By: Rebecca Miller
Judge Elect Karen Gallagher was given the floor at around 8:30 a.m. during a Monday morning meeting held on November 23, 2020, to introduce the members of a new committee called PACT, which stands for Protecting All Children TaskForce. The “nucleus of the committee, absent Katie Zartman, the Williams County Prosecutor” were present, being WC Sheriff Tom Kochert, Director of WC Department of Job and Family Services Fred Lord, Commissioner Brian Davis and Gallagher “as Judge elect of the Common Pleas, Juvenile and Probate Divisions.
Judge Gallagher began by saying, “Some time ago Commissioner Davis broached the idea of looking at JFS and those who have direct contact with that agency. Discussions began, but due to COVID and the need to address COVID issues immediately, those discussions were put on hold, but were never far from our thoughts.” She went on to share that the purpose of PACT is “to protect all children in the community, to assist families, and to ensure the safety of our community,” also stating that each of the entities represented in the task force have that shared mission.
Each entity has their own role to play, but there is a need for all of them to be collaborating and communicating with each other. The first objective for the task force will be to look at the policies, operations, and practices of each of the entities and with all being open to constructive criticism, they will find what they can improve. The second job of PACT will be education, with PACT reaching out to the schools, health care, mental health providers, law enforcement, probation officers, and the general public to obtain information and to share their experiences as well.
“By educating each other, our community stakeholders that share our mission, and the public, we can discuss such things as the requirements of confidentiality that the law requires us to follow, and we can discuss barriers and limitations that all of us must face based upon the statutes that control our enactment of our roles,” Gallagher said. “Each person has the attitude and mindset that we are better when we collaborate and communicate and when we listen to one another and we listen to others who offer information. We will encourage public contacts with those people who wish to become involved in this and to offer information to us, and those public contacts will be directed to Commissioner Davis who will then bring them to the Task Force.”
At that point in the meeting, Sheriff Kochert, Mr. Lord from JFS and Commissioner Davis shared their thoughts on what they hope this will do for the community. Judge Gallagher asked the Commissioners as a whole for their support and recognition as a Task Force and Commissioner Lew Hilkert stated, “We welcome that and thank you for all you have done to collaborate together to bring it to this point and we are looking forward to working with you.” Commissioner Terry Hilkert added, “It is a wonderful opportunity so thank you all for stepping up to the plate. It is going to be great.” There will be a press release.
During the regular business of the session (with Commissioner Davis not present), the commissioners voted to approve:
- Resolution 349 Supplemental Appropriations on behalf of Auditor for CDBG; Auditor for Coronavirus Relief Fund; Hillside; IT; Sheriff; and Victim Assistance
- Resolution 350 Authorizing President of the Board as Official Representative for CDBG-CV Program Year 2020 Grant
- Resolution 351 Approving Professional Services Agreement on behalf of auditor
- Resolution 352 Approving Johnson Controls Fire Protection Services Agreement on behalf of Hillside
- Also signed: Permit to work within County/Township Road Right of Way limits for the Beaver Excavating Company, Canton, Ohio; Credit Card appropriation for Commissioners office for December 2020; Permit for Use of County Property – Bryan City Schools – Holiday Performance at Bandstand on December 1, 2020; Approval of employment of a full time EMT on behalf of EMS; Dog Warden weekly report for November 9-15, 2020
- Minutes for November 19, 2020, payment of bills
With no further business, the meeting adjourned.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org