William F. Hutson called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. with Adam Friedrick and Patricia G. Geissman present. The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.
The minutes of the August 7, 2018 meeting were emailed in advance. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the minutes; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Mr. Friedrick stated that on page 7 the word “license” should be added to the phrase “The District Class 1 has expired”. There was no further discussion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE. The minutes will be placed on file as amended.
Finance Director Mike Pataky presented and reviewed the following resolutions: (1) amending the 2018 Appropriations Resolution by transferring appropriations; (2) authorizing the county auditor to transfer funds from various county department accounts to the Gasoline Rotary Fund; (3) authorizing the purchase of 6,700 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline for the engineering center; (4) approving an amendment to the agreement with Aramark Correctional Services, Inc., for commissary services at the Medina County Jail; (5) accepting an application for the use of a procurement card requested by Medina County Job and Family Services; and (6) allowing expenses of county officials. Mr. Pataky requested payment of the weekly bills in the amount of $1,434,911.68. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the six resolutions and to pay the bills; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Human Resources Assistant Nicole Lee presented and reviewed a resolution approving personnel changes for the employees under the jurisdiction of the Medina County commissioners. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the resolution; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Job and Family Services Director Jeff Felton presented and reviewed the following resolutions: (1) amending an agreement providing clerk of court services pursuant to the requirements of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act; (2) authorizing an agreement with County Commissioners Association and Appriss, Inc. for Medina County Job and Family Services Child Support Division; and (3) authorizing an agreement between Carolyn Macey Wilder and Medina County Job and Family Services. Mr. Felton stated that the federal government matches 66% of all of the IV-D contracts. It increases the value of the contracts to help generate more revenue. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the three resolutions; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Chief Public Defender Jocelyn Stefancin distributed the caseload reports for April – June 2018. There are 650 – 700 active case files on average per month. Compared to 2015, 2016, and 2017, the office is averaging the same number of cases, but the difference is the video and electronic evidence associated with the cases in 2018 is much higher than the past. Each case has approximately 3-4 videos that have to be reviewed. Each DVD averages 1-1.5 hours for each attorney to review. In the Wadsworth Municipal Court during the month of June, there were 50 new cases with 4.5 hours of video associated with each of the cases. This equates to 255 hours of time spent reviewing video evidence. In the Medina Municipal Court, there were 80 new cases with 4.5 hours of video associated with each case for a total of 360 hours reviewing video. In one felony case, there are 15 DVDs which will take 67.5 hours of video review for a single case. The attorneys are spending a majority of their time reviewing video to prepare for their cases in addition to their time in court and in the office. Mr. Hutson asked if the videos being referred to are body cams and dash cams. Ms. Stefancin stated that is correct and it also includes video of interviews with detectives. In June, there were 8 trials. Historically, the number of open cases have averaged 550 – 650, but it is going up. Mr. Friedrick stated that the more cases the Public Defender’s office handles, usually the county sees a reduced cost. Mr. Hutson stated that the more cases, the more cost there is overall. Mrs. Geissman noted that the first year the county saved $140,000 by having a Public Defenders office. Scott Miller agreed that having the Public Defenders office was a cost savings. Mr. Hutson inquired how the matrix system impacted what is being done in the Public Defenders office and the Prosecutors office in terms of the video evidence. Forrest Thompson stated that the matrix system does not allow for the transfer of videos themselves due to the numerous formats and the mass amounts of video evidence. For the electronic transfer of all discovery material, it will be online by the end of the month. This has been completed in three stages: training the office, training law enforcement, and referencing the material electronically. Mr. Thompson stated that this will help with the speed and accuracy of delivery. The matrix system allows us not only to transfer the data, but tells us when it is open and has been received.
Commissioner Hutson noted that Commissioners had received a notice of an application for change of corporate stock ownership for Brunswick Hills Golf Club dba Brunswick Hills Country Club Clubhouse and Patio and Pavilion and G C, 4900 Centre Road, Brunswick Hills Township, Brunswick, Ohio 44212.
