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Collins resigns from DJFS

Boggs resigns from commission

Less than two years after being named the assistant director of the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services by the Lawrence County commissioners, Christopher Collins put in his resignation from the position, effective Dec. 1, which was approved by commission on Thursday.

The commissioners named Collins, the son of Ironton Municipal Court Judge Oakley Clark Collins Jr., to the position in May of last year with a unanimous decision.

DJFS director Terry Porter, who was serving as interim director for now retired Gene Myers at the time, held the assistant director position before Collins, and was named the permanent director at the same meeting.

Collins beat out 13 people who submitted resumes for one of or both positions, including Ironton attorney Paul David Knipp, former Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship, former Ironton City Finance Director Kristen Martin, retired DJFS employee Kenneth Ater, current DJFS employees Brad Carpenter and Lisa Massie, Jackson attorney Christen Finley, NECCO employee Donna Reynolds, Scioto County DJFS employee Sharon Brumfield, delivery industry operations manager Shane Meadows and Ironton Police Detective Joe Ross.

Collins’ resignation follows three leaves of absence from the job this year, including two for extended periods of time, for campaign purposes while he was running for a Lawrence County commission seat. The leaves were without pay, with the first, from Jan. 18-March 18 during the primary, the second, a two-week leave in June and the third, from Sept. 12-Nov. 9.

Collins, a Republican, lost the commission race to Democrat DeAnna Holliday on Election Day.

The assistant director position has an annual salary of slightly more than $50,000. Lawrence County Commissioner Bill Pratt said it was unknown if the position will be filled in the future.

Commissioner and commission president Les Boggs also put in his resignation, effective Dec. 2, with about a month left before his term was up.

Boggs, who was elected into office as commissioner in 2008 after serving as clerk of courts, said he took over $150,000 in county carryover with more than $490,000 in unpaid bills. At the end of this year, the county carryover is $2.5 million.

“I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s been an honor to serve the residents of Lawrence County for the past 12 years,” Boggs said. “I felt like we were able to make a positive impact.”

Boggs said that resigning before his term was officially up was only about pursuing other interests.

“It wasn’t anything mean and I wasn’t mad about anything. It’s nothing personal,” he said. “I just have other things I wanted to pursue.”

At the meeting Thursday, commissioners Bill Pratt and Freddie Hayes Jr. said they have both learned a lot from Boggs and thanked him for all of his service to the county.

The Lawrence County Republican Central Committee, comprised of one member from each of the 84 precincts, is set to meet early next week in order to make a decision on the open seat from now until the beginning of next year.

The committee can leave the seat vacant for the remainder of the year, appoint a Republican to the seat, or appoint commissioner-elect DeAnna Holliday, who is set to take over that seat at the beginning of next year.

Pratt said he didn’t believe the vacant seat, if not filled, would have any negative impact on the county or votes for the remainder of the year.

Also at commission, the commissioners:

• Approved the weekly invoices and certificates as presented by the auditor’s office.

• Approved five floodplain permits.

• Received and filed the dog warden report dated Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5 and Nov. 12, 2016.

• Approved 36 transfer funds.

• Approved three appropriate funds.

• Accepted the resignation of Les Boggs, county commissioner, effective Dec. 2, 2016.

• Elevated Bayli McDowell from part-time EMT to part-time paramedic, effective Nov. 20, 2016, and Chelsea Keathley from part-time EMT to part-time paramedic, effective Dec. 4, 2016.

• Hired Roger Holston to replace now retired Vince Sheridan as the county maintenance supervisor.