Editor’s Note: In an article published in the Daily Times Friday, Jan. 22, the article inaccurately stated the suspended employee worked for Scioto County Economic Development. After further review, the commissioners did not name the department the suspended employee worked for.
SCIOTO — New Scioto County Commissioner Scottie Powell’s first meeting on the Board was an eventful one, marked by an executive session and the filling of the vacancies in the county Children Services Board of Directors.
Sworn in officially Saturday, fellow Commissioner Bryan Davis welcomed Powell to the Board before getting into the 15 items on the agenda.
“We are very excited about what Mr. Powell is going to be bringing and already brought to the Board,” said Davis, who has taken this week to get better acquainted with Powell.
The transition period, where the Board has its full three members for the first time since Mike Crabtree’s passing, is one met with heavy hearts for Davis and Commissioner Cathy Coleman.
“We know that we got a good man to fill his seat and he has big shoes to fill,” said Davis. “We are moving forward, and we look forward to 2021 being the best year ever for the county.”
The final item on its agenda entered the Board into a rare executive session, which gave consideration toward the employment and compensation of a public employee.
Projected to be 20-25 minutes, the closed doors session lasted more than 40 minutes where the Board resumed business by taking action on items 12 and 15 on its agenda.
On item 12, the appointments for three positions on the Scioto County Children’s Services Board were filled, bringing CPS back to a full 10-member board. Those new members are as followed:
- Darren Oliver
- Donna Cunningham
- Melissa Bennett
“These are the three that I would feel would be able to fill those positions at this time,” said Davis, where the commissioners received five letters of interest. Coleman and Powell were in agreement with Davis, basing their decision on their qualifications and experience.
“It is so encouraging to see the caliber of people that put their names out there,” said Powell, the first time he has had the opportunity to appoint officials as a Commissioner. “After review, I think Donna, Melissa, and Darren I think will do an excellent job.”
Rodney Barnett, chairperson of the Scioto County Children Services Board of Directors, said during their Wednesday meeting that he was disappointed in how long it had taken the commissioners to fill the vacancy left following former chairperson’s Tony Mantell resignation last summer.
“They’ve had six months to make that appointment and it hasn’t happened,” he said to the directors at the Unity Church in New Boston. “I’m disappointed that that position has not been filled in the last six months.”
Mantell resigned as his son, Jason, was appointed Executive Director. The other vacancies happened when two additional members left in December, which Barnett said he could understand why it had not been filled yet.
Davis responded Thursday, saying that the CPS Board of Directors had been composed of nine members for many years. Overall, he did not feel that having nine directors instead of 10 had much impact on their work.
“We did not move quickly on that board appointment,” said Davis. “We took our time and assessed the situation. We appointed that position today along with the other two that were vacated at the end of December.”
With the final item, the commissioners did not name a person or department but voted to suspend the employee for three days without pay.
Separately, the commissioners hired an additional full time-equivalent employee which Davis said would have a marketing benefit and assist SCED in its work.
“I feel that we can financially afford this,” said Davis, SCED working on 13 projects currently. “I believe it is an investment in our future and development.”
“To get additional help in that office to move these projects along is definitely needed for the county,” added Powell, where the full board supported the motion.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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