Hello, Hamilton County


  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and    Employees

October 11, 2001

  Quote of the Week:  "Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching."  - Bono

Hamilton County Recognizes In-house Training Instructors

At their Wednesday, October 10th meeting, the Board of County Commissioners recognized over 30 County employees that have served as training instructors in addition to their regular work duties.  These training classes are provided on a wide variety of subjects to assist employees in enhancing their skills to better serve the citizens of Hamilton County.
County Administration's Sharon Booker was among over 30 Adjunct Instructor's recognized this week at the Commissioners' meeting.  
The Human Resources Development (HRD) program was established under the Board of County Commissioners in the County Personnel Department in 1994. With the support of the Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator David Krings challenged HRD with the Board's vision of "… a more skilled and professional public servant to serve the needs of Hamilton County." Later this year Hamilton County anticipates conducting its 2000th training session.  The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners would like to thank and honor those who have voluntarily given of their time and talents to make the training program a success, the Adjunct Instructors.

Since the HRD Division consists of only 3 full-time staff, many training sessions are conducted by "Adjunct Instructors."  The first adjuncts were certified in late 1994.

Program success is largely the result of the strong leadership and support received from the Board of County Commissioners and the County Administrator, and the enthusiastic cooperation of virtually every County department/organization. The program is a  "team effort."  Built "by us and for us," the training program now offers 71 separate classes conducted by 35 adjunct instructors, who represent 16 County departments and organizations.

“These instructors play a vital role in the increased quality and professionalism evident in today’s County workforce,” stated County Administrator David Krings.  “We appreciate their efforts and recognize that they are outstanding examples of what public service is all about.”

Adjunct instructors serve voluntarily with the recommendation and support of their management. Human Resources Development and the Achieve Global Company formally certify instructors after completing an intensive four-day training program.

The adjunct program is both highly effective and low cost:

ü     Our instructors are good. They are volunteers, selected by HRD with the strong recommendation of their own management. They are all respected professional public servants who bring unique credibility to each training session. Since they are "our own people," they possess a first-hand understanding of the Hamilton County work environment. They are also skilled facilitators.

ü     The adjunct program is efficient. Since tapping into this uniquely valuable resource of our own people requires no additional funding, we can offer a development program to virtually every county employee. We save on the costs of hiring training consultants or extra full-time training staff. A single consultant-lead training session could cost $500 to $1000.

Adjunct instructors conduct training in virtually all areas of employee development: leadership & management, supervisory skills, customer service, CPR & first-aid, stress management, personal security, defensive driving, writing, and public speaking.



Commissioner Portune, Secretary of State Blackwell and Party Leaders announce "Ohio Day of Resolve"
On Thursday October 11th, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell announced that Tuesday, November 6, 2001, will be "Ohio Day of Resolve."  Sounding the call to "Reenlist in Community, Reenlist in America", Commissioner Portune and Secretary of State Blackwell were joined by the Chairs of Hamilton County's political parties in urging citizens throughout the state not only to maximize voter participation on Election Day (November 6th), but also to participate in  other civic and community activities.  Portune and Blackwell stated in a letter to local political
County Commissioner Todd Portune and Secretary of State Blackwell announced the "Ohio Day of Resolve".
leaders, "Our national vitality requires citizen participation in all of our functions and forms of government.  Citizens are the lifeblood of America with the most basic element--voter participation--as its basic building block."

Leaders from all of Ohio's 88 counties are called to join in this non-partisan effort.  By working together, Commissioner Portune and Secretary of State Blackwell state that citizens can "send a signal that Democracy is alive and well in America."  The group organizing the state effort also hopes that other states and the federal government will follow suit in making November 6, 2001 a "National Day of Resolve."


Hillcrest Training School:  Facility of the Year
Of all the adult and juvenile facilities in the state of Ohio, the American Correctional Association has selected Hillcrest Training School for the Facility of the year.  Hillcrest was presented with the award at the State Accreditation Manager's Association Conference in Akron, Ohio on Wednesday October 10th. 

Ball Park Project continues to be on track

The project team for the Great American Ball Park reported to County Commissioners on Wednesday that the project continues to be on time and within budget.  Providing the Board of County Commissioners with a monthly status report, the project team stated that the Ball Park cost is in line with budget and the significant progress has been made in terms of project schedule.   Opening Day 2003 is just 536 days away!  
The project team also reported continued progress in terms of small business participation.  To date, the committed small business participation for the Ball Park and related projects is 26.6% with 12.3% minority business participation and 3.9% woman-owned business participation.  On the neighboring parking and infrastructure projects small business participation has been remarkable with 56.5% of contract dollars awarded going to small businesses and 17% minority business participation and 4.8% woman-owned business participation.  The numbers for both projects compare very favorably to other large scale public projects in the region.  

Citizens 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.


