Board reviews 2013, looks to 2014

Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities members listened Tuesday afternoon as Opportunity Center Superintendent Lew Hurst and department directors reviewed 2013 objectives and looked to 2014 goals.

Hurst said they implemented new technologies that improved efficiencies for data tracking systems for the bus fleet. They evaluated staffing levels for adult services, early intervention and the school program. They recommended operational needs for programs on a quarterly basis and were able to operate under budget, Hurst said.

His 2014 goals include implementing more technologies, continuing to evaluate fiscal stability and looking at ways to maximize staffing to meet needs while minimizing costs.

Adult Services Director Rod Biggert reviewed the completion of a promotional video with the assistance of Roppe Corp. The video has been shared with community manufacturers to educate the public about their program. The creative arts and crafts department is growing through interaction with other programs.

Biggert’s goals for 2014 include creating a downtown space to display the artwork. He wants to continue meeting Roppe Corp.’s needs and build up the community employment division to comply with the Employment First Initiative. He announced a joint venture next year with Mercy Tiffin Hospital where individuals will run the Bistro and Coffee Shop.

Children’s Services Director Rick Gagnon said the department continually updated Help Me Grow policies and increased “child find” activities to boost enrollment in the program. They participated in the YMCA Kids Fest, Christmas parade, fair booth, Hoot in the Park, Family Learning Center Fall Fest and other meetings.

Gagnon said he and his staff improved their knowledge of autism. Goals for 2014 include evaluating school staffing and program needs for technology in the classrooms.

Community Advocacy and Supports Director Cynthia Morrison said one person graduated from Leadership Seneca County, 41 graduated from Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility training taught by a STIR self advocate and participated in the family picnic. The Aktion Club hosted “Hoot in the Park” and 19 athletes from the Seneca Arrows were at the Special Olympics Summer Games. They also participated in a celebrity basketball game.

UNITY Council and the Aktion Club provided snacks at craft shows and lunches for the United Day of Caring.

Some of Morrison’s goals for 2014 are to develop a volunteer program, expand the advocacy program and develop specialized educational opportunities.

Transportation Director Ron Davidson has upgraded the bus fleet this year and has prepared a 1993 bus for salvage. He plans to evaluate and recommend vehicle replacement for 2014. They are adding a student tracking program to the GPS software for tracking bus passengers as required by Medicare. He plans to utilize SCAT for services and implement a new documentation system.

Business Manager Dick Williams reported on the implementation of their phone system after losing electricity and the phones as a result of the July 10 storm. They continue to work out glitches.

In other matters, the board:

Approved the ethics council recommendation of renewing one supported living contract.

Approved the 2014 calendar year receipt book to comply with auditor of state requirements.

Approved contracts for school year 2014-15 with local districts.

Approved the temporary 2014 budget appropriations.

Approved payment of $14,000 to Ohio Association of County Boards for dues.

Reviewed 11 policies with three revisions, one deletion and created one new policy.

The 169 board is to meet at 5 p.m. Jan. 14.