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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2015

BECAUSE COMMUNITY MATTERS

Concerts, mailed newsletters are on the chopping block transparency and open government,” Beamer said. “And I can’t fathom why you would want to take away the newsletter, which promotes news for the township. “(That) we know by mailing it to the homes, people get it, (since) we can’t necessarily rely on online – although things are starting to go that way,” Beamer said. Things have long been going that way, McGraw said. “The truth is in this day and age, most people get their news electronically,” McGraw said. “I’ve got kids that have never picked up a newspaper, but they read stuff online constantly. “We’re not going to end the newsletter, because there’s going to be one that’s electronical-

By Jeanne Houck jhouck@communitypress.com

Community concerts and quarterly newsletters mailed to homes despite being posted online soon may be history in Union Township. The township Board of Trustees is considering cutting the concerts and the costs of printing and mailing the newsletters to build up savings or spend on core needs. That is, unless businesses come forward and offer to pay at least some of the concert costs and if there is a large show of support for mailing the quarterly newsletters shown by residents at a public hearing on the issue to be scheduled soon. The fates of the concerts and mailed newsletters have been raised periodically since John

JEANNE HOUCK/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

The Union Township Board of Trustees is split over whether to stop offering concerts and to stop mailing copies of quarterly newsletters available online to residents' homes. From left: trustees Loyd Acres, John McGraw and Matt Beamer.

McGraw and Lloyd Acres, now chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Union Township Board of Trustees, took office a year ago. The issues came to a head at the Jan. 8 board of trustees meeting when McGraw made a motion during the approval of a list of purchase orders not to OK some $19,500-worth of costs for upcoming concerts and

$46,500-worth of costs for printing and mailing upcoming newsletters. The newsletters are posted on Union Township’s website at www.union-township.oh.us. Trustee Matt Beamer, who has served since 2006 and whose seat was not up for election in November 2013, did not take kindly to either idea. “We’ve all campaigned on

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Gaviglia is new Union Township police chief By Jeanne Houck jhouck@communitypress.com

Union Township has a new police chief. Lt. Scott Gaviglia was appointed to the police department’s top post by the township trustees on Jan. 8, effective immediately. Gaviglia’s appointment continues a tradition of promoting from within the ranks of the Union Township Police Department. The 17-year veteran of the 60-member police department succeeds Terrence Zinser as chief. Zinser joined the Union Township Police Department as an entry-level officer. Gaviglia likewise started out his career with the police department as a patrol officer in 1997, winning promotions to sergeant and then to lieutenant. He was last operations commander for the department and had been serving as interim Union Township police chief after Zinser retired in November. “I am grateful and excited about the opportunity to lead one of the best police department in the region,” Gaviglia said. “Policing during this time in our nation’s history is challenging. “However with the department’s commitment to ‘Pride, Progress and Professionalism’ (the police department’s motto) and a genuine commitment to communityoriented policing and outreach, I truly believe there is no obstacle we cannot overcome together,” Gaviglia said.

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New Union Township Police Chief Scott Gaviglia, center, is presented his badge from former police chief Terry Zinser, right. Former police chief Tom Knox is at left.

Union Township trustees said Gaviglia has served the police department with distinction and has the education, training, experience and skills to be an effective police chief. “I am excited to have Chief Gaviglia on board as our police chief,” said John McGraw, chairman of the Union Township Board of Trustees. “In order to run the best police department, you need top leadership and Chief Gaviglia brings integrity and leadership to the job. “I think we have the best police chief in the region,”

McGraw said. Said Trustee Matt Beamer, “Lt. Scott Gaviglia has the experience, knowledge and the leadership to be our next police chief. “It was an honor to pass the resolution making this appointment for the township,” Beamer said. “I look forward to working with the chief to continue the ‘Pride, Progress and Professionalism’.” Gaviglia is the sixth police chief of the Union Township Police Department. He will be paid just over $94,200 annually and serve at the pleasure of the township

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trustees. “I will continue to see that we use all the tools available to the department in an efficient and effective manner,” Gaviglia said. “I will always have an open line of communication with the public. “I am excited about the tasks at hand and the challenges that lay ahead,” Gaviglia said. “I cannot wait to get started.” Want to know more about what is happening in Union Township? Follow me on Twitter @jeannehouck.

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Pierce Twp., departments focus on communications By Sheila Vilvens svilvens@communitypress.com

One key objective in the Pierce 2020 planning document is to improve communications to all residents. This is a goal being embraced by the Pierce Township Police Department via Nixle, Facebook and its website. In January the department reactivated Nixle, a communications tool it first introduced in 2010. Through this free text messaging and email service, the department can send realtime alerts, advisories and other communications, Lt. Michael Bennett said. Nixle was started by the township’s school resource officer. When the school resource officer position was eliminated due to budget cuts, use of Nixle was also stopped. “Once we identified the goal to increase communications with residents, we contacted (Nixle),” he said. More than 2,000 township contacts were still in their data system and able to be reactivated. Not all of the contacts are valid, but it’s a place to start, Bennett noted. To sign up for email messages via Nixle, go to www.nixle.com to create an account and get registered. For text messages, text your zip code to 888777. Nixle isn’t the only tool the police department is using to reach out to residents. Bennett said in December of 2014 a Facebook page was created for the department, www.faebook.com/piercetownshippolicedepartment. On the page you can find photographs, good news stories and advisories, he said. The police department’s website is also getting updated and improved with the help of the township’s part-time communications coordinator, Jenny Lt. Newcomb, Bennett said. In fact, Newcomb is working to improve communication for all Newcomb township departments. Newcomb is a contractual employee who started last summer working about five hours per week at $25 per hour. She has been busy creating and managing the township’s Facebook page, revamping the township’s website, and writing and editing articles and press releases for the township newsletter and sharing with the media. “The township trustees want to continue to make Pierce Township a great place to live, play and work,” Newcomb said. “I am excited to help spread the word about all the great things going on here, and we have some big plans for 2015.” Vol. 34 No. 42 © 2015 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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