Kathleen Williams

January 15, 2019

Judges McBride, Brock take lead roles for 2019

Judge Jerry McBride

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 15, 2019) – Clermont Common Pleas Judge Jerry McBride has been elected as the administrative judge of the General Division of the Clermont County Common Pleas Court for 2019. The administrative judge has full responsibility and control over the administration, docket, and calendar of the court.

Judge McBride is responsible to the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio in the discharge of the administrative judge’s duties, for the court’s adherence to the Ohio Rules of Superintendence, and for the termination of all cases in the court without undue delay.  Judge McBride was first elected to Common Pleas Court in 1994.

Common Pleas Judge Anthony Brock has been elected presiding judge for 2019, by judges from all divisions of the Clermont County Common Pleas Court system.  As presiding judge, Brock conducts an annual judicial meeting and other meetings as needed to discuss and resolve administrative issues common to all divisions of the court. He may also assign judges, on a temporary basis, to serve in another division of the court if required.

Judge Anthony Brock

Judge Brock also has the authority to appoint members to the Public Defenders Commission, Veterans’ Service Commission, the Law Library Resource Board, the Clermont Metropolitan Housing Authority Board, and the Facility Governing Board for the Multi-County Community Correctional Center. Judge Brock was first elected to Clermont County Common Pleas Court in 2017.

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January 14, 2019

Commissioner Painter elected president of the board for 2019

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 14, 2019) – Commissioner David Painter was elected president, and Commissioner Ed Humphrey vice president, of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners for 2019 at today’s annual Reorganization Meeting. Commissioner Claire Corcoran will serve as member.

The 2019 meeting schedule for Regular Sessions was also established. The commissioners are scheduled to meet every Wednesday of the year, except for certain holiday weeks, and the second and fourth Mondays of the first six months of the year.  All meetings are at 10 a.m. unless otherwise noted. Commissioners are mandated to have at least 50 Regular Sessions during the calendar year.

Commissioner Painter congratulated Commissioner Corcoran, who was sworn in prior to the meeting, and thanked Commissioner Humphrey for his service as president in 2018.

Commissioner Painter said that his priorities for 2019 included moving Clermont County toward being able to use electronic payments for all transactions with its residents.

“I am all about service,” he said to many of the department heads who were at the meeting. “Don’t let anyone leave your department without being satisfied.”

He also spoke of his commitment to transparency.

The Reorganization Meeting was followed by Regular Session at which the following 2019 appointments were made:

Commissioner Painter to serve on the Area 12 Workforce Board as  a Chief Elected Official; the Tax Incentive Review Council, and the Adams-Clermont Solid Waste District Policy Committee.

Commissioner Humphrey to serve on the Clermont County Automatic Data Processing Board and the Records Commission.

Commissioner Corcoran to serve on the Clermont County Board of Revision, the Septic System Rehabilitation Financing Committee, the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation Review Committee, and as alternate on the Area 12 Workforce Board.

John McManus, Administrator of the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District, was named Commissioner Painter’s alternate to the Solid Waste District. Geoff Schwerzler of Milford was appointed to the Clermont County Mental Health & Recovery Board.

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January 14, 2019

Commissioner Corcoran sworn in to office

BATAVIA, Ohio – Claire Corcoran had a ceremonial swearing-in to the Clermont County Board of Commissioners today (Jan. 14) before the annual Reorganization Meeting.

Former County Treasurer Bob True delivered the oath of office. Commissioner Corcoran’s son, Keegan, and daughter, Kelsi, held the family Bible for their mother.

Elected officials from various county offices as well as township trustees joined the celebration.

In remarks after her swearing-in, Commissioner Corcoran said, “The next four years, I will make a simple promise to all of you. I will work hard for our county. I will maintain the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. I will always remember that serving the citizens of Clermont County is a privilege.”

Commissioner Corcoran is a former Goshen Township trustee and also served on the Goshen Local School District Board.

Claire Corcoran bio: https://bcc.clermontcountyohio.gov/claire-corcoran

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January 10, 2019

Commissioner Corcoran to be sworn in on Jan. 14

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 10, 2019) – Clermont County Commissioner Claire Corcoran will have a ceremonial swearing-in at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, just before the Commissioners’ annual Reorganization Meeting.

Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend the swearing-in. Commissioner Corcoran, who was elected in November, replaces David Uible, who served on the Board of County Commissioners for more than six years.

During the Reorganization Meeting, the Commissioners will select a president and vice president for 2019. Currently, Commissioner Ed Humphrey is president and Commissioner David Painter is vice president.

Mrs. Corcoran has had a long career in public service, beginning in Hamilton County, where she worked as a manager in both the Division of Domestic Relations for Hamilton County Common Pleas Court and for Hamilton County Job & Family Services. In Goshen Township, where she has lived since 2001, she has been a township trustee and a member of the Goshen Local School District Board.

