Richfield detective named Summit County’s Top Cop

by Sue Serdinak

July 18 village council meeting

Police Chief Michael Swanson reported that Detective Sgt. Ryan Kellackey was named the June Top Cop in Summit County. He was honored for his detective work and successful prosecution of the criminal who stole $85,000 from an elderly victim.

Kellackey was also named the Top Cop in December 2020.

With only five members present, council needed a unanimous vote  to suspend readings on resolutions. Pat Norris and Charles Boester were absent.

Council passed a resolution to purchase a Ford Police Interceptor from McCandless Ford for $43,360. The Interceptor would replace the cruiser that was hit by a speeding truck on I-271 in May. The insurance company compensated the village $35,775 for the 2021 hybrid cruiser that they determined was totaled.

The village service department was praised for removing the communication equipment from the wrecked vehicle. They will install it in the new vehicle, saving thousands of dollars.

“The work that these mechanics do is incredible,” said Swanson.

Council approved modifying the street pavement contract with Perrin Asphalt to remove Gianni Way and add Brushwood Road to the schedule.

 Council adopted a resolution to provide a first-responders’ wellness program for the village’s safety forces. According to the resolution, the village will pay Jones-Wood Psychological Associates $14,175 annually for two years. The service will provide six free counseling services for each member of the safety forces.

Fire Chief George Seifert received a $95,000 grant from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, to be used for safety forces’ wellness programs.

Seifert announced the resignations of full-time fire medic Michael Humenik and part-time fire medic Quinten Brown.

Swanson announced that 163 students attended Safety Town and 147 teens and  adults volunteered to help. Richfield and Bath jointly sponsored the event.

He also announced receiving a $5,000 donation from Equitable Foundation in memory of Mark Totten, a former fire department employee, township trustee and father of officer Jacob Totten, Richfield’s K-9 officer-in-training. The foundation requested that the money be used for the K-9 program.

Mayor Michael Wheeler asked for a moment of silence for the death of Nancy Hartman, a long-time volunteer at the senior center.

Wheeler also read a proclamation praising the work of Shaw JCC of Akron for becoming a premier nonprofit group in Summit County. 

 A work session will follow council’s Aug. 15 meeting and landscape designer Rob Morgan will present possible plans for a timber-frame, open-air structure on the Green. Councilperson Rick Hudak suggested that the village should consider permanently closing the east/west section of Grant Street and converting it into a parking lot to service the Green and Richfield Brewery.

Council will also review proposed designs for a pavilion that would be built on the Eastwood Preserve property, in the location where a barn was razed last year.

Council will hold a public hearing on Sept. 5 regarding the proposed zoning amendment regulating portable storage containers. The amendment would prohibit the containers in all zoning districts except for short periods when they could be used for construction equipment or during an active relocation to a property. 

Vision input invited

The work of the Richfield Village Strategic Planning Committee will continue this fall. As a follow up to the May 31 workshop that was open to the entire Richfield community, that committee will have a table under the tent at Community Day. Property owners are invited to visit the table and share their ideas or ask for more information. Information is also posted on the village website. ∞