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Police Chief to Become City's First Safety Director

Goss will start new position Oct. 1

Police Chief Charles Goss is expected to become Strongsville's safety director Oct. 1.

He will be the first person to occupy the post in on a full-time basis. The position was created decades ago but has been left vacant and, by default, filled by the mayor.

Mayor Tom Perciak is expected to make the appointment at a City Council meeting on Tuesday.

"I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity," Goss said.

Goss has been planning to retire from the Strongsville police department at the end of September because of a provision in the Public Employees Retirement System.

Now, he will transition into another administrative post, overseeing both the police and fire departments.

"I've been able to do what I love and get paid for it, and I've gotten to do it in my hometown," Goss said. "I've been blessed for the last 34 years."

He and a number of other police officers and firefighters in Ohio enrolled in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) several years ago, a program that allowed them to keep working after retirement age if they agreed to reduce their pension benefits.

A new police chief is expected to be appointed around Oct. 1

Goss said he is fortunate to oversee "top notch" police and fire departments and expects to act as a liaison between the department and the mayor. 

"I think a benefit I'll bring will be helping with the succession of leadership in the departments," he said.

Goss said the safety director position has been filled temporarily on a part-time basis in the past, but believes he will be the first full-time safety director here.

Tom Brennan August 31, 2012 at 10:20 PM
This sure appears to be a back door move going against the wishes of the Strongsville electorate. The voters told Mayor Perciak, by way of an overwhelming "NO" vote on Issue 131 in Nov. of 2010, that they did not want double dipping appointees in the positions of fire and police chiefs. So.......let's just create a position that has never been needed before? With all the supposed financial problems Strongsville supposedly faces, this looks like just one more case of selective spending/favoritism.
kenneth malady September 01, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Congratulations Chief - WELL DESERVED !!!!!!!
Tom Brennan September 01, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Kenneth, I'm curious as to why you believe Chief Goss being rewarded with a "created " position is well deserved, but leaving that as is for the moment, I'm still wondering how the mayor has justified this to council? As I understand it, staffing levels at both the police and fire departments have decreased markedly the last few years, thankfully due to attrition rather than layoffs, but decreased nonetheless. In addition, construction of the new police station, another project Mayor Perciak moved forward with despite the objections of the electorate, is now complete. I also undertsand that the master plan for fire station construction has also been completed. So, with manpower down, and no major projects (that we have been allowed to know about) looming, why the sudden need for creation of a full time position of safety director? Just wondering.
lyn September 10, 2012 at 03:25 PM
What is the pay for this "newly created" position. "Newly created" in that it appears there was never a need for this before. So why do we need this position, fulltime even? And, what duties have been created to justify the fulltime position to be filled and paid?
lyn September 10, 2012 at 03:53 PM
OK- Found some answers here: http://strongsville.patch.com/articles/goss-appointed-safety-director-although-cost-questioned But, just because we value someone's past contribution to the city and their abilities, does that justify doing this?
Debbie Palmer September 10, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Lyn, the salary is $90,000 a year. I was initially told $95,000, but it turns out that wasn't correct. The duties will include acting as liaison between the mayor's office and the safety forces, and taking over managing the Mayor's Court. An employee who is leaving the court is not being replaced.
lyn September 10, 2012 at 04:32 PM
How much was THAT employee making? And, were they fulltime?
lyn September 10, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I still don't understand the need for a "liaison" between these 2 departments and the mayor. We are not that big of a city. Can't the head of each of those 2 departments deal directly with the mayor? I would imagine this is why they never filled this position like this in the past. It sounds like one of those unnecessary middle management positions that can easily be eliminated. Sounds like just creating another reporting spot on the flowchart. So, 2 department heads will report to 1 person who will report to 1 person. Wasteful. And, he'll probably want an assistant. I'm sure they managed quite well all these years with Goss reporting directly to the mayor. Now his replacement will have to report to Goss and then Goss has to report to the mayor. Funny how they managed with Goss reporting directly to the mayor before he retires from his current position of police chief. Sounds like a waste again of taxpayer funds.
John Wells September 10, 2012 at 06:03 PM
In the fall of 2010 there was an issue on the ballot about giving the mayor power to pick whoever to be police and fire chief, no civil service. Voters said no, this is just a way around the will of the voters again.
John Wells September 10, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Sorry, did not see that the election issue was mentioned way up at the top of the comments!
lyn September 10, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Well, probably worth repeating. So many things happen in this city that people do not know about - or know that much about. I'm surprised at how much more I have learned about how this city does things since I joined the Patch - and I really do not like seeing how the officials take care of a few in their inner circle, while the rest of the 45,000 citizens are left behind.

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