Commission urges voters against Issue 1

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Lawrence County Commission spoke about its opposition to Ohio Issue 1 in the upcoming November election at its meeting on Tuesday.

Commissioner DeAnna Holliday read a letter from the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) board of directors, which she has sat on since last year, about its recent vote to oppose the issue as well.

“I know all of us in Lawrence County are working diligently to fight this drug epidemic,” Holliday said. “And this issue, if passed, would tear all of that hard work apart.”

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Issue 1 would lessen the charges against those caught using or possessing drugs to misdemeanor offenses, punishable by up to six months in county jail, rather than fourth of fifth-degree felony charges, which could lead to prison time. Holliday added that drug courts, such as Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard’s Nexus Recovery Docket, could particularly suffer due to judges having less hold on potential participants due to fewer penalties for drug use or possession.

Commissioners Bill Pratt and Freddie Hayes Jr. also expressed their opposition to the issue, and urged voters against passing the measure.

Other county officials who have gone on record against Issue 1 include Ballard, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless, Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson, Lawrence County Municipal Court Judge and common pleas judge candidate Donald Capper, among others.

In other action, the commission:

• Received and filed the Dog Warden Report dated Aug. 28, 2018.

• Approved 21 transfer funds.

• Approved the donation of 144 sick leave hours from five Lawrence County EMS employees to another Lawrence County EMS employee.

• Approved John (Jay) DeLapa to the Lawrence County Regional Planning Commission, beginning Oct. 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2021, as requested by Kim Carrico, urban/education specialist.

• Approved the Resolution for the 2019 County Resurfacing Project and the 2019 County/Township Joint Resurfacing Project, as requested by Lawrence County Engineer  Patrick Leighty.

• Approved the LEAP Contract for the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services with Collins Career Technical Center. The contract term will be for the 2018-2019 calendar school year, and shall not exceed $8,000 under this agreement.

• Approved the contract with King’s Daughters Medical Center for the Employee Assistance Program Management Agreement.

• Met in executive session with Bill Click and Chris Kline regarding personnel; hire, fire, reprimand. No action was taken.

• Met in executive session with Lisa Pine and Chris Kline regarding personnel; hire, fire, reprimand. No action was taken.