Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

May 8, 2001  

  Quote of the Week:  Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.  - Confucius

Public Service Recognition Week is May 7-13:  Hamilton County Employees distinguish themselves in many ways

Environment Services Educator named top in the State. Suzanne Magness, an Education Specialist with the Solid Waste Management Division of the Department of Environment Services, was recognized by the Environmental Education Council as Ohio's outstanding environmental educator in the field of "non-formal education" (not a classroom teacher).  Through workshops, classes, fieldtrips and publications, Suzanne reaches approximately 500,000 students and 11,000 educators each year.  The Board of County Commissioners recognized Suzanne's achievement at their May 2nd meeting.  Suzanne has worked in this position since 1998.
Commissioners Neyer and Dowlin congratulate state-wide award winner Suzanne Magness of Environmental Services.
County recognized through ASPA Awards. Four Hamilton County employees were honored at the Greater Cincinnati Chapter’s 18th Annual American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Public Administrator of the Year Awards Luncheon on April 27. Along with eight other public administrators from around Greater Cincinnati, Joe Gunterman (County Personnel), Jack Middendorf (Facilities Department), Sharon Chamberlin (Facilities Department), and Michael Patton (Department of Human Services), were nominated by their peers as exemplary public administrators in their respective fields. Jack Middendorf from the Facilities Department, was recognized as the Service Innovator award winner
Hamilton County employees Joe Gunterman, Sharon Chamberlin, Michael Patton, and Jack Middendorf were finalists for ASPA Awards.
Public Service Recognition to take place on Fountain Square.  On May 9th at noon, a community ceremony will be held on Fountain Square to recognize outstand public servants from federal, state and local government.  Information booths will also be on the square to share information with citizens about various public service agencies and projects.  At this ceremony, Hamilton County's Employees of the Year (Steve Burns, Brenda Greene, Amy Harlukowicz, Ali Khodadad, and Lynn Preuth) and ASPA Public Administrator of the Year award winner Jack Middendorf will be honored.
Jack Middendorf from the Facilities Department was recognized by ASPA as the Service Innovator of the Year.


Give and Gain Clothing Drive May 7-11 
Hamilton County employees are asked to donate business attire to help participants in the "Back on Track" program prepare for interviews and work in  business settings.  The following items will be accepted:
bulletMen's and women's business suits
bulletBlouses/dress shirts 
bulletDress slacks/pants
bulletMen's and women's shoes
bulletSkirts and dresses
bulletTies, watches, and purse
Just look for the big "Gain" boxes located in lobby of  the County Administration Building, 800 Broadway, 230 East 9th Street and the Courthouse.  Thanks to all who donate for helping those in need.


Building Permits can now be checked on-line
The public can now check the status of active building permits with the Hamilton County Department of Building Inspection through the Internet.  By simply entering a permit number or address, citizens can see the general project description, the list of approved project items, and examine inspection records .  
"Bringing permit status on-line is an exciting enhancement to our customer service that allows people to check the status of their permits and inspections from their office or home anytime of the day or night," said Tonia Edwards, Director of the Building Inspections Department.  "This is the first major step towards putting the entire permit process on to the Internet."  


Commissioners get good news on projected Ball Park Cost
Thanks to favorable bids, the estimated cost to complete the Great American Ball Park has been reduced by approximately $7 million compared to previous month's estimates.  The project team, providing the Board of County Commissioners with a monthly status report, stated that the project is within budget and appears to be on schedule for Opening Day 2003.  The project has been very successful in terms of worker safety.  With over 200,000 hours worked on the project to date, there has been no lost days due to injury.  
The County's website now features a web-cam of the Ball Park site.
The project team also reported progress in terms of small business participation.  To date, the committed small business participation for the Ball Park and related projects is 22.3%, a significant increase over the previous month's report.  Citizen's can check the progress of Great American Ball Park by clicking onto the County's Home Page (www.Hamilton-Co.org).  Digital photos of the Ball Park site are updated each hour, giving citizens a "real time" view of the construction project.


