MILLBURY – When the Lake Township cemetery sexton died suddenly on Memorial Day, he left something on his
What to do with 240 hours of sick pay for Dan Sprinski was hotly debated at Tuesday’s Lake Township
A motion to authorize payment of $5,280 for the accrued sick time hours to Sprinski’s surviving spouse
died for lack of a second. Trustee Richard Welling, who made the motion, then asked for discussion on
“We cannot be expending funds without a written policy,” said Trustee Melanie Bowen.
She said other local municipalities vary on what they do with accrued sick time in the case of a death.
Bowling Green authorizes 25 percent, she said. Oregon has a ratio related to retirement. Perrysburg and
Whitehouse don’t pay anything.
Trustee Chairman Jeff Pettit said he agreed wholeheartedly.
“I don’t feel we’re obligated to pay taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Welling said it was impossible to have policy written on every situation that would come before the
trustees. That’s what resolutions and votes are for, he said.
Sprinski’s mother and step-father, Linda and George Crews, were bitterly disappointed in the decision.
Linda Crews said Sprinski had worked for the township for 16 years, before becoming cemetery sexton last
year. He’d only used sick days when he needed to be there for his wife or two children, she said.
“I’m sure he’d rather be here working,” she said.
Audience member Arlyn Brinker said a decision like this would encourage employees to burn up all their
sick days, instead of accumulating them.
“I think we’re morally obligated (to pay),” he said.
Welling asked Bowen and Pettit to consider other circumstances.
“If Dan had survived the heart attack and been in the hospital, would he be getting this?”
It was a moot point, they said.
When Welling pressed the issued, Bowen said, “You can argue all you want, Mr. Welling, I am not
She said the Ohio Revised Code states the board “may pay” the time.
“Due to lack of a second, we will move on,” Bowen said.
Fiscal Officer Vicki Schwamberger said it is wrong to think Sprinski’s sick time was accrued.
All Lake Township employees, except for police officers who are unionized and work under a contract, get
120 hours of sick time at the beginning of each new year.
During the discussion, there was mention of the nine township employees, who do not work for police or
fire, voting to unionize.
After the meeting, Pettit said there was a unanimous vote in April by the nine, including Sprinski.
The part-time firefighters also voted to form a union, he said.
“It took all three of us trustees by surprise,” Pettit said of the employees’ vote.
Parks Director Ron Hanely, who is one of the nine employees, was reached by phone after the meeting.
He said there wasn’t a whole lot to talk about at this point and that he was uncomfortable being a
“We haven’t got that far to have a union rep, or anything like that,” he said. “I like working here. I
like the working relationship I have with everybody and that’s the one thing I don’t want to lose.”