Duzzny said the nature of disasters has changed in the past two decades.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Walter Duzzny was honored Thursday by Mahoning County commissioners for serving 20 years as director of the county emergency management agency.
Duzzny, 60, took over the job in 1982, after serving a year as commissioners' clerk and seven years as deputy director of the county's Comprehensive Employment Training Association.
The most notable change since he took the helm has been the nature of the disasters for which people must be prepared, Duzzny said.
"There is more of a diversity in terms of the threats," he said. No longer does his job require looking solely at weather-related disasters. The focus must include terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, nuclear accidents and major chemical spills.
"It's an all-hazards threat concept," he said.
Commissioners also heard a presentation from Ron Marian, director of the county mental health board. Marian spoke because May is Mental Health Month.
He gave an overview of the board's operation and outlined some of its upcoming programs. The highlight, he said, will be a presentation May 21 at Fellows Riverside Gardens by Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer of Akron, who presides over that city's mental health court.
Marian said he would like to see a mental health court established in Youngstown and Mahoning County. It would be similar to the drug court that already exists, with the focus on getting treatment for some offenders with mental health problems instead of sending them to prison.
Commissioners voted to seek renewal of a lead-based paint abatement grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Gary Singer, director of the county's lead abatement program, said it would be a $2 million grant received over two years.