Yardarama 2001 brings conservation to your backyard

The Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont Counties along with the Cincinnati Nature Center are sponsoring a conservation extravaganza on May 19, 2001 at the Gorman Heritage Farm in Evendale, Ohio.  The farm is 165 years old and is composed of 100 acres.  It is located off Reading Rd. just south of Rt. 126, Glendale-Milford Rd.

Throughout the day, there will be presentations and activities about Ornamental Ponds, Soils & Drainage, Gardening and Composting, Landscaping and Tree Selection, Lawn Management, Pasture Management and more.  Ron Wilson of Natorp Nursery and Garden Expert for WCPO/Channel 9 and WMOH 1450 AM radio will provide presentations at 11:00 am and 2:00pm. This event is FREE to the public.

Experts on various topics such as backyard streams, attracting and detracting urban wildlife, on-site septic systems, pollution prevention around the home will staff booths and be available all day to answer questions.

Children’s games and activities will be held throughout the day!


Hamilton County Leaders to hold planning session

The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners will host a planning session for elected leaders, appointed authorities, and department heads on Wednesday, May 16, 2001.  The work session, to be held at 237 William Howard Taft, will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is anticipated to last until 3:30 p.m.   

The budgetary challenges facing the County in the wake of impending State cutbacks will be the foremost issue of discussion.  Leaders will discuss both the current year outlook as well as challenges the County may face in 2002.  “The planning session is an important effort that will help shape our budget priorities for the coming year and impact the provision of services to citizens,” stated Hamilton County Administrator David Krings. “Given some of the financial challenges that we face, it will be particularly important to get involvement from leaders throughout the County organization.”


Spring Cleaning Made Easy by Environmental Services
Do you have a lot of mixed paper sitting around your house or office? Does your office or home have old computers or computer parts that you’re not sure what to do with? Recycle them! 

You can recycle mixed paper for free at one of many convenient locations in your neighborhood. Mixed paper includes items such as cereal boxes, cardboard, beverage cases, junk mail, magazines, office paper and newspaper. If you can tear it, they’ll take it!


Western Hills Plaza: Behind Kroger- 6150 Glenway Ave. Open the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m.

College Hill: Kroger- 1601 W. North Bend Rd. Open the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m.

Sharonville: Princeton High School-11080 Chester Rd. Open the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m.

Surrey Square Mall: Behind Thriftway- Montgomery Rd. in Norwood.  Open the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m.

North Avondale Assn.: North Avondale School- 615 Clinton Springs Ave.  Open February 3, May 5, August 4, and November 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

What about old computer parts? You can also recycle these for free! Items that will be accepted at the free collection event are: PC workstations, scanners, printers, tape and disk drives, and telephones. Unacceptable items are: mainframes, televisions, fax and copier machines, and cannibalized systems. If your computer is a 486 or above, don’t bring it! Call the Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services at 946-7734 for a list of local non-profit organizations that will gladly accept your old computer or visit www.hcdoes.org for a list of outlets.

You can recycle your computer and computer parts for free at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds on the following dates:

Friday, June 29, 2001: Pre-registered businesses and schools ONLY.

Collection is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 30, 2001: Residents only. No registration required.

Collection is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

To request a registration form for your business or school, call the Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services at 946-7734 or print a registration form online at   www.hcdoes.org/sw/comprecycle/collection.htm. The registration deadline is June 4, 2001. If your school or business has more than 50 PC workstations, please call the Department at 946-7705.

Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for Saturday, June 9, 2001. The smog awareness season in Greater Cincinnati will kick-off with the Clean Air A-Thon. The event is 5K run/walk that begins at 9:00 a.m. and starts and finishes at Sawyer Point. The race will also include a kid’s fun run and awards ceremony for the winners of the Do Your Share for Cleaner Air Calendar Contest. To request a registration form for the race or for more information, call 336-9242 or visit www.doyourshare.org. All entries must be postmarked by Thursday, May 31, 2001 or you can register the day of the race at Sawyer Point from 7:30 a.m. until the race begins. We hope to see you there!


