Oil City Council Accepts Chief Wenner’s Retirement

| February 15, 2019

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – The Oil City Council accepted the retirement letter from long-time Oil City police chief Robert Wenner at Thursday’s council meeting.

Wenner, who will become the new police chief of Sugarcreek Borough, will stay in his post in Oil City until March 1, 2019.

“During my more than 29 ½ years of service, it has been my honor to serve the citizens of Oil City and to have had the opportunity to work with so many great employees within the City.”

“As I move forward with my new position, I will take with me the experiences and lessons learned here in Oil City

“I would like to thank the citizens of Oil City for their assistance in protecting our community and look forward to forging the same relationship with the citizens of Sugarcreek Borough.”

Oil City mayor William Moon thanked Wenner.

“I want to thank you for your service to the community,” Moon said.

Wenner responded by saying he has really enjoyed his job.

“The job has given back as much as I have ever given,” Wenner said.

City Manager Mark Schroyer said so far six current police officers have expressed interest in the interim police chief position and that interviews will take place on Friday, February 22.

TWO OTHER RETIREMENTS ACCEPTED

The Council accepted two additional retirements on Thursday.

William Downing retired effective February 1 as an Operator 3 in Public Works.

“He is going to be hard to replace,” Schroyer said. “He has been a jack-of-all-trades for us.”

According to Schroyer, Downing has expressed interest in continuing to serve the City and discussion will continue about that.

In addition, the Council accepted the retirement of Chad Berry from the fire department after 20 years fulltime and four additional part-time years.

Schroyer said that in an effort to save the City money, the City is looking into combining testing efforts for new firefighters with Franklin, which also has some openings.

“It’s good to work with our neighbors,” Councilman Ron Gustafson said.

PENSION PLAN TO BE BID

The Council approved putting the City’s Pension Plan out for bid.

The decision came after PNC Bank, which currently holds the Pension Plan, decided to close its Oil City branch in December 2018. Pension plans held include for firefighters, police officers and non-uniformed city employees, and the City has been with PNC Bank for the past 12 years.

“The members of the (pension plans) are upset,” Schroyer said. “This is the right move.”

Council members believe that after 12 years it’s a good time to explore its options for a new bank.

“There is considerable interest in the pension plans,” Schroyer said. “We are going to put together proposals.”

Schroyer said all the Pension Plans combined are in excess of $25 million.

“The plan is solvent and there is a lot of interest in it,” Schroyer said.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business the council:

  • Approved a request from the First Church of God requesting use of Justus Park for its annual Easter Egg Hunt and Bike Giveaway April 13, 2019. Registration will take place at 12:30 p.m. with the Easter Egg Hunt going on between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. In 2018, over 400 children registered for the event.
  • Approved a request from Oil City Main Street for its Spring Wine Walk to be held Friday, April 26, 2019. Oil City Main Street expects between 350 to 500 people to participate and 10 to 13 wineries.
  • Ended the probationary period of firefighter Sam McSparren and appointed him to permanent full-time paramedic/firefighter for the City effective January 26,2019.
  • Accepted the Arts Council By-laws
  • Appointed Christina Sporer Barletta to the Oil City Redevelopment Authority.
  • Heard from Schroyer that he is investigating entering into a contract with CreditTech for the collection of delinquent bills owed to the City.

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