Here are the top five stories of 2012 in Bath Township as selected by Bath.Ohio.com correspondent Jody Miller:
Bath’s work force impacted by state pension changes
BATH TWP.: Changes that were initially proposed and then approved in 2012 by state legislators for Ohio’s Public Employee Retirement System had a direct impact on Bath Township this past year.
Those soon-to-be-implemented changes will affect various aspects of the public sector pension system, including contribution rates and years on the job. Those changes also spurred the retirements of what Trustee President Becky Corbett called “some seasoned and important employees.”
Among the township personnel opting to retire rather than deal with changes in their retirement/pension packages were long-time Township Administrator Bill Snow, Service Director Bob Wilson, fire department veterans Bob Motz and Tom Kamp and police officers Kevin Hylbert and Scott Barb.
Changes in public sector pensions are scheduled to take effect statewide in January.
Sinopoli selected as Bath’s next administrator
BATH TWP.: With the planned retirement of Township Administrator Bill Snow, Bath trustees spent much of the last six months of 2012 paring down the list of 33 applicants for the township’s administrative manager’s post.
Proving the adage that there is “no place like home,” the top three finalists were all employed by the township: Snow as interim administrator after retiring in August, Sharon Troike as Bath’s current, elected fiscal officer and Vito Sinopoli as a member of the Bath Police Department for 27 years.
When all was said and done, it was Sinopoli the trustees chose as Bath’s next administrator.
In addition to his law enforcement experience, Sinopoli has operated a residential and commercial construction business and was involved in the day-to-day operations and budgetary and fiscal responsibilities for the company. He is also a licensed attorney in Ohio, maintaining a private practice in Summit County, and a member of the 29th class of Leadership Akron.
Sinopoli will resign his position with the police department before moving into the township administrator position. Snow is interim administrator through March 31 and is working with Sinopoli to ensure a smooth transition.
Bath Business Association to continue new tradition with Community Garage Sale
BATH TWP.: The first-ever Bath Community Garage Sale took place on the third Saturday in June and was deemed a huge success by the more than 110 individual garage sale participants throughout Bath and the innumerable buyers who spent their Saturday travelling the township in search of bargains.
Sponsored by the Bath Business Association, in cooperation with Bath Township, this daylong event provided treasures and bargains galore for buyers and an opportunity to downsize or clean house for the participants.
The BBA provided a detailed map with a list of the items for sale, as well as bright green, numbered signs and balloons to make navigation around the township easier.
The Bath Community Garage Sale was modeled on the very successful community garage sale event held every year in Richfield. Given the positive response from so many, plans are already in the works by BBA members to host a second garage sale in 2013.
Airplanes on Bath Nature Preserve
BATH TWP.: The public use of the more than 400 acres of the Bath Nature Preserve dates back to the late 1990s. Among the news this past year about the BNP was about seed planes.
After more than six months of work, the15-acre site in the Preserve (formerly known as the Polo Grounds on the Firestone estate) was restored this year to a functional wetland and floodplain for the North Fork tributary of Yellow Creek.
A state grant and some matching funds from Bath provided money for the restoration, which will not only fulfill a target area in the regional Yellow Creek Watershed Action Plan but will also enable Bath to satisfy some of the Environmental Protection Agency regulations to better protect water quality.
Once the reconstruction and regrading was complete, the site needed to be seeded with more than 100 different wetland and wet meadow species. But when Superstorm Sandy left the Garden Bowl too wet to seed by the traditional method, the contractor rented a little yellow plane that flew back and forth over the 15 acres, dropping the wetland specimen seed mix that will be seen (hopefully) in the spring.
Revere pilots tuition-based, all-day kindergarten
BATH TWP.: The Revere Local School District offered an all-day, tuition-based kindergarten program for the 2012-13 school year. The program was implemented as another option to the district’s half-day, no-cost program.
Following the formal registration process, 68 students, more than half of those registered for kindergarten, enrolled in the full-day program.
Tuition this past year was set at $2,950 for the full-day program, with discounts available for prepayment, financial need and multiple students in one family.
Honorable mention: Revere adopts new strategic plan
BATH TWP.: Following months of meetings among administrators, staff and a large cadre of community members, Revere Local Schools crafted a strategic plan that the Board of Education formally adopted in September.
The plan, which is the blueprint to guide the district for years to come, according to administrators, includes belief, mission and vision statements as well as strategic priorities and goals for five key areas: community engagement, facility/infrastructure, finance, teaching and learning, and wellness. Each of the strategic priorities is described in the document with a number of specific goals listed for each of those priorities outlined in the plan.
What do you think is the biggest news for Bath Township in 2012? Leave your opinion in the comment section below and we'll announce the top story on Monday.