Mr. Friedrick moved to go into Executive Session to discuss the pending litigation; Mrs. Geissman seconded the
motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
With no further business to come before the Commissioners, the meeting recessed at 9:45 a.m.
At 9:47 a.m., the Commissioners began the Discussion Session in the Commissioners’ Conference Room.
Child Support Enforcement
Scott Miller stated that he wanted to make Medina County one of the best counties in the nation. Mrs. Geissman stated that it already is. Mr. Miller agreed and stated that last year a program was implemented that many counties around the state are wanting to know what the Sheriff’s Department, JFS and the Prosecutor’s office are doing regarding child support enforcement.
Kimberly White explained that August is Child Support Awareness Month. In August, they offer a driver license reinstatement program if one month of child support and $1 is paid towards the arrears through OCDA and the State of Ohio. The law normally requires securing payment via making one month’s payment and an income source or if you don’t have an income source a triple payment in order to get their driver’s license back, so August is a special deal. There is a new program called Pathways to Employment through a partnership with OhioMeansJobs. Every Wednesday from 9 am to 12 pm, there is a caseworker at OhioMeansJobs to get people signed up. The Pathways to Employment program had 12 people in their last round and 6 of them now have jobs with income withholding in place. In the past, enforcement was done through letters and motions to show cause through Domestic Court. Pathways to Employment is expanding on this through catching people early to learn their barriers and provide assistance. They are going beyond enforcement and providing a child support service to get people on the right path. There is still that motion to enforce for domestic and juvenile court and a felony is a last resort. There is a Back on Track program through the Prosecutors office that works with felony offenders. Mrs. Geissman inquired about the August driver’s license program and what happens if a person stops paying child support the next month. Ms. White stated that it is monitored each month and they work with them to get on the Pathways to Employment program. The individuals do know that this is only in August and is a special deal. They pay in August, it is monitored in September, and in October it is monitored to see if they are participating in the Pathways to Employment program. There are letters that are sent out with information on job fairs and classes that they can take. If they do not continue to pay or participate, the driver’s license can end up suspended. In response to a question, Ms. White stated that there are 8,575 child support cases as of July 31st. On average, there are 8,500 to 9,000 cases per month. In Domestic Court, the children in a family are all under one number, but in Juvenile Court, each child has a different number. A majority of cases are paying and need less enforcement action on them, but there are a bulk of cases that are non-paying. The goal is to look at how to resolve that problem. Ms. White stated that they are working with other counties to find job fairs and there is an employer workshop with Wayne County to educate employers on withholding orders, insurance coverage, cash medical support, etc.
Forrest Thompson noted that when he took office one of the things he wanted to stress was a more aggressive application on felony-known supports. In 2016, there were 12 cases indicted and in 2017, there were 159 cases indicted. The Back on Track program works with Job and Family Services Child Support Division and the Sheriff’s Department to identify cases that would warrant a felony indictment which is 23 non-consecutive weeks out of 104 weeks of non-support. A Back on Track letter was sent to these offenders that stated once each quarter there was a Back on Track meeting that they are invited to attend. Lieutenant Linscott has been extremely supportive throughout the program and he attends the meetings at the public library. Mr. Thompson stated that they set up payment plans, provide job assistance and gather current contact information to set up a contract between the individual and the prosecutor’s office. If they adhere to the agreement, no felony is ever filed. Around 10 to 12 individuals have paid off the arrears to avoid the felony charge. In December 2017, 59 letters were sent out; 28 individuals are now regularly paying. In March 2018, 34 letters were sent out; 13 are now regularly paying. From October 2017 to June 2018, the total increase has been $746,372 which is attributable to the programs that are in place for child support enforcement. Mr. Thompson noted that there is a diversion program for individuals charged with felonies which allows individuals to make payments and after one