A discussion about hiring a security guard at Hillsboro Municipal Court was held at the weekly Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
William Randolph, municipal court judge, said that prior to the prospective hiring of Tim Schlater as a security guard, the court would have jailers bring the prisoners in but they weren’t armed. He said the “rash” of shootings and other similar events resulted in the new position.
“The realization that I had was that without someone in that room armed who’s able to take action in a split second, we could have a situation which we would all want to prevent, and that is, you know, he could have 20 people dead in 30 seconds if someone came in there really bent on causing tragedy,” Randolph said.
Randolph said Schlater would act as an independent contractor and be paid at an hourly rate for his time at the municipal court, and that he would receive no benefits or vacation time. He also said that Schlater would be serving court papers as well, with that rate being on a per-trip basis. However, he also said that on those trips, Randolph would be responsible for his mileage and vehicle coverage.
He said that a rough estimate for Schlater’s compensation would be around $20,000 for the year, but also said that could be off by about 10 or 20 percent. He said that after the first contract year, there would be a better understanding of the compensation level. Randolph said his request for the county was 40 percent of the payment, which was approved by the commissioners.
“I will say, I feel more comfortable having Mr. Schlater there at all times,” Randolph said. “I feel more comfortable for myself, my staff and the individuals who are there in the court, even the inmates because there could be someone who’s just waiting for John Smith, inmate, to walk through the door so that they can take a shot at them.”
In other news, the board of commissioners received an announcement from the Ohio Public Defenders regarding the reimbursement of indigent counsel. Commissioner Terry Britton said the announcement revealed that the reimbursement rate went down from 100 percent to 90 percent, but also said that the county was paying 90 percent for the last couple of months already.
“Well, and I think we brought this up prior to this too, but if this keeps dropping, their reimbursement rates keep dropping, then we might have to do something with our reimbursement payments that we put out,” Britton said. “We’ll see how this goes but they’re not holding up to their end of the bargain on this.”
Also, following an executive session, the commissioners announced the hiring of Jacob Hurt as a new Highland County dog warden.
In other news, there were four resolutions approved by the board:
* Res. No. 23-22 is an agreement to not take any action regarding the vacation of Kelley Lane located in Jackson Township in Highland County.
* Res. No. 23-23 is authorization for Highland County Jobs and Family Services Director Jeremy Ratcliff to release and accept funds for an intercounty adjustment of allocations through the 2023 calendar year.
* Res. No. 23-24 is a request from Probation for a budget modification within the probation services in the amount of $12,000.
* Res. No. 23-25 is a request from the Highland County Board of Developmental Disabilities for an additional appropriation from unappropriated funds in the amount of $450,000. This also included a request for a transfer from Transfers Out Board of DD to Community Residential in the amount of $450,000.
There were also three contracts approved by the board:
* Contract 15 is between the board of commissioners and the Ohio Department of Development for the state of Ohio Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) Programt.
* Contract 16 is between the board of commissioners and the village of Greenfield for an agreement for the Greenfield Indigent Defense Services in county court.
* Contract 17 is between the board of commissioners, the Highland County Engineer and the Ohio Department of Transportation for a realignment project at the S.R. 73 and Mad River Road intersection.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.