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TRUMBULL COUNTY Timetable is set for merging agencies



Published: Thu, January 20, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The merger would be done in steps over 12 months.

WARREN -- The merger of two Trumbull County departments by January 2006 would create a unique agency with five distinct purposes, county commissioners were told.

Commissioners formally received a timetable Wednesday for the merger of the county's Child Support Enforcement Agency, 106 High St. N.W., and county Department of Job and Family Services, 150 S. Park Ave.

Commissioners did not discuss the letter, which says the merger would be more cost-effective.

Christina Campbell, CSEA director; Tony Carson, county administrator; and Thomas Mahoney, Job and family Services director, have developed the timetable for merging the agencies.

For example, fiscal systems would be merged from January to June; an integrated management structure would be put together from August through December, as both agencies begin to move to a new location; "ice breaking" meetings to introduce staffs would be March through December; management staffs would integrate April through August; and in January 2006 the full merger would be in place.

Becoming one

Mahoney's letter says Trumbull County "will be unique" because, with commissioners' final approval, the following operations will become one:

UChild Support Enforcement Agency.

UDepartment of Job and Family Services.

UWorkforce Development (formerly Private Industry Council).

UState Wagner-Peyser (formerly Ohio Bureau of Employment Services).

UTrumbull County Family and Children First Council; Job and Family Services is its fiscal agent.

Minus the Children Services Board, "the Trumbull County commissioners will have combined several agencies, with many common customers and with common missions, together for the betterment of your constituents and to be more cost effective in our service delivery systems," the letter states.

The timetable assumes that commissioners will want unions at both agencies to come together as one recognized bargaining unit. CSEA is represented by AFSCME Local 3808, and Job and Family Services has AFSCME Local 458.

It will take many discussions and much negotiating to bring the unions together, and Mahoney, in his letter, seeks approval from commissioners to "explore the possibility."

In an effort to put both agencies' staffs under one roof, a draft of bid specifications for office space will be given by month's end to commissioners and to the prosecutor.

Their management information systems -- computers -- would have to be merged, and commissioners' approval also is sought for this step.

"Once you have approved us to proceed with this coming together of agencies, we will need to contact the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services ...," the letter continues.




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