Painter elected Board president for 2024

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 3, 2024) – Commissioner David Painter was elected president, and Commissioner Claire Corcoran, Vice President, of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners for 2024 at today’s annual Reorganization Meeting. Commissioner Bonnie Batchler will serve as member.

The 2024 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.

Commissioners offered comments and reflections relating to 2023 and thoughts about 2024.

“Talking about the year that we just went through, it was a great year but it also had extreme challenges,” Painter said. “…I look forward to a better ’24 than ’23.”

He cited as positives the repair and repavement of $6 million in roadways and bridges with the help of the Engineer’s Office, the startup of new businesses, and following the wishes of townships. Challenges included a number of tough cases handled by the Sheriff’s Office.

Commissioner Batchler echoed praise for the upgrade of township roads in the past year. She noted that Commissioners allocated ARPA (American Recovery Plan Act) funds to the Engineer to move up road improvement schedules.

Batchler also singled out the great work by county employees during the past year. “Their hearts are here to serve the people of this county,” she said.

Commissioner Corcoran added: “A big hat off to all of the staff in every department. They’ve worked very hard. They’re very dedicated employees. Whether it’s social services, HR, our budget office… You guys do the work and we appreciate that.”

Safety Champion – John Benson

This quarter’s Safety Champion, CTC bus driver John Benson, retired on Dec. 22 after eight years with no accidents, other than hitting an unavoidable buck that jumped in front of his vehicle several years back.

Benson attributes his defensive driving skills and attention to road conditions to the stellar record.

“I’m a retired truck driver, so that helped,” Benson said. “I have a lot of years of experience driving.”

Benson drove the New Richmond-to-Downtown Cincinnati and door-to-door routes.

“It’s been a real pleasure working here,” he said. “My bosses are fantastic. I’ve made some good friends here.”

Clermont County Safety Coordinator Gary Caudill appreciates Benson’s outstanding driving record.

“He did a fantastic job transporting the citizens of Clermont County all of those years, injury free,” Caudill said.

Meier becomes Director of Clermont County Job and Family Services

BATAVIA, OH (Dec. 13, 2023) — The Board of County Commissioners today welcomed Dorothy Meier as Director of Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services. Meier brings a wealth of experience serving in both Clermont and Hamilton counties.

“I will really work tirelessly to make sure that I achieve your goals and work for the families of Clermont County,” Meier said. “I really appreciate this opportunity. The Director of Job and Family Services is a critical position in Clermont County. It touches the lives of families often at their lowest point.”

Meier is a dedicated public servant with over 32 years of non-profit, government, leadership, training, budgetary, and managerial experience, including over 25 years of legal experience as an attorney focused on juvenile and family law.

“My entire professional career has been dedicated to service,” Meier said. “As an assistant prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and in private practice, I have focused on protecting society’s most vulnerable.”

She has served as a criminal trial attorney in the Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office since 2015. Since 2009, Meier has presented an Internet safety program she developed for students, parents and school administrators. She has been an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati since 2021.

Meier worked in the Public Defender and Prosecutor’s offices in Hamilton County as well as as a private attorney. She holds a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from Northern Kentucky University.

McClintick joins Clermont County as Director of Community and Economic Development

BATAVIA, OH (Dec. 4, 2023) — Experienced township administrator and economic development professional Kris McClintick joined Clermont County today as Director of Community and Economic Development.

McClintick served as administrator for Harrison Township in Montgomery County the last nine years. He had been with the township since 2000, starting as assistant director of community and economic development. After three years, he was appointed to director of community and economic development, a position he held for eight years. He was promoted to assistant township administrator in 2011 and township administrator in 2014.

“Clermont County is clearly positioned for dynamic growth,” McClintick said. “I look forward to working to facilitate that growth for the businesses and residents of Clermont County.”

Bonnie Batchler, President, Clermont County Board of County Commissioners, said: “Kris McClintick’s experience and unique set of qualifications made him the ideal candidate to serve as the next Development Director for Clermont County.”

“In addition to proven economic development success, Kris McClintick possesses strong communication, budget and management skills,” Commissioner David Painter said. “He has a track record of inspiring confidence in fellow employees and building public trust. He is a great addition to the Clermont County economic development team.”

“We look forward to Kris McClintick putting his years of experience to work guiding the solid team in Community and Economic Development,” Commissioner Claire Corcoran said. “These are exciting times in Clermont County—and we have a team in place to bring us to the next level.”

