JFS deputy director coming ‘soon’


An anticipated timeline for hiring a deputy director at Job and Family Services was a topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Highland County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Commissioner Shane Wilkin said he had received job descriptions from the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) in regard to Highland County’s intention to hire for the position in preparation for the retirement of current director Deborah Robbins.

Wilkin said in a previous meeting that Robbins has nearly four decades with the agency, and when she goes she’ll take with her “a lot of institutional knowledge.”

To help ease the transition, commissioners have considered hiring a deputy director to work with Robbins for about six months prior to her departure so that some of her knowledge can be imparted.

The job descriptions provided by the CCAO are for other counties, and commissioners will review those and meet with prosecutor Anneka Collins to put together an accurate job description for the Highland County position.

Commissioners said it is hoped that the board will be able to advertise for the position soon, interview candidates in September, and have the position filled by October or November.

On a related matter, Wilkin also discussed the ongoing concerns with the cost of kids in foster care.

Commissioner Jeff Duncan said he spoke to Robbins and Collins last week and there are currently 146 Highland County kids in foster care. Wilkin said the numbers of foster children in a couple of neighboring counties is half that.

As previously reported, the number of foster kids in the county far outnumber the available foster homes locally, so many kids in care have to be sent elsewhere, which costs the county more money.

Anyone wanting more information about adoption or becoming a foster parent can contact Highland County Children Services at 937-393-3111.

In other business, the permissive sales tax received this month totaled $522,071, according to a handout provided by Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley. Also provided were quarterly casino receipts for Highland County, which totaled $121,570.

On a matter regarding the Leesburg Industrial Park and the crop ground put out for bid by the county to be farmed, Duncan said the anniversary date would be changed from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1.

Changing the bid anniversary, he said, would allow for rotation of the crops to wheat and beans.

Corn is too tall, commissioners said, and would obstruct the view of the industrial park for any interested parties looking at the site.

Wilkin said that while he was being “vague,” there has been “a little bit of interest” in the industrial park.

Duncan said there were no issues with the bid anniversary change for any of the involved agencies on the matter.

In other business, work continues on the Carl Smith/Hobart Drive project and the Justice Center roof, according to Duncan and commissioner Tom Horst. Prep work for the replacement of the Hi-Tec Center’s exterior is also underway.

Wilkin discussed the appointment of Pamela Brokaw as humane agent for the county. While she was appointed by Highland County Probate Judge Kevin Greer, there is mandated pay associated with the position that is the county’s responsibility. According to Fawley, that pay is the state minimum at about $25 per month, he said.

A resolution creating a line item for that amount was passed on Wednesday.

Bids were opened for work on Burgess Road. The three bids opened for the Community Development Block Grant project are: Miller-Mason Paving Company, $40,250; Roberts Paving, $38,709; and Cox Paving, $37,397.

Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth will review the bids and make a recommendation to commissioners.

Commissioners were not meet on July 29 because, Wilkin said, there would not be a quorum with two of the three commissioners gone that day.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

Commissioners Jeff Duncan, left, Shane Wilkin, center, and Tom Horst, right, are pictured during Wednesday’s meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2015/07/web1_Commish22July2015.jpgCommissioners Jeff Duncan, left, Shane Wilkin, center, and Tom Horst, right, are pictured during Wednesday’s meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
County gets sales tax, quarterly casino receipts

By Angela Shepherd

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