Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

September 12, 2001

  Quote of the Week:  A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."  - Albert Einstein

Hamilton County Responses in the wake of Terrorist Attack

In response to yesterday's terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency has placed its Disaster Council on standby.  The Disaster Council consists of leaders from various disciplines of emergency response such as Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and Medical professionals.   Hamilton County Emergency Management is in contact with Federal Emergency Management officials.  Various public safety officials from throughout the County will be meeting today to discuss concerns and prepare for various scenarios.  Seventeen Members of the Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue Team  were among those sent by Governor Taft to New York to assist in rescue efforts.

The Hamilton County Communication Center is a participant in the National Disaster Medical System.  The system has been activated.  The Hamilton County Communication Center serves as the regional coordinator in assisting the federal government in providing hospital care to the victims of a large-scale disaster. 

Citizens are asked to consider giving blood if they are able.  Hoxworth Blood Center asks that people call at 513-451-0910 to set an appointment.  The time will most likely be in the next week or so.  Citizens may also make donations to the Red Cross by calling 800-255-7070.

In the wake of yesterday's tragedy, Hamilton County facilities did remain open. Supervisors were asked to work with employees that were concerned about their safety in allowing them to use vacation, personal, compensatory time, or flex schedules where possible.  According to County Administrator Dave Krings, "County services are important, at times vital, to the public we serve and we will not stop the provision of those services because of a fear of terrorism."  Throughout the day, County officials were in contact with local law enforcement and local FBI who knew of no credible local threat to the County's personnel or facilities.  Thank you all for your service to the community during a very difficult day.


Editorial Comment:  Yesterday was a difficult day for the entire nation.  Many emotions are touched through such a horrifying tragedy.  The events of yesterday will always be with us.  In the final analysis, this was an act of pure hatred.  Our best response is one that comes from a higher calling.  Public service, taking care of one another and of our community, is just such a calling.  By caring for and about one another, we rise above hatred.  By embracing life and loving one another, we will all come through this stronger and wiser.  In his speech to the nation last night, President Bush referred to our country as a "beacon of freedom."  Individually, we can each be a beacon to our community by rededicating ourselves to service to our community, to one another, and a higher calling.  No darkness shall overcome this light.



Commissioners Rally Around Community COMPASS

The Hamilton County Commissioners kicked off Community COMPASS on August 30, by announcing their resolution supporting the process that aims to include the entire county in the planning for the future of the county. Members of the COMPASS Steering Team, including representatives from the public, private and civic sectors, were also present to show their support and commitment to the process.  
Commissioner Neyer speaks at a Press Conference expressing support for the County-wide planning effort.  

"Community COMPASS will help provide a clear, long-term direction to the county," said Commission President John Dowlin. "Importantly, it will be a direction shaped by the will, the ideas and the vision of the people who live and work in Hamilton County."

Community COMPASS (Comprehensive Master Plan and Strategies) will be the first comprehensive plan to be developed for the county in more than 36 years. It will draw extensively on the ideas of residents through a series of Community Forums, and will culminate in a Countywide Town Meeting on January 12, 2002.

"This type of planning and cooperation is long overdue," Commissioner Todd Portune said. "With the issue of people and jobs leaving Hamilton County one of our primary challenges, developing a coordinated plan that represents and respects the interests of all 49 jurisdictions in the county will offer us great promise in responsibly reversing those trends."

The Commissioners stressed that Community COMPASS will not only unite the county in one voice, but it will also demonstrate the difference one person can make in the community.

"Community COMPASS provides an outlet for each individual voice," Commissioner Tom Neyer said. "The Community Forums are an open invitation for individual residents to have an impact in the future of Hamilton County."