Employee of the Year Profile:  Lynn Preuth 
In each of the next five editions of Hello, Hamilton County, we will profile one of the five Employee of the Year Award winners.
This month will mark Lynn’s 30th year of service as a Hamilton County employee.  Lynn, who will retire on May 31, 2001, has worked extensively in human resources in both the County Personnel Department and in the Department of Human Services (DHS).  Lynn began his career with Hamilton County in 1971 as an adult services worker in DHS.  In 1984, Lynn became the Personnel Director for DHS.   Lynn was instrumental in establishing and organizing the County Personnel Department in 1993.  The County Personnel Department today serves a majority of Hamilton County’s 6,000 employees.  In 1995, Lynn became the Human Resources Manager for the County Personnel Department, serving as the assistant director of the department. 

Lynn Preuth, a 30 year employee and one of this year's Hamilton County Employees of the Year, will retire at the end of this month.


Lynn has consistently performs his duties with Hamilton County in a professional, business-like manner, always with a concern for serving others with honesty and integrity. As a manager he encourages his employees to reach for their potential and to grow in their career. He has been an advocate of self-improvement and has encouraged his employees to achieve their goals, whether it be through training, education, or additional tasks that would stretch their abilities. He takes the time to commend his employees for their accomplishments and to thank them for their effort. He has set the example for his employees by being a dependable, hard-working employee himself.

Lynn has been active in various professional organizations including the Society for Human Resources Management, the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association and the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, where he recently served as president.  Lynn has also served the community as a volunteer, working as a youth sports coach.  

Upon retiring, Lynn plans on taking about a month off to relax, play golf and tennis, and catch up on projects at home. Then he plans to start a "second career" working in the field of HR. We wish Lynn the best as he embarks on a new adventure!


The People behind the Budget:  An exercise in departmental cooperation
As was featured in the last edition of Hello Hamilton County, for the past eight years, the Department of Administrative Services has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.  The budget that is produced is the result of many hours of work by the budget staff, elected officials, and department heads.

Upon adoption of the budget, by the Board of County Commissioners, a formal published Budget Book is created.  This year, for the first time in Hamilton County’s history, the entire document may be accessed via the Internet on the Administrative Services website, located in the Budget and Research Division.  This document is not the sole effort of the DAS staff; several other people play critical roles in the production.

Kelly Sullivan, from the Department of Human Services print shop, scans the entire Budget Book and produces the copies that are sent to the printer for binding.  This process not only saves the County money, but also utilizes the technology of the Docutech equipment at DHS.

For the past few years Jay Springer, from Regional Planning, has taken over the cover design and placement of photos for the Budget and Brief and the Budget Book.  Since Hamilton County’s first budget book publication in 1993 the layout of the cover has changed dramatically.  The 2000 and 2001 covers, created by Jay, were very professional and unique in providing the reader with a visual introduction to Hamilton County.

This year the Budget and Brief and the Budget Book appear on the County’s website.  Paul Smiley, from Regional Planning, worked with the scanned file produced by Kelly Sullivan and the Department of Human Services Information Technology staff to create a website presentation and to construct a CD-Rom of the budget and a website presentation.

The budget is truly a cooperative effort of the County.  Without the help and dedication of those involved the budget would not have been as user friendly or as accessible to the public.


Grant Funding sought by County Agencies
TASC seeks continuation of substance abuse treatment funding.  The Hamilton County Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime (TASC) has applied for continued funding from the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.  TASC provides alcohol and other drug assessments, referrals to treatment, intensive case management, and drug testing for 1,000 non-violent, adult, misdemeanor and fellow offenders.  A request of $456,878 has been made for the period July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002.
Prosecution's Office seeks additional victims assistance funds.  The Hamilton Prosecutor’s office has applied for a continuation of their Victim of Crime Act grant.  This grant provides victim and witness assistance to citizens with whom the Prosecutor’s Office works with in the juvenile court judicial system and in the prosecution of criminal non-support cases.   The grant is again asking for four VOCA funded Victim/Witness advocates.  The Advocates serve victims by offering emotional and all other aspects of support to the victim and being the contact person between the victim and the court system. 


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


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.