Poland Township officials honor two longtime public servants
By Jordyn Grzelewski
Township officials said goodbye Tuesday to two longtime public servants: Trustee Bob Lidle, who is leaving office after 16 years, and police officer Tom Johnson, who is retiring.
Lidle thanked numerous people who have been part of his time in office, including his family, fellow trustees both past and present and current and former township employees.
“My sincerest thanks to the people of Poland, who have bestowed on me the honor and privilege to serve them,” Lidle said, speaking at a trustees meeting.
Township officials thanked Lidle for his service.
“It goes without saying that Bob will be missed,” township Administrator Jim Scharville said.
Lidle lost a re-election bid and leaves office at year’s end. Joining the board will be Edward Kempers, a retired Poland educator.
Johnson will retire at year’s end, having spent 34 years as a township patrolman and 20 of those leading the department’s anti-drug program in the school district. Many in the community know him as “Officer T.J.”
“You are something very, very special, not just to this department but to this entire community,” Lidle said of Johnson. “The mark you’ve left on this community – it’s going to be hard to replace.”
Johnson said it was “an honor” to work as a township police officer.
“Thank you very much. It’s been the greatest career that I could think of,” he said.
In other business, township trustees approved the 2018 road paving program, which will repave parts of three roads. The estimated cost of repaving Oak Drive, Shawbutte Street and half of Christina Court is $177,762, with the township contributing $108,435 and the Ohio Public Works Commission paying the rest, according to information provided by the township.
The trustees also approved a new three-year agreement for an electric aggregation program with First Energy Solutions. Scharville said residents who participate in the program can expect to save, on average, $142 per year for three years. Residents can opt out if they wish. Information about rates and enrollment will be available at polandtownship.com under “resources & programs.”
The board also approved hiring four road department employees – one full-time, one part-time, and two seasonal. Their wage rates, respectively, are $13.50 per hour, $12.50 per hour and $10 per hour.