Lattrell stepping down on Saturday
Dec. 29—NORWALK — The search for a new fire chief in Norwalk officially begins Saturday when Ron Luttrell steps down.
Chief Ron Luttrell informed city administration in October of his intention to resign from his post after serving two years on the job.
Luttrell confirmed his decision in an emailed statement to the Reflector that cited frustrations over the lack of a shared vision between he and city leaders.
Assistant fire chief Dan Strayer will take over while the city looks for a new chief.
"As far as my upcoming resignation/retirement leading to my departure, I can only state my vision and goals of a fire-based EMS/ambulance service provided by the Norwalk Fire Department is much different than that of the City Administration," Luttrell's statement read. "I have been here for more than 2 years and the only progress I feel we have made is by cutting overtime. This has remained the only key performance indicator measurement of success."
Luttrell went on to explain that there were other additional issues beyond city administration that led to his resignation.
"My decision was not totally because of my philosophical differences with city administration," Luttrell wrote. "There have also been issues within the Fire Department/Union that have unfortunately caused many hard feelings to work past. With these strained relations, I feel it's time for someone else to step in and lead the department. With that, I wish the city administration well in choosing the next chief of the fire department. And well wishes for personnel at the fire department."
Luttrell iterated that he isn't sure what the future holds for him other than it will not be in the Norwalk area.
"I'm not sure where I will end up, I only know it won't be here in Norwalk nor will I be staying in Northern Ohio," he wrote.
Norwalk Mayor Dave Light said the search for a new chief will start immediately. Voters in November passed a levy which will allow the city to open up the search to the outside, and not be limited to current personnel.
Strayer said he is interested in the job.
"I will more than likely apply for it," he said Wednesday. "It is a very good place to work. Being the assitant chief the last year-and-a-half I have gotten to know the guys and community. I really enjoy it. I have absolutely no plans to go anywhere else.
"If somebody more qualified gets the job ahead of me I will stay on as the assistant and do the best job I can."
Strayer said it is a real team effort with the department.
"I have 100 percent confidence in the guys moving forward," he said. "You are only as good as the people underneath you. You tap into those resources. It all becomes a team effort in the end. With the group of guys we have I am sure we can do that — whether it is me or somebody else."
Two new officers
Light will swear in two new police officers Tuesday morning.
Norwalk High School graduates and military veterans Nolan Flowers and James Kramer will fill two of the four vacancies on the force.
"They are both very good hires for the city," Light said. "We are excited that people want to stay home and work for their city."
Light said the reason for all of the openings is officers are looking for a better situation. He noted two of the last officers to leave took jobs as school resource officers.
"Those are 9 to 5 jobs, five days a week," he said.
It is a real battle keeping police officers, he said, as cities are poaching other cities to fill their positions.
The Huron County Emergency Manaement Agency is asking people to sign up for the Huron County (Ohio) Emergency Alert System. By signing up, you will receive Huron County Ohio emergency alerts and public service announcements.
In the event of an emergency or tornado warning, an alert may be sent to the phone number(s) you provide and/or your email address.
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By registering, you will not receive unsolicited calls.
Alerts sent from Huron County will originate from 69310 for text messages and (419) 668-8980 for voice notifications. Please be sure to save these in your phone book.
To sign up log onto www.huroncountyalerts.com and follow the instructions.
Christmas tree pickup
Christmas tree pickup in the city of Norwalk is scheduled for the week of Jan. 9. Residents may place their trees in the tree lawn for pickup on their regular trash day. All lights, decorations and tree stands must be removed. Do not place your tree in a bag or they will not be picked up.