Posted on June 24, 2022
Lake County Commissioners Appoint Two New Members to the Laketran Board of Trustees
PAINESVILLE, Ohio, June 30, 2022– Laura Pizmoht and Kim Stenger have been appointed to the Laketran Board of Trustees by the Board of Lake County Commissioners.
“Laketran serves some of our most vulnerable communities. It’s important that our Board of Trustees for Laketran understands their needs,” said Commissioner John R. Hamercheck. “Having a Board that reflects all of our community will make for a more responsive and a better Laketran.”
Laketran is Lake County, Ohio’s regional public transportation system that offers local routes, door-to-door Dial-a-Ride, and Park-and-Ride commuter express services to connect employees and jobs between Lake County and Downtown Cleveland. Laketran proudly serves over 750,000 riders each year. Please click here to view the entire press release.
LAKE COUNTY DREDGING FACILITY CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY
New facility will allow dredging of Fairport Harbor to be re-instated
PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Federal, State, and County officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the North Park Sediment Recycling Facility on June 21, 2022. The State of Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management Controlling Board authorized $47 million to fund the construction of Sediment Recycling Facilities across the State of Ohio. Lake County will receive $11.3 million in funding to construct its facility in Painesville Township, which is planned to be operational this fall.
“Today’s event would not be possible without the leadership from Governor DeWine and our State delegation in Columbus. I want to thank Senator Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland), Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), Representative Jamie Callender (R-Concord Twp.), Senator Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights), and Representative Dan Troy (D-Willowick) who stepped up to the plate when the community needed it the most,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck.
Sometimes called a confined placement facility, they are specifically designed for the containment of contaminated dredged material from Lake Erie that provides control of potential releases of contaminants to the environment. Kurtz Bros. Inc., out of Independence, Ohio will operate the facility. Please click here to view the entire news release.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SUPPORT FUNDS TO ASSIST HOMEOWNERS IN KIRTLAND WITH MANDATED SANITARY SEWER PROJECT
PAINESVILLE, Ohio, June 10, 2022ꟷ The Board of Lake County Commissioners announced a significant investment of $1m in American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) funds and $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to assist homeowners in the Kirtland Old Town Area with an Environmental Protection Agency mandated sanitary sewer project.
“The ARPA guidance clearly permits the investment in sewer and water infrastructure and this project checks all those boxes while assisting over 100 homeowners with a critical improvement to their neighborhood. Today’s announcement not only helps with the construction of the main line, but the CDBG commitment is available to income-qualified homeowners for the lateral connection,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck.
The Kirtland Old Town Area is comprised of parcels that date back to the 1800’s long before public water and sewers were available. In 2014, a storm sewer was found to contain untreated sewage from many failed household sewage treatment systems. Regulatory agencies routinely tested sewer catch basins with results indicating bacteria counts higher than the maximum amount allowable. Please click here to read the entire press release.
LAKE COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY CENTER PROJECT IS SET TO BEGIN
PAINESVILLE, Ohio, June 3, 2022– The Board of Lake County Commissioners signed the contract to begin a programming study for the Lake County Public Safety Center with HOK. The HOK team will work with key stakeholders to determine existing conditions, needs, and future forecasts with Lake County.
“Safety and law enforcement are a top priority for the County Commissioners,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck. “It is important our county has a facility to meet our long-term needs over the next 50 years. This project has been contemplated for over 10 years, and with the support of Sheriff Frank Leonbruno and the Lake County Corrections Board, we are excited for this next phase of the public safety center project to begin.”
A criminal justice system is the single most complex and perhaps most impactful program a county operates. A properly functioning justice system provides wide-ranging benefits to the community and contributes to Lake County being a vibrant and sustainable place to live and work, and does so in a cost-effective manner. Please click here to view the entire press release.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS INVEST $1.2 MILLION FOR ALL POLICE AGENCIES
PAINESVILLE, Ohio, May 31, 2022 ꟷ The Board of Lake County Commissioners recently authorized the purchase of Lexipol for all police agencies in Lake County. The investment, which is applicable to every law enforcement agency in Lake County, will enhance policy documentation, ensure policies are in accordance with current legal standings, and facilitate better training of first responders by providing easy, real-time access to all policies as determined by the law enforcement agencies.
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of the Commissioner’s support and investment in our public safety system in Lake County. I want to thank the local Chiefs and Sheriff Leonbruno for their participation in this countywide initiative,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck. “From our understanding, this is the first countywide implementation of a public safety software in the State of Ohio. Once again, Lake County is exhibiting leadership throughout the State.”
Lexipol is a digital solution to assist with federal, state, and department-specific policies, manuals, and training requirements. This online platform allows police officers to stay current on all aspects of training in a flexible manner without needing large group sessions. Please click here to view the entire press release.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DECLARE JUNE 15 WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY IN LAKE COUNTY
PAINESVILLE, OH, June 2, 2022 – June 15, 2022, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day here in Lake County and across our country. It is the time of year when cities and states can take a moment to shed light on this significant issue. “This is an opportunity for Lake County to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons and raise awareness of elder abuse ensuring security and dignity for all seniors,” said Commissioner Hamercheck, president of the Board of Lake County Commissioners.
Elder abuse is a widespread issue affecting every community across the country. It is estimated that 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Even more alarming is that research suggests that as few as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever come to the attention of authorities. “Lake County is not immune to the issue of elder abuse,” said Commissioner Plecnik. “When we come together, we can prevent elder abuse from happening. We can put support services in place, and direct the necessary community resources.” Please click here to view the entire press release. Please click here to view the resolution.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DECLARE MAY OLDER AMERICANS MONTH
PAINESVILLE, Ohio, May 26, 2022 – Lake County Commissioners declare May as Older Americans Month (OAM). Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads the celebration of OAM. This year’s theme, Age My Way, focuses on how older adults can age in their communities, living independently for as long as possible and participating in ways they choose.
“We want to take a moment to honor the more than 63,000 Lake County senior residents who contribute their strength, wisdom, and experience to our community – as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more,” said Commissioner John Hamercheck. Please click here to view the entire press release.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AWARDED AMERICORPS GRANT
PAINESVILLE, OH, May 19, 2022 – The Board of Lake County Commissioners announced today that it has received an AmeriCorps Seniors demonstration grant of nearly $115,000 to support senior volunteer service. The grant will expand the Lake County Volunteer Network’s presence in the county, which was previously unserved by an AmeriCorps Seniors project. These new grant funds are made possible from the historic $1 billion investment in AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteerism and national service, through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
“Lake County was one of only three grantees awarded in the state of Ohio,” said Commissioner John Hamercheck. “This grant will utilize senior volunteers to specifically focus on support for seniors who have been impacted by the pandemic.”
The Lake County Volunteer Network, formally RSVP Lake County and now part of the Board of Commissioners will leverage the skills and experience of volunteers to help increase food security, as well as increase social support and improve capacity for independent living for vulnerable and/or isolated seniors in Lake County.
“Much of this work will occur in collaboration with the Lake County Council on Aging,” said Commissioner John Plecnik. “This is just another example of nonprofits and agencies coming together in Lake County to meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens.” Please click here to view the entire press release.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS RECOGNIZE MAY 15th-21st AS “NATIONAL POLICE WEEK”
PAINESVILLE, OH, May 19, 2022 – At their weekly meeting, the Lake County Board of Commissioners recognized the week of May 15th – 21st as “National Police Week 2022” in Lake County in order to remember and honor fallen law enforcement officers.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners’ resolution was intended to pay homage to the courageous men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting citizens in large cities, small towns, and suburban neighborhoods all across America. “We express our sincerest gratitude for these selfless public servants who put themselves in harm’s way in an effort to keep us safe and we honor those who have lost their lives,” stated Board President John R. Hamercheck.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15th as “Peace Officers Memorial Day” and the calendar week that it falls in as “National Police Week”. Established by a joint resolution of Congress, “National Police Week” pays special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty providing safety and protection of others. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge in Washington, D.C. to participate in a number of planned events honoring those individuals who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. A Memorial Service began in Senate Park in 1982 and now, 40 years later, the event has grown to a series of events attracting 25,000 to 40,000 attendees made up of law enforcement officers, survivors, and various agencies. Residents can also participate virtually using the 2022 National Police Week mobile app available in the Google and Apple stores by searching “National Police Week 2022”. Please click here to view the press release.
Commissioner John Plecnik is Appointed to the Lake County Investment Advisory Committee
PAINESVILLE, OH, May 13, 2022 – During the Commissioners Meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2022, the Board of Lake County Commissioners appointed, by resolution, Commissioner John Plecnik to the Lake County Investment Advisory Committee. The Committee has the important job of reviewing or revising its policies and advising the investing authority on Lake County investments in order to ensure the best and safest return of funds available to the County for deposit or investment.
“Commissioner John Plecnik is an expert on taxes and budget and he is a great benefit to the County because of his many years of experience in government and as a law professor,” said Commission President John Hamercheck.
“It is an honor to welcome Commissioner John Plecnik to the Investment Advisory Committee. I look forward to working with him to ensure that County money is invested wisely,” said Lake County Treasurer Mike Zuren. “The opportunity to work with Commissioner Plecnik is invaluable and I am personally grateful for him to be a part of the Advisory Committee.” Please click here to view the entire press release.
County Commissioners Host Event Honoring Former Colleagues
PAINESVILLE, OH, May 12, 2022 – The Board of Commissioners held an event on May 12th, 2022, to honor all former Lake County Commissioners. Previous commissioners were invited to attend the event and were recognized. There are (79) present and past Commissioners who faithfully dedicated their time and service in representing Lake County citizens for over 180 years.
