Sandusky Transit boss reaches end of line

Thomas Schwan signs separation agreement after more than three years with city
Andy Ouriel
Aug 18, 2014

SANDUSKY

ouriel@sanduskyregister.com

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.

Comments

MrGadfly

Finally, Someone is putting an end to the hemorrhage of public funds to support this operation.

All for public transportation. It just needs to be self sufficient.

Factitious

That's ridiculous. Because it facilitates economic activity, transportation infrastructure is generally subsidized, and highways and streets are no small part of that.

Resident101

Is this the contract they took away from North Central EMS a few years ago because "government" could do it better?

YouMustBeJoking

Such a shame, greed cost another Sandusky city employee his job. There were multiple police officers at the Sandusky Transit office all last week. There were also people uploading information from the former administrators computer. "“We ultimately determined it was in his best interest to resign and move in a different direction,” city manager Eric Wobser said." but it was voluntary? Basically, criminal charges will be filed, unless you voluntarily resign.

SKULLNBONES

Why does this nibly bit of a podunk town need a TRANSIT BOSS? Basically a chief van driver. Sheesh.

knowitall

That is an ignorant comment. Why don't you apply if it is so easy?

Factitious

It doesn't just operate in Sandusky. Erie County should be proud of the progress this system has made. Just a few years ago it had no regular routes.