The schedule for the Community Forums:

bullet7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Scarlet Oaks Vocational School Auditorium, 3254 East Kemper Road, Sharonville
bullet7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Colerain High School Auditorium, 8801 Cheviot Road, Colerain
bullet7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at William Henry Harrison High School Auditorium, 9860 West Road, Harrison
bullet9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Taft High School, 420 Ezzard Charles Avenue, Cincinnati
bullet7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at Carson School, 4323 Glenway Avenue, Cincinnati



bullet7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at Woodward High School Auditorium, 7001 Reading Road, Cincinnati
bullet7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Sycamore High School Auditorium, 7400 Cornell Road, Montgomery
bullet7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Mariemont High School Auditorium, 3812 Pocahantas Ave., Mariemont
bullet7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Withrow High School Auditorium, 2488 Madison Road, Cincinnati
bullet7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at Oak Hills High School, 3200 Ebeneezer Road, Bridgetown
bullet7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at Aiken High School Auditorium, 5641 Belmont Ave., College Hill

A 1,000-member Countywide Town Meeting, planned for January 12 at Music Hall, will analyze and prioritize the ideas gathered in the Community Forums.

"We encourage the community to be a part of this unique and engaging process," said Ron Miller, director of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, the group spearheading the project. "Community COMPASS truly opens the door for each of us to chart our future. It is an opportunity not to be missed."

For more information about Community COMPASS, please visit www.communitycompass.org on the Web or call the information hotline 946-4505.




For the first time this year, the Alms & Doepke Parkhaus at 1123 Sycamore Street has no waiting list for monthly parking due to the downsizing of Main Street dotcoms. The $80.00 monthly rate for unlimited 24/7 garage access is the best deal you'll find in the Courthouse area. 
Sign up during business hours at the Parkhaus office, or call Parkhaus Manager Beth Ashbaugh at 946-2428 for additional information.

County employees can save part of the monthly cost by subscribing to EXTRA (Employee X(-tra$$) Transportation Reimbursement Account). EXTRA is a pre-tax payroll deduction/reimbursement plan you can use to pay for parking. See your department personnel/payroll officer for details. Or contact Brigid Nolan-Conn (946-4711) or Kim Pennekamp (946-4705) in the Personnel Department.


Environmental Services Wins Solid Waste Grants
The Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services, Solid Waste Management District (District), recently received a grant andhelped a local
  business receive a grant. The District received a grant from the office of Energy Efficiency to fund a series of sustainable design conferences thanks to the work of Holly Christmann, Community Specialist.  OnSpec Composites, a local plastic lumber company, also received a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) with the help of Christy Kellner, Business Specialist.


The District recently received, through the efforts of Holly Christmann, a grant of $29,050 from the State of Ohio, Office of Energy Efficiency, to conduct six sustainable design workshops. Sustainable design is the practice of designing, constructing, and operating buildings and landscapes in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts. It incorporates energy efficiency, water conservation, waste minimization, pollution prevention, resource-efficient materials, and indoor air quality in all phases of a building’s life. Some of the workshop topics will include construction waste management, implementing energy efficiency, and sustainable specifications. These workshops, for architects, designers, and contractors, will begin in November 2001. Visit www.hcdoes.org for more information, call Holly at 946-7705.

OnSpec Composites, a local plastic recycler, received an ODNR Ohio Market Development Grant with assistance from Christy Kellner.  OnSpec, a manufacturer of plastic lumber for several different industries nationwide, will receive $125,000 to purchase new equipment to improve their efficiency in manufacturing their products. This is the first year that a Hamilton County business has received the grant. This matching grant is available yearly to businesses looking for ways to better improve the efficiency of processing recyclables. If your business is interested in applying for next year’s grant, please contact Christy Kellner at 946-7732.

Congratulations to the Solid Waste District for all their efforts!



CARE Award Winners Announced
 The Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services, Solid Waste Management District (District), is proud to announce the winners of the 1st annual, CARE Awards (Communities Achieving Recycling Excellence). The CARE Awards are designed to reward political subdivisions in Hamilton County for their continued support of recycling.

The City of Forest Park, the City of Madeira and the Village of Newtown are the recipients of this year=s awards and will receive $1,000 worth of recycled-content materials. The awards will be presented to the winners in November.