County government plays a critical role in all Ohioans’ lives and the role of a county commissioner is numerous and varied. They act as the administrative division of their states and when the state and federal government enact laws, the counties are responsible for implementing them. They are also faced with the task of approving budgets and maintaining sufficient revenue to administer the government and provide services to their constituents through the adoption of the annual county budget.
“This recognition is well-deserved as these individuals have served with distinction, some of them for many years,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck, “On behalf of Lake County, this Board is proud to commend their leadership and legacy,” he continued. Please click here to view the entire press release.
Lake County Commissioners Proclaim May 2022, Skin Cancer Awareness Month in Lake County, Ohio
PAINESVILLE, OH, May 12, 2022 – During the May 12th Commissioners Meeting, the Lake County Board of Commissioners issued a special resolution proclaiming May 2022 as “Skin Cancer Awareness Month” in Lake County, Ohio.
Skin cancer is a serious disease. It is the most common type of cancer and it is also one of the most preventable. It is estimated that 197,700 new cases of melanoma, will be diagnosed in the United States in 2022. Skin cancer affects everyone and, as the weather gets warmer, it is important to take precautions.
Exposure to UV light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers. The American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to stay out of indoor tanning beds and protect their skin outdoors by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply often to all skin not covered by clothing. Regular skin self-exams are extremely important to check for any signs of skin cancer.
Founder and CEO of Apex Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center Dr. Jorge Garcia- Zuazaga recommends annual screenings. “Early skin cancer diagnosis saves lives. It is vital to schedule regular, timely screenings to detect any changes or new lesions,” Dr. Garcia-Zuazaga advises. “You should also stay aware of any differences in your skin and see a dermatologist about any suspicious lesions.” Please click here to view the entire press release. Please click here to view the resolution.
Lake County Commissioners Recognize May 2022 as National Nurses Month in Lake County, Ohio
PAINESVILLE, OH, May 12, 2022 – In their weekly meeting on May 12th, the Lake County Board of Commissioners issued a special resolution designating May 2022 as “National Nurses Month” in Lake County, Ohio.
The advent of modern nursing is credited to Florence Nightingale, who laid the foundation for professional nursing through her tireless work during and after the Crimean War. As a nursing manager, on the frontlines, Nightingale introduced hygiene protocols and other measures that drastically reduced infections and death in battlefield hospitals. Nurses Month in May coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
“The Board is very happy to draw attention and reflect on all the critical contributions that nurses have made here in Lake County to promote safe, high-quality health care to our residents. Nurses touch the lives of families through every stage of life,” stated Commission President John Hamercheck.
Commissioner John Plecnik added, “Nurses serve on the front lines, risking their lives treating the injured and sick during wartime, natural disasters, and public health emergencies. We are so grateful for their expertise and for keeping pace with new technologies and methods of treatments thereby expanding their role in our health care system.” Please click here to view the entire press release. Please click here to view the resolution.
Picture: From the Left Commissioner John Plecnik, from Lake Health University Hospitals Ashley Carlucci, Bill Osterman(Chief Nursing Officer), Valerie Kovacic-Mauer and Ann Rodenbucher, and Commissioner John Hamercheck
Lake County Commissioners Recognize National Pet Therapy Day and Apraxia Awareness Day
PAINESVILLE, OH, May 5, 2022 – In their weekly meeting on May 5th, the Lake County Board of Commissioners issued multiple proclamations designating April 30th as “National Pet Therapy Day” and May 14th as “Apraxia Awareness Day”.
Geralyn Hawk, a registered handler with “Pet Partners” (a therapy animal team), recently reached out to the Board for their support of “National Pet Therapy Day”. With a growing body of research demonstrating the wide variety of ways therapy animals can make a difference in people’s lives, “Pet Partners” has played an essential role in improving the health and well-being of others through the human-animal connection. This national organization makes millions of visits per year to hospitals, nursing/hospice homes, and schools bringing comfort and healing to those in need. Along with her husband Mike, Geralyn has worked with therapy animals for over 20 years.
“The Board is very happy to draw attention to all the contributions that Geralyn and “Pet Partners” have made. We are hopeful this awareness in our county will aid in their mission of benefitting the lives of some of our most vulnerable people and at times when they need help most,” stated Commission President John Hamercheck. Commissioner John Plecnik added, “Out four-legged friends greatly reduce stress and anxiety so the benefits are clear.”
In regards to Childhood Apraxia Speech (CAS), Monica Karpovitch asked the Board if they would acknowledge “Apraxia Awareness Day” in order to get the word out about this complicated speech disorder that affects 1 out of every 1000 children. As a mother to Joshua, her 7-year-old son diagnosed with CAS, she understands firsthand the struggles that are associated with this condition. Children like Joshua generally have a good understanding of language and while they may know what they want to say, they have difficulty learning or carrying out the complex series of movements required for intelligible speech. She feels it is important for everyone to know that this can result in children struggling to grow friendships with their peers due to this lack of communication and her hope is this resolution will unite community members, along with friends and family, with children who have CAS. Monica is a volunteer with “Apraxia Kids”; an organization in Lake County dedicated to raising awareness.
Commissioner Hamercheck explained, “Our hope is that getting this resolution on the record and acknowledging this condition will, in essence, give a voice to the voiceless. Every child desires communication and deserves to be heard.” “It is our job as community leaders, neighbors, friends, and family to take an active and supportive role in advocating for these children whose only desire is to have the opportunity all other children have; a true connection with others,” included Commissioner Plecnik.
For more information about these organizations, you can visit “Pet Partners” at petpartners.org or “Apraxia Kids” at apraxia-kids.org.
Commissioners Celebrate National Foster Parent Appreciation Month in May
PAINESVILLE, OH, May 5, 2022 – May is recognized nationally as Foster Parent Appreciation Month. The Lake County Department of Job and Family Services is proud to recognize and express appreciation for the 44 licensed foster homes in our county.
Foster parents are ordinary people who do extraordinary things for children in our community. Foster parents provide comfort, understanding, and safety to children who have oftentimes experienced trauma.
May is a time to recognize these unsung heroes in our community. “Foster parenting can be challenging, and foster parents deserve our support and recognition each and every day. We are extremely grateful to our foster parents who do their best to create stable, safe and healthy environments for children to grow and thrive,” said Job and Family Services Director Suzanne Casar.
The Lake County Department of Job and Family Services’ foster parents are fortunate to receive continued support and recognition from the Lake County Commissioners each May and this year has been no different. During their May 5, 2022, meeting, the Lake County Commissioners graciously passed a resolution declaring May 2022 as National Foster Parent Appreciation Month. Please click here to read the entire press release
Recent Efforts Conducted by Lake County Treasurer’s Office in Regards to Tax Collection
The Lake County Treasurer’s Office is reporting that, as of this year, they have already contacted delinquent taxpayers for the first half collection period. In the past, delinquent taxpayers were not contacted until after the second half of collection.
In addition to working with the Lake County Information Technology Department for assistance in collecting taxpayer contact information, Treasurer Mike Zuren spoke with Treasurers in other Ohio counties to garner knowledge of their processes. “Taking a proactive approach to assisting delinquent homeowners with options and grant programs has significantly increased tax collections. The Lake County Treasurer’s Office is here to help residents who are facing financial difficulties. We offer a variety of repayment options and diligently strive to share grant program information with homeowners,” stated Zuren. He explained how repayment options were offered to those individuals along with information regarding various grant programs that are available
“Treasurer Zuren’s initiative is a bold and worthy endeavor,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck. “His resourcefulness and efforts are helping to reduce delinquency and increase tax dollar collections for the benefit of Lake County and its residents.” Please click here to read the entire press release.
County Commissioners Schedule Event Honoring Former Colleagues
The Board of Commissioners will be holding an event on May 12th, 2022 to honor all former Lake County Commissioners. Previous commissioners are invited to attend the event that will recognize (79) present and past Commissioners who faithfully dedicated their time and service in representing Lake County citizens for over 180 years.
County government plays a critical role in all Ohioans° lives and the role of a county commissioner is numerous and varied. They act as the administrative division of their states and when the state and federal government enact laws, the counties are responsible for implementing them. They are also faced with the task of approving budgets and maintaining sufficient revenue to administer the government and provide services to their constituents through the adoption of the annual county budget.
“This recognition is well-deserved as these individuals have served with distinction, some of them for many years,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck, “On behalf of Lake County, this Board is proud to commend their leadership and legacy,” he continued. Please click here to view the entire press release.
FINANCIAL LITERACY COURSE OFFERED FOR STUDENTS
Lake County— Spring 2022 Lake County Treasurer, Michael Zuren and Lake County Auditor, Christopher Galloway are excited to announce the launch of a Financial Literacy course geared towards middle and high school-aged students. The course topics will include planning and goals, career preparation, spending and credit, consumer protection, income, money management, saving and investing, and risk management. Please click here to view the entire press release.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PROVIDE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
The Lake County Commissioners recently approved a request for additional prosecutors and staff for the Lake County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which represents an additional investment of approximately $250,000 per budget year. The request was submitted during the 2022 budget hearings conducted in February, where County Prosecutor Charles E. Coulson requested two additional Assistant Prosecutors, one Legal Secretary, and one Victim’s Advocate.
“Today’s announcement by the Board to increase funding for the County Prosecutor’s Office shows their commitment to public safety and support for law enforcement. The Prosecutor’s Office has experienced its highest caseload ever. Additionally, due to increases in technology and new multiple sources of evidence the complexity and the difficulty in prosecuting each case have increased. And most, unfortunately, there has been a significant increase in criminal violence and the use of firearms. Commissioner John Plecnik has been an advocate and supporter of my office and instrumental in recognizing our budgetary needs. The additional prosecutors, a secretary, and a victim advocate are important to keeping Lake County safe. I also want to acknowledge appreciation for Commissioner President Hamercheck and Commissioner Young for this unanimous support of my office,” said Prosecutor Coulson. Please click here to view the entire press release.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND CITY OF EASTLAKE APPROVE CLUBHOUSE UPGRADES FOR LAKE COUNTY CAPTAINS STADIUM
Eastlake City Council unanimously approved an American Rescue Plan (ARPA) agreement with the Board of Commissioners at the April 27, 2022, Council meeting. The agreement, approved by the Commissioners on April 14, 2022, will fund clubhouse upgrades using the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program.
