Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

March 29, 2002 

  Quote of the Week:  Concentration is the secret of strength." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hamilton County receives top “Good E-Governance” Award

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) announced today the winners of the First Annual Seal of Good eGovernance Award Program.  The Award recognizes best practices and innovation in county-level electronic governance (“eGovernance”) initiatives. 

Hamilton County was the only county in the United States awarded the eGovernance Award of Excellence, the highest award granted and designated by a Gold Seal.  Hamilton County launched its web portal in 1998 and is located at http://www.hamilton-co.org.  Hamilton County serves a population of 845,268 and competed with similar-sized counties of 500,000 to one million residents.  Hamilton County links information on more than 50 county-related sites and more than 80 sites of public interest to its residents and the Internet Community.  The site currently links the public to 11 public service categories available through the Internet.   

“This award is a reflection of the support and efforts of the Board of County Commissioners, other elected County officials, and professional staff throughout the County organization,” stated Hamilton County Administrator David Krings.  “We are proud of this recognition, but even more pleased at the ever-increasing variety of services and information that the County is able to provide citizens through the Internet.”

Twenty-nine counties applied for the Award and the counties were grouped into seven groups designated by NACo based on population size, and were judged against similarly sized counties.  The applicants were scored based on seven criteria addressing customer-centric interactions; seamless service-delivery; leveraged partnerships; participation of multiple government sectors; innovative use of technology for service delivery; ease of replication; and privacy and security. Thirteen counties received the eGovernance Award of Distinction, designated by a Silver Seal.  Seven counties were awarded the eGovernance Award of Merit, designated by a Bronze Seal. 

An expert panel of five judges evaluated the Award applicants.  The panel was composed of representatives from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, IBM, Public Technology, Inc., the National Association of Counties, and the International City/County Management Association.

The Seal of Good eGovernance Awards will be presented at NACo’s Annual Conference to be held July 12-16, 2002 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Awardee information is included on the Academy’s homepage at: http://www.napawash.org/pc_egovernance/seal.html and on NACo’s homepage at: www.naco.org. 

The National Academy of Public Administration is an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to improve the performance of government institutions at every level. The National Association of Counties represents more than 2000 county governments, providing a wide range of services including legislative, research, public affairs, and technical assistance to its members.

Congrats to everyone who contributed to this award!  Keep up the good work!

Clerical Support Staff Retreat a Great Success
The 2002 Clerical Support Staff Retreat, held on March 7, 2002 at Paul Brown Stadium, was a great success.  The second time for this event brought together 49 participants from throughout the County organization representing a total of 518 years of County experience. Dr. George Manning, Psychology Professor at Northern Kentucky University was the event facilitator.
Support staff from throughout the County held the second annual retreat.  This year's event was held at Paul Brown Stadium.

The retreat was a great opportunity for networking, sharing ideas, and learning. A video entitled “A Class Divided” was an eye opener for those in attendance and a reminder that we must work harder to assure that everyone is treated equally -- we are all necessary members of the County team.  Participants also discussed ways to improve service within the County organization.


The retreat concluded with a tour of Paul Brown Stadium.  Thanks to the elected officials, appointed authorities, and department heads for allowing support staff to participate. 


Hamilton County Kicks off effort to create a County Flag
The citizens of Hamilton County have a unique opportunity to help create a flag for the County.  Ohio’s bicentennial year is fast approaching and the state has asked every county to be represented by an official flag.  Currently, Hamilton County does not have an official flag.  As a result, Hamilton County is launching a contest to encourage county residents to take part in a history-making event, the creation of a County flag. 

All citizens of Hamilton County are invited to submit a flag design.  The goal is to generate designs for a flag that will represent Hamilton County.  The County is working in partnership with ArtWorks, a local non-profit that provides arts training in the arts for local youth. ArtWorks will seek entries from local schools, its network of local artists, and the general public.  A panel consisting of County officials, civic leaders and ArtWorks staff will select three finalists.  Each of these three finalists will receive recognition and an honorarium.  The winning design will be selected from these three finalists and submitted to a flag manufacturer for production.  The winning design will be unveiled in a public ceremony on Flag Day (June 14, 2002).

Hamilton County encourages county residents’ participation in this contest. Interested persons should contact Betsy Reeves of ArtWorks at 333-0388 or email at Artworks_betsy@hotmail.com.  Submissions should be sent to the following address:


Flag Design Contest

1310 Pendleton Box 14

Cincinnati, Ohio 45210

The deadline for submissions is April 26, 2002.



The Planning Partnership of Hamilton County Graduates First Certified Planning Commissioners in Ohio
On March 5 and 6, the Planning Partnership of Hamilton County hosted the first Certified Planning Commissioner’s Program in the State of Ohio.
 During the 16-hour workshop, 25 participants from Hamilton and Clermont Counties, the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters, re-examined the importance of their profession and the impact planning has on their communities and counties.

The Planning Partnership of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission brings together the public, private and civic sectors engaged in community planning so that mutual goals can be planned for comprehensively and achieved collaboratively. The Planning Partnership’s "Making Great Communities" Certified Planning Commissioner’s Program has been designed for Planning Commissioners (citizen planner) interested in acquiring basic knowledge to perform their duties. The program is also open to any seasoned Planning Commissioner looking for up to date information on planning.

"I now understand why the work of the Planning Commissions needs to be more focused on what’s going on outside their Commission and outside our community and how we are interconnected," said Patricia Stearns of Lincoln Heights.

The Certified Planning Commissioner’s Program improved the ability of the participating Commissioners to interpret and analyze technical and legal information, understand the laws that affect Planning Commissions, understand the unique role of the Commissions within their communities and counties, and how to conduct effective public meetings. University of Cincinnati School of Planning professors, professional planners from the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, professional facilitators, and other professionals, such as attorneys and planning consultants, led the presentations and small group discussions.

"This program has given me more confidence in my ability to do a good job as a Planning Commissioner," said Joanne Gerson from Montgomery.

Participating commissioners came from townships, villages and cities: Amberley Village, Anderson Township, City of Montgomery, City of Sharonville, Colerain Township, Green Township, Lincoln Heights, Springdale Township, and Springfield Township, in Hamilton County and Jackson Township in Clermont County. Other participants included commissioners from the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, the Hamilton County Regional Zoning Commission.

The "Making Great Communities" certified program will be offered biannually in the winter and fall. With continued interest and support from jurisdictions and organizations, this workshop is expected to develop into a continual program available to all Planning Commissioners in the eight-county region.

"Although certification is not required in Ohio for Planning Commissioners, as it is in Kentucky, the commitment and volunteer spirit shown by these Commissioners to do a better job is obvious, "said Ron Miller, executive director of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission. Many participants in this certification program remarked how programs, like this, should be mandatory to all Planning Commissioners and that they will encourage their elected officials to make it a requirement.



HCJFS improves Scores on State Scorecard
Hamilton County Job and Family Services got much better marks in the most recent County Progress Report announced by Ohio Job and Family Services. 

"We can be very proud of this, " says Lora Jollis, assistant director. 

Hamilton County improved in two areas -food stamp accuracy and federal all-family work participation.  The agency didn't decline in any of the remaining seven areas. 

Hamilton County was the only metro county to improve its Ohio Works First (OWF) work participation scores.  We were one of three to better our food stamp accuracy.  

The improvement put the county in a position to possibly earn food stamp incentives and a share of the OWF work participation money.

Food stamp payment accuracy 3/4
OWF work participation  1/2
Federal all-family participation 1
OWF cases closed with individuals employed 3/4
Help ME Grow 3/4
Child support order establishment 3/4
Child support collections 1/2
Foster child placement moves 3/4
Finalized adoptions 1/4
note: 1 is best, then 3/4, then 1/2, then 1/4, then 0.

"We've made this a high priority, " Jollis says.  We added tools such as desk aids and helped staff become more accountable for outcomes."  

For more information  about Hamilton County's scorecard, visit www.hamilton-co.org/dhs/news/news.html



Green Products EXPO 2002

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Training Seminar and Exhibition

The Hamilton County Solid Waste Management District, in conjunction with the City of Cincinnati Office of Environmental Management, is conducting its first annual Green Products Expo on May 16, 2002.

This event will bring together public sector purchasers from throughout the region for the purpose of encouraging the purchase of recycled and environmentally preferable products. A full day of educational workshops and vendor displays offer the latest information on performance, price, and the environmental and economic benefits of purchasing these goods.

Environmentally preferable products refer to products having lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose. This event will showcase case studies on local and regional governments that have purchased such products.

The Expo will take place on May 16, 2002 at the Clarion Hotel & Suites in Blue Ash, Ohio and will run from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Registration is free but limited. To register, visit

For more details, contact Holly Christmann at 946-7705.



New Phone Numbers for 800 Broadway Employees
Many of the employees of the 800 Broadway Building have changed phone numbers. Citizens who have trouble reaching a County office are urged to contact the County operator at 946-6464. Employees attempting to reach persons working at the 800 Broadway are advised to check the intranet phone listing (http://hcnet) first to see if it has been updated.  

If you have a display phone, and know the person's name, you may use the phone's directory feature.  If unsuccessful you may contact county operators at 946-6464 and obtain any new number for the 800 Broadway Building.  


Don't forget to post Hello, Hamilton County so that everyone can see what's going on!

Have a great day!

Hello, Hamilton County is published twice each month.  It is placed on both the County's internal and external Web pages.  It is design to enlighten and inform both citizens and employees of Hamilton County.  If you have questions or suggestions for future editions, contact Erica Binford (946-4324), Sharon Booker (946-4428) or Eric Stuckey (946-4432) in the County Administrator's Office or e-mail to eric.stuckey@hamilton-co.org.