Assistant director to be hired

Published 10:39 am Thursday, February 9, 2017

DJFS position could be filled soon

Lawrence County Commission had its weekly meeting Tuesday evening at Casa Grande, which also served as the monthly officeholder meeting, giving the commissioners and elected officials an opportunity to be out in the public.

Commissioner Bill Pratt said that commission is thinking about hiring another assistant director of the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services sometime in the near future since its previous assistant director, Chris Collins, resigned from the position.

“We want to keep the number low. Probably to about six or eight people to interview,” he said. “The job doesn’t have to be posted because it’s not a union job.” Lawrence County EMS director

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Buddy Fry said that this past weekend, from Friday morning to Sunday night, the county had eight opioid overdoses. None were fatal, however, Fry added that this was an extremely high number for that timeframe.

“We’ve been treating a ton of overdoses for the past few months,” Fry said. “We don’t know if this is an indication of what we’re going to see in the future or just a peak, but, hopefully, it’s just a peak and the programs that we now have in the county will start to get people help which will make that number go down. But right now, it’s all been an upward trend.”

Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Burcham said that taxes are in line with where they were at this time last year. The first half tax collection deadline is Friday, March 3.

Burcham also said that the land bank is doing extremely well. Jim Rokakis, who started the state’s first land bank in Cuyahoga County, will be making a trip to Lawrence County at 10 a.m. March 1 to observe how the county works on its land bank.

“He wants to know how we’ve been doing it. We’re light years ahead of some other land banks,” Burcham said. “We’re hoping to make a good impression.”

Pratt said the commission wants to have a meeting somewhere throughout the county each month in order to be seen out in the public, be in a more comfortable setting for people to participate and because spending money at places in Lawrence County accounts for about 66 percent of the county’s budget through sales tax.

Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. thanked Casa Grande owner Carlos Ortiz for all of the work he does at the restaurant, as well as the county, and for allowing the commissioners to host their meeting there.

Commissioner DeAnna Holliday said that she really values seeing those who have put their faith and trust in the commissioners and officeholders to do the right things.

“I really enjoyed the meeting because it’s like a town hall forum,” county resident Donna McClure, who was at the meeting, said. “We can speak whatever is on our mind and listen to the answers they give. It’s a relaxed atmosphere.”

Also at commission, the commissioners:

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

• Received and filed the Dog Warden Report dated Jan. 24 and 28, 2017.

• Approved 13 transfer funds.

• Approved three appropriate funds.

• Accepted the resignation of Paramedic Mike Meadows, effective Feb. 5, 2017, and Paramedic John Higgins, effective Feb. 6, 2017, as requested by EMS Director Buddy Fry.

• Approved and signed the updated Sick Leave Policy for Lawrence County Employees retroactively applied to Jan. 1, 2017.

• Received and filed the report of the operation of Lawrence County Municipal Court from Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2016, in accordance with the ORC Section 1901.14.

•  Received the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Treasurer’s office/Land Bank, and refer the Prosecutor for legal compliance prior to approval.

• Received and filed the correspondence from the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, regarding the Notice of Termination Building Lease.

• Approved the Child Support Agency of the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services to open a two week bid for people to serve child support papers.