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Sandusky Transit boss reaches end of line

Andy Ouriel • Aug 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM



The Sandusky Transit supervisor's job came to a screeching halt.

Former transit administrator Thomas Schwan abruptly severed ties with the city after signing a separation agreement a week ago, according to contract the Register obtained through a public records request.

The Register learned about Schwan’s resignation earlier this week. But city officials wouldn’t comment on the matter until Friday, seven days after he “voluntarily” left, because of a contract clause.

“We ultimately determined it was in his best interest to resign and move in a different direction,” city manager Eric Wobser said. “He wasn’t forced out. This came out of difficult conventions about where transit found itself, and I think Tom was frustrated with how things were going.”

When reached by phone, Schwan declined to comment.

Schwan came under fire earlier this year when city commissioners scrutinized public transportation operations.

Despite receiving state and federal funds in addition to local fare money, transit services still needed about a $318,000 bailout from Sandusky’s everyday operating budget to negate a shortfall for 2013.

City commissioners provided the bailout, a necessary transaction, amid their own fiscal crisis, highlighted by a $1.1 million shortfall in the $16.3 million budget.

To balance their budget, commissioners in February scaled back on many public services, including failing to maintain multiple firefighter positions.

Wobser reiterated nothing criminal, to his knowledge, occurred in Sandusky Transit under Schwan’s three-plus-year tenure.

Schwan won’t receive a severance package or any other additional funds upon leaving. He earned about $42,000 a year.

Meanwhile, going forward, city officials will spend up to $10,000 on a consultant to oversee transit operations and suggest possible efficiencies.

No other transit employee lost his or her job in this process.

Riders haven't and shouldn’t notice an interruption of public transportation services during this transition, Wobser said.

“Transit is an incredibly important service, and this provides us with an opportunity to evaluate how we are providing that service now and how we can improve it going forward,” Wobser said.

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