STRYKER GOV’T CLASS … Sara Taylor, the Senior Government Class teacher at Stryker High School took her class on a tour of the courthouse on Monday, April 4, 2022. They got to observe each office in action, as well as meeting the judges in the courtrooms, and enjoying a Q&A with the commissioners. Seen here they were in the Commissioners Hearing Room on the fourth floor. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
On Monday, April 4, 2022, Williams County Commissioners began the week in an early morning meeting with Bryan Chamber of Commerce Director Dan Yahraus, Chairman of Jubilee Doug Hanna, and Judge Karen Gallagher. No one from the ride company was able to be present for the discussion.
Yahraus stated that they were there “to figure out a solution to what happened last year as we don’t want that to happen again.”
During Bryan Jubilee 2021 there was a situation in which a lawyer who needed handicap accessibility, was unable to get to their car.
It was solved by the use of a golf cart, but it was agreed by those present at the April ‘22 meeting that there needs to be a better set up so that does not happen again.
During the meeting, it was determined:
-The possible dates for this year are June 16-18
-More discussion is needed about whether to have Kiddie Day or not, and if so, what day that would be
-There is a need for better signage for Handicapped parking and exactly where it will be
-Someone will contact EMS and Fire Chief to determine whether to park a ready vehicle there or not, and to determine room for vehicle if needed
-To have at least one golf cart available again for any needs
-More needs to be done about the large cords and the mats that slide off of them
-Possibility of Judges not having dockets on Kiddie Day if it is held on a weekday
-Possibility of changing style of barricades to protect the children
-Yahraus will communicate with the ride company and then submit the permit for the dates.
After a 45-minute recess, the commissioners met for regular session with Commissioners Lew Hilkert and Terry Rummel present, voting to approve:
-Resolution 103 Transfer resolution on behalf of Commissioners, IT department and Sheriff’s office
-Also Signed Permit to work with county/township road right of way on behalf of Frontier Communications; Dog Warden Monthly report of all dogs seized, impounded, redeemed and destroyed for March 2022
-Minutes of March 31, 2022 and payment of bills
At 9:30, they went into session again to meet with Kellie Gray but as it was Gray’s meeting, they suspended their meeting and turned it over to her.
With Ms. Gray for the morning, was Ryan Dawson from Redtree to make a short presentation. During that portion of the day, the Stryker Senior Government class who was touring the Courthouse that day with their teacher, Sara Taylor, came in and observed.
Dawson recommended that the commissioners move some money from CD’s and CR’s with the local banks to a U.S. Treasury Bill.
He shared some talking points and then Ms. Gray mentioned starting out with three to five million and Commissioner Hilkert suggested making new investments every three months.
As Huntington Bank has the ability to be a custodial bank, they would be using that bank which is located in Williams County.
Commissioners Rummel and Hilkert mentioned a few things to Dawson and Gray, for the benefit of the students who were for a learning moment.
The commissioners approved the minutes of the previous meeting with the treasurer’s office and Gray shared an update on what has been earned in interest since that meeting.
She said it is down compared to last year at this time but she hopes they can turn that around. With a motion to adjourn, they left and the Commissioners welcomed the students for a Q&A.
They only had a few minutes before they needed to move on but a few students did have questions. The first question was, “What is the most serious case you have dealt with?”
Hilkert said that as far as approving money for something for which they are responsible, they are now working on deciding where the American Relief Program money goes and it is a big issue.
Another question was, “Do you work with JFS?” Hilkert answered that they do in that they hire the director and then passed it on to Rummel as he is the contact person with them.
Rummel shared that the commissioners are not legally allowed to know details but they do sit in some meetings with Ohio that oversees the cases. “What are the requirements to become a commissioner?”
You have to be a resident of the county, be 18 years old and be registered to vote. Hilkert commented on how it is important to have a variety of backgrounds amongst the commissioners.
“What is the most important quality to have as a commissioner?” Rummel immediately said that for him it has been flexibility, saying that sometimes you have to set aside your own opinions and collaborate with the others.
Hilkert said that going along with that, they have to have discussions to make sure they are best representing the people of the county, not necessarily our own opinion.
“Do you help make jobs?” was the last question and Commissioner Hilkert explained that they do not create jobs, but they are connected with WEDCO (Williams County Economic Development Corporation) and they are a mechanism that works with businesses to expand or grow. “We may have to give approval, but we do not create jobs.”
The commissioners un-suspended the Treasurer’s Meeting and went into regular session to adjourn.
On Thursday morning, April 7, 2022, all three commissioners were present and went immediately into an Executive Session in regards to compensation of a public employee, with Judge Karen Gallagher. They came out with no action and following a short recess, went back in regular session.
Approval was given for:
-Resolution 104 Transfer resolution on behalf of Common Pleas Court
-Resolution 105 Entering into an MOU on behalf of JFS
-Resolution 106 Amending Holiday Schedule for 2022, placing Juneteenth on Friday, June 17 (originally set for Monday, June 20) for 2022.
“By moving said holiday we are able to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States as well as provide safety for those in attendance at the Jubilee during Kids Day.
-Also signed were Dog Warden report for March 28- April 3, 2022; monthly expenditures for credit cards for Prosecutor’s office; permit for use of County Property for Community Advocates for Healthy Families on June 8, 2022
-Minutes for April 4, 2022 and payment of bills
With no further business the meeting adjourned.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com