WILMINGTON — Clinton County commissioners plan to ask for an Attorney General opinion on whether a commissioner can sit on a board — not yet created — that would award a portion of the former hospital funds.
Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley raised the matter Wednesday, consistent with his ongoing concern that commissioners keep a measure of control over the money left from the former county-owned hospital’s business operations, about $3 million.
Those dollars are expected to be transferred to the Clinton County Foundation, a local nonprofit that will manage the funds. But the interest from invested principal will be awarded not by the Foundation, but by a board whose membership makeup is yet to be determined by the county commissioners.
On Wednesday, Haley said he has sought to get a definitive answer whether a Clinton County commissioner can serve on the grant-awarding board following the commissioners’ transfer of the funds to the Foundation.
In trying to obtain a decisive answer, Haley said he contacted the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C. Its mission, according to its website, is: “Provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.”
According to Haley, legal counsel at the Council said a county commissioner could sit on the planned board.
Haley said he’s also spoken with Andrew McCoy, legal counsel for the Clinton County Board of Commissioners. McCoy thinks it would be permissible for a commissioner to be a member of the board, Haley said.
But because the issue is “new ground,” said Haley, an opinion from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will be requested, too.
Clinton County Commissioner President Mike Curry said an opinion from the Ohio Attorney General “should” be requested.
Haley agreed, saying, “This is a big, big decision to make, and I think we need to make it based on facts.”
Moreover, Curry said there are several things commissioners need to ask the Attorney General in respect to the matter.
Board of DD update on financial planning
Commissioners received a correspondence this week from Clinton County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD) Superintendent J. Kyle Lewis. He provided an update on the agency’s long-term financial planning.
“When we were on the ballot in 2007, I made the commitment to do my best to make our levy last 10 years before asking for additional funding. Not long after, the great recession took hold, along with the pullout of DHL, putting Clinton County at the epicenter of the crisis.
“Despite the recession, plummeting property values, and cuts in state funding, I believe that we can push a levy request to 2019, barring any major unforeseen crises, thereby extending our levy cycle from 10 years to 12 years,” wrote Lewis.
The Clinton County Board of Developmental Disabilities is known also as the Nike Center of Clinton County.
There are two Board of DD levies in the county. One levy is for 2 mills and the other for 2.5 mills, according to a spokesperson with the Clinton County Auditor’s Office. Both are “continuing” levies, with no date of expiration.
In other news from the commissioners office:
• The county engineer was authorized to purchase a 2017 Western Star model dump/plow truck through state purchasing at a cost of $154,574.
• Commissioner candidate Greg Grove sat in on the Wednesday commissioners session.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.