Recent guidance from Major League Baseball (MLB) has mandated a series of renovations/upgrades to the Club House and other ancillary items. As noted in the “Captains Stadium Renovation” document, “Major League Baseball (MLB) has instituted player safety protocols to reduce the potential for contact spreading of the COVID-19 virus.” This project will address those concerns. The estimated cost is $3.6m. Project costs will be finalized after public bidding in accordance with Federal procurement procedures.
“The Commissioners fully realize the importance of local attractions and quality of life amenities as it relates to the economic growth of Lake County. Having a beautiful facility and professional baseball in Lake County will continue to assist in the attraction of new residents, businesses, and visitors to our area,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck. Please click here to view the entire press release.
LOCAL OFFICIALS PARTICIPATE IN EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
PAINESVILLE, OH, April 25, 2022 — County Commissioners John Hamercheck and John Plecnik, along with County Treasurer Michael Zuren, participated in an Earth Day celebration at Parkside Elementary in Painesville. Please click here to view the entire news release.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONER RON YOUNG ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT: COLLEAGUES REFLECT ON HIS CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE
Today, Lake County Commissioner Ron Young announced his retirement from his seat on the Board of Lake County Commissioners. His final date of service is set for May 4 this year. He has served Lake County first as a State Representative from 1997 to 2004. After being term-limited in 2004, he returned to running his business TES Inc. TES is a professional placement firm Young founded in 1982 and that is now run by his daughter in Texas. In 2010 Young was re-elected State Representative and served another four terms. After winning his election in 2018, he became Lake County Commissioner in January of 2019. Please click here to read the entire news release.
CLEAN & GREEN LOGO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Lake County’s Solid Waste District is pleased to announce the winners of their annual Clean and Green Logo Contest. Area students were encouraged to design a logo showcasing the theme “Clean and Green Lake County” which promotes recycling and anti-littering education. The Lake County Solid Waste District oversees the Landfill and Recycling Center in Painesville Township.
Rees Erickson, a fifth-grade student at The School of Innovation in the Willoughby-Eastlake School District, won the elementary division and the overall prize for her design entry themed, “Help Keep Lake County Clean & Green.” As the top winner, Rees’s design will be displayed in the Lake County Commissioner’s area in the County Administration Building located in downtown Painesville. Additionally, her design will be used for marketing materials for the Solid Waste District and the Utilities Department.
Other winners were Middle School Division Winner, Cameron Adkins from Eastlake Middle School and High School Division Winner, Haley Horen from Lake Catholic High School.
Elementary School Division Honorable Mentions listed in alphabetically order:
- Molly Canfield – Madison North Elementary; Raegan Huffman – Parkside Elementary; Brynley Schneider – School of Innovation; Rosalie Siegel – Parkside Elementary
Middle School Division Honorable Mentions listed in alphabetically order:
- Charlie Gallman – Wickliffe Middle School; Luci Hinde – School of Innovation; Lailah Lewis-Kerslake – Wickliffe Middle School; Kaiten Schultz – Shore Middle School;
High School Division Honorable Mentions listed in alphabetically order:
- Jillian Haith – South High School; Sara Hussain – South High School; Mallory Mosnik – North High School; Jason Renaud – South High School
Thank you to all 875 student artists who submitted entries from thirteen elementary schools, six middle schools, and five local high schools. Please click here to view the entire news release.
COMMISSIONERS APPOINT MATTHEW HEBEBRAND TO LAKELAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
PAINESVILLE, OH, April 21, 2022 — The Lake County Board of Commissioners is unanimously voted to appoint Matthew Hebebrand to the Lakeland Community College Board of Trustees. Mr. Hebebrand will complete the unexpired term previously held by 14-year Trustee Ryan Callender who recently resigned after moving to Cuyahoga County. A City of Painesville resident, Mr. Hebebrand will complete the current term that expires March 6, 2026.
“Mr. Hebebrand’s experience as an attorney will provide valuable insight and leadership to the Board of Trustees. I want to extend my appreciation to Mr. Callender for his commitment to Lakeland Community College,” said Commission President John Hamercheck.
The Board of Commissioners appoints six of the nine members of the college’s Board of Trustees. The Governor appoints the remaining three all of which are five-year terms. Please click here to view the entire press release.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CELEBRATE “NATIONAL COUNTY GOVERNMENT MONTH
PAINESVILLE, OH, April 21, 2022 — The Lake County Board of Commissioners is recognizing April as “National County Government Month” in an effort to highlight the work that is done every day to improve the lives of our residents and to celebrate those who make it all possible.
The Ohio Constitution defines a structure of county government that is organized around elected officials consisting of a 3-member Board of Commissioners, along with a Prosecutor, Auditor, Treasurer, Recorder, Engineer, Clerk of Courts, Sheriff, and Coroner. Lake County also supports the Court of Common Pleas (General Division, Domestic Relations Division, Probate Division, and Juvenile Division).
“Lake County is home to over 232,00 residents and not everyone realizes all the roles that county government plays on a daily basis,” stated Board President John Hamercheck, “and this designation is intended to recognize the professional efforts of our fellow public servants and staff.” Please click here to view the entire news release.
Commissioner John Plecnik Gets First Hand View of Ohio Means Jobs Lake County
April 18, 2022, Commissioner Plecnik toured the Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ) Lake County Career Center as well as the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services (JFS).
OhioMeansJobs Lake County is a group of public, private, and non-profit agencies and partner organizations that have joined forces to create a coordinated system to provide workforce services to employers and job seekers. Staff members are eager to determine and immediately address the needs of every customer entering the Career Center.
“I am grateful to JFS Director Suzanne Casar and Workforce Development Director Cory Vojak for their continued commitment to providing the necessary programs and tools to ensure quality and sustainable employment opportunities for our job seekers and employers,” noted Commissioner John Plecnik. Please click here to view the entire news release.
BOARD APPROVES PETIT & GRAND JURORS COMPENSATION INCREASE
The judges of the General Division of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas reached out to the Lake County Board of Commissioners for approval of a resolution to raise the per diem compensation of petit and grand jurors from the current rate of $15 per day to a new rate of $25 per day.
“Jury duty is one of the most important civic responsibilities someone can perform,” stated Commission President John R. Hamercheck, “and with the role of a juror being so vital to our system of justice, it was an easy decision to approve the court’s request for an increase,” he continued.
The Ohio Revised Code, Sections 2939.04 and 2313.22(A), authorizes Boards to fix compensation for jury service payable out of the county treasury, and the resolution was unanimously approved at the April 7th meeting of the Board of Commissioners.
Judge Eugene Lucci, the administrative judge of the court, stated that “although jury service is both a legal obligation and a civic duty required by our American republican system of government, raising the fees is only a small gesture of appreciation for the necessary sacrifice provided by jurors.” Please click here to read the entire news release.
LAKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS ANNOUNCE FACEBOOK PAGE
The Lake County Board of Commissioners is excited to announce our Lake County, Ohio official Facebook page ( @lakecountyohiousa ). This page will be used to communicate to citizens the programs and services offered by the County and general news and updates from the Commissioners’ Office. “Having a more visible social media presence in 2022 is vital to serving our citizens to the best of our abilities, and I encourage all the citizens of Lake County to follow the page,” stated Commissioner John Plecnik. Initially, the page will be used to showcase the Emergency Rental Assistance Program but will expand to showcase all of the programs and services offered to Lake County residents over time. “I look forward to showcasing the work of our staff through social media and expanding access to the programs the County provides to our citizens,” stated Commissioner John Hamercheck. Commissioner Ron Young added, “I want to thank my colleague, Commissioner Plecnik, and staff for taking up the mantle on this initiative. I look forward to our office using social media to modernize the County’s service delivery model moving forward.” https://www.facebook.com/LakeCountyOhioUSA/
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ANNOUNCE GRANTS TO SUPPORT LAKE COUNTY EVENTS
PAINESVILLE, OH, April 14, 2022 — The Lake County Board of Commissioners, at its April 14, 2022 meeting, agreed to appropriate funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support nearly 40 different events that will take place in Lake County in 2022.
Over the past two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, events across the county had to be canceled, postponed, and/or modified in the interest of public safety. These unavoidable changes caused significant financial hardships for the organizations and communities who work tirelessly to host great events, large and small, that Lake County residents and visitors from outside the area look forward to attending every year.
The County is partnering with the Lake County Visitors Bureau, Remarkable Lake County, OH, to direct these funds. Remarkable Lake County promotes travel and tourism for the County and has its own Arts & Culture Grant program, introduced a Community Events Grant program in 2021, and has long-supported major events that bring in thousands of visitors from outside the region. Remarkable Lake County scores and evaluates applications and awards grants based upon criteria such as the number of overnight visitors, the total number of attendees, and the value the event adds to Lake County’s Arts & Culture scene. Please click here to read the entire news release.
LAKE COUNTY BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE CONDUCTS SECOND MEETING
The Lake County Treasurer’s Office, along with the Board of Lake County Commissioners, welcomed a new group of local businesses, chamber representatives, and government officials to the second meeting of the “Lake County Business Roundtable Discussion Series” on Wednesday, April 6th. The roundtable discussions serve as an open forum for local businesses to share their experiences over the previous two years and provide their opinions on improving the local business environment.
In addition to the County Commissioners, representatives from various other County agencies including the Lake Development Authority, Planning, and Community Development, and Council on Aging were in attendance to answer questions and address concerns presented by the business community. Topics included but were not limited to, workforce, resource collaboration, real estate trends, and overall economic conditions.
