By Perry Schaible
WOODLAWN - For more than three years, Rick Mynatt has served as the interim fire chief in this Hamilton County community of 2,816 residents.
In that time, he made small policy changes and endorsed agreements with neighboring communities to keep the department effective.
But, under the current charter, Mynatt, a firefighter in the community since 1981, can't take the position permanently, because he doesn't live in Woodlawn.
Officials here want voters to approve a charter amendment Tuesday that would allow council to waive the residency requirement for the fire chief.
"With Woodlawn being such a small community," the change is needed, said Brenda Love, clerk of council.
Mynatt, who grew up in Woodlawn, purchased a home in nearby Lockland two years before taking over for former fire chief Mark Hunt. His father, Robert Mynatt, served as fire chief in the community 1992-98.
"I would feel better about it," Mynatt said. "I never quite feel at ease when I know I'm acting (chief).
"If I'm sitting in my living room and a call comes in, I can be in Woodlawn in less than 21/2 minutes."
Mynatt has three children in the Lockland City School District. He said a move is not financially possible.
Neighboring Evendale has no residency requirements for department heads, while Lockland requires full-time and part-time fire department personnel to live within 30 minutes of the village.
Residency requirements are in place for the fire chief and municipal manager only. There would be no cost to residents if the proposal were approved.
Resident Kim Daniels said she wants the fire chief to live in the community and will vote against the charter amendment.
"I think you care more about the place if you're a part of it," Daniels said. "You get to know the people, and they get to know you."
Election 2004 page
Gay issue foes' names not listed
Butler Co. race 3-way hot
2 districts hope to hike income tax
Judge blocks GOP's voter challenges
Evendale seeks charter change
Fairfield teachers take freeze
Filmmaker Moore brings anti-GOP show to town
Northwest levy fight bitter
Region invests millions in race
Draft is 'sleeper issue'
Poll workers preparing for additional scrutiny
Go to polls, soldier pleads
Voters to decide fire chief's status
Kings tries Q&A to sway voters
Gloves off in last debate for Congress
Fletcher's way to restore voting rights criticized
Some stations to pull gay-amendment spot
Six council members defend Groob
Senate candidates appeal to the faithful
Panel urges giving leftover flu vaccine to health workers
Mom wants to adopt daughter she lost
Fire burns home; owner found dead
IN THE TRISTATE
County kicks in $900,000 toward Anderson connector
Fumes at Country Day sicken 11 first-graders
Lakota won't fight district
Local news briefs
Police talks under way
Public safety briefs
New community planning chief introduced
Two Mason feature writers are national semifinalists
Err on the side of openness, Ohio attorney general says
Two surgeons to train others to implant disc
Township seeks uniform zoning
Tax plan is a fraud, government says
Bronson: Guilty as sin? Rapist insists on DNA test
Good Things Happening
John H. Payne, 89, 'surgeon's surgeon'
Yahoo! Louisville a stop on Dew tour
Bridge work hurts shops
Kentucky news briefs
Rosemary Clooney's home to be museum
Gillespie to be honored with musical tribute
N. Ky. news briefs
Worker slams door on would-be robber
Exotic club fees delayed
Airport to join inquiry into worker's maiming
Swimmers in sync
Butlers give $1M to United Way