 3 Wednesday, April 26, 2000 Amherst, Ohio Lieutenant is named new police chief by KEITH GRIBBINS News-Times reporter Amherst's police division issued in a new era of leadership and management Wednesday, April 19 at city hall. Twenty-eight year police veteran Lonnie Dillon slid up to a podium with mayor John Higgins and proceeded to recite the oath of office that would make him the new police chief of the City of Amherst Dillon picked up the torch that former chief Bill Hall carried with the city for 23 years, and has readied himself for the challenge of keeping the community safe and growing. "I'm elated. I'm really looking forward to the challenge," Dillon said of his new job. "Everyone has ideas that they'd like to see happen. I have some, and I would like to look into them." Dillon competed for the position with 24-year veteran and current captain Babara Cowger-Vilagi. The two took a civil service exam Tuesday, April 10, and their scores varied by only a few points, according to safety-service director Sherrill McLoda. *T'm very happy. We had two good candidates," McLoda said. "He's (Dillon) been on the force a long time. He knows the city. He knows the people he'll be working : ii The Amherst Police Department issued in a new era of departmental management Wednesday April 19 when 28-year veteran Lonnie Dillon replaced longtime former chief Bill Hall. Pictured, left with. He has a lot of experience and plish as a chief." is familiar with the technical aspects Dillon started on the force as a that he needs to know and accom- part-time patrolman in 1972 and has to right, mayor John Higgins speaks while Dillon shakes hands with captain Babara Cowger-Vilagi. since tackled every position in the department except for captain. The seasoned veteran has spent nearly his entire life with the local community, and is hoping to have their input "I want to talk with the people. Work with them and let them know what's happening. I want to get their thoughts on what we can do to achieve and make the department better for the city," Dillon said. One of his first actions as a chief will be along those same lines with a brainstorming session with his department. "I want to meet with all the members of the department and get their input to see what they'd like to happen. And then formulate a plan to move," he said. But one of his biggest challenges will simply be easing into the position, learning the ins and outs of what it means to be a police chief, suited Dillon. "First I need to tackle what a chief does. I've dealt with every facet of law enforcement, but I've haven't dealt with this," Dillon explained. "But it's a challenge I'm looking forward to." One of his main objectives is just to keep the department in as good a condition as Hall left it, cited the new chief. "The chief left the department in good shape, i don't see any need to step in and make a lot of changes. I'm hoping to fall right in line" Dillon said. "I'm sorry to see him (Hall) go. He was a pleasure to work for and with." CONTINUED on page 2 Board gives nod 1or $25 million construction of new junior high by PAUL MORTON Nawa-Times reporter When school starts in the fall of 2002, seventh and eighth grade students in Amherst could be going to a new junior high school, after the board of education voted last week on a plan to relieve overcrowding. The board voted unanimously to address overcrowding in the schools by building a new 800-student junior high school for grades seven and eight and building additions and alterations to Marion L. Steele High School and the current Nord Junior High. The cost of the plan would be about $23 million, compared with $35 million for a new high school. Superintendent Robert Boynton said the cost difference was part of the reason the junior high option was chosen. Other factors included nostalgia for the current high school and the difficulty in purchasing the land necessary for a new high school. "We've had the community meetings, the meetings with all the organizations, the coffees, and in all those discussions, I came to the conclusion that the junior high and adding on to the high school was the best solution." Boynton said. The bottom line is listening to the people in this community." ;. The bond is expected to vote July 24 to put • bond levy on the November ballot to pay for the new building. In the meantime, they will ask the county auditor to calculate the millage necessary to raise the estimated $23 million. Treasurer Salah Elhindy reminded the bond that voices turned down the last bond levy request of $16 million two years ago. But board president Ron Yacobozzi said if the bond levy fails this time the alternative could be worse. "If we don't pass a bond issue of some type, split sessions become a reality," Yacobozzi said. If the bond issue passes, the new junior high school would be built on 27 acres the school district currently owns adjacent to Harris Elementary School. A new high school would require a minimum of SO acres, according to Ron Cocco of Clark & Post Architects. In addition to the new building, the plan approved by the school board would add 12 new science classrooms, a "cafetorium" (combination cafeteria and auditorium), a new kitchen, and a fine arts wing at Steele High School, as well as additions and improvements at Nord. Also, a new walkway would be created at Steele in the back of the building, parallel to the current main corridor to improve student traffic flow. When seventh- and eighth- grade students enter the new junior high for the 2002-2003 school year, Nord would be turned over to grades five and six. Harris would become a fourth-grade building, Powers would house grades two and three, and Shupe Middle School would be used for kindergarten and first grade. In order to get the new building ready for the start of school in 2002, the board approved several other measures to start design work on the school before voters approve the necessary money. Boynton ■aid the needs assessment and space requirement study to be done ahead of the election CONTINUED on paga 2 *"**4-»* - *""** U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain, held two "Com- prescription drug prices, trade practices, and Social Security in his munlty Chats" Tuesday, April 18, one of those with residents of community meeting Tuesday afternoon. South Amherst. Brown focused on a number of issues, including, Brown 'chats' in South Amherst by KEITH GRIBBINS News-Times reporter State representative Sherrod Brown made a stop in South Amherst last Tuesday to talk to his constituents at a town meeting at town ball. Locals got the chance to foe questions at the U.S. Congressman, D-Lorain, and get a feel for how their local candidate represents them as well as express what they may need from him in the future. "This was great, especially for midday. The participation was really good, and we had a nice mix." Brown said. The congressman bellied up to the full house and pointed to the brace around his torso, acquired from a recent car accident, joking, "It's not a bulletproof vest" That laid-back atmosphere was the forum for the group discussion as Brown focused on Social Security, prescription drugs, trade relations, Medicare, and other issues along with the crowd to sort through any concerns that the attending public may have had. Brown began the community chat with a lecture, centering on the budget surplus, prescription drug prices, and trade relations with China. He also advised citizens to be "cautious" about the surplus. Tax cuts may not be the right way to go, explained Brown; he hopes to move the surplus to help pay the debt CONTINUED on page 5 AFD turns out to support full-timer by KEITH ORWBINS Newa-Timaa reporter Someone must have thought city hall was burning to the ground. < Around 20 or so Amherst firefighters converged on the city building Monday evening, April 17 to fight a Maze of a different tort. The department's administration and crew flooded the city's biweekly to for the request of a full-time fire chief position that sat in front of city council. Current chief Ralph Zilch and officer and firefighter Scott Dunlap fronted the department's push Monday by answering questions and giving informational support for the full-time request. The hour-long discussion with city council seemed to finally quell any doubts members of council had about the position and by the end of the discussion council unanimously agreed, 6-0, to move the ordinance to the floor of council. "I'm happy. You've got io be. Of course, I'll be happier when the final day comes," explained Zilch, citing council still needs three more leadings to go before the position will be final. "But it's good Hot we can get started or. the things we need to get done in this town. It looks good right now." Hie request, originally made in November of 1999 by Zilch, had been tabled a number of times, sent to the floor of council, and then sent back to committer meetings over the past months. Members of council were unsure of many of the aspects of the position, including pay scale, classification, die city's ability to afford the job, and if the workload deen^ ttw position Zilch and company filled CONTINUED on paga 2 A- 1 i •**> a»i ■» waa, .*£ ay- —•** •»* mt- - , all|M m I1IIM rtMal'l ~^. h.ma.^s*mH%»*ups\mn n»a.%»ie!■*»»<atyiHw.t.iDMj
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 2000-04-26|
|Date of Original||26-APR-2000|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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