10 local businesses, ranging from daycare to manufacturing to real estate, spoke on current concerns and issues they are experiencing given the current economy and pandemic aftereffects and they vocalized what their needs are.
“Today’s meeting was another opportunity to meet even more businesses and I continue to be impressed with the turnout we have received,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck. “These individuals offered some invaluable input that will greatly impact the future success of other Lake County businesses.” Please click here to view the entire news release.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SELECT DESIGN PROFESSIONAL FOR PROPOSED PUBLIC SAFETY CENTER
The Lake County Commissioners passed a resolution on April 7, 2022, to enter contract negotiations with HOK for the new Lake County Public Safety Center, which includes the Sheriff’s Office, Road Patrol, Correction Officers, and Court Services. HOK firm was recommended unanimously to the Commissioners by the Selection Committee over three different firms. The selection committee consisted of:
Commissioners John R. Hamercheck
Commissioner John Plecnik
Commissioner Ron Young
Sheriff Frank Leonbruno
Captain Cynthia Brooks (Corrections)
Chief Craig Berry (Adult Probation)
Jason Boyd, County Administrator
Paul Stefanko, Telecommunications Director
Mark lafelice, Buildings and Grounds Superintendent
The HOK team will be responsible for the programming phase and criteria architectural services which will provide the foundation for the project moving forward.
“Since 2012, the Commissioner’s and Sheriff’s Offices have been proactively analyzing the current Sheriff’s Office and jail. After much review, research and deliberation, I fully support the concept of a new facility. Today’s action is the first of many steps needed to ultimately construct a new comprehensive mixed-use facility that addresses the needs of the Sheriff, Adult Probation, and our Courts. Unfortunately, the current facility was poorly designed and functionally obsolete the day the County took possession of the facility,” said Commissioner President John R. Hamercheck. Please click here to read the entire news release.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DECLARE THE WEEK OF APRIL 3-9, 2022, NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK IN LAKE COUNTY, OHIO
PAINESVILLE, OH, April 7, 2022 – Lake County Commissioners declare the week of April 3-9, 2022, as National Library Week in Lake County, Ohio. It is the time of year when communities acknowledge the positive impact of libraries, promote our local libraries and their staff, and wholeheartedly thank our libraries for the role they play in transforming lives and strengthening communities.
National Library Week started in 1958 and is observed by libraries across the country during April. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Connect With Your Library.” This week is a chance to learn more about what our Lake County libraries offer the community. The library is no longer just for books, but so much more.
Libraries are places where communities connect to things like broadband, computers, programs and classes, books, movies, video games, and more. But most importantly, libraries connect us to each other. Please click here to view the entire news release. Resolution.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DECLARE THE WEEK OF APRIL 10-16, 2022, NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATORS WEEK IN LAKE COUNTY, OHIO
PAINESVILLE, OH, April 7, 2022 – Lake County Commissioners declare the week of April 10-16, 2022, as National Telecommunicators Week in Lake County, Ohio. Established in 1994, when President William J. Clinton signed Presidential Proclamation 6667 declaring the second week of April National Telecommunicators Week. This week is a time to celebrate and thank our dispatchers / telecommunications. These outstanding professionals serve our Lake County communities and citizens, as well as public safety personnel, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2021, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Central Communications division handled 147,203 emergency 911 calls. In addition to the noted 911 call volume, Central Communications also answered 187,082 non-911 calls. This includes all non-emergency needs for service and public assistance. In total, Central Communications fielded 334,285 calls in 2021!
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office operates the Central Communications Center at 8505 Garfield Rd. in Kirtland, Ohio. This facility is the primary 911 answering center for all cellular calls made in Lake County. This state-of-the-art facility utilizes advanced technology to provide emergency services and basic calls for service to the citizens of Lake County. This facility is also the primary dispatch center for 21 police and fire agencies throughout Lake County. This consists of twelve (12) law enforcement agencies and nine (9) Fire/EMS agencies.
“We thank our Lake County Telecommunicators and Dispatchers, not only here at the Lake County Sheriff’s office but at every dispatch center throughout Lake County, for their service and commitment. They are the first voice you hear when you call for help and it is their calm during the storm that gets help started your way,” said Lake County Sheriff Frank Leonbruno. Please click here to read the entire press release. Resolution
STATE APPROVES $11.3 MILLION IN FUNDS FOR LAKE COUNTY DREDGING FACILITY
New facility will allow dredging of Fairport Harbor to be re-instated
PAINESVILLE, OH – On April 4th, 2022, the State of Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management Controlling Board authorized $47 million to fund the construction of Sediment Recycling Facilities across the State of Ohio. Sometimes called a confined placement facility, they are specifically designed for the containment of contaminated dredged material from Lake Erie that provides control of potential releases of contaminants to the environment. Lake County will receive $11.3 million in funding to construct its facility in Painesville Township, which is planned to be operational this fall.
The need for these facilities was prompted by ORC 6111.32 which bans the disposal of dredged sediment from federal navigation channels into Lake Erie. As a result, the dredging of the Grand River in Fairport Harbor came to a halt last year. “That action posed a significant economic problem for the County,” stated David Anderson, Executive Director of the Lake Development Authority. “This is Lake County’s only commercial port. Losing the ability to conduct maritime commerce threatens about 170 jobs and over $371 million of commodities handled through the port each year.” Please click here to view the entire news release.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DECLARE APRIL 2022 AS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH
PAINESVILLE, OH, March 31, 2022 – Lake County Commissioners Declare April as Child Abuse Prevention Month April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month here in Lake County and across the country. It is the time of year when cities and states acknowledge the devastating impact of child abuse and neglect.
Unfortunately, child abuse and neglect occur in Lake County, too. The Lake County Department of Job and Family Services has the responsibility and authority to provide protective services to children residing in Lake County. During the year 2021 alone, Social Workers from the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services responded to over 1,900 calls concerning the safety of children. As a result, staff worked with approximately 1,000 children who presented with a variety of needs requiring the assistance of the agency.
“Our social workers are dedicated to investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community. We are grateful to the concerned citizens and mandated reporters who call our child abuse hotline to report their concerns regarding the safety of a child,” said Job and Family Services Director Suzanne Casar. Please click here to read the entire news release.
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS RECOGNIZE NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK
This year, National Volunteer Week is recognized from April 17-23. Established by the United States government in 1974, National Volunteer Week seeks to encourage volunteerism and salute the services of the volunteers who have given countless hours for the betterment of their communities. “This is an opportunity to celebrate volunteers and recognize their impact on building stronger communities,” said Commissioner John R. Hamercheck. “Simply put, volunteers keep many services in Lake County running.”
The Lake County Volunteer Network, a division of the Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the Lake County Council on Aging and the Lake County Visitor’s Bureau, is recognizing volunteers for National Volunteer Week by offering discounted coupons to several Lake County businesses and organizations. Please click here to view the entire news release.
BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE MEETING ANNOUNCED: APRIL 6, 2022
The Lake County Treasurer’s Office and Board of Lake County Commissioners will be holding the next meeting of the “Lake County Business Roundtable Discussion Series” on April 6th, 2022 at 8:00 a.m.
The roundtable discussion series serves as an open forum for local businesses to share their recent experiences and provide opinions and assistance on improving our business community. Topics include, but are not limited to, workforce, resource collaboration, supply chain concerns, and overall economic conditions. The second meeting will include approximately ten local businesses including real estate and banking professionals.
“We were thrilled with the response we received from the inaugural meeting in February,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck, “and I look forward to hearing from even more local Lake County businesses on the 6th” he continued. Please click here to view the entire news release.
JAMES A. GARFIELD HISTORIC SITE TO HOST UPCOMING EASTER EGG ROLL
PAINESVILLE, OH, March 29, 2022 —The James A. Garfield National Historic Site will be holding an Easter Egg Roll on Monday, April 18th from 1:00-3:00 pm (weather permitting). Hosted by First Lady Lucretia Garfield, this free, family-friendly event includes various activities, egg hunts, and a visit from the Easter Bunny in addition to the egg roll. Origami artists will be also be featured along with balloon twisters.
As one of the oldest and most beloved events in presidential history, children have enjoyed gathering on the west grounds of the U.S. Capitol building to roll decorated hard-boiled eggs down the terraced lawn for over 140 years and the egg hunt at Garfield’s site is modeled after that tradition. Although Garfield was only President for 200 days, he participated in the White House Egg Roll in 1881.
“We are proud to recognize Lake County as the home of President Garfield and I look forward to the annual Egg Roll that is held there; one of their most attended events,” said Lake County Commissioner. John Plecnik. It typically draws over 500 participants every year. Plecnik will be in attendance this year to present certificates to the event winners. Please click here to view the entire news release.
Lake County Commissioners Proclaim March 21-27, 2022 National Agricultural Week in Lake County, Ohio
Posted on March 24, 2022
PAINESVILLE, OH, March 24, 2022 – Lake County Farm Bureau volunteers recently visited with the Lake County Commissioners to promote agriculture in celebration of National Agriculture Day and National Agriculture Week where the Lake County Commissioners issued a proclamation in honor of National Agriculture Week. The proclamation states “American agriculture is the foundation of our country. It’s the backbone of a healthy and prosperous nation, made possible by the hard work of America’s farms and farm families. Please click here to view the entire press release. Please click here to view the resolution.
Lake County Commissioners Recognize Volunteer Heroes
On Thursday, March 17, 2022, the Board of Lake County Commissioners recognized Lake County Volunteer Network volunteer Sue Huber for receiving the Lakeland Community College Women’s Center Woman of Achievement Award. The 2022 awards were focused on honoring women who have led with light.
