Board appoints superintendent pro tempore, discusses bond issue

Tiffin City Board of Education member Victor Perez (far right) speaks during Monday’s meeting as President Dr. Andrew Gase (left) and Dr. Jeff Hoyda sit nearby.

Tiffin City Board of Education unanimously decided to appoint Assistant Superintendent Bob Boes as the district’s superintendent pro tempore after a two-hour executive session Monday night.

The board then tabled an agenda item to consider and appoint an interim superintendent.

The district’s superintendent again was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence.

Gary A. Barber, 55, of Tiffin, was charged with OVI, a first-degree misdemeanor, and a traffic lanes/line violation, a minor misdemeanor, according to Marion Municipal Court records.

After the meeting, President Dr. Andrew Gase said Barber had requested sick leave in writing, and he had had sick leave approved.

After extensive board discussion with legal counsel, officials are exploring all options in regards to Barber’s employment, Gase said.

He said officials don’t know how long Barber will be on sick leave.

Barber previously pleaded no contest and was found guilty of OVI, a first-degree misdemeanor, and failure to control, a minor misdemeanor, through Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court in 2017.

In that case, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with 30 days suspended; was placed on non-reporting probation for one year; was ordered to complete a driver intervention program; had his license suspended for six months, with approval for unrestricted driving privileges; and had six points placed on his license, according to Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court records.

Also during Monday’s meeting, board members discussed whether to continue plans to place a bond issue on the March ballot to fund a preK-6 building or whether to delay it.

Gase said he was in favor of and had no hesitancy about moving forward, and he said the timing is right with the state’s contribution percentage.

Vice President Chris Widman said the feedback he had been getting over past few days had been positive.

“Now is the time,” board member Dr. Jeff Hoyda said.

Fellow board member Dean Henry said he had great hesitancy with moving forward and said the bond issue had been moving at a “blistering” pace. The district, as of Monday, didn’t have a superintendent.

“We are going to be asking (Boes) to do a lot,” he said.

Henry said the superintendent was the leader on the issue. Barber is not around and won’t be around for the immediate near future, he said.

Board member Victor Perez expressed appreciation for the bond committee that got together and said he knew it breaks their heart and his.

Perez said his reading in the community is that the board has to take a “time out.”

Henry said he is a realist and is concerned about the future of the district. He suggested board members poll the public before the board’s next meeting.

The next meeting is 6 p.m. Tuesday in Tiffin Middle School’s cafetorium.