PUTNAM COUNTY — County commissioners from Putnam, Paulding, Henry, Hancock, Hardin, Defiance, Williams and Van Wert met on March 13, in Ottawa at the Red Pig Inn with area members of the Ohio General Assembly to discuss the state/county partnership and its ability to deliver vital services to the citizens of Ohio during a period of increasing responsibilities and limited resources.

Critical to the partnership is the need to ensure the fiscal stability that is currently as risk because of the impending loss of the Medicaid Managed Care Organization sales tax received by the counties. This lost revenue must be fully and permanently replaced. In addition, commissioners will express their concerns about the impact of the opiate epidemic upon the counties and continue to urge their legislators to support the state/county partnership on the issue of indigent defense reimbursement and purchase of new voting machines.

“It is essential that our county and state government work closely and cooperatively for the good of our mutual constituents, the residents of Putnam County and the people of Ohio,” explained Commissioner, Michael Lammers.

John Love, Chairman, Putnam County Commissioners asserted, “Counties are the primary agents of the state in administering justice and prosecuting criminals; providing health and human services to needy citizens; managing the property tax system; improving infrastructure to foster economic development; and, providing myriad other important governmental services to improve the quality of life. In Putnam County, we do so in a fair and responsible manner.”

“It is vital that the partnership between county and state government be strengthened,” sated Commissioner Vincent Schroeder. “Given the county’s and state’s financial situation we will be seeking a commitment from the Administration and the General Assembly to the fiscal security of county government as one of the essential parts of Ohio’s 2017/2018 biennial budget. Unfunded mandates are eroding the revenues of our county and our fiscal stability.”

The County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) were in attendance. The CCAO advances effective county government for Ohio through legislative advocacy, education and training, technical assistance and research, quality enterprise service programs, and greater citizen awareness and understanding of county government.