Sue Huber led with light by dedicating her time and talents as a senior to serving other seniors in need. She volunteers at the Lake County Council on Aging Mentor Meals on Wheels in the kitchen to keep seniors living safely and independently in their own homes, she serves as a volunteer guardian for three individuals in nursing homes, and she registered people for COVID vaccines at the Health District COVID hotline. She recently added volunteering at the Lake Humane Society assisting animals in need. For fun, Sue leads with light by volunteering her time at the Lake Metroparks in a variety of roles to ensure there are quality programs for all ages and abilities. Most people may volunteer for one agency, but Sue is volunteering at four agencies, and in each volunteer position she is making a significant impact on others. Sue volunteered all through the pandemic, never missing a beat! Please click here to view the entire news release.
Board of Commissioners Proclaim March 2022 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
PAINESVILLE, OH, March 17, 2022 – An estimated 4.7 million Americans have an intellectual or developmental disability. Some of these may include autism, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, to name a few. These conditions can cause an impairment in areas like language, learning, and physical behavior. In order to highlight and empower these individuals and their contributions, the Lake County Board of Commissioners, at their March 17, 2022 meeting, has proclaimed March “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” in Lake County.
Throughout the years, thousands of people with developmental disabilities have been supported by their families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and this year, the Board of Commissioners are encouraging everyone in the Lake County community to enrich, engage, and to stand “Side By Side” to provide vital support and resources to these incredible people. One of the most effective ways to increase awareness is through active participation in community activities that will enrich their lives by showing how much they are supported. Please click here to view the entire news release. Please click here to view the resolution.
County Commissioners Passed Balanced Budget
The Lake County Commissioners unanimously passed a balanced county budget for 2022 at the March 17, meeting.
The Commissioners, under the direction of Finance Director Michael Matas, worked diligently with the elected officials and department heads to successfully create balanced and sustainable budgets for the inside and outside general funds.
“I would like to personally thank Finance Director Matas and his staff for preparing a fiscally conservative budget that continues to meet the increased demands and services that our local businesses and residents expect in Lake County,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck.
The County General Fund is the chief operating fund of the County and accounts for the financial resources required to administer daily operations with exception of those funds required by the Ohio Revised Code to be recorded in other accounts. The 2022 General Fund revenue is projected to be $61,237,875 representing a 7.7% increase from the 2021 budget. The estimated revenues are attributed primarily to a stronger local economy, which is resulting in a projected increase in sales tax and conveyance fees due to the real estate market. Please click here to view the entire news release.
Lake County Elected Officials Announce the “Academic Excellence Award”
PAINESVILLE, OH, March 15, 2022 – County Commissioners John Hamercheck, John Plecnik, and Ron Young, along with Lake County Treasurer Michael Zuren and County Auditor Chris Galloway, are proud to announce that they will be sponsoring the “Academic Excellence Award” to Lake County students who have received all A’s for the full calendar year.
“On behalf of my fellow elected officials, I want to congratulate our wonderful students throughout Lake County who have exhibited a tremendous work ethic during what has been a challenging couple of years. Their commitment to excellence will help create future leaders in our communities,” said Treasurer Michael Zuren.
Board of Commissioners Honor Eastlake Mayor Dennis Morley; President of the Lake County Mayors and Managers Association
PAINESVILLE, OH, March 11, 2022 – On Monday, February 28th, at the most recent meeting of the Lake County Mayors and Managers Association, Eastlake Mayor Dennis Morley was recognized for his commitment and dedication to the organization.
Morley has begun serving his 4th term as President of the association that was established as a means for Lake County mayors and managers to meet, share ideas and resources, and familiarize themselves with each other’s communities. He responded, “It is my pleasure to serve with so many professionals and elected officials. We have worked through many difficulties over the last few years and am humbled by the resolution from the commissioners.” Please click here to read the entire news release.
Lake County Business Roundtable Unites Business and Local Leaders in Successful First Meeting
The Lake County Treasurer’s Office and Board of Lake County Commissioners welcomed two dozen local businesses, chamber representatives, and government officials to the inaugural meeting of the “Lake County Business Roundtable Discussion Series”. The roundtable served as an open forum for local businesses to share their experiences over the previous 18 months and provide opinions on improving the local business environment.
In addition to the County Commissioners, representatives from various other County agencies, including the Lake Development Authority, Planning and Community Development, and the Department of Utilities were in attendance to answer questions and address concerns presented by the business community.
“Today’s meeting was a great opportunity for me to simply listen and absorb first-hand all the needs, ideas, and expectations of our business community,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck. “I am so pleased by the turnout and enthusiasm represented here today that has further educated our Board along with other county departments. We have no doubt that Lake County businesses will continue to rebound and ultimately set the stage for even more new ones to join our community.” Please click here to view the entire news release.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PROCLAIM THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY 2022 “JAMES A. GARFIELD MONTH” IN LAKE COUNTY
PAINESVILLE, OH, February 17, 2022 – The Lake County Board of Commissioners has proclaimed February as “James A. Garfield” month in Lake County. “It is an honor to dedicate this month to the life and legacy of James A. Garfield. We are proud to recognize Lake County as his home for several years until his untimely death,” said Commissioner John Hamercheck.
As the last of the log cabin presidents, James A. Garfield was born in Cuyahoga County in 1831 and made Ohio his home for all but his college years. In 1876, while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, he and his wife Lucretia purchased their farm in Mentor, referred to as Lawnfield, named for the many reporters camped out on the lawns around the house. Shortly thereafter, Garfield began to expand their home to accommodate their five children who they taught how to farm. During a three-year period, the home was enlarged from nine rooms to 20, a porch was added onto the front, and the interior was refurbished.
“The life of James Garfield was tragically cut short, but beyond impactful. From humble beginnings, President Garfield attacked political corruption and changed the United States and the entire world in his roles as Minister, Professor, State Senator, Congressman, General, and President. That is why his fellow Lake Countians admire President Garfield to this day,” said Commissioner John Plecnik. Please click here to view the entire press release. Please click here to view the resolution.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PROCLAIMED FEBRUARY 7TH-14TH “CONGENITAL HEART DEFECT AWARENESS WEEK” IN LAKE COUNTY
PAINESVILLE, OH, February 17, 2022 – The Lake County Board of Commissioners proclaimed the week of February 7th – 14th “Congenital Heart Defect Awareness” week in Lake County. CHDs are present at birth and can affect the structure of a heart and the way it works. It affects how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. They can vary from mild (a small hole in the heart) to severe (missing or poorly formed parts of the heart).
Thousands of patients and families are affected and/or impacted by congenital heart defects; the number one birth defect in the United States, affecting 1 in every 100 births amounting to approximately 2 million Americans living with congenital heart defects. Currently, there is no cure for CHD and it is a lifelong disease requiring ongoing specialized care. “As fewer than 10% of adults with CHD receive recommended care, it is crucial that individuals planning a family, fetal clinicians, obstetric physicians, pediatricians, and others in the medical field have a greater understanding of the potential for congenital heart defects,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck. Please click here to view the news release in its entirety. Please click here to view the resolution.
All buildings under the jurisdiction of the Lake County, Ohio County Commissioners will be closing at 12:00 pm today (Feb. 3, 2022). The offices will open tomorrow at 8:00 am unless notified.
COMMISSIONERS APPROVE LIGHTING UPGRADES FOR LAKE COUNTY CAPTAINS STADIUM
The Board of Commissioners, at is January 27, 2022 meeting, authorized an agreement with the City of Eastlake to fund lighting upgrades using the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the American Rescue Plan (ARPA).
In 2020, the Lake County Captains Stadium went dark as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It could not have hit at a worst possible time for the Captains as their last games were played Labor Day weekend of 2019 and facility planning was in progress to stay in compliance with Major League Baseball.
As the owner of the baseball facility, the City of Eastlake is tasked with maintaining the stadium. The COVID-19 pandemic placed a significant economic burden on the operating revenues associated with the City of Eastlake and the Captains. Please click here to view the entire news release.
MILLION-DOLLAR MILESTONE FOR LAKE COUNTY GENERAL FUND
The Lake County Commissioners expect efficiency and transparency with local taxpayer money entrusted to Lake County and the efforts of Recorder Becky Lynch were highlighted during a recent budget hearing with the Board.
Commission President John R. Hamercheck said, “Becky Lynch’s proactive budgeting approach and constant communication with the Commissioner’s Office continues to be the model for a unified approach when working within the County’s budget limits.”
At the Board of Commissioners budget Hearing on January 24, 2022, the Recorder program earned accolades from the Lake County Commissioners as she eclipsed a million-dollar milestone by reducing General Fund expenditures through a more efficient use of fees collected and responsible budgeting. Please click here to view the entire news release.
BUSINESS RESOURCE NETWORK SUBGRANT FUNDING: The Lake County Workforce Development Board was recently awarded $250,000 from the Business Resource Network (BRN) Subgrant funds through the State of Ohio. The purpose and spirit of this funding are to creatively expand business service teams, business outreach, and employer engagement. “As we continue to navigate through and out of the pandemic, we are learning and embracing additional ways to engage employers,” Commissioner John Hamercheck said. “We hope to use these grant dollars to expand the knowledge and reach of the services at OhioMeansJobs Lake County.”
LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOHN R. HAMERCHECK APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD FOR NOACA; JACKSON STREET INTERCHANGE ANNOUNCED IN PAINESVILLE
On January 21, Lake County Commissioner John Hamercheck was unanimously voted to serve as President of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), which is the transportation and environmental planning agency representing Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lorain, and Medina Counties. NOACA is the conduit for federal transportation dollars to Lake County. In the recent past, a majority of the funding for the Vrooman Road bridge and Vrooman Road resurfacing project in Perry and Leroy Townships came through NOACA. Today, the Jackson Street Interchange was announced by NOACA as one of their major upcoming projects in the City of Painesville.