year, the felony is dismissed. Of the 159 cases indicted, not one case went to trial; each individual plead and paid. Jeff Felton stated that when he started there was not a child support contract in place and people were picked up when they had traffic or speeding violations. A contract was developed with the Sheriff’s Department to pick up people with outstanding warrants. The Sheriff’s Department is picking up people on the weekends, holidays, and outside of regular hours. Captain Baca noted that Lieutenant Linscott has been assigned to the U.S. Marshall’s Violent Fugitive Taskforce to find people and he is very good at it. Mr. Miller stated that it is a Title IV-D program so 66% of the cost is being reimbursed by the federal government. Mr. Felton noted that this is a wonderful partnership between the three agencies and most importantly these are funds that need to go to children and families. Historically, there is about $30 million that is generated by child support collections that go directly into the local economy. Commissioner Friedrick stated that the work being done cannot be spoken highly enough about and the importance of child support enforcement. Mr. Thompson stated that they are non-gendered based and have indicted women and men, chased people in other counties and in other states. Lieutenant Linscott stated that there have been 10 extraditions so far this year. Commissioner Geissman stated that she overheard Lieutenant Linscott on the phone speaking to an individual about turning themselves in and she was very impressed with his persuasion and his calm attitude. Mr. Felton stated that he appreciated the support of the commissioners and everyone deserves a lot of appreciation. Mrs. Geissman stated that she liked the stand that the three departments are taking in making it a priority. Mr. Thompson noted that it is a work in progress and the programs are self-sustaining and other agencies are trying to model the programs. Mrs. Geissman noted that Medina County is known in Columbus as having good leadership. Mr. Hutson added that people are working together.
Eligibility Services Shut Down
Jeff Felton mentioned that on August 22 at 6 p.m. until the morning of August 28, eligibility services will not be available because they will be transferring data from the old system to the new system. The office will still be open and will have paper applications if they need to, but they cannot process any application during this shut down.
Amy Lyon-Galvin stated that they are planning on having the 5th Annual Veterans Breakfast on Friday, November 9 at 8:05 a.m. Custom Culinary Foods will be donating food.
Mike Pataky distributed a tentative schedule for the budget hearings and asked the commissioners to check their calendars so he may finalize the schedule.
Jail’s Women’s Choir
Commissioner Friedrick stated that the women’s choir from the jail sang at his church this past Sunday and they
did a fantastic job. There were 12 women who sang in the choir and for security purposes, the women were not told
about the show until the morning of the event.
At 10:25 a.m., the Commissioners went into the Executive Session that had been voted on earlier. The Executive Session ended at 10:56 a.m.
There being no further business, Mr. Friedrick moved to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Geissman. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE. The meeting ended at 10:57 a.m.
RESOLUTIONS PASSED AUGUST 14, 2018
- 18-0676 Allowing claims and authorizing issuance upon the treasurer in settlement of such list of claims
- 18-0677 Amending the 2018 appropriations resolution by transferring appropriations
- 18-0678 Authorizing the county auditor to transfer funds from various county department accounts to the Gasoline Rotary Fund
- 18-0679 Authorizing the purchase of 6,700 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline for the engineering center
- 18-0680 Approving an amendment to the agreement with Aramark Correctional Services, Inc., for commissary service at the Medina County Jail
- 18-0681 Accepting an application for the use of a procurement card requested by Medina County Job and Family Services
- 18-0682 Allowing expenses of county officials
- 18-0683 Approving personnel changes for the employees under the jurisdiction of the Medina County Commissioners
- 18-0684 Amending an agreement providing clerk of court services pursuant to the requirements of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act
- 18-0685 Authorizing an agreement with County Commissioners Association and Appriss, Inc. for Medina County Job and Family Services Child Support Division
- 18-0686 Authorizing an agreement between Carolyn Macey Wilder and Medina County Job and Family Services
All deliberations concerning official business and formal actions by this Board of Commissioners were conducted in an open public meeting this fourteenth day of August 2018.