Hello, Hamilton County

News for Hamilton County Employees

December 13, 2000

  Quote of the Week:  “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”  - Benjamin Franklin
County Appoints New Personnel Director
Hamilton County Administrator David Krings announced today his recommendation for the appointment of Gary Berger as the County’s new Personnel Director.  Mr. Berger, an area resident for over 30 years, has served as the Benefits Manager for the County Personnel Department for the past three and a half years.  Prior to his service with Hamilton County, Mr. Berger worked as a human resource executive in the healthcare industry for 24 years.

According to Mr. Krings, “We are fortunate to have someone with Gary’s talents and abilities on staff.  It is a positive to be able to promote from within.  Gary has a unique knowledge of the organization and the community. I am confident in Gary’s ability to meet the challenges of this new position.”

“I am excited by the opportunity and look forward to serving the citizens of Hamilton County in this new role,” stated Berger.  “I will work to continue the progress the department and the County organization has made since the creation of the County Personnel Department.  We want to do the best job possible to attract, retain and develop talented people to serve our community.”.
Mr. Berger is replacing Jim Lowry, who retired from Hamilton County last week after nearly 40 years of service.  Mr. Berger was selected after a national search that generated over 70 applicants.  Gary Berger lives in Anderson Township.  He is married and has two grown children.


County wins Distinguished Budget Award for 8th year in a row
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has awarded Hamilton County with a Distinguished Presentation Award, the highest recognition possible for local governmental budgeting.  The year 2000 marks the eighth consecutive year the County has received this prestigious award.  Congratulations to Suzanne Burke, the budget staff and all of you who contribute to the County’s budget process.


Women’s Health Issues
 Health Alliance Mobile Mammography Unit to visit County facilities
bullet Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers.
bullet70% of breast cancers occur in women with no apparent risk factors
bullet67% of all breast cancers occur in women over age 50.
But, with the increased use of mammography screening, breast cancers are being detected earlier in their development when they are more treatable. This earlier detection, coupled with improved treatment has led to a decline in breast cancer death rates.  Between 1990 and 1994, breast cancer mortality significantly decreased by 5.6 percent.  (Humana Health At Work, October 2000)
The Hamilton County Personnel Department has arranged for the Health Alliance Mobile Mammography Unit to be downtown for County employees in January 2001.
When   In Front Of
Wednesday, January 10 A & D Building, 222 E. Central Parkway
Wednesday, January 17 Taft Building, 230 E. Ninth Street
Thursday, January 25 County Administration Building, 138 E. Court Street
Tuesday, January 30 A & D Building, 222 E. Central Parkway

Please contact Kim Pennekamp at 946-4705 in the County Personnel Department to schedule your appointment.  Appointments may be scheduled between 9:10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., excluding 12:30 to1:30 p.m.  The screening takes about 20 minutes and it is free to Humana/ChoiceCare members age 35 or older.


Cinergy Field Modifications continue on track
When Reds fans go out to the “old ball game” next year, they will experience Cinergy Field as they never have before.  Crews are hard at work changing the face of Cinergy Field.  The County will tackle the unique challenge of maintaining Cinergy Field as a viable home for the Reds for the next two baseball seasons while providing room for the construction of the Reds’ new home, Great American Ballpark.  The photos below show the latest progress on the demolition of a portion of the stadium bowl.  A welcome new addition this year at Cinergy Field will be natural grass.

Grant Funds Available for Regional Projects

The Regional Initiatives Fund (RIF) is a collaborative effort of 14 area funders to support innovative regional initiatives.  The funders have agreed to jointly develop, fund and oversee a $1 million grant making initiative to increase regional cooperation, build the capacity of regional systems, and support the implementation of regional projects.

The RIF is seeking proposals from organizations interested in developing, planning, or implementing a regional initiative in one of four areas:  (1) strengthening the region’s urban core; (2) preserving the region’s unique quality of life; (3) building on regional transportation assets; and (4) preparing people to work in a global knowledge-based economy

A Preliminary Concept Paper must be submitted by January 29, 2001.  If invited to submit a full proposal, the deadline will be April 23, 2001. 

If you have questions or need further information about this program, please contact Cindy Weitlauf, Grants Coordinator, at 946-4317.


Have a Happy and Safe Holiday by Keeping Holiday Fire Safety Tips in Mind
With the winter holiday season upon us, the Cincinnati Fire Division wants to remind everyone to pay attention to potential fire hazards. As homes become even busier with family and friends , remember

 that by properly maintaining working smoke alarms and being aware of possible holiday fire threats, you can help protect your home and keep loved ones safe.  

Special fire safety precautions should be taken during the winter holiday season. The combination of active heating elements, extra holiday lights, and decorations require everyone to be more mindful of fire safety.

The Cincinnati Fire Division recommends the following safety tips this holiday season:  

bulletHave your furnace and chimney professionally inspected and cleaned. Chimney tar build-up can ignite your chimney, roof and the whole house. Space heaters need space. Keep combustibles at least three feet away from each heater.
bulletInspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.
bulletIf you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders are placed where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the room with candles burning.  
bulletDo not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Make certain tree stands are filled with water at all times and do not smoke near an indoor tree.  
bulletLook for a live Christmas tree that’s fresh and green. The needles should bend and not snap between your fingers. A dry tree is a serious fire hazard, so water yours often.  
bulletDo not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.  
bulletWorking smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Remember to also test smoke alarms monthly, and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times.  

The United States Fire Administration reports that more than 70 percent of fire deaths occur in residences, with children and the elderly facing the highest risks. This holiday season make sure to include the gift of fire safety for all your family and friends. Every life is precious.


 Happy Holidays from Hamilton County!
A festive looking Gary Van Hart is ready for some holiday cheer!