Board of Commissioners Recognize Willoughby Hills Councilwomen Fellows, Lenz, Majka and Pizmoht
Posted on December 30, 2021
The Lake County Board of Commissioners proudly recognized Nancy Fellows, Laura Lenz, Janet Majka, and Laura Pizmoht as the first City Council in the history of Lake County to have a board comprised of a majority of women. Collectively, they have served the City of Willoughby Hills with distinction since 2018.
Nancy Fellows was elected in 2001 and has continued to serve for 20 years. Janet Majka came on board in 2015, followed by Laura Pizmoht in 2017. Once Laura Lenz began in 2018, the first women-majority board was officially in place.
“On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners and all of Lake County, I want to personally thank Nancy, Laura, Janet, and Laura for their commitment to public service,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck. Please click here to view the entire news release.
The Commissioners recognized Home Instead- Mentor at their December 7th meeting for their continued work in Lake County with the Be a Santa to a Senior program.
The program supports older adults who may be overlooked, isolated, or alone during the holiday season. “We are pleased to participate again this year in the program to show older adults in Lake County that they are valued, especially during the holiday season,” said Commissioner John Hamercheck.
Home Instead partners with local organizations, such as the Board of Commissioners, to provide gifts to over 250 local seniors. Local agencies host a tree decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and gift or gift card suggestions. Holiday shoppers select an ornament and return the gift unwrapped with the ornament attached. Gifts are then delivered to seniors in time for the holidays. “This small act of kindness can make a big difference in the lives of our most vulnerable senior citizens,” said Commissioner John Plecnik. Please click here to view the news release.
Lake and Trumbull Counties Win Opioid Litigation
A jury of 12 individuals recently announced their verdict in favor of Lake and Trumbull Counties against Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens in the National Prescription Opioid Litigation. The verdict, announced in the United States District Court Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division, was read by Judge Dan Aaron Polster.
“On behalf of all the residents in Lake County who have been impacted by this epidemic, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the jurors who spent seven weeks listening to the impact opioids have had in our communities,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck.
The trial began on October 4, 2021, and included over 30 witnesses from the Counties and defendants. Lake and Trumbull Counties were selected by the Court as a bellwether trial, or a test case to gauge where future trials may end up. This lawsuit is one of thousands filed throughout the United States. Please click here to view the entire news release.
Lake County Department of Job & Family Services and Ohio Means Jobs Lake County Partnering with Sub Zero Mission
The Lake County Department of Job and Family Services and Ohio Means Jobs Lake County are partnering with the Sub Zero Mission on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 to collect warming items for the homeless in Lake County. A “stuff the bus” event will take place outside of the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services building located at 177 Main St. in Painesville from 11 AM – 1 PM. Individuals can stop by and drop their donations in the bus. Needed items include adult coats, boots, socks (new only), hats, gloves, sleeping bags, and tents. Barra de Taco Food truck will also be onsite at Lake County Department of Job and Family Services if you’d like to purchase lunch the day of the event. Please click here to view the entire news release.
Third Township Accepts Lake County COPS Grant
The Board of Lake County Commissioners approved the third COPS grant at their November 23, 2021 meeting. The Concord Township Trustees approved the contract on November 17, 2021 becoming the third township in the Sheriff’s patrol area to take advantage of this localized grant program. Concord will be hiring one (1) new deputy in a contract with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, they will accept an additional deputy sheriff paid for by the Commissioners to add to local patrol in Concord Township.
With the assistance of Clerk of Courts Faith Andrews, the Commissioners created the program to help immediately fund increased Sheriff’s Deputies in the townships by offering to provide a second deputy for every deputy added to current policing contracts.
“As with Perry and Painesville, I want to thank Concord Township for participating in the COPS grant and providing increased patrol in their ever-growing community,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck.
Board of Commissioners Proclaim the Week of November 13-22, 2021 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
PAINESVILLE, OH, November 18, 2021 – With more than 37 million Americans at risk of suffering from hunger and 3.5 million without shelter every year, the Board of Commissioners were proud to join the “National Coalition for the Homeless” and the “National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness” in proclaiming the week of November 13th-22nd as “National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week”. Please click here to view the entire news release.
Lake County Commissioners Vote for 25% Discount on Water and Sewer Bills for Low Income Senior Citizens
In an effort to assist low-income senior citizens with utility costs, the Board of Lake County Commissioners and the Department of Utilities established a program to provide a 25% discount on water and sewer bills to all qualifying senior citizens. Commissioner John Plecnik proposed the senior discount earlier this year, which was unanimously adopted by the Board of Commissioners on November 18th. Please click here to view the entire news release.
Business Roundtable Meeting Announced – The Lake County Treasurer’s Office and Board of Lake County Commissioners announce the “Lake County Business Roundtable Discussion Series.” The initial meeting of this planned series will be in early 2022.
The roundtable discussion will serve as an open forum for local businesses to share their experiences over the previous 18 months and provide opinions on improving the local business environment. Topics include, but are not limited to, workforce, resource collaboration, supply chain concerns, and overall economic conditions. In addition to the County Commissioners, representatives from the various County agencies and the Chamber of Commerce’s will be in attendance.
“Over the past year and a half, we have all had to rethink how we run our businesses. Large, small, independent or corporate, the COVID pandemic has changed the way businesses operate and Lake County wants to be receptive to their needs,” said Commission President John R. Hamercheck.
Lake County Commissioners and Clerk of Courts Announce Additional Sheriff Deputies in Painesville Township
The Board of Lake County Commissioners approved the second COPS grant at their November 9, 2021 meeting. With the assistance of Clerk of Courts Faith Andrews, the Commissioners created the program to help immediately fund increased Sheriff’s Deputies in the townships by offering to provide a second deputy for every deputy added to current policing contracts.
The Painesville Township Trustees signed the contract and have become the second township in the Sheriff’s patrol area to take advantage of this localized grant program. The Painesville Township Trustees explained that they would be hiring two (2) new deputies in a contract with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to patrol Painesville Township. Additionally, they will accept the second two (2) deputy sheriffs paid for by the Commissioners to add to local patrol in Painesville Township.
Please click here to read the entire news release.
Lake County Commissioners Declare November as National Adoption Month
National Adoption Month is recognized annually in November throughout the nation as a time to raise awareness about the urgent need for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care. At any given time, over 16,000 children in Ohio are being cared for away from their parents. While most of these children will eventually be reunited with biological family members, more than 3,000 children in the State of Ohio are currently waiting to be adopted and nearly 1,400 of them are teenagers. Please click here to read the entire news release.
The Lake County Commissioners present a resolution to Lake County Job & Family Services Director Suzanne Casar and the Supervisor of the Foster Care and Adoption Unit at Lake County Department of Job and Family Services Eugene Tetrick.
County Commissioners and Treasurer Return Taxpayer Funds
The Lake County Board of Commissioners, along with Treasurer Michael Zuren, announced a renewed effort to return surplus taxpayer funds to local property owners at the September 30, 2021 board meeting. The Treasurer’s Office, per the Ohio Revised Code, is responsible for a surplus overage account. Please click here to view the entire news release.
Lake County Commissioners, Clerk of Courts, and Perry Township Trustees Announce Additional Road Patrol in Perry Township
As crime has increased across the United States the Lake County Commissioners recognized the growing need for a stronger law enforcement presence across the townships. Recognizing the financial constraints of township government to address the immediate need for increased policing with limited revenue the Lake County Commissioners created a local COPS grant.
With the assistance of Clerk of Courts Faith Andrews they created a program to help immediately fund increased Sheriff’s Deputies in the townships by offering to provide a second deputy for every deputy added to current policing contracts. The program would continue to fund the additional deputy(s) for a period of four (4) years to enable enough time for the township to find alternative funding sources to assume the financial responsibility of the added deputies after four years.
Today the Perry Township Trustees announced that they would be the first township to take advantage of this localized grant program. The Perry Township Trustees explained that they would be hiring two (2) new deputies in a contract with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to patrol Perry Township. Additionally, they would accept the second two (2) deputy sheriffs paid for by the Commissioners to add to local patrol in Perry Township. Their intent would be to then explore alternative funding sources to increase localized patrol throughout their area.
Willow Praise Church & Volunteers recognized by Lake County Board of Commissioners for providing over 23,000 lunches to children in need during COVID-19 Pandemic
On Friday, August 13, 2021, the Board of Lake County Commissioners issued a formal Certificate of Recognition to Willow Praise Church and their volunteers for providing over 23,000 free lunches to children in need during the COVID-19 pandemic and government lockdowns. Commissioner John Plecnik presented the Certificate to Pastor Larry Bogrenrief and volunteer Michael Zuren at Willow Praise Church in Willowick. The Certificate thanks local businesses, churches, elected officials, nonprofits, and volunteers who came together in March 2020 to feed the hungry. Please click here to view the entire press release.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CELEBRATE RECORD-BREAKING 2021 FAIR SEASON; THE BIGGEST COUNTY FAIR IN 169 YEARS
PAINESVILLE, OH, August 12, 2021 – The Lake County Fair (held from July 27th– August 1st) was a phenomenal success with 133,384 people in attendance; a new record that surpassed the previous one set in 2001. In their August 12th meeting, the Lake County Board of Commissioners issued a resolution honoring the Fair Board and staff who played such a key role in its success. Please click here to view the entire press release.
LAKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AND LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT PARTNER ON MOBILE MEDICAL CLINICS
The Board of Lake County Commissioners has partnered with the Lake County General Health District to purchase a mobile medical unit for use throughout Lake County. The mobile medical unit will be used to help bring the COVID-19 vaccine to all areas of Lake County and ensure that all Lake County citizens have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The mobile medical unit is accessible for individuals with physical disabilities and will allow the Lake County General Health District to better serve the whole community, including persons with disabilities and persons who are homebound. Please click here to view the entire press release.
