Martins Ferry councilman rides with police officers

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON MARTINS FERRY Councilman Tom Burns, left, recently rode along with police officers on three different days. Also shown during Wednesday’s meeting is Councilman James Schramm. 2. T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON MARTINS FERRY Councilmen, from left, Robert Hunker and Bruce Shrodes and Councilwoman Suzanne Armstrong attend Wednesday’s regular meeting. Martins Ferry councilman rides with police Says officers are ‘efficient, brave, intelligent’ By SHELLEY HANSON Times Leader Staff Writer MARTINS FERRY — City Councilman Tom Burns recently got an inside look into what it is like to be a Martins Ferry police officer. He shared his experience Wednesday during a regular Martins Ferry City Council meeting. Burns said he took three ride-alongs with police on three different dates — June 29-30 and July 7 — during afternoon shifts. He mainly rode with Officer George Shreve and Sgt. Bob Walton. “I actually was able to add some valuable input into several cases, especially, on how to contact a victim at one crime. ... We should be proud of our chief, John McFarland, and his men and women, from officers to dispatchers,” Burns said. “The are the most efficient, brave and intelligent,” he said. “When we were on a call I was so proud ... when people asked me who I was, I said I was one of Martins Ferry’s city councilmen. If they thanked me, I said, ‘The thank-you should be to our chief and our brave officers.’ On a drug bust the neighbors were more than grateful and said so.” Burns said he plans to do more shifts with the officers in the future because he believes it is important for city leaders to see what is occurring in the city. “We need to know what’s going on in our town,” Burns said following the meeting. During the meeting, Burns said the city was “blessed with a great police force.” He mentioned he believes too many people are speeding near the park and playground on Zane Highway. He wondered if it would help to lower the speed limit. In other matters, council approved spending $4,226 for a new headwall at the Bruney Alley rehabilitation project being conducted by Border Patrol Construction of Richmond. Mayor Robert Krajnyak said the existing headwall damaged during flooding there in February was actually only decorative. The contractor said a real anchored headwall was needed for the storm drain. He also said the North Eighth Street piling wall project was complete except for handrails, which the contractor is having refabricated to fit new staircases properly. Krajnyak said he also contacted LaRoche Tree Service of Bellaire about trimming some overhanging trees on various streets, and removal of others he believes may become a problem during future storms. Council also approved a motion to temporarily reallocate the $3 sewer capital fund fee to the sewer operating fund. Before passing the motion, Councilwoman Suzanne Armstrong inquired as to why the change was necessary. City Auditor Rita Randall said the fund was in the red and needed money to make it solvent. She estimated the change would only be required until September. She said the $46,000 already in the capital fund would not be used to make the account balance, but rather the city would use the money coming in from this point forward. “I need the money so I don’t have to do a stop payroll,” Randall said. Meanwhile, Burns said he is seeking estimates from three different companies for retaining wall work for Riverview Cemetery. Krajnyak said city workers are expected to be trained on the new DuraPatcher pothole-repair machine next week. “As soon as they are trained they can start using it,” Krajnyak said. Also, council voted to cancel next week’s regular meeting because they did not have any pressing business to conduct. Wednesday’s meeting was held because council changed the date from the Fourth of July holiday. Councilman Robert Hunker said during a recent utility committee meeting recommendations for the utility office from the Ohio Auditor’s Office were discussed. One item mentioned was the possibility of having the office stay open later than its usual 3:30 p.m. closing time to allow more people to pay bills after work. He said the department also may have the ability to start taking credit card payments starting in September. Krajnyak also mentioned his continued search for a new service director to replace Chris Cleary, whose last day with the city was Friday. He plans on taking resumes until July 23. Resident Richard Hord said Cleary would be missed. Council excused the absence of Councilman Jack Regis Sr.

MARTINS FERRY — City Councilman Tom Burns recently got an inside look into what it is like to be a Martins Ferry police officer.

He shared his experience Wednesday during a regular Martins Ferry City Council meeting.

Burns said he took three ride-alongs with police on three different dates — June 29-30 and July 7 — during afternoon shifts. He mainly rode with officer George Shreve and Sgt. Bob Walton.

“I actually was able to add some valuable input into several cases, especially, on how to contact a victim at one crime. … We should be proud of our chief, John McFarland, and his men and women, from officers to dispatchers,” Burns said.

“The are the most efficient, brave and intelligent,” he said. “When we were on a call I was so proud … when people asked me who I was, I said I was one of Martins Ferry’s city councilmen. If they thanked me, I said, ‘The thank-you should be to our chief and our brave officers.’ On a drug bust the neighbors were more than grateful and said so.”

Burns said he plans to do more shifts with the officers in the future because he believes it is important for city leaders to see what is occurring in the city.

“We need to know what’s going on in our town,” Burns said following the meeting.

During the meeting, Burns said the city was “blessed with a great police force.” He mentioned he believes too many people are speeding near the park and playground on Zane Highway. He wondered if it would help to lower the speed limit.

In other matters, council approved spending $4,226 for a new headwall at the Bruney Alley rehabilitation project being conducted by Border Patrol Construction of Richmond. Mayor Robert Krajnyak said the existing headwall damaged during flooding there in February was actually only decorative. The contractor said a real anchored headwall was needed for the storm drain.

He also said the North Eighth Street piling wall project was complete except for handrails, which the contractor is having refabricated to fit new staircases properly.

Krajnyak said he also contacted LaRoche Tree Service of Bellaire about trimming some overhanging trees on various streets, and removal of others he believes may become a problem during future storms.

Council also approved a motion to temporarily reallocate the $3 sewer capital fund fee to the sewer operating fund. Before passing the motion, Councilwoman Suzanne Armstrong inquired as to why the change was necessary. City Auditor Rita Randall said the fund was in the red and needed money to make it solvent. She estimated the change would only be required until September. She said the $46,000 already in the capital fund would not be used to make the account balance, but rather the city would use the money coming in from this point forward.

“I need the money so I don’t have to do a stop payroll,” Randall said.

Meanwhile, Burns said he is seeking estimates from three different companies for retaining wall work for Riverview Cemetery.

Krajnyak said city workers are expected to be trained on the new DuraPatcher pothole-repair machine next week.

“As soon as they are trained they can start using it,” Krajnyak said.

Also, council voted to cancel next week’s regular meeting because they did not have any pressing business to conduct. Wednesday’s meeting was held because council changed the date from the Fourth of July holiday.

Councilman Robert Hunker said during a recent utility committee meeting recommendations for the utility office from the Ohio Auditor’s Office were discussed. One item mentioned was the possibility of having the office stay open later than its usual 3:30 p.m. closing time to allow more people to pay bills after work. He said the department also may have the ability to start taking credit card payments starting in September.

Krajnyak also mentioned his continued search for a new service director to replace Chris Cleary, whose last day with the city was Friday. He plans on taking resumes until July 23. Resident Richard Hord said Cleary would be missed.

Council excused the absence of Councilman Jack Regis Sr.

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