Second attempt to hire firefighter to fill vacancy in Niles Township fails 4-3

Published 2:22 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The second effort to hire a new firefighter for the Niles Township department failed in a 4 to 3 vote Monday of the township's trustees.
Township Fire Chief Craig Lear recommended to the board that Robert Ruff be hired to fill a vacancy in the department. Ruff is currently a volunteer on the City of Niles Fire Department. However, because of language in the township's present contract with its firefighters, which gives preference to candidates from within the township's volunteer system when full-time vacancies occur, four township officials voted against hiring Ruff.
Voting no on the hiring were trustees Richard Cooper, Richard Noble, Marge Durm-Hiatt and Bill Myers, township supervisor. Supporting the hiring of Ruff were township trustees Kevin Tonkin, Bob Jones, who is chair of the township's public safety committee, and James Ringler, township treasurer.
Along with Ruff, two township volunteer firefighters have applied for the open position. They are Kevin Aldridge and Paul Rainwater.
Lear told township trustees Ruff, in his opinion, is the most qualified candidate and, not only his choice for the job, but also that of several other officials of area fire departments who helped with the selection process.
The issue is expected to be referred back to the township's public safety committee.