MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County’s Children Services Board is weighing whether or not to merge with the county’s Department of Job and Family Services.
The board met with commissioners Ted Mercer and Greg Simmons, as well as commissioners’ clerk Leigh Williams, to discuss the future of the department.
The commissioners said last week that they are in favor of bringing Miami County Children’s Services under the county’s oversight as part of the Miami County Department of Job and Family Services.
John Bosse, president of the Children’s Service Board, said he thinks the “logical approach” would be to put Children’s Services under the county’s administration. He also suggested keeping the board in an advisory capacity for a year if a merger happens.
“Roughly a third of our money comes from the county commissioners and their budget. The other two-thirds is coming from Job and Family Services. So the county is our source of money for everything anyway,” Bosse said. He added that the county provides space as well as human resources services. “When you look at it, we are a county organization. The only difference: our board meets once a month. As we found out in this ordeal, once a month we weren’t aware of some of the things we probably should have been checking.”
The Children’s Services Board fired Director June Cannon earlier this month after allegations of fraud and theft. The Miami County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into allegations against Cannon of mileage reimbursement irregularities and credit card misuse at the request of the Children’s Services Board.
Bosse proposed a motion to put Children’s Services under the county’s administration, as well as an advisory committee for the transition. Other members of the board said they would prefer to wait until their next meeting to vote.
The board will meet at 9 a.m. on April 11.
The board gave the commissioners a list of questions about personnel matters like overtime, work schedules, hiring and office location. Williams said that some of the answers are unknown until the list can be reviewed by human resources and Job and Family Services.
Simmons said that Children’s Services would remain in its current offices in the Hobart Center for County Government.
Board member Cheryl Buecker asked if there would be any cost reductions. Simmons said yes, but added that he “can’t specifically say how.” He added that there will be some shared services between Children’s Services and Job and Family Services where money could be saved.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.