City’s safety service director will retire Aug. 1

GALION — Galion’s city safety service director has officially resigned.

In a letter to Mayor Tom O’Leary dated July 20, John Swain announced his resignation, effective Aug. 1, due to health problems.

“I appreciate the opportunity to have served as the first safety/service director this city has had for approximately 30 years,” said Swain in a letter O’Leary shared at Tuesday’s regular meeting of Galion City Council.

O’Leary said Swain did a great job serving the city.

“He did not want to do this, but sometimes the spirit wants what the body can’t do,” O’Leary said. “He did a lot in the past three years for our city and we will miss him. We will need to figure out how we are going to fill his position and move forward.”

O’Leary appointed Nikki Ward as acting safety service director several weeks ago.

Ann Heimlich, of Grandma Ann’s Attic, remains unhappy that the city’s design review board did not approve three windows she purchased for the building she owns at 107 Harding Way East.

“I am coming to you (council) about my replacement window problem. It really isn’t that my windows are the problem, as they are high-quality, custom-made and historically accurate. I have not received any satisfaction in putting those windows in and bad weather will soon be coming,” Heimlich said in a letter read by council clerk Julie Bell.

Heimlich maintains her contractor was told by a member of the design review board the windows had been approved, but when he began installing the windows, the city issued a stop work order.

City law director Thomas Palmer said he has tried to meet with Heimlich to review her options, which includes appealing the decision of the board to disallow the windows to the Crawford County Common Pleas Court, but Heimlich has not shown up to meetings with him.

“The offer still stands for me to meet with her,” Palmer said.

Dan Brown, chair of the design review board, said at a recent meeting of the board that if Heimlich had filed her application before she started work on her building, she would have known what type of windows to purchase.

“We feel bad, but we have rules to follow,” Brown said.

Heimlich said the board is requiring her to purchase vinyl windows that have a wood core.

“This rule is unreasonable and makes no sense, as the vinyl windows are better and will last longer,” Heimlich said.

Galion resident and former city law director Roberta Wade said a piece of legislation to start the bidding process for a shelter at Amann’s Reservoir that ended up being left off the evening’s agenda should be tabled altogether.

“We need handicap accessible restrooms and drinking fountains at the reservoir before a shelter house is constructed,” Wade said.

O’Leary said the legislation will be discussed during the finance committee’s Wednesday evening.

By Kimberly Gasuras

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Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras