NEW MIDDLETOWN Clerk/treasurer status to change

Flitcraft is moving to a Springfield Township condo.
NEW MIDDLETOWN -- Clerk/Treasurer Carl Flitcraft Jr. is planning to move out of the village soon, and village council may change his position from elected to appointed to allow him to keep the job.
Village Solicitor Jeffrey Heintz explained to council at its meeting Monday that it can convert the position from elected to an appointed village fiscal officer by passing an ordinance under a state law approved three years ago.
The post, however, must be vacant before it is changed to appointed. So, he said that to avoid having a period when the village is without a clerk/treasurer, Flitcraft should resign the Friday before a council meeting. Council then could create the new appointed position the following Monday.
Flitcraft could then be appointed by the mayor with the consent of council.
Council's other option would be for the mayor to appoint another clerk/treasurer once Flitcraft moves from the village.
Officials said it is doubtful, however, whether anyone could be found in the village who would want the job, since Flitcraft has been unopposed for the seat since 1997, when he was first appointed to filled an unexpired term.
Mayor Robert Carson said that in a village the size of New Middletown it is difficult to find a person qualified to be clerk/treasurer.
Heintz pointed out that the state changed the post of police chief from elected to appointed 15 or 20 years ago because of the same difficulty in finding a qualified candidate in every small village.
An appointed clerk/treasurer would be reappointed annually and make the same money as an elected one -- $500 per month. All other aspects of the job would remain the same.
Flitcraft, who is moving to a condominium in Springfield Township, is finishing the second year of a four-year term. He has served as village mayor, council member and fire chief as well as principal for the Springfield schools.
Carson said council had considered making this change when the law first was passed. Flitcraft said once changed, the position could be changed back to an elected post 125 days before an election.
Other action
In other matters, council:
UApproved purchasing 10 bulletproof vests for the police department. Council will pay the $4,900 cost and will be reimbursed for half that amount by the federal government. Police Chief William Morvay said the current vests are now nearly 5 years old. The new ones will be purchased from Red Diamond Uniform and Police Supply Inc., Austintown.
UAgreed to pay up to $10,000 to Matt Morjock Construction, Unity, to build a 320-foot sidewalk in front of the new library on state Route 170, and to make four curb cuts on a sidewalk between Struthers and Middletown Roads. The village is required to make the curb cuts under an agreement made when the state granted money for that sidewalk. In a separate project, council agreed to pay Morjock $1,150 for a catch basin at the intersection of West Circleview Drive and Middletown Road.
At council member William Douglas' request, village streets will be reviewed to find several more that are in need of paving, with bids to be let during the winter. Douglas suggested paving more streets since money was left over after the summer paving program.
Council member Dan Santangelo asked the mayor to meet with the county engineer to look into the possibility of constructing sanitary sewers on Middletown Road and state Route 170.

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