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Perkins Township employees finish conflict resolution classes

Andy Ouriel • Jan 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Perkins Township taxpayers spent nearly $20,000 to create harmony and unity amongst its government employees, according to a Register analysis of financial documents.

During the past couple of years, township employee morale hit rock bottom.

Contributing to this decline were incidents such as former police Chief Tim McClung heading to federal prison in June 2011 for improperly selling police department guns, and building inspector John Curtis accusing fiscal officer Diane Schaefer of creating a hostile work environment in May 2011.

Township trustees wanted to zap all the lingering emotions and learn how to move forward in a positive direction.

So they enlisted the help of BGSU Firelands officials.

They created several classes aimed to bolster trust, handle conflict situations and create better relationships with employees.

“We wanted to look at building a level of trust and set the stage for how are we going to treat each other,” said Bryan Cavins, BGSU Firelands’ assistant dean of students for leadership programs.

An opening lesson for township employees: Treat everyone equally and with respect.

“It’s a feel-good, do-good concept,” Cavins said, who spearheaded the lesson plans. “I’m more likely to reach out and help my fellow colleagues when I’m treated (well).”

Several employees are already noticing a positive change in township offices.

“The cooperation wasn’t there before like it is now,” Perkins police Chief Ken Klamar said. “The residents will benefit from this.”

Said highway foreman Kevin Boos: “I hate to look back at some of the negativity. Perkins Township as a whole just didn’t exist. But since starting these classes, I have seen the growth in every department.”

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