Forest Park won the award in the category of Best Recycler with a population greater than 10,000. In 2000, Forest Park had the highest recycling rate overall of 36.36%. Other highlights of Forest Park=s program include their participation in District programs, sponsorship of a yard waste and a Christmas tree recycling program, purchasing of recycled-content products, and sponsorship of a recycling collection event. Forest Park will receive plastic lumber and recycled-content picnic tables as their reward.

The City of Madeira was the winner of the award in the category of Best Recycler with a population of 5,000- 9,999. Madeira had an overall recycling rate of 33.98% in the year 2000. Other highlights of Madeira=s program include their participation in District programs, sponsorship of a Christmas tree recycling program, providing waste reduction education and outreach, and sponsorship of a recycling collection event. Madeira will receive recycled-content benches as their reward.

The Village of Newtown was the winner of the Best Recycler award in the less than 5,000 population category. In 2000, Newtown had an overall recycling rate of 20.1%. Some highlights of the Village of Newtown=s program include their participation in District programs, sponsorship of a yard waste and Christmas tree recycling program, and purchase of recycled-content products. The Village of Newtown will receive recycled-content planters and recycled-content waste containers as their reward.

Congratulations to all the winners! Your efforts have not only benefited residents, but is also an example to all Hamilton County communities. The District would also like to thank all those who applied and encourage all communities to apply next year! For more information on the CARE awards and how to enter your community for next year=s award, contact Holly Christmann at 946-7705. To learn more about how you can recycle in your community, visit our website at www.hcdoes.org or call our 24-hour recycling hotline at 946-7741.



NACo recognizes DJFS's, Pay for Performance system
NACo, the National Association of Counties, recognized the Department of Job and Family Services for its Pay for
 Performancesystem.  Implemented in 1998, the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services bargaining unit pay for performance system has proven to be a successful compensation system. The Pay for Performance system was designed with the frontline worker in mind.
Employee objectives must be realistically achievable but meaningful in terms of service to citizens. The unique feature of this program is that representatives from both labor and management collaborate to draft performance objectives that are based on the overall service delivery goals of the County.


 Keep Cincinnati Beautiful seeks Volunteers for Clean-up
During the Big Cincinnati Sweep one of determined clean up locations was in the Over-The-Rhine area, but with the civil unrest the event was canceled. The Community Outreach area has teamed up with Pat Barry, of 55  
  KRC radio to refocus efforts in the Over-The-Rhine area. All of the recent events have put a spotlight on this area in the local and national media.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful efforts will help to add a positive image to so many of the negative.  Organizers are calling for volunteers for an Over-The-Rhine clean up planned for Saturday, September 22nd, sponsored by Miller Brewing Company.  Everyone who lives downtown, works downtown, drives through downtown, or just has an interest in making Cincinnati a better place to live, is invited to come out and join other Cincinnatians in this effort. The cleanup will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. Volunteers will be meeting at the Over-The-Rhine Community Center, located at 1715 Republic St., near Findlay Market. Directions and further instructions will be available closer to the project date.

Everyone is encouraged to join in this project on September 22nd. You can log onto our web site at www.keepcincinnatibeautiful.org to sign up for the event, or reply to this message. The date to sign up by is September 17th. This is just for number purposes, it doesn't mean you can't volunteer after that date. Thank you and look forward to a successful event.


Ohio State Use program recognizes potential of disabled citizens

Hamilton County Commissioners support the Ohio State Use Program and encourage you to attend its upcoming trade show.  This trade show is presented by the State Use Program to give Community Rehabilitation Programs an opportunity to present information on the products and services available for purchase. 

The event will be held at the William Howard Taft Building at 237 William Howard Taft Road from 10:00a.m. -1:00p.m on Friday, September 28, 2001. 

 This is just one part of Governor Bob Taft's proclamation of State Use Program to recognize the potential of Ohio Citizens with Disabilities.  All Hamilton county employees and official with purchasing authority are encourage to attend.  

You will learn of the many ways you can purchase excellent product and services provided by Ohioans with disabilities.  Community Rehabilitation Programs from the local area will provide information and demonstrations of the value of the resources available from their agencies, which assist Ohio citizens with disabilities in achieving economic independence through work. 


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.