Commissioners discuss ‘reopening county’

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — As of Wednesday, April 29, the Preble County Commissioners are not going to be requiring courthouse staff to wear masks, but rather, leave that decision up to individual offices and elected officials.

Administrative Clerk Julie Miller asked the commissioners about masks during their meeting on Wednesday, April 29. She explained, she had gotten several phone calls asking their stance on whether employees should be wearing masks while at work.

Commissioner Chris Day responded, the Governor had already “backed down” on that mandate. Commission President Denise Robertson agreed, it was a recommendation.

“If people want to wear masks, they are more than welcome to bring them in with them,” Commissioner Rodney Creech said.

“We’re not requiring that [employees wear masks],” Robertson clarified.

The board also discussed getting local employees back to work, which Day said needs to happen “now, not later.”

Commissioner Robertson recommended writing a letter to Governor Mike DeWine.

“I think at some point it is going to come down to us taking action,” Day said.

Creech mentioned Logan County, which is acting independently to reopen and is “getting pressure” from the State to follow guidelines.

“Our economy needs to put people back to work,” Day said. “I said Monday, we need to come up with a plan to get our county back working.”

Robertson asked what plan they could say, other than follow the CDC guidelines and “open up.” Day said, they need to have a conversation with Preble County Public Health to find out their thoughts.

“I would love to be a leader, instead of a follower. We’ve given it enough time. Look at all the people who are going to these big box stores, the grocery, and nobody has gotten sick and it’s large groups,” Creech said. “I think you can still practice social distancing and still sanitize and still be smart about it.”

He recommended planning an special meeting for the end of the week to discuss “opening up the county” with Preble County Public Health. A special meeting was planned forFriday, May 1, at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse.

In other business:

•The board discussed Sheriff Mike Simpson’s previous request to dispose of unneeded equipment, instead of listing it on GovDeals, Inc. Commission Creech suggested following the Sheriff’s Office judgment in regards to which equipment can be auctioned and which equipment can be disposed of. Commissioner Day said there is certain terminology they could use to notify the office that the equipment is of no use. Administrative Clerk Miller suggested still listing some of the equipment for auction, because it sometimes sells for higher than expected.

The board agreed to let the Sheriff’s Office use their judgment, but that some equipment should be auctioned still.

“If they deem it to be obsolete and un-useful, they need to state that in the letter and we need to get them the terminology to use on that. We can accept that, but we also need to let them know that some of the stuff they may think is not useful still needs to be listed,” Day said.

The commissioners:

•Approved a resolution authorizing payment to Preble County Sewer District Three ($2,600) and Preble County Sewer District Two ($1,564.44).

•Approved a resolution referencing supplemental appropriation, Children Services, $100,000.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing the Courthouse Security Camera maintenance agreement with NWOSS, $3,660, Commission.

The Preble County Commissioners meet every Monday at Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse, unless noted otherwise.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH