Mahoning commissioners want children services under JFS
By Peter H. Milliken
The Mahoning County commissioners have declared their intent to designate the county’s Department of Job and Family Services as the county’s public children services agency.
The three commissioners unanimously adopted a notice of that intent Wednesday but did not set a date for the child welfare function transfer.
Commissioner Chairwoman Carol Rimedio-Righetti said the commissioners would have to vote again in the future to actually merge children services with JFS.
The current 13-member children services governing board likely would be replaced with a five-member advisory board, Righetti said.
The commissioners will meet in their offices with the Children Services Board at 10:30 a.m. today to discuss their proposal.
The notice adopted by the commissioners said the merger would “streamline administrative and fiscal functions under one entity, while eliminating duplicative positions through attrition.”
Administrative consolidation will make children services more accountable to county residents and may make it operate more efficiently, the notice says.
The notice follows the resignation or retirement of two-thirds of CSB’s top administration in the first four months of this year, beginning with the Jan. 1 retirement of Denise Stewart, CSB executive director.
Righetti said Mahoning is one of only three Ohio counties where children services operates under a separate governing board and is not under JFS administration.
In other action, commissioners:
Approved an agreement with Clear Channel Communications Inc. for use of its Knox Street tower in Youngstown at no charge to the county for a radio repeater to improve emergency responders’ communication in low-lying areas along the Mahoning River in the eastern end of the county.
Awarded a $619,472 contract for replacement of 5,700 feet of a 12-inch water supply pipe under Mahoning Avenue, primarily in Jackson Township, to Rudzik Excavating of Struthers. Eighty-nine percent of the project cost is being covered by an Ohio Public Works Commission grant; the rest will come from local water sales revenues.
Approved a $37,250 agreement that assigns a deputy sheriff’ as a full-time school security officer in the Western Reserve schools, with the cost shared by the school district, Ellsworth and Berlin Townships and the sheriff’s office.
Heard Lou Vega, interim recycling director, announce the household hazardous waste collection will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Canfield Fairgrounds. There is no charge for acceptance of paint, pesticides and pool chemicals.