LAKE TWP.: More than 50 people crowded into Township Hall for the trustees’ meeting Monday night with most there to express support for Uniontown police Chief Harold Britt.
Rumors had been swirling throughout Lake Township that trustees had asked for Britt’s resignation or were about to fire him.
During the public speaking portion of the meeting, 28 people came forward to praise Britt. They asked trustees to consider his excellent work as chief.
Lake High Principal Kevin Tobin and other school personnel also spoke highly of Britt and his work within the school system.
Some speakers criticized trustees for a lack of transparency about personnel issues.
Board President John Arnold said trustees could not discuss any issues about Britt in the public meeting, only in executive session.
One resident said she would circulate a petition to remove all three township trustees if they fired Britt.
Following a lengthy executive session with township attorney Charles Hall, Arnold said Britt would go forward as Uniontown police chief. The announcement generated loud applause from the audience.
Trustees and Britt refused to discuss the executive session, but the chief said he was glad trustees “made the right decision.”
During the discussions, many residents asked trustees to place the issue creating a Lake Township Police Department on the ballot again. Several said they now favor township-wide policing after previous opposition.
Voters last November narrowly approved expanding the Uniontown Police District to township-wide coverage (excluding the village of Hartville). That election result was overturned in court this spring, however, due to an error in ballot language.
Police coverage returned to the Uniontown and Hartville departments patrolling their respective areas. Stark County sheriffs deputies handle calls from the rest of the township.