The Commissioners meet on the third floor of the Administration Building, 101 E. Main St., Batavia.

Commissioner Corcoran’s bio: https://bcc.clermontcountyohio.gov/claire-corcoran

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January 8, 2019

Public invited to attend All-Hazards Mitigation Plan meeting

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 8, 2019) – The public is invited to participate in the process of updating Clermont County’s All-Hazards Mitigation Plan by attending a meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Pierce Township Administration Building, 950 Locust Corner Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245.

It’s necessary to update the plan every five years so that Clermont County and participating communities can remain eligible for pre-disaster and post-disaster mitigation grant programs.

The purpose of the All-Hazards Mitigation Plan is to:

  1. Identify natural hazards that could affect Clermont County, including the cities, villages, and townships within the county;
  2. Identify mitigation strategies to reduce or eliminate disaster-related losses; and,
  3. Establish a coordinated process to implement the plan and take advantage of state and federal grant opportunities.

 

Public attendance is requested to provide feedback on suggested actions towards mitigating potential hazards. This will be the second public meeting.

For more information: https://ema.clermontcountyohio.gov/mitigation-plan/

January 7, 2019

Students invited to enter T-Shirt Design Contest

OWENSVILLE, Ohio (Jan. 7, 2019) – All local K-12 students are invited once again to participate in the annual Spring Litter Clean-Up T-Shirt Design Contest.  Sponsored locally by the Duke Energy Foundation, the Clermont County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Southern Ohio Association of Realtors (SOAR), the T-shirt contest helps to jump-start planning for the clean-up event, scheduled for Saturday, April 13.

Any K-12 student attending a school located in Clermont County, or within the East Fork watershed, may register to compete. T-shirt designs should emphasize litter clean-up and prevention. Students should register and review the rules on the event website: www.springlittercleanup.com.

The grand prize winner will be awarded $100, with an additional $100 going to the winning student’s school art department. There will also be 13 grade-level awards given at $25 each.

Designs must be submitted by Feb. 8.

The Spring Litter Clean-Up will be held from 9 a.m.-noon on April 13 in various communities across the county and watershed. The clean-up is a combination of two events that have proved successful for more than 20 years in Clermont County – the East Fork River Sweep and Clermont Clean & Green events. The event is coordinated each year by the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District and the Valley View Foundation.

(Photo: Last year’s winner, Leah Decatur, center.)

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December 28, 2018

Frank Morrow is new executive director at Veterans Service Office

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 28, 2018) – Frank Morrow, the new executive director at the Clermont County Veterans Service Office, believes in the mission of his office.  “We’re helping veterans and their families,” he says. “It can be challenging to navigate the VA system, but a lot of times, when we win cases, it changes people’s lives.”

Morrow has worked at the Veterans Office since 2001. On Nov. 1, 2018, he was appointed to the position of executive director, following longtime director Howard Daugherty, who retired.

Morrow served in the Air Force from 1989 to 1991 at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where he was an avionics and electronics specialist. Why the Air Force? “My dad was an electronics specialist in the Air Force during Vietnam,” Morrow says, and he wanted to follow in his dad’s path.

That’s not the only time Morrow followed his father. After working as wastewater treatment operator for Clermont County from 1993 to 1999, Morrow became a railroad conductor for the Norfolk & Southern Railroad – like his dad – conducting freight from Cincinnati to Danville, Ky., and back again. But he was laid off several times because of low seniority and he decided to try the county again. That led to the position with the Veterans Service Office  – and a sense of purpose that still drives him today.

Morrow says he wants to make sure all veterans in the county are aware of the existence of the office, and the services it offers. “Our job is to reach every veteran in Clermont County,” he said. “Every week or two, a Vietnam veteran will walk in who had no idea that they could get benefits. We want to extend outreach as much as possible.”

To that end, Morrow has increased social media posts on the office’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/clermontcountyveteranservicecommission), and will use radio more to get its message out. On Nov. 1, the office sponsored its first blood drive, which Morrow plans to make an annual event. “Some veterans don’t know that we exist,” Morrow said. “We want to make sure that they know about their benefits, and that our office can help them.”

“We take people from the beginning of the process, and walk them through it,” he said. “We have had widows who come in here, very unassuming, not expecting to get anything. They are on a fixed income, and it can be life-changing when they find out they are entitled to a benefit.”

The office keeps busy. In 2018, the staff transported 881 veterans to their VA medical appointments, assisted 1,075 veteran families with financial assistance, and filed hundreds of disability claims for veterans and their dependents.

Morrow, who has been married to his wife, Rusann, for 25 years and lives in Washington Township, is very proud of his Chickasaw heritage on his mother’s side. The Chickasaw were one of the “Five Civilized Tribes” who were forced out of the American South between 1830 and 1850 and marched along what came to be called the Trail of Tears, many settling in Oklahoma.

Morrow researched his mother’s lineage through the Dawes Rolls – which lists people accepted as members of the tribes between 1898 and 1914. There he found the names of his great-great-grandmother and great-grandfather.

