By Wayne Allen
Earlier this month, the Scioto County Commissioners appointed Mike Payton, president of New Boston Village Council as a member of the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Board of DD). Board of DD Superintendent Julie Monroe has concerns.
After the appointment, the commissions advised that they would be resending the appointment, due to lack of qualification.
On November 3, New Boston Village Council passed a resolution, allowing council members to serve as appointed members of board or committees. The resolution was passed as an emergency measure.
The ending paragraph of the resolution reads, “Two-thirds (2/3) of all members elected or appointed to council have found this to be an emergency measure to provide for the public peace, health, safety and therefore this resolution shall go into immediate effect upon its passage.”
Monroe sent a letter to the commissioners dated November 4, expressing concern over a Payton appointment.
In the letter, Monroe expresses two concerns, “First he (Payton) is an elected official and putting the problem with public perception aside, I am fearful that if the legal validity of the ‘resolution’ was challenged and deemed of no relevance there would be problems for our program.”
She goes on to state, if Payton is appointed and is later determined to be ineligible, all of his actions as a board member could be considered improper and void.
Monroe’s second concern questions Payton having an immediate family member eligible for the Adult Services program due to a developmental disability.
In an exclusive statement to the Daily Times, Monroe said, “According to my understanding of the Ohio Revised Code 5126.0210, elected officials are not eligible to serve on County Boards of DD. There are exceptions, but serving as a Village Council Member is not one, to my knowledge.”
Monroe went on to state, “pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 5126.029 (A) (2), the commissioners are to appoint at least two individuals who are immediate family members of individuals eligible for services provided by the County Board, and whenever possible, ensure that one of those two members is an immediate family member of an individual eligible for adults services (18 years and older) and the other is an immediate family member of an individual eligible for early intervention services, preschool or school-aged services.”
Monroe said, in addition to Payton Dennis Evans, a family member of a child eligible for school-aged services also applied for the appointment. Evans turned in his appointment request a day late, due to an unexpected family emergency.
On Tuesday, commissioners Mike Crabtree and Doug Coleman reaffirmed the Payton appointment.
Over the course of the meeting, the commissioners acknowledged Monroe’s concern and said the appointment was reaffirmed based on an opinion from Scioto County Prosecutor’s office.
“I am concerned the integrity of our program may be questioned if someone is appointed who is not clearly identified as an immediate family member of an individual with a developmental disability,” Monroe said.
When asked for a comment, Payton sated he will unaware of the concerns and did not want to make a formal comment.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT
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