The Scioto County Board of Commissioners are very optimistic when it comes to the state of the county’s finances.
In a discussion Thursday morning during the regularly scheduled meeting, Chairman Mike Crabtree said the county is in good fiscal health. He also cautioned it wasn’t that long ago the county was in the red and under close watch from the state.
Crabtree said the county offices all need to operate with a “tight belt” and not slip back into the fiscal emergency they all experienced just a couple years back. Both Crabtree and Commissioner Bryan Davis talked about how the 2019 budget looks a lot like 2014, saying every office had to see cuts in order to keep the county’s books balanced.
“We do the best we can with what we have,” Crabtree said. Crabtree said there might be a decrease in tax revenue in 2019 since the Portsmouth Bypass is now complete. He said the contractors purchased supplies in the county while working on the road.
In other matters:
Crabtree noted there might be some confusion with the appointment to the Children Services Board, which generated some discussion last week when commissioners declined to reappoint Sheriff Marty Donini to the board. Donini has served on the board for 20 years. Crabtree said there are term limits on the board, noting Donini and Republican Central Committee Chairman Rodney Barnett may both be out of terms on the board.
Donini met with the commissioners last week noting his displeasure of not getting the appointment. In his conversation with the board, he noted the current commissioners are “…the most ignorant Board of County Commissioners, the most disrespectful I’ve ever experienced.”
Crabtree said in Thursday’s meeting he has no intention of taking stabs at the sheriff. “Up until last week I would have been okay,” Crabtree said of appointing Donini. “I have no intention at this time…to put him on the board.”
Davis made it clear in last week’s meeting he does not endorse Donini for the board, saying there is no “automatic entitlement” for anyone to be placed on any board. He said there’s no room for name calling and making slanderous comments.
“I’ve already made it clear. I answered no,” Davis said. He said he has received “numerous” calls supporting the stance the commissioners have taken.
On a more positive note, Davis mentioned the commissioners have met with Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Kuhn about remodeling the Grand Jury deliberating room. Commissioners noted they plan to bring the room “up to the 21st Century.” Davis said the jury room looks like it has not been remodeled for several decades, with shag carpeting on the floor as well as carpeted walls. “Nobody like jury duty,” Davis said. “we need to make it as comfortable as possible.”
Work continues on the fourth floor of the courthouse as well. According to Davis, remodeling efforts are ongoing in the old jail section to transform the area into a records room for the courthouse.
He said with the courthouse being 92 years young, keeping it in good working order costs money.