By danny restivo
Township trustees approved a motion to rehire the police chief after his retirement at the end of the month.
The trustees voted unanimously to rehire Chief Todd D. Coonce during a special meeting Monday night. Township officials cited continuity in service and the fiscal savings as their reasons.
“He has performed in an excellent manner as the chief,” said Trustee Fred Hanley. “We couldn’t rehire a new chief for the same price with the same quality and experience he has.”
Hanley said the township is saving $18,000 by rehiring Coonce. Under the new contract, the township will pay Coonce $54,404 a year and will include a one-week vacation, no overtime eligibility and $6,500 toward his retirement fund.
Under the old contract, the township paid Coonce $72,722 in 2012. It included base wages, overtime, longevity pay, a clothing allowance, 200 hours of vacation and $11,000 toward his retirement fund.
In the new contract, Coonce’s hospitalization and insurance costs will remain the same.
Coonce has spent 30 years with the township police department, and has served 17 years as chief. He said proposed changes in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System is the reason for his retirement.
The 54-year-old said if he didn’t retire this year, his annual pension would be the average of the five highest-paid years, instead of the three highest years.
Trustee Fred Hanley said no other candidates were interviewed for the position. A letter, however, from a 23-year township patrolman was read aloud before Tuesday night’s vote. The letter expressed interest in becoming the township police chief.
Coonce is scheduled to retire Nov. 30 and be rehired Dec. 1.
“I look forward to continuing my work with the township and offering the community positive service,” he said.