Morrow believes in the power of continuing education. In 2010, he received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University, and in 2014, he earned an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan.

To find out more about the Veterans’ Service Office, go to https://clermontcountyveterans.com, or call 513.943.3000. Staff officers can help to provide emergency financial assistance to veterans, spouses, dependent children and surviving spouses; and assist veterans in obtaining earned benefits from the federal, state, and local levels of government.

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December 19, 2018

Communities must apply for CDBG grants by Feb. 8, 2019

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 19, 2018) – Clermont County is taking applications for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for 2019. The deadline to apply is 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

The funding level for 2019 has not yet been determined by the U.S. Department for Housing & Urban Development (HUD), which administers the CDBG program. Funding for FY 2018 was $988,727. In 2018, nine community projects were funded for a total of $807,666.

The CDBG program, which began in 1974, helps to fund projects that benefit low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, aid in the prevention or elimination of blight, or meet an urgent need. A formula is used to determine whether those criteria are being met. Once Clermont County Department of Community & Economic Development selects the projects, they must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners, and finally by HUD.

More information, including the grant application and evaluation criteria, is available on the CDBG page of the county website: https://clermontcountyohio.gov//community-development/.

For questions, contact CDBG coordinator Sherri Cmar at 513.732.7907 or scmar@clermontcountyohio.gov.

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Read more here:

9 community projects funded through CDBG

December 12, 2018

Commissioners deny annexation; approve Milford amendment

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 12, 2018) – In two significant actions today, Clermont County Commissioners:

Voted 2-1 to deny a petition to annex 96 acres from Stonelick Township to the Village of Owensville. Commissioners Ed Humphrey and David Painter voted for the denial. Commissioner David Uible opposed it.

  • Unanimously approved an amendment to the Cooperative Agreement among the county, the City of Milford, and the Clermont County Convention & Visitors Bureau that states the county will not disburse monies from a 1% addition to the county lodging tax until Milford issues debt on FC Cincinnati land.

Annexation

The petition for the annexation was filed on Aug. 20 by Rick McEvoy, the agent for the petitioners. Of the 13 owners of the properties to be annexed, seven were in favor of it. Under Ohio Revised Code, a simple majority is needed to file for annexation.

At a Public Hearing before the Commissioners on Nov. 14, Michael Minniear, attorney for the petitioners, spoke on behalf of the property owners who were requesting the annexation. Owensville Police Chief Michael Freeman addressed how the village was prepared to provide services to the property owners if the annexation was approved.

Nine residents of Stonelick Township, including Township Trustees Naomi Stahl and Kermit Beckworth Jr., spoke against the annexation.

Lodging tax

Under the amendment passed today, the monies from the lodging tax, which have been collected since October, will stay in a savings account managed by the County Auditor, until Milford issues debt on the 23-acre property inside the city. FC Cincinnati is building a training facility, youth academy and soccer fields on the property. The total purchase price of the property was $5 million, of which Milford was to pay $3.5 million and FC Cincinnati $1.5 million. The lodging tax proceeds were to be used by Milford to pay off its debt.

To read more: Commissioners approve 1% increase in lodging tax  #####

December 6, 2018

Commissioners approve $57.9 million General Fund budget for 2019

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 6, 2018) – Clermont County Commissioners approved a 2019 General Fund operating budget of $57.9 million at their Dec. 5 session, a $1.7 million increase over 2018’s budget.

The General Fund is the largest discretionary source of funds in the county, and finances 20 of 21 elected offices in Clermont County. (The Engineer’s Office is funded through state gasoline taxes and driver license fees.) Clermont County Commissioners will also appropriate $196 million in 2019 for the other 119 special purpose funds under their budgetary control.

As required by law, 2019’s budget is balanced, with expenses not exceeding projected revenues plus unobligated cash.

Sales tax revenue, which provides 46% of General Fund revenue, is estimated to be $28.3 million in 2019. The next two largest streams of revenue include charges for services, $10.1 million, and 16.5% of the General Fund; and property taxes, $8.9 million, and 14.5% of the General Fund.

In 2019, General Fund program areas will be funded as follows:

  • Criminal justice: $25.1 million
  • Judicial services: $13.7 million
  • General government: $11.8 million
  • Public safety: $4.4 million
  • Health and human services: $3.3 million

Personnel costs account for the largest share of the General Fund budget — $44.5 million, or 76% of the budget, with $13.7 million going to other expenses. The 2019 merit raise pool for county employees is at 2.25%.

“Our General Fund appropriations budget has increased modestly over the last several years,” said Commissioner Ed Humphrey, President of the Board of Commissioners. “We go into 2019 in good fiscal shape and we will continue to ensure that our spending stays within our means.”

For questions, contact Office of Management and Budget Director Mary Rains,mrains@clermontcountyohio.gov, 513.732.7988.

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