Gladis fired after 8 years as 911 chief

Commissioner Dan Polivka paused briefly before voting for Gladis' termination.
WARREN -- It took Trumbull County commissioners three seconds to fire 911 Center director Tim Gladis, possibly ending his 26 years in public service.
Gladis, who was paid $62,567 annually, sat in his usual front-row seat during the commissioners' Wednesday meeting, holding an agenda that had his immediate termination smack in the middle.
When it was over, he shook hands with commissioners before they retreated to their offices, leaving James Misocky, assistant prosecutor, to field questions for them.
Gladis, an unclassified fiduciary or administrative employee, answered to the commissioners and was discharged at their will.
"We're not saying it's arbitrary. We're saying the commissioners have the authority to terminate," Misocky said.
Commissioners, he added, will look internally and outside the county to make an interim director appointment in the next two weeks. The 911 Center in Howland has an assistant director, Karen Davies.
Misocky said nothing more, citing a "threat of litigation." Gladis wouldn't say if he's hired a lawyer but said his termination is being reviewed. He was meeting Wednesday with personnel director James Keating, who on Tuesday with county Administrator Tony Carson Jr. gave Gladis marching orders.
Gladis was 911 director/coordinator since January 1997 but cleared out his desk Tuesday, declining to resign. Before 911, his career was mostly in law enforcement, including as Brookfield's police chief.
Commissioners thanked him for his service.
The vote by Commissioners Daniel Polivka, James Tsagaris and Paul Heltzel was unanimous -- though Polivka, the board chairman, paused briefly before voting.
Consolidation clash
Last week, Gladis and Heltzel clashed during an analysis by RCC Consultants of the county's 911 operation -- for which the county paid $24,437. Heltzel suggested then that the county might want to find someone else who could make changes happen with 911. He didn't comment Wednesday.
"I think it's appropriate to have disagreement and dissent," Gladis said, noting he never got a chance to carry out RCC's recommendations -- which he said he would have done if told to by commissioners.
He said Marc Bono of RCC noted in the report that the "911 center is generally very well run. That's his own words."
Gladis, during last week's presentation, lamented that some union work rules limit his options for making staffing changes per shift. He also has cited some local governments' reluctance to give up local dispatching control to join the 911 Center as it tries to restructure.
Gladis did, however, agree with the findings that more local governments should join the county's 911 operation. Liberty, Girard, Newton Falls, Warren Township, Niles, Hubbard and Lordstown have their own dispatching operations.
Trimming the budget
Commissioners in June approved layoffs at the 911 Center in an effort to hang onto enough money to keep the department running through the year. Gladis furloughed five dispatchers and one supervisor and reduced one administrative data processor to part time with no benefits, to save $197,000 this year.
Misocky stressed that no further layoffs are planned at the 911 Center. "The commissioners have no intent to close 911," he said.
The 911 operation has a $1.8 million budget, with the county providing $1.14 million, the townships $396,000 and the remainder being made up from a carryover from last year. Before layoffs this year, 911 had employed 30 full-time employees.
Trumbull County 911 dispatches for 20 townships, Cortland, Orangeville and the sheriff. However, the local governments' contribution to 911 is locked at a set range regardless of actual costs. This forces the county to fund equipment replacement and wage increases. RCC recommended overhauling the funding plan; Gladis at one point last week suggested the county pay for the entire operation.

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