Breeden new director at Highland County Probation Department


Commissioners talk staff changes, sales tax

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.com



Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, right, speaks to Highland County Commissioners Wednesday morning. Also shown are Commissioner Terry Britton, left, and Commission Clerk Mary Remsing, center.

Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, right, speaks to Highland County Commissioners Wednesday morning. Also shown are Commissioner Terry Britton, left, and Commission Clerk Mary Remsing, center.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

Highland County Senior Probation Officer Gary Breeden was tapped Wednesday to lead the Highland County Probation Department as chief probation officer and director, replacing former Director Jeremy Ratcliff, who resigned earlier this year.

The Highland County Board of Commissioners approved the change at their weekly meeting after conferring with Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss. The board also named Treatment Coordinator Tonya Sturgill as the department’s new director of clinical services.

Coss told commissioners that both positions will pay $63,000 per year with no overtime.

Coss added that Sturgill, who will begin her new duties July 1, will pursue further opportunities to work residential treatment services into the department’s services.

Breeden will begin immediately.

Coss said Breeden, who conducted the court’s pre-sentence investigations, will select a staffer to take over that duty.

Ratcliff served the department for 17 years and was responsible for a number of important revenue streams for his department and the county, according to Highland County Commissioner Shane Wilkin. He resigned May 4 and accepted employment as director of court treatment with Talbert House.

Ratcliff also resigned from the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board, to which he was appointed by the commissioners. Wilkin said those interested in seeking the empty seat should email their resume to commissioners@co.highland.oh.us.

Also Wednesday, the board discussed the continual decline in the county’s permissive sales tax receipts. Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley presented the board with a report showing the county has taken in $503,241 in permissive sales tax revenue this month, the lowest in at least the past three years.

The revenue stream began to decline after a federal government directive prohibited states, counties and transit authorities from collecting sales tax from managed care organizations.

Fawley said the county is on track to lose an estimated $807,000 per year.

In other business, the board approved a resolution authorizing a contractual agreement for Community Development Block Grant critical infrastructure funds to be used for improvements to East Main Street in Hillsboro in the amount of $223,852, and a routine financial resolution.

The commissioners also approved a contract with Wilkin Heating & AC for replacement of condensing/evaporator units on the walk-in cooler and freezer at the Highland County Justice Center.

After the meeting, the board hosted the second round caucus of the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission. Two Highland County projects to be considered for grants are a $352,873 project making improvements to the Highland District Hospital’s medical surgical unit, and a $386,800 project replacing a sewer trunk line in the City of Hillsboro. Members present voted to make the hospital project the top priority.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, right, speaks to Highland County Commissioners Wednesday morning. Also shown are Commissioner Terry Britton, left, and Commission Clerk Mary Remsing, center.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2018/05/web1_fcosscommissioners.jpgHighland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, right, speaks to Highland County Commissioners Wednesday morning. Also shown are Commissioner Terry Britton, left, and Commission Clerk Mary Remsing, center. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Commissioners talk staff changes, sales tax

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com