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Trumbull engineer balks at new policy on sick-leave donations

Published: Fri, September 7, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Ed Runyan



Trumbull County commissioners adopted a countywide policy on sick-leave donations Thursday, but the county engineer’s office, which prompted the policy, has asked to opt out.

Engineer Randy Smith wrote a letter to county commissioners Thursday saying the county’s policy is “contrary to my operational needs and objectives.”

According to the county prosecutor’s office, commissioners have the right to refuse Smith’s request, but Smith says he believes it’s not clear whether that is true.

A county engineer’s office is “not subject to the dictates of a local county governing body” such as the commissioners and is not “a subordinate unit of government,” he wrote.

Sick-leave donation came to the attention of county commissioners last month after Nancy Guerini, an employee of Smith’s office who has cancer, said she was being denied use of donated sick-leave time from co-workers because the engineer’s office didn’t allow the practice, despite many other county employees being able to use it.

Sheriff Thomas Altiere, whose department has its own sick-leave donation policy for union workers, said Thursday he doesn’t know yet whether he will ask commissioners to allow his department to opt out.

In other business, commissioners approved unpaid suspensions for three employees of the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s office who failed to report the discovery of mercury in a pit near the Woodrow Avenue water tank in Champion in November.

Ronald Watson, a supervisor, is suspended for 15 work days, while employee Charles Davis is suspended 10 days, and employee Thomas Elder is suspended for three days.

The discovery in July led to a response by the Trumbull County HazMat team and an inspection by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency on July 13.

A small amount of mercury was removed from the “sump pit” near the water tank July 16, but the mercury did not get into the water in the tank and posed no danger to water customers, Sanitary Engineer Rex Fee said.

The employees were disciplined because all three were aware that the silvery material they found in the pit might be dangerous but didn’t report it to upper management.

Davis was cleaning the pit and reported finding mercury there, according to documents from the county Human Resources office.

Davis informed Elder and Watson of the discovery and found additional mercury as he worked. Davis handed buckets containing the mercury to Elder and told Watson he “did not feel comfortable around the mercury,” the report said.

A bottle of the recovered substance eventually made its way to a safety committee meeting July 12 at which time Fee learned of the mercury spill on the water tank property and took action to get it cleaned up.


1DwightK(1537 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

What's up with Randy Smith? First he tells this poor woman that no one can donate their sick leave time because the county doesn't have a policy. Thne, when the county commissioners make a policy, he asks to opt out.

Let her have the time off ya buffoon.

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2missa1284(4 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

she would donate her free time. She is one of the most generous people I have ever met! I just don't understand how someone could say he would allow it, and then when it's allowed, he fights to not give it. Heartless!

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3redeye1(5657 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I"m willing to bet if the shoe was on the other foot he would be all for it. Its a shame that he is so two faced. YES one minute , then NO the next minute

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4dawn421(265 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

this is bull. that man needs let go, he gives excuses then when it is put inplace to do it he wants out??????????????????????? go find his house and make him miserable

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5southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Randy Smith is paid by the county to carry out the wishes of the commissioners...bottom line Smith; it is not your money stop worrying about it.

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6MLC75(661 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago


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7casey02(5 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Guess Mr Smith doesn't have to go along with the commissioners have to say. What about his employee, (Nancy Guerini), who would be effected by this if the commissioners decide to let him opt out. This is a an easy decision commissioners you don't grant him to opt out of this and he has to go along with the rest of the county.

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8Attis(1134 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Petty little bureaucrat with a Napoleonic complex for a mind and cold hard stone for a heart, valid reasons for his immediate dismissal.

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9reddot123(2 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

SHAME! NO WOMEN SHOULD LOOSE HER JOB + MEDICAL BENIFITS because she has BREAST CANCER!! She can't afford to pay for Medical Insurance without an income.The Trumbull County, Ohio Engineer RANDY SMITH is at it again! The Trumbull County Commissioners passed a policy to allow county employees to share sick time with others. Smith is trying to narrow the donated time allowed for Nancy Guerini to a small number of office personnel. As a Democratic Elected Public Department Head he has an Obligation to help this Woman!

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10birdman(6 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Smith is not under the rule of the Commissioners. He did however put his top aid, Barzak on the committee to form the commissioners policy. Yes the same policy he rejected. Why? Because it did not stop non union employees from getting donations from union employees. His statements not mine. I believe its too late for anyone else to file to run against him for his seat so he doesn't seem to seem to care. He files as a Democrat but seems to dislike union employees. His arrogance precedes him.

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11annieoakley(5 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Maybe it's time to do away with electing a county engineer and just have it as an appointed position by the commissioners. He doesn't seem to think he has to answer to anyone. Sorry Mr. Smith, but everyone has someone over them, no matter who you are. When our prosecutor makes a ruling, it's time you listened to what is being said. Be a big boy and quit fighting with everyone and do the right thing. This is for the good of everyone and hurts no one.

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12Boss(11 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Well I told you so. This demagod spent $90,000.00 to try and beat Dave D. for a $90,000 a year job. And remember the Democratic party didnt back him so the only reason he wanted the job was to grind his ax. No one is running against him but a commisioner will be challenged. If the commissioners are smart they would find a way to unseat him. What a loser

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13Boss(11 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I guess its time for a change in commissioners. Was Ken Kubala an employee of Dan Polivkas? Is that how Ken got his job? Maybe thats why the commissioners wont do anything. I SCRATCH YOUR BACK YOU SCRATCH MY BACK. Right Dan. Time is ticking down.

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