Police Commission Meeting Reveals Unresolved Issues

Commission members ponder Township’s absence.

The Put-in-Bay Police Commission meeting on Tuesday evening leaves little doubt about the difficulty in resolving differences between Put-in-Bay Township and the Village of Put-in-Bay.  Township representatives did not attend; Village officials included Mayor Dress, Judy Berry, Chief Kimble, and Craig Cox.  Only six members of the general public attended.

The current contract between the two governing bodies expires 31 December 2022, but no official communication took place since the last Police Commission meeting on 17 August 2022.  Ms. Berry stated, “We were in default about police presence on Middle Bass Island this year, but we need to hash this out.  The Township needs to come to the table.”  Mayor Dress affirmed, “We are here to continue the conversation about policing on the Bass Islands and what the future is going to be.”  Mr. Cox added, “I ask the Township, ‘what do you want?’; but I’ve received radio silence.  We feel, and I speak for the Council, it is right for the islands to have one police force.”

In a telephone conversation after the  meeting, Township Trustee Chris Cooper told PiBDaily™ , “We have not made a decision about a new contract, and we await a meeting date and agenda to be set by the Village.”

The Village of Put-in-Bay budget process begins in October, but long-term planning is in gridlock due to a lack of partnership between the Village and Township in regard to the policing contract.  Mayor Dress hopes to resolve this concern by the end of September.

Discussion about establishing an income tax, sin tax, and head tax also prevailed.  Ms. Berry stated, “We have talked to a new lobbyist to determine the possibility of joint-funding-research with the Township.  The whole process is not quick.”

Village Council confirms a parking revenue plan will be in place for 2023.  This will likely involve the purchase of parking stickers for visitors and residents alike.