The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 10, 2013

Judge Schroeder will help Conneaut law department

Council OKs hiring ex-law director for a few months

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — David Schroeder, new Western County court judge, will help his former employer deal with a pending $150,000 housing demolition program.

City Council, at Monday’s meeting, unanimously agreed to hire Schroeder to oversee the Move Ohio Forward program that will ultimately knock down several houses and buildings across town. The city will pay Schroeder $2,500 a month and expenses to steer the city through the demolition program, which could take a few months to  complete, council was told. Payment will not exceed $10,000, said City Manager Tim Eggleston.

Schroeder was Conneaut’s law director when the Move Ohio Forward program was introduced a few months ago. Schroeder had already done plenty of work on the program when he accepted the judgeship last month, officials have said. Council was asked to hire Schroeder to finish MOF because of his familiarity with the program, City Manager Tim Eggleston said Monday.

“Because of the complexity (of the program), this is the best course of action,” he said.

The Western County judgeship is a part-time position, meaning Schroeder can do outside legal work. Because law forbids a judge to serve as a law director, Schroeder was obliged to step down from his Conneaut job.

Schroeder attended Monday’s meeting but did not speak.

In other business, Brigham Sloan, new warden at Lake Erie Correctional Institution, attended the meeting to introduce himself.

“I’m extremely excited to be offered the opportunity to take the helm of (LaECI),” he said. “It’s an exciting endeavor for me. I do intend to be here for awhile.”

Sloan, who replaces Barry Goodrich, comes to Conneaut from Colorado.

Elsewhere, council learned improvements will be coming to city parks at the Dean and Hayward avenues. Money to complete the work comes from a $64,000 Community Development Block Grant program.

Dean Avenue park will see new fencing on Broad Street and the tennis courts, a new sidewalk, benches and trash cans; while Hayward will receive ramps at its parking lot, a four-foot fence to separate kids from the street, benches and trash cans.

Council also:

• Set the salary of interim law director Carly Prather at $47,000

• Approved a job creation program that will provide tax incentives to businesses that add employees, said Finance Director John Williams

• Adopted a measure that contains every fee the city charges for every service. Administrators said an all-encompassing fee ordinance would be easier to amend.