By Joseph Pratt
April 18, 2014
The Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD) held their monthly board meeting Thursday and offered the position of Superintendent to Benjamin Hollinger. Also considered for the position was Interim Superintendent Julie Monroe.
Hollinger and Monroe were the only people interviewed for the position out of the four applicants who applied.
The board told The Daily Times they only recognized the resumes of Monroe and Hollinger and the job posting was also not made public.
“We interviewed both Hollinger and Monroe and (a) five to two vote preferred Hollinger,” Jeff Kleha, SCBDD Board of Education, said. “We also received letters from staff supporting him (Hollinger) with specific details about why they thought he was a great success.”
Kleha said the board was comfortable with both interviews and felt confidant with either decision.
“After interviewing Mr. Hollinger and Mrs. Monroe, we realized we had an excellent choice between the two fantastic candidates. We loved the answers they gave us and we, of course, remember being under Mr. Hollinger. He was CEO of the board for 18 months,” Kleha said.
Monroe is the director of community services at SCBDD and has lead the strategic planning efforts in 2013 and has worked the past three months to put systems in place to provide SCBDD stakeholders with quarterly progress reports on how the agency is implementing its annual goals.
Monroe has also worked to improve staff relations, worked closely with the finance director in fiscal planning and forecasting, heightened building safety for all SCBDD buildings and has worked with Choice Housing to develop a contract that will provide more funding for housing for individuals with disabilities.
“I was disappointed to hear the Board had made a decision so quickly to go with the other candidate, as I feel my efforts have resulted in many positive and quantifiable outcomes for the program since being appointed Interim Superintendent in December” Monroe said in a response letter to the Daily Times. “There was no evaluation done of my performance by the board and no official feedback sought from stakeholders that I am aware of. I have received a lot of positive feedback from the staff and community partners and have been humbled by the outpouring of support I have received from colleagues across the state.”
Hollinger is currently the CEO and founder of a provider agency that deals with residential, day and consulting work involving adults with developmental disabilities.
“I’m looking forward to rejoining the Scioto County DD. It is a good staff, good board and I frankly wish I had never left,” Hollinger said. “I’m glad to be a part of their effort again.”
Hollinger said while he worked at SCBDD he pioneered a community employment program. He also expanded the transitional services for students who were transitioning from school to adulthood, helping them secure a steady workforce. Hollinger left the SCBDD in 2012 to become an assistant deputy director for the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), where he heavily worked with the state-level programming of Employment Now, which is what he pioneered at SCBDD.
According to Hollinger he left that position in 2012 after being charged with operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) in a company vehicle. Hollinger said he wasn’t terminated from employment, but electively resigned so it would not harm his programming and work for the state. According to the Morrow County Municipal Court, Hollinger was later charged with an second OVI offense; he was fined $575, had his license suspended until Sept. 12, 2014, and jailed for 10 days.
The SCBDD agreed to change their hiring policy at the March board meeting, which made Hollinger eligible for the position.
According to meeting minutes “Mr. (Mike) Thoroughman made a motion to change Personnel Policy 2.05 ‘Verification of Employment Eligibility’, Section B.2., regarding driving eligibility of applicants, to allow the agency to consider an applicant for hire, who, among other things had been convicted of reckless driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, vehicular homicide, and a number of other serious driving violations, in the three years previous. It was specified that this was an emergency’ reading and that there would be no other readings, so that the change would take place immediately,” read the board notes from the meeting.
The board and Hollinger will be in contact to discuss the details of the job offer. While Monroe continues as interim superintendent.
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.