Prior to working for Harrison Township, McClintick held positions with the cities of Xenia and Sidney. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

PATH workers help Clermont County’s homeless population

As caseworker for a program that helps the homeless in Clermont County, Alex Boltz regularly encounters heartbreaking situations, sometimes involving seniors. She fears that growing numbers of aging citizens will find themselves facing similar living conditions.

“I think it’s just going to get worse,” said Boltz, a Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health employee with the PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) program. “Their checks are not enough to cover their living expenses and rent continues to rise. Some end up living in cars.”

PATH provides intensive outreach services to Clermont County adults who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. The program links people with mental health or substance use treatment services and provides other supports such as assistance with the Social Security application process and housing referrals. You can call an outreach worker directly at 513-765-9094 or 513-614-6918. The program is funded through Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services via federal funds and the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board.

Boltz and co-worker Abby Rau, a PATH SUD (substance use disorder) outreach worker from Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health, say they are working with more senior citizens who receive Social Security checks, get evicted because rent costs went up, and need help getting connected to housing.

“A lot of these people have worked their whole lives and they don’t want to ask for help,” Boltz said. “They have lost faith in the system. When they break down their pride and go for help, it doesn’t go well. Services are good, but providers often are understaffed and overloaded and they just can’t keep up. If a person is willing to live in assisted living or a nursing home, that’s fairly easy to help them navigate the system. Especially if they’re getting their Social Security check. I think it’s just a matter of bridging the gap between their resources.”

Boltz tells about a 65-year-old woman who had been living in her car for two years. The woman now resides in an efficiency room in an independent living facility. Rent at the subsidized facility covers all her meals, transportation to appointments, an on-site laundromat, and community activities.

“She’s so grateful,” Boltz said. “She’s so happy. She didn’t even know that was an option. A lot of seniors think they can’t afford a home, but they’re all sorts of programs and different levels of assistance.”

Boltz and Rau are surprised by the number of homeless senior citizens.

“They’re retired, still have a vehicle, and are living in cars,” Boltz said. “They have no family support. Their family is out of state or passed away. They have lived in poverty all of their lives, so they don’t have a safety net. They have no evictions, no criminal record. They just need somebody to help them put in the footwork.

“Of course mental health and addiction play a big role in the homeless situation, but you run into people going through rough times that don’t have mental health problems,” Boltz added.

Rau said: “For many, rent is going up and they’re not making enough money on their jobs to counter expenses. For some of these people, it’s just an unfortunate situation. Most of us are just one or two paychecks away from homelessness.”

The PATH workers locate and contact with homeless individuals in wooded areas, on riverfronts, under bridges, in jails, hospitals, shelters, libraries, soup kitchens, or time-limited temporary/transitional housing.

They network with a variety of referral sources throughout Clermont County, including law enforcement, shelters, medical clinics, hospitals, churches, businesses and social service agencies. Once PATH workers identify and engage with a homeless client, they make a preliminary assessment for services and begin creating a plan for the client.

Boltz said: “We meet with the homeless, in cars a lot of the time, do an assessment, see what the needs are, any barriers, talk about how they ended up homeless, make a plan, get them to shelter if they want it and can connect them to services. Sometimes, it’s the same resources you or I would use. But they do not have access to a computer or know how to use one. They just need help.”

Rau added: “Sometimes they prefer to sleep outside. You make sure have food. Check in on them. Give them hand warmers.”

For those needing substance use treatment, there are options for sober living. However, subsidized apartments have long waiting lists and group homes for those with mental health challenges are out of the county.

For now, the PATH workers are trying to build awareness about the situation and the services they offer. Boltz has been in her job for 18 months and Rau started in September.

“It’s going to be a cold winter,” said Rau, thinking about those she plans to help in the months ahead.

Family Recovery Court helps dad overcome major challenges

BATAVIA, OH (Nov. 13, 2023) — Adam Hurst started the Clermont County Family Recovery Court program on Dec. 8, 2022, after losing his children due to substance use. Hurst was tired of blaming others for his problems and needed a change.

“Adam entered treatment and worked very hard to overcome his barriers,” said Judge James A. Shriver at the Family Recovery Court’s 15th Commencement Ceremony on Nov. 9. “He got a job, found stable housing, got his license, then a car, and reunified with his children in April. Today we celebrate over 337 days of sobriety and all of Adam’s accomplishments.”

The specialized docket under Judge Shriver was one of the first of its kind in southwestern Ohio when it started on Nov. 13, 2014. Clermont County Family Recovery Court was based on the drug court model, which emphasizes treatment over punishment.

On average, the program takes more than a year to complete. Families (couples or individuals) voluntarily enter Family Recovery Court. Requirements include attending frequent court hearings, Substance Use Disorder treatment, random and frequent drug screens, meetings with a case manager, calling and checking in regularly, attending AA or similar sober support meetings and getting a sponsor or mentor, having income, establishing housing, taking care of criminal matters and getting a driver’s license.

Hurst said during the ceremony that he started using marijuana at age 7 or 8, progressed to alcohol by age 11, and then to methamphetamine. His lifestyle led to loss of family relationships, joblessness, homelessness and jail time. He lost his children to Children’s Protective Services. He was in six treatment programs before entering Family Recovery Court.

“It is better than any of the other ones I’ve ever done,” he said. “It was worth it.”

Sally Partin, a Certified Peer Recovery Support Coach and Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant with the Clermont Recovery Center, was guest speaker. Partin works with all of the families in the Family Recovery Court program.

“Sally is an essential part of the Family Recovery Court because she helps each participant identify their strengths to help them build courage and the recovery community they need to stay sober,” Judge Shriver said. “Thank you Sally for sharing your story today, and why you believe sober support and sponsorship is so important to recovery.”



4-H holds life-changing event for DD, provides many benefits

For Amber Averwater, the 2023 Clermont County Fair Queen, helping organize an event where individuals from the Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD) got to show animals and enjoy a day at the fair was just one of many pluses of her 4-H experience.

“The joy and excitement was infectious,” said Averwater, 19, a 2022 Clermont Northeastern graduate. “Their smiles were ear to ear. I’m very grateful we were able to bring that joy to them.”

The project involving individuals from the Clermont County DD was called A Day in the Ring. About 15 people, ages 10 to 40 with a spectrum of disabilities, selected and named an animal, learned about the breed, and proudly came into the ring to show it to a panel of judges.

Judges asked what the animal’s name was, the shower’s name, their favorite fair food, and what they learned about the animal such as what the animal is used for.

“It was pretty special,” said Averwater, noting that 4-Hers donated their time and their animals to show. She credited Cindy Stegbauer, a consultant on Junior Fair Board, for advocating for the event and coordinating with DD.

Averwater, who lives on a small farm with goats and chickens outside of Owensville, has been in 4-H for 14 years. Over the years, she has shown mainly beef cows, hogs and dairy goats each July at the Clermont County Fair.

She is president of the Clermont County Junior Fair Board and vice president of the Select 4-Hers club. 

Being Fair Queen this year “has been quite a blessing,” she said. Her main job is to represent and advocate for the fair. 

“From that grows a boatload of opportunities,” Averwater said. “You get to visit county fairs across Ohio to represent your fair. The end goal is to run against other county fair queens to become the Ohio Fairs Queen. It’s a big competition and I’m trying my best to win.”

Opportunities include helping at fairs, assisting children, and being a teacher and educator about agriculture. This year, she has visited about 15 county fairs. She has been to around 40 over the past three years, due to being a fair queen runner-up.

Next year, Averwater plans to go to Wilmington College to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, with a focus in livestock evaluation. She wants to become an extension educator and livestock judge. She works in customer service for Paul Hall and Associates Insurance in Mt. Orab at this time. She also is a high school wrestling official with the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

As Queen, she encourages other fairs to hold A Day in the Ring for their DD populations. 

“It really is life-changing,” Averwater said. “What amazed me was that something second nature to me meant the world to them. For them, it made their entire day, entire month, entire year. It created  a huge impact.”

Averwater has a lot of pride in the Clermont County Fair, its impact on the community, and its long and vibrant history since 1849. She admires its ability to adapt to keep drawing good crowds year after year. She also speaks highly of 4-H.

4-H is for everybody,” she said. “You don’t have to be a farmer to participate. You can borrow somebody else’s animal. You can do archery, cooking, sewing, science, tech. There is something for everyone there. It’s not for any one particular group of people.

“Not only does it teach you timeless and traditional skills you need in life, but it teaches leadership, communication, responsibility and creativity. It allows for a lot of public service, volunteering. It allows kids to interact with other people that you may not see otherwise. It helps kids to socialize and interact with other kids their age from throughout the county.”

As queen, she has been able to talk to people from throughout the state. 

4-H allows you to go up to a stranger and share your common interest in fair-related issues,” she said. “It makes the world not seem so big. I am able to connect with 4-Hers from all across Ohio and all across America. It’s so cool to see there is somebody who I can relate to as a 4-Her and through FFA (Future Farmers of America).”

This past fair season was her last in 4-H. This year, she hands off the Junior Fair Board President title. Next July, she will hand off her Clermont County crown.