Ohio EPA and City of Montgomery Commend MSD
The severe rains of July 17-18, 2001 completely disabled the Sycamore Creek Wastewater Plant.  Raw sewage pumps and blowers were flooded, the main power breakers were flooded.  The administration laboratory flooded along with all plant records and computer systems.  The district also lost four vehicles that could not be moved before being swallowed by the flood.

Despite the extensive damage, the capable staff of MSD (Metropolitan Sewer District) used temporary pumps to return the primary classifiers to service.  Considering possible health impacts these same professionals kept a close watch on the quality of the water flow.  By the following Wednesday (July 25) all treatment units were on line and plant performance had improved significantly.

In response to the professionalism and quick response of MSD during these occurrences , Ohio EPA director Christopher Jones says "the incredible effort and rapid turn-around in returning this plant to service.  I believe this speaks very highly of the capabilities and dedication of the people working for MSD and for the citizens of Hamilton County.  Please express my compliments and appreciation to them for a job well done."

Citizens urged to participate in Community Compass Plan
Community COMPASS (Comprehensive Master Plan and Strategies) will be the first comprehensive plan to be developed for Hamilton County in more than 36 years. The Compass Plan 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.

“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.”


"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."


Scenes from this week's first Community Compass Forum held at Paul Brown Stadium which focused on the views of Hamilton County youth.

"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."

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 please call the Community Compass hotline at 946-4457 or log on to the web site at www.communitycompass.org

The schedule for the remaining Community Forums is:

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

Commissioner Dowlin receives Ambassador of the Year Award

The Central Clinic has awarded Commissioner John Dowlin as the Ambassador of the Year.  The award honors the person who best promotes the mental health cause.  Included in the list of awards John Dowlin has received is the Center of Chemical Addictions Treatment Kindred Spirit Award. 

Commissioner Dowlin was instrumental in putting the Drug Court in motion and is now actively trying to implement a court to handle mental health issues.


Commissioner John Dowlin

Make a Difference!  Give to the United Way
Hamilton county  is proud to support our community.  Employees now have the chance to support the community by giving to the United Way campaign.  This is an opportunity to make our community better and change thousands of lives right here in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

When you give to United Way your one donation will support results-producing programs at more than 160 agencies and initiatives.

Just one gift will help children thrive, make our neighborhoods and communities vibrant places and ensure that people of all ages are healthy and self-sufficient.  You have the chance to change a life forever.  It may be the life of a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker.  One gift will help one in three people in our community.  Your gift to United Way is a personal and life-changing decision.



MSD Hosts Successful Deep Tunnel Symposium

The MSD (Metropolitan Sewer District) Deep Tunnel Symposium was a coming together of professionals, educators and community leaders from around the country to share experiences and ideas in the realm of deep storage and transport tunnels. The Symposium was a learning experience for speakers as well as participants. Most Symposium speakers had never met and appreciated the opportunity to finally meet and share information face to face. John Stanton of the US Army Corps of Engineers (CORPS) Geology Section shared information on the Corps involvement in Rock Tunnels from the planning through completion phase. John Paul Velon of Chicago presented information on Chicago’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP). TARP is the first project of its type for CSO management using tunneling for urban areas. Thomas Peyton of Boston Massachusetts presented information on the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel. The MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel is almost 18 miles and some areas are 250 to 400 feet below ground in solid rock. Tunnel speakers offered a wide array of topics, which included personal experience from various municipalities, computer models, funding, design, construction, operation and maintenance, permitting and tunnel boring machines.
MSD environmental professionals now have a better understanding of what a Deep Tunnel System will bring to the Greater Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio area. Environmental professionals learned that tunneling is not a new concept. Tunnels are being used in the local cities of Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio. Other cities such as Chicago, Portland, Milwaukee, Rochester, and Toronto have had tunnels for many years. "I am glad to see the many components of the Deep Tunnel Project come together, the revelations from other communities were great!" stated Ron Jordan, an MSD Civil Engineer.

Col. Robert Slockbower from the Army Corps of Engineers spoke at the Deep Tunnel Symposium

A tunnel for the Mill Creek Valley is preliminarily estimated to be 300 feet deep, 18 miles long, would be used for storage and conveyance and would run parallel to the Mill Creek. This storage and conveyance tunnel would increase water quality and reduce floods such as those that occurred in Cincinnati in July of this year. Plans for a tunnel in the Greater Cincinnati and Hamilton County area have not been set. MSD and The Corps of Engineers are still in the study phase of this project.

County Administrator David Krings and COL Robert E. Slockbower, of the Army Corps of Engineers commended MSD for having the vision to bring together so many sources of experience and expertise. Patrick Karney, MSD Director states, "This project is a monumental undertaking, which will require our continued search for information and knowledge. In order to ensure continued education, MSD will keep the lines of communication open between us."

The Symposium was so successful that it generated a $10,500.00 University of Cincinnati College of Engineering Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to engineering students based on merit and need.

For more information contact: Maria Turner 513-557-7137 or: maria.turner@rcc.org.


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 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.