Thursday, February 28, 2013

Commissioners Corner - February 2013

February has been a mixed bag weather-wise this year. One day it is 50 and sunny, then in the afternoon we have snow showers. Hopefully, as February closes, the weather will even out and we will have an early spring for everyone. February has been an up and down month in the Commissioner’s office as well. We have many things we are working on, but once we get things set, we have to wait on a response, or an action to be taken. That can be frustrating, but it is how things go with Government.

The Governor gave his “State of the State” speech earlier this month in Lima, and it’s reception was mostly positive. There are some areas that the Commissioners will be waiting to see how they play out in the Statehouse. One area is the cut in the sales tax. This is an interesting proposal that will affect everyone in the State. However, there is some concern as to how this will affect County operations. The Governor has proposed the sales tax to be cut ½% at the State level, and to statutorily lower the percentage the Counties get based on sales. Some think it is a great idea, but others think that the sales tax locally should be left alone to the Counties to decide. The addition of taxing services previously untaxed is something that makes since in some aspects, but not in others. The Commissioners are taking a wait-and-see attitude on these and other proposals, and we have voiced our opinions to our representatives. The State’s budget will not be finalized until the middle of the year, so we will keep a watch on how things are developing, and make sure we let our voices be heard for Darke County.

Recently, the second Manufacturing Readiness class graduated, and the Commissioners were honored to hand out their certificates to them. This class is helping to prepare adults and students for a job, or to help them upgrade their skills to get a better job. The curriculum is being set by our Partnering for Progress businesses lending a hand in part with their Human Resources people. One example is Midmark Corporations Sue Hulsmeyer who is helping the class with their interview skills. Because of the involvement of people like Sue, this class will be a success story for the people involved and the businesses themselves. Thanks to Sue and all of the input from all of our corporate partners. Along with the Manufacturing Readiness class, the workforce development program continues to move forward with the help of our business partners, schools and colleges. The businesses involved, along with the schools superintendents and educators, are creating a curriculum that will benefit students, parents and businesses in the future. The difference with this program from all others is the commitment by these groups to further the advancement of manufacturing in the West Central Ohio area. The companies are presenting their needs to be put in the classes, then the schools help develop the curriculum, and the companies help by having work programs, or by contributing ideas, people, work stations or tools to be used. This truly is a group effort for the future. With these programs, Darke County is well positioned for the needs of our businesses and people.

The Darke County Wellness program is off to a great start. We have started a weight loss program that is in its third week so far, and the results have been outstanding! Of the seven departments participating in the program (a total of 109 people) we have lost an aggregate total of 544 lbs. after 2 weeks. The Commissioners office has been trying to make this event fun for everyone by “rewarding” some of the departments with cookies. Some participants think that we are trying to take advantage of them by sabotage, but, our intentions are honorable(?). This program will run for 5 more weeks and the results should be amazing. We have other events planned for the program including organized walks, and 5k runs, and other events for all of us. Thank you to all the participants who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, and who by doing so, are saving the taxpayers of Darke County on our insurance premiums.

Darke County seems to be headed in a positive direction now, and we are hoping to continue our progress. One way to make sure we are headed in the right direction is to get more people involved. You can become a part of our success by attending our meetings and giving us your ideas and concerns. We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s office at 520 S. Broadway in Greenville, just south of the Courthouse. See you there!!

The Darke County Commissioners

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */