Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

May 21, 2001  

  Quote of the Week:  The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.  - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Ground Breaking for Riverfront Garage marks progress

New Structure to support National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Hamilton County officials today broke ground on the parking garage that will support the National Underground Freedom Center.  The "Block 3" garage, to be located south of Second Street between Vine and Walnut, will provide parking for more than 700 vehicles.

"We have always maintained that riverfront redevelopment is about more than the construction of two new sports facilities," said Commissioner Tom Neyer, Jr. "The Construction of this garage sets in motion the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which has historical implications locally, nationally, and internationally.  Today is just the beginning."

"This is truly a historic day for riverfront redevelopment in Cincinnati," said Commissioner Todd Portune. "The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center provides a shining example of what great things can be achieved when people work together." 

Ed Rigaud, president and CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and Tom Humes, chair of The Banks Development Committee for the Port Authority, also spoke at the ground breaking.

Development of the Central Riverfront is well underway and will occur in several phases.  These phase include Paul Brown Stadium (opened August 2000), Great American Ball Park (under construction), the Freedom Center, a public park, and other commercial development along the riverfront. Top: Commissioner Portune, County Administrator Dave Krings, Ed Rigaud, Commissioner Neyer, and Tom Humes "dig in" at the ground breaking ceremony.

Bottom:  Board of County Commissioners with Ed Rigaud and County Administrator Krings at a recent Board Meeting.


Planning Session focuses on potential challenges for 2002

At a day long planning session held on May 16, representatives from throughout the County gathered to discuss the outlook for 2002 and to share ideas to help the County face its challenges.  The session was held at the Department of Human Services' 237 William Howard Taft building and was attended by 65 employees from virtually all segments of county government.  The day included a briefing about the local economic outlook from Fifth Third Bank executives, a discussion of the financial outlook for County government, and small group work sessions to identify ideas to increase revenue and/or reduce costs while providing good service to citizens.

"Each year there are different challenges and this year's budget may be particularly difficult given state budget cuts and other potential challenges," stated Board President John Dowlin.  "It is important to get good people together to discuss things and to develop ideas."  

Stated County Administrator David Krings, "We have done these planning session for several years and each year we use ideas generated out of these sessions."

Top:  Small groups work together to generate ideas.

Bottom: Commissioners Neyer and Portune share a laugh with the group.

The budget process will be starting soon as we begin to plan for 2002 and beyond.

Give a life-saving gift through the Annual County Blood Drive 

In the next two weeks you may just save a life!  Hamilton County's annual Hoxworth Blood Drive is scheduled for late May and early June. 
The following facts may help you as you consider giving blood:
bulletOne in four of us will be the recipient of a blood transfusion in our lifetime.
bulletThe Hoxworth Blood Center serves 1.8 million people, and is the sole supplier of blood to 25 hospitals in 14 counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
bulletLocally, we need 350 individuals to step up and donate each day in order to maintain an adequate blood supply.
bulletDespite the increasing need for donors, Greater Cincinnati and the nation struggle with the reality that only 5% of the population donates blood.
bulletDonating blood is safe and easy - it is absolutely impossible to contract AIDS or any other infectious disease from donating blood.
bulletYou get FREE juice and snacks afterwards!

The need for blood continues to increase as technology and services provided by area hospitals demand it. Unfortunately, blood donations are not keeping pace with blood usage. That is why it is so important that healthy individuals donate blood regularly to insure that there will always be an adequate blood supply for those in need.  Take a few minutes to give a gift that could save a life!

To sign up for an appointment contact Kim Pennekamp in Personnel at 946-4705.

The dates and times for our annual Hoxworth Blood Drive are:

bulletFriday, May 25 @ 230 E. 9th Street, 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
bulletFriday, June 1 @ 138 E. Court Street, 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
bulletMonday, June 4 @ 222 E. Central Parkway, 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM



Ball Park Team to hold Small Business/Contractors Forum

On Thursday, May 24, the Great American Ball Park project team will host a general information meeting for all interested Small Business Enterprises (SBE).  The meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Urban League of Cincinnati, 3458 Reading Road.  One of series of meetings conducted throughout the bidding process for the Ball Park project, this forum is designed to give small business the opportunity to talk with key staff from the project team and to network with primary contractors.  

Environmental Services uses new "Hybrid" vehicle

The Department of Environmental Services recently purchased to two gas/electric "hybrid" vehicles to replace old vehicles in their fleet.  These vehicles are extremely efficient getting 70 miles to the gallon.  In addition to being easier on fuel costs, the cars are kind to the environment, being classified as an ultra-low emissions vehicle.  

"It drives great, is fuel efficient and is easy on the environment," stated Environmental Services Director Cory Chadwick.

Environmental Service Director Cory Chadwick with the County's new hybrid car.

County Exceeds its Fine Arts Fund Goal

Hamilton County has exceeded its goal for this year's Fine Arts Fund contributions.  Through this volunteer giving program, County employees have pledged $23,214, exceeding this year's goal by over $700.  This giving level marks a 10% increase over last year's efforts.  
Departments that had a significant increase (10% or higher over last year)  include Administrative Services, Board of Elections, Clerk of Courts, Domestic Relations Court, Emergency Management, Environmental Services, Juvenile Court, Mental Health Board, County Personnel, Prosecutor's Office, and Public Defender.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Fine Arts Fund!  Overall, it was a successful campaign with the community-wide being met and exceeded.

Employee of the Year Profile:  Amy Harlukowicz

Amy Harlukowicz is a forensic serologist/DNA analyst with the Coroner’s Office.  A County employee since 1995, Amy has helped pioneer the use of DNA analysis, not only in Hamilton County, but also throughout the State of Ohio.  Due in large part to Amy’s hard work and professional commitment, Hamilton County became the first, and currently only, local crime laboratory connected to Ohio’s CODIS Computer database of DNA profiles.  
Amy Harlukowicz works on the CODIS database to match DNA information to help solve open cases. 
The CODIS database includes the DNA profiles of convicted offenders for comparison to unsolved cases.  Amy was involved in the very first match to this new database.  Amy has been diligent throughout the year in reexamining old cases with new technology to help identify suspects that otherwise would escape prosecution.  In 2000 alone, Amy conducted 2,595 tests in conjunction with over 200 criminal cases.   Amy is also a key contributor to the Sexual Assault Care Network and provides essential instruction to specially trained nurses in local emergency rooms regarding collection and handling of important physical evidence.  Amy gives of her time outside of the workplace speaking to scout and school groups such as the Cincinnati College of Medicine’s “Saturday Science Academy.”  She also serves as a youth leader at her church and participates in a mentoring program.

Unfortunately, Amy will be leaving Hamilton County this week to take a position with the Michigan State Police.  Amy says that leaving Hamilton County was a difficult decision, but this new position will bring her back "home" closer to her family in Michigan.  Good luck and thank you, Amy! 


Hamilton County Employees of the Year Honored 
At their May 9th meeting, County Commissioners honored this year's Employees of the Year.  Later that same day, employees were honored at the Public Service Recognition Ceremony on Fountain Square. Also recognized at the ceremony were county employee Jack Middendorf and county volunteer Mel Martin. Congratulations and thank you for your service to the citizens of Hamilton County.
Employees of the Year (L to R): Amy Harlukowicz, Lynn Preuth, Steve Burns, Brenda Greene, and Ali Khodadad with County Commissioners.


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Have a Great Week!


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 Sharon Booker (946-4428) or Eric Stuckey (946-4432) in the County Administrator's Office or e-mail to eric.stuckey@hamilton-co.org.