Commissioner John Plecnik graduates from Ohio Public Leadership Academy
On Friday, July 16, 2021, the Board of Lake County Commissioners announced Commissioner John Plecnik graduated from the Ohio Public Leadership Academy for state and local elected officials at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.
“Selection for the Ohio Public Leadership Academy is a great honor reserved for local leaders with the highest potential,” said Commissioner John Hamercheck, president of the Board of Lake County Commissioners. “It’s official, Commissioner John Plecnik is a rising star.”
The Glenn College is named for astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn and is the public policy school at The Ohio State University. According to the Glenn College, “The Public Leadership Academy brings together a bipartisan group of rising Ohio elected officials to learn from each other and build lasting relationships across political boundaries. The intensive, one-week, residential Academy builds trust among participants who return to political life with a better understanding of their colleagues and a renewed commitment to public service.”
UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FOR NEW JAIL BY LAKE COUNTY LOCAL CORRECTIONS PLANNING
June 30, 2021 — The members of the Lake County Local Corrections Planning Board (Corrections Board) in attendance voted unanimously to support the Sheriff and Board of Commissioners initiative to construct a new Jail and Public Safety Center in Painesville, Ohio. The Corrections Board is chaired by Chief Probation Officer Craig Berry and is comprised of elected officials and agency directors from the county courts, municipal courts, adult probation, local law enforcement, mental health, and community correction agencies. The Ohio Revised Code requires each County in the State of Ohio to form a Local Community Correction Planning Board to establish a comprehensive plan for corrections and its implementation.
Sheriff Frank Leonbruno, Commissioner John Hamercheck, and Commissioner John Plecnik provided the Board an update on the current status of the existing jail and long-term concerns with capacity, physical condition and operational challenges. Opened in 1990, the current jail averages approximately 360 Lake County Court inmates per day. “The current facility was obsolete from the day it opened and the County is now faced with the challenge of providing the proper facilities for Sheriff’s Office that meets our current and future needs,” said Commissioner John Hamercheck.
Lake County Court of Common Pleas Judge Vince Culotta made the motion “to support the recommendation of Sheriff Leonbruno to the Lake County Commissioners to construct a new jail.” His motion was seconded by Painesville Municipal Court Judge Paul Malchesky who added: “the need for the proposed jail facility that includes expanded services for mental health and drug/alcohol treatment is vital to keep Lake County safe.”
“First and foremost, Lake County stands with law enforcement, and I am so grateful for the leadership of our judges and community leaders on the Corrections Board,” said Commissioner John Plecnik. “My vote in favor of constructing a new public safety facility to house the Jail and Sheriff’s Office is a vote in favor of law and order, in favor of expanding services for those suffering from mental illness and addiction, and for fiscal responsibility. Over the long-term, the construction of a new facility, as opposed to putting a band-aid on the old jail and kicking the can down the road, is the most affordable option for the taxpayer. Our best estimate to date is the annualized cost of a new jail is less than half the cost of rehab. We can’t afford to spend $50 million to $70 million to extend the life of a dilapidated building for only 10 years or so when we could invest $70 million to $100 million in a modern facility with a useful life of 50 to 60 years.”
Previous studies completed in 2014 and 2019 indicate significant renovations are needed for the current facility which is also at capacity. As Sheriff Frank Leonbruno explained, “Since 1990 we have experienced a 250% growth in our jail population. Additionally, we need to address ADA compliance issues, flexible programming space deficiency, intake deficiency, and mental health treatment for nearly 70% of the jail population. The modern design can provide remote
access areas for court arraignments and other hearings for both municipal and courts of common of pleas. It will reduce law enforcement transports throughout the county, which keeps more municipal officers patrolling in their communities. After significant evaluation, based on experiential data, as well as two major studies on the current jail facility over the past five years, Lake County must begin the process of building a new adult detention facility.”
The Corrections Board also oversees the needs of correction services for the County. The Board puts extensive time studying the needs of the correction system to include the needs of the offender population, this may include the capacity to deliver services and programs to offenders either in custody or on community control.
Commissioners and Workforce Development Board Appoint Director of Workforce Development
The Lake County Board of Commissioners and the Workforce Development Board announced on June 24, 2021, that they have selected Cory Vojack as the new Director of Workforce Development to begin July 19, 2021. Vojack has been employed at United Labor Agency since 2017 working with Lake County on employment services and recruiting to connect local job seekers with positions for Lake County companies. He holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Communication from Ohio University and is certified as a Six Sigma White Belt.
Vojack has worked in his current role on workforce-related projects in Lake County and is excited about the opportunity. “I am looking forward to working with the Commissioners and am honored that they have selected me for this role. I am passionate about workforce development and helping people, and I can’t wait to share that passion with the job seekers and employers of Lake County.” Robert Dawson, of Middlefield Bank and the Chairman of the Lake County Workforce Development Board, said of Vojack, “he brings significant experience to the role previously serving in a supervisory position for one of our key program vendors. Cory has strong ties to the local business community through that service and brings a passion for the cause of developing our local workforce. It is my belief that the combination of his experience and passion is exactly the right fit for continuing the momentum within our workforce region.”
“I think that the County will really benefit from having Cory in this position,” Commissioner John Hamercheck said. “He is well respected in the community and his passion for workforce development evident during his interview.” Commissioner John Plecnik echoed those thoughts. “I am excited to work with Cory, and I know he will be a great addition to our Team. The key for Lake County to emerge as the place to be for citizens and businesses is economic development and specifically workforce development, and Cory is going to be a big part of that.” Commissioner Ron Young added, “Cory will continue to advocate for strong relationships with our community partners to help the next generation of the Lake County workforce succeed. We are stronger if we are all working in the same direction.”
Lake County Commissioners Announce High School Tech Internship Pilot Program
The Lake County Board of Commissioners is excited to announce our partnership with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to participate in the High School Tech Internship Pilot Program. The State is encouraging businesses to hire high school students or recent graduates to tech internships while, also, providing partial reimbursement of the costs for employers. “Partnering with the Governor’s Workforce Team and Auburn Career Center to host these interns over the summer shows the commitment of Lake County to collaborate in the expansion and enrichment of our local workforce,” stated Commissioner John Hamercheck. In the pilot program, Auburn Career Center and a dozen other pilot sites will place a total of 100 interns over the summer. “Workforce development starts at home, and incentivizing our local, brilliant, students to intern here and potentially take jobs here is the foundation of moving Lake County out of the pandemic and into a stage of further economic growth,” stated Commissioner John Plecnik. Commissioner Ron Young applauded the efforts of all organizations involved in the Pilot Program. “We are very proud of the work our Auburn Career Center has done to bring this opportunity to participate in the Pilot Program to Lake County. The partnership will only strengthen our economy and retain our home-grown talent to our workforce where we not only have great jobs but affordable housing and amenities that are second to none.”
The Lake County Telecommunications Department will host the interns over the summer focusing their work, alongside County Technicians, on IP-based cameras, card reader systems, telephones, radios, and security systems. “I applaud the Lake County Commissioners in their decision to hire these two young men and will do my best to help them learn while they work for Lake County. I, also, would like to recognize Brian Bontempo, Superintendent, and Michelle Rodewald, Director of Adult Workforce, at Auburn Career Center for their efforts to continue to lead Ohio in educating our young adults and preparing them for the workforce,” stated Paul Stefanko, Director of the Lake County Telecommunications Department.
Criminal Justice Community Engagement and Outreach Program Announced
Lake County Commissioners today approved funding for a new Criminal Justice Community Engagement and Outreach Program administered through the Lake County Public Defender’s office. Funding for the program comes due to the work of Lake County Clerk of Court Faith Andrews and her staff in generating excess title funds for the county’s general fund.
The new program is designed to increase community involvement in the criminal justice system and assist individuals who have been in jail to return to their communities to live productive, crime-free lives. The genesis for this program was a collaborative effort between the late Bishop Roderick Coffee and Commissioner President John Hamercheck. Bishop Coffee, a well-known and respected senior pastor of the Union Community Church in Concord Township, was passionately committed to community involvement in the criminal justice system and was one of the original members of Begin the Conversation, a group of community leaders that formed almost seven years ago to address race relations and justice in Lake County. As part of his work with this group, Bishop Coffee raised the idea of the creation of a community-liaison-type program that would benefit the local community.
Lake County Launches Program To Assist with Rent and Utilities For Renters and Landlords Impacted by COVID-19
Earlier this year the Lake County Board of Commissioners accepted an allocation of $6.8 M made available as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The United States Department of Treasury is administering the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and today the Commissioners entered into an agreement with partner agencies to get those funds where they are needed most.
Funds can be used in a variety of ways to help landlords and tenants maintain stability, maintain utility connections and prevent eviction. Eligible costs under the grant include rental arrears, current rent, future rent in three-month qualifying periods, and the cost of major utilities, case management, and administration. Program guidelines are based on detailed guidance that has been issued by the Treasury over a sequence of FAQs that can be viewed online.
Lake County Commissioners Recognize Volunteer Heroes
On Thursday, June 17, 2021 the Board of Lake County Commissioners recognized two volunteer heroes for their exceptional service to Lake County. Both Don Berlin and Deborah Hahn were presented with a Certificate of Recognition during the meeting.
“The Board of Lake County Commissioners is honored to recognize both Don and Deborah for their dedication to serving others during the pandemic,” said Commissioner John Hamercheck, president of the Board of Lake County Commissioners. “They volunteered without hesitation to benefit those in need.”
Don Berlin volunteered at several food distributions, including the Lake County Mobile Food Pantry beginning in May 2020 and continues today. Don also assisted at the Lake County General Health District COVID vaccine hotline for several months assisting seniors to register for an appointment. Don is also an active Meals on Wheels and Northeast Ohio Drug Repository volunteer.