“I’m grateful for the 4-H experience and proud of the work we do on projects like A Day in the Ring,” she said.


Clermont County Animal Shelter: No-Kill in 2022

BATAVIA, OH (Oct. 26, 2023) – Clermont County Animal Shelter maintained no-kill in 2022, according to Best Friends Animal Society’s annual data report. This means the shelter saved more than 90 percent of the dogs and cats that entered the shelter last year.

“Congratulations to the dedicated and hard-working team at the Clermont County Animal Shelter – and to the volunteers and organizations that support the shelter,” said Bonnie Batchler, president, Board of County Commissioners in Clermont County. “Your efforts have paid off in a big way.”

Commissioner David Painter said: “We’re very proud of the excellent work of the team at the Clermont County Animal Shelter and the many volunteers who support their efforts. The Board of County Commissioners takes the well-being of Clermont County’s dogs very seriously. When the county took over operation of the shelter, we vowed to keep it no-kill – and we have lived up to that promise.”

“We applaud the outstanding effort of the staff and volunteers at the Clermont County Animal Shelter,” Commissioner Claire Corcoran said. “Your hard work has helped us achieve our vital goal of keeping the shelter no-kill. Keep up the good work!”

Best Friends Animal Society, a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025, recognizes this achievement as a positive step forward and one that can be replicated by other shelters in Ohio.

To learn more about Clermont County Animal Shelter, visit

A 90 percent save rate is the nationally recognized benchmark to be considered “no-kill,” factoring that approximately 10 percent of pets who enter shelters have medical or behavioral circumstances that warrant humane euthanasia rather than killing for lack of space.

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 378,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,200 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit


Safety Champion — Buddy Taylor

Buddy Taylor has kept busy the past 34 years driving trucks, flagging traffic, shoveling… doing whatever it takes to get the job done as a member of the ditching crew at the Clermont County Engineer’s Office.

Throughout those many years (27 with the Engineer and seven with Williamsburg), Taylor has kept safety forefront of his work.

“I want all of us to go home at the end of the day,” said Taylor, 62. “I don’t want to be hurt, and I don’t want anybody else to be hurt.”

Clermont County Safety Coordinator Gary Caudill said Taylor acts as a reminder to crew members to wear their safety equipment before starting work tasks.

“He is the first one out of the truck, always wearing his safety gear,” Caudill said. “He works with our new employees, teaching them right from wrong with safety. He is excellent at teaching our young drivers the importance of vehicle safety, right down to how to get in and out of a truck using three points of contact.”

Ron Anter is foreman of a ditching crew that includes Taylor, Willie Turner, Dylan Nickell and Cody Ansteatt. They help maintain more than 400 miles of county roads.

Anter appreciates how Taylor routinely wears his hard hat and safety gear and possesses keen awareness of his surroundings while maneuvering and backing a 22-foot tandem-axel truck. Taylor remains safety-conscious while working around impatient or incautious drivers.

“Buddy sets an example for us,” Nickell said. “He is a reminder for us with his good safety habits.”

Children’s Services launches annual gift drive

BATAVIA, OH (Sept. 25, 2023) — Every year, Clermont County Children’s Protective Services strives to ensure that our children in care have a wonderful Christmas.  Last year Christmas Day was made brighter with gifts for approximately 350 children due to wonderful sponsors like you.

As the holidays approach please consider sponsoring one or more of our children.  You can also sponsor a family (s).  We accept sponsors of all types:  individuals, company sponsors, groups, and organizations, etc.  There is no limit on the amount of gifts or cost; however, if there is a sibling group being sponsored we will indicate that so the sponsors can try and keep the gifts even in number.

HOW TO SPONSOR A CHILDIf you are interested in sponsoring a child or family,  please e-mail Sanna Gast at: The ages of our children available for sponsorship range from birth to 21 years of age.  A number is assigned to each child (only first names are given due to confidentiality) and their ages, sizes, what they want or need.  After the list of sponsors is developed, the child and/or family wishes will be e-mailed to you so you can shop for the gifts.


In order to facilitate this, please wrap each gift and attach the child’s name along with the ID number.

Gifts need to be delivered to the agency by the due date indicated on the sponsor sheet.

IF you would like to purchase items and donate to children’s services click the Amazon link below:

The items will be delivered and disbursed to children in care. Items range from 0-21 years.

  • Please note that all gifts that are marked for a child are given to that child.  However, donations that are not given for a specific child may be distributed to other sponsored children to ensure equitable distribution of gifts.