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Dispatch issue may come back in Ravenna

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published: March 4, 2013 4:00 AM

Some members of Ravenna City Council are hoping an ordinance to add a dispatcher to the city's police department will appear on tonight's agenda.

The issue was defeated in council's finance committee recently, with Council President Fran Ricciardi breaking the 3-3 tie.

However, Councilman Scott Rainone, who was absent at that meeting, said he would have cast the deciding vote to move the ordinance forward. He said he has reached out to Law Director Frank Cimino to ask if the issue can return to council tonight.

The agenda does not include the measure.

"I would like to see it move forward," Rainone said. "I've been on council for eight years, and I don't remember them voting something down in committee."

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The police department has asked council to add a third part-time dispatcher to the city's growing dispatch center. Police Chief Timothy Adkins recently told council's health and safety committee that the dispatch center's call volume has increased dramatically since 2010, when it began to serve fire departments in surrounding townships.

"Our calls have already gone up 66 percent, and we haven't added a soul," Adkins told the panel.

The dispatch center, which traditionally served Ravenna, Rootstown and Charlestown, added the Edinburg, Palmyra, Paris and Deerfield fire departments in a 2010 expansion. Another 600 calls will be added to that, should the department add the Windham Fire Department to its list of clients.

Rainone said the dispatch center is "at the breaking point" now and can't add new clients without increasing staff. Once the note for the improvements to the dispatch center are paid off, he said, the revenue from those departments will support the dispatch activities.

"They're trying to pursue ways to add to our revenue stream so they don't have to ask for money," he said. "We've told the chief to find ways to be innovative."

Earlier in February, council held a work session in which Rainone and council members Frank Seman, Bruce Ribelin, Jack Ferguson and Sharon Spencer indicated their support for the ordinance.

Spencer said she was more comfortable with the proposal after the work session, but came to decide that the city just couldn't afford the extra staff.

"The bottom line is that it is still coming out of the general fund," she said. "We still don't have the money there."

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or dsmith@recordpub.com

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anonymous Mar 5, 2013 7:45 PM

So why doesn't the city simply bill the places they dispatch for? Then they could hire the people they need. Clearly the city just can't afford to hire anyone. The safety forces seem to be at undermanned and underperforming as it is already

anonymous Mar 5, 2013 4:50 PM

Ramela, Got some more apples and oranges to compare. The flag pole project has NOTHING to do with the city of Ravenna, other than its location. It is owned by the township, and the Save The Flagpole group are raising funds through PRIVATE donations, no tax $$. So, if you are stupid enough to climb it, be my guest, just don't bother trying to sue if you get hurt.

anonymous Mar 4, 2013 1:04 PM

Ravenna's main concern is that stupid ugly flagpole. They want to raise $150,000 to refurbish the ugly piece of junk. Yeah, there ya go. If you could actually raise $150,000 that would be the wisest way to spend that money. NOT. Just because someone said that the lattice structure is the identical method used in constructing the Eiffel Tower, does not mean that you have a little Eiffel Tower right there in Ravenna. If you do raise the money and use it to refurbish the flagpole, then I will just keep climbing it. I will! I'll climb it everyday until it has to be torn down.

anonymous Mar 4, 2013 12:44 PM

Call Major "CHAOS" Kelly at the Sheriff's Office, **** send a couple trusty's over from the jail! FOR FREE!

anonymous Mar 4, 2013 11:55 AM

Here we go geez, still no money. Be innovative. How about abolishing the economic developer and service directors position and bring in some motivation for the city's revenue. Funny how allll the surrounding communities are flourishing, building, making the community to look better more attractive to families. NOPE, not reveena. The only thing flourishing is PMHA, section 8 and Kevin Coleman. BTW, the so called "retirement apartments" being built on Harvest Drive, Ya thats a cover for more section 8 housing. Cuyahoga County is shutting their doors to metropolitan housing, that is why the big boom for Cleveland recipients moving in. You think its bad now....just wait.

anonymous Mar 4, 2013 9:12 AM

Sounds to me if he was so worried he would of been there!

As a tax payer I think I'm going to request a copy of attendence records.

I hear he and the law director rarely attend. Who is really costing the tax payers $!

Wake up people! Learn about your elected officials!