Deborah Hahn is a regular volunteer for the Vineyard Food Pantry in Wickliffe. During the pandemic, she continued to volunteer each week preparing the food pantry for the weekly distribution. Deborah does not drive and took Laketran to and from the food pantry, to provide food to those in need.
“We are fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers providing much-needed services throughout Lake County during the pandemic,” said Commissioner John Plecnik. “They are both deserving of this recognition for their hard work in providing essential services.”
Commissioner Ron Young added, “It is individuals like these two volunteers that inspire us all to assist others. They are a true testament to the generosity of the human spirit.”
The Lake County Volunteer Network assists individuals interested in volunteering by finding a meaningful volunteer assignment. For more information on volunteering in Lake County contact Volunteer Services Coordinator, Cristen Kane, at 440-350-5360 or email [email protected]
Lake County Commissioners Recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – June 15, 2021
June 15, 2021, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day here in Lake County and across our country. It is the time of year when cities and states can take a moment to shed light on this significant issue. “This is an opportunity for Lake County to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons and raise awareness of elder abuse ensuring security and dignity for all seniors,” said Commissioner John R. Hamercheck, president of the Board of Lake County Commissioners.
Elder abuse is widespread. Every year an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that elder abuse is significantly under-reported, in part because so many of our communities lack the social supports that would make it easier for those who experience abuse to report it. Research suggests that as few as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities. “Lake County is not immune to the issue of elder abuse,” said Commissioner John Plecnik. “When we come together, we can prevent elder abuse from happening. We can put support services in place, and direct the necessary community resources.”
County Leaders Attend Voting Equipment Demonstration
The Lake County Board of Election Demonstrated a proposed voting system offered by Election Systems and Software (ES&S) to the Board of County Commissioners at the April 29th meeting. The Board of Elections have been researching and evaluating options for three years. Most recently they have conducted a week-long mock election, attended pubic demonstrations, solicited input from local stakeholders, and received suggestions from precinct election officials to ensure all concerns and input is considered.
Commissioners Commend Clean and Green Poster Contest Winners on April 29, 2021
Lake County’s Solid Waste District is pleased to announce the winners of their annual Clean and Green Logo Contest. Area students were encouraged to design a logo showcasing the theme “Clean and Green Lake County” which promotes recycling and anti-littering education. The Lake County Solid Waste District oversees the Landfill and Recycling Center in Painesville Township.
Julia Franz, a fourth-grade student at South Elementary School in the Madison Local School District, won the elementary division and the overall prize for her design entry themed, “Keep Lake County Clean & Green.” As the top winner, Julia’s design will be displayed in the Lake County Commissioner’s area in the County Administration Building located in downtown Painesville. Additionally, her design will be used for marketing materials for the Solid Waste District and the Utilities Department.
Other winners were Middle School Division Winner, Jessica Gajendran from Willoughby Middle School, and High School Division Winner, Erin Panchula from North High School.
Commissioners Recognize May as National Foster Parent Appreciation Month
The Lake County Board of Commissioners presented a resolution to Gene Tetrick, Supervisor, Substitute Care Unit, Assistant Administrator Foster Care Adoption, Suzanne Casar, and Matthew Battiato, of the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services.
May is recognized nationally as Foster Parent Appreciation Month. The Lake County Department of Job and Family Services is proud to recognize and express appreciation for the 48 licensed foster homes in our county. The Board of County Commissioners officially recognized May 2021 as Foster Parent Appreciation Month at the April 22nd Board meeting. “Not only today, but every day, we must come together as a community to recognize the important role foster parents play by providing safe and stable homes for children and youth in need,” said Commissioner President John R. Hamercheck. Read the resolution here…
Commissioners Declare April 15 through May 31, 2021 Clean and Green Lake County
The Board of Lake County Commissioners proclaimed April 15 through May 31, 2021 CLEAN AND GREEN LAKE COUNTY, which includes EARTH DAY on April 22, to encourage the youth and adults in the community, schools, businesses, agencies, and civic organizations to identify areas in their neighborhoods in need of attention and to undertake clean-up activities. During the April 22nd Commissioners Meeting they presented a resolution to David Schick, Public Service Coordinator. Read the resolution here…
Lake County Department of Utilities, and Mr. Randy Rothlisberger, Lake County Sanitary Engineer.
CLEAN AND GREEN LAKE/ COUNTY is widely supported in our community, including by this Board, the Ohio State University Extension, and the Lake County Solid Waste Management District, to facilitate this important operation. The Lake County Solid Waste Management District has scheduled newly expanded Electronics Collections on Saturday, April 24 and Saturday, August 14, a Scrap Tire Collection on Saturday, May 1, Television and CRT Monitor Collections on Saturday, May 8 and Saturday, August 14, and Household Hazardous Waste Collections on Saturday, June 5 and Saturday, September 25, to assist residents with their efforts during CLEAN AND GREEN LAKE COUNTY.
Lake County Announces Scholarship Program
The Board of Lake County Commissioners, with support from the Clerk of Courts, announced the Lake County Emergency Services Telecommunicators Scholarship at the March 25, 2021 board meeting. The program will be offered to qualifying students who are enrolled in Auburn Career Center’s Emergency Services Telecommunicators Program.
“The Board of Commissioners provided funding in 2020 and have been looking to establish a scholarship program to grow enrollment. The Board of Commissioners have enjoyed a great relationship with Clerk of Courts Faith Andrews. When she was made aware of the initiative, she had no hesitation to provide assistance in this very important public safety need,” said Commission President John Hamercheck.
The program is designed to give students the requirements and references needed to obtain the job skills for necessary employment as an Emergency Service Telecommunicator (EST). EST are public safety dispatchers or 911 operators whose duties and responsibilities include answering, receiving, transferring, and dispatching functions related to 911 calls; dispatching law enforcement officers, fire rescue services, emergency medical services, and other public safety services to the scene of an emergency; providing real-time information from federal, state, and local crime databases; and supervising or serving as the command officer to a person or persons having such duties and responsibilities.
“This will be a premier program in Ohio and I am grateful to the Clerk of Courts for funding this very important effort. Today’s announcements will provide a qualified talent base for local dispatch centers, including Lake County Central Dispatch,” said Commissioner John Plecnik.
Society and communications are becoming increasingly more mobile and accessible. With that mobility, the ability to access 9-1-1 services at any time and in any place has become a constant, and the need for consistent minimum training for the telecommunicator has been recognized by the 9-1-1 community. The program is for people who are searching for a career that is Covid proof, helps their community and also helps local law enforcement.
“Lake County has once again shown the strength of community partnerships. Thanks to Auburn Career Center, Clerk of Courts Faith Andrews and the Sheriff’s Office for their vision to bring this program to fruition,” noted Commissioner Ron Young.
“Auburn Career Center is excited to have the support of the Lake County Commissioners as well as the Clerk of Courts for our new Emergency Services Telecommunicator program. With this generous donation, we will be able to assist candidates with their tuition for this class. The new program meets the needs of the surrounding communities by providing a consistent and comprehensive training program for new telecommunicator dispatchers,” said Michelle Rodewald of Auburn Career Center.
Noted Clerk Faith Andrews, “I am thrilled to be able to provide $20,000 in seed funding to support the scholarship program. The seed money comes from Title surplus because of the hard work of my dedicated staff.”
The program includes an internship component that will give students opportunities to shadow and receive hands-on training. Students will have many job opportunities as a result of taking this program. There is a shortage of local dispatchers and already communities are calling Auburn and asking for students.
Auburn looks forward to continuing to meet the needs of the local business community by offering in-demand career training. The next class starts soon! If you are interested in learning more, contact the Adult Workforce office at Auburn Career Center or visit the website at www.auburncc.org.
Lake County Commissioner John Plecnik administers the oath of office to newly appointed North Perry Village Councilperson Derek S. Foley prior to the Village Council Meeting on March 18, 2021.
Fraudulent Unemployment Claims Affect Citizens in Lake County
Many individuals throughout the State of Ohio have been victims of unemployment fraud throughout the past few months. Lake County Department of Job and Family Services Director Matthew Battiato shared that “this is a problem statewide and is affecting many individuals in Lake County. While the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services cannot assist with fraudulent unemployment claims, we are providing members of the public with information on how they can report these concerns to the State.” One way victims have been discovering identity theft is by receiving an IRS 1099-G form for unemployment benefits that were never received.
“The Commissioners Office understands the frustration of our residents. We have been in contact with our colleagues in Columbus to ensure protective measures are being taken to prevent future fraudulent activities,” said Commissioner John Hamercheck.
Unemployment benefits are issued by the State and the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services does not have jurisdiction to assist with fraudulent unemployment claims. Fraudulent unemployment claims must be reported directly to the State by contacting the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has established a toll-free number for individuals to notify the agency if they believe their personal information was compromised and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim: (833) 658-0394. This number is staffed by 50 dedicated, cross-trained customer service representatives, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The phone number complements a secure online portal ODJFS established in January 2021 to provide a direct way for victims to report identity theft. Individuals who believe their identity was stolen and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim can visit unemployment.ohio.gov, click on the “Report Identity Theft” button and follow the guidance for individuals.
Commission President John Hamercheck Named to Agency Boards
Lake County Commissioner John R. Hamercheck was recently named the First Vice President of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and appointed to the Board of Directors for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO).
NOACA is the transportation and planning agency that represents Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lorain and Medina counties. In addition to significant input on multiple public policies that impact Lake County, NOACA is also a significant funding agency for transportation projects and long-term community planning initiatives. “Participation on regional boards are important, but my role as First Vice-President will allow me to strategically align Lake County’s projects with future state and federal funding opportunities. Lake County has made significant investment in our road infrastructure over the past 3 years and this role on NOACA will help further this strategy,” noted Commissioner Hamercheck.