Council backs program on proper flag etiquette

Tiffin University students spoke to Tiffin City Council Tuesday night about their program to replace and repair damaged flags.

Tyler Todd and Michael Porter of Tiffin University’s Student Veteran Organization said its Restore the Glory project wants to give old American flags proper retirements, provide owners a chance to replace flags and educate the public on proper flag etiquette.

“I’d like to thank you for your outward showing of patriotism to the country and pride in the American symbol that we all love the flag,” Councilman Joe Hartzell said about the presentation. “Mostly, I’d like to thank you for allowing us to put our flags to sleep in a respectful manner.”

As of Feb. 18, Restore the Glory has evaluated the flying flags of two-thirds of Tiffin, and Todd said 29 flags being flown need attention.

The group is looking to raise nearly $300 to replace those flags.

Restore the Glory also is to give tattered flags that citizens want replaced a proper retirement ceremony, where group members will cut the 13 stripes, one by one, and place them into the fire. Then the remaining 50 stars portion of the flag will individually be placed into the fire.

Council President Paul Elchert thanked the group for their presentation and said a worn flag does not properly represent what the flag means.

“It makes me feel good, especially to see young people out here driving this,” Councilman Jim Roberts said.Councilwoman Lori Ritzler thanked the group for spreading the knowledge of flags in schools.

“We don’t want to force replacement we don’t want to do that we want to encourage and let them know they have an option,” said John Schupp, a professor at Tiffin University.

Council will issue a letter of support to Restore the Glory.

Elchert said he is concerned about an ordinance levying assessments for a sidewalk replacement project because people who live on Miami Street already had to pay for a storm sewer project several years ago.

Law Director Brent Howard said the assessment process should be completed.

Ritzler, who represents the Third Ward, said she gets comments occasionally about the project. Councilman Tyler Shuff said he has gotten some complaints as well.

Council is expected to discuss this issue again at next Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Finance Director Gwynn Reinhart said the city received $15,000 it had loaned to Seneca Economic and Industrial Development Corp. for the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial. It was paid seven months ahead of schedule.

Councilman Brian Bilger said the SEIDC project was “excellent” and he was “happy to see that it all went well.”

Also during the meeting council approved a contract to rent sewer meters and rain gauges for sewer flow monitoring, and declaring an emergency.

Council also approved reappointment by the mayor of Eric Griffin to a five-year term on the Seneca County Board of Health.

Council also heard the first of three readings of the following:

An ordinance amending and restating the city pay ordinance, reclassifying support staff positions with the police department, and declaring an emergency.

An ordinance amending appropriation of money received from a grant for police overtime.

An ordinance authorizing the transfer of funds and payment of bond and loan interest and principal, and declaring an emergency.