Mental Health Event Postponed
PERKINS TWP. — Events featuring two former professional baseball players discussing mental health this week are postponed due to the winter storm.
Both programs, for high school students and the public, are rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 17 at the Chapel on Galloway Road. The same times are still in place, Erie County commissioner and co-organizer Matt Old said.
The first event is for high school students from Erie and Huron counties from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Later that day, a meet-and-greet is planned from 4:30-5:30 p.m., and the public presentation will occur at 6 p.m.
Robinson is now the mental health advocate for San Francisco Giants, and Rua is the director of baseball operations for the T3 Warhawks, an elite youth baseball program based in Avon. They're friends who have banded together to share the importance of caring for one's mental health.
Both Robinson and Rua will be available for photos and autographs.
Here's a short description of the event:
“In 2020, Major League Baseball player Drew Robinson attempted to take his own life. After surviving for 20 hours, he chose life and called for help. His mission now is to help others in his new role as the mental health advocate for the Giants.”
Sponsors of this event include the Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board of Erie County, North Point Educational Service Center, Kalahari Resorts and Teen Leadership Corps.
New mental health board begins
SANDUSKY — Erie County’s new mental health board started operations with new officers and a slimmed-down staff.
The new agency began operations on Friday. It met and elected Tom Tucker as the chairman, Rob Quinn as the vice-chairman, Lisa Crescimano as the finance chairman and Steve Poggiali as the planning chairman.
Tucker, no stranger to dealing with organizations that handle public money, is a former school superintendent in Sandusky and Lorain. His education career also included working as a band director and school principal.
The board also approved contracts with service providers to run through December, and it extended Diane Taylor's contract as interim executive director through Dec. 31.
"Everybody's really happy with Diane at this point," Tucker said.
The board eventually plans to hire an executive director under a two year contract; Taylor has indicated she would be interested.
The board’s next meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 at the Erie County Services Center. The new board will have regular meetings on the third Tuesday of each month, Taylor said.
The board’s staff now consists of two people, down from four when it worked for a two-county board for Erie and Ottawa counties. The current staff is Taylor and Patty Notestine, the office manager. Maria Robinson, the chief financial officer, resigned to accept a new job, Taylor said.
Hiring a new CFO is the job of the executive director, not the board, Tucker said. In the meantime, the board has contracted for the mental health board for Seneca, Sandusky, Wyandot and Ottawa counties to help with handling finances on a temporary basis.
Tucker said the board will be busy working on its bylaws and studying contracts with its providers, with an aim toward approving six-month contracts for the first half of 2022. The board's normal fiscal year runs from July 1 to the end of June.
The staff moved a few weeks ago into offices at the services center, 2900 Columbus Ave. The telephone number for the agency remains the same, 419-627-1908.
The building that housed the board’s former offices, at 1907 E. Perkins Ave., is for sale. The building has not sold yet and the board has not yet received a good offer for it, Taylor said.
The board is operating with 11 members and has three vacancies. Board members named by the Erie County commissioners are Tucker, Rob Quinn, Alex Jones, Marie Hildebrandt and Steve Poggiali. The state named the Rev. Herman Robinson, Crescimano, Clifton Frisby, Alexis Lewis, Katheryn Mueller and Evelyn Quinn.
That leaves three vacancies on the 11-member board.
“We have not appointed the remainder of the members. We are hopeful the state will allow us to continue to shrink the board,” county commissioner Matt Old said last week.
The new board was created after county commissioners voted to split off a former board serving Erie and Ottawa counties. Ottawa County now belongs to a board that serves Sandusky, Seneca, Wyandot and Ottawa counties.
New mental health board sets meeting dates
SANDUSKY — The ADAMHS Board of Erie County, as Erie County’s mental health agency is now known, is in business.
The new board held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, mostly taking action on various measures to continue its transition from the former Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties.
When it abolished the old board, the Erie County commissioners chose the name of the new board, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board of Erie County.
All of the new board’s regular monthly meetings will be at 4:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month and on the third floor of Erie County’s downtown office building. The board’s meeting for December has been moved to Dec. 14.
The board agreed Tuesday to hire Caleb Stidham, the Erie County treasurer, to work part time, for 20 hours a week, as a staff person to handle marketing for the board and coordinating with the Erie County commissioners.
Stidham, who has experience with marketing in his work as a political consultant, is overseeing the creation of a new logo for the board, a new social media page and a new website. The new website and social media site should be up by the end of the month, Stidham said.
Stidham’s hiring brings the staffing for the new board up to 2.5 people. The two full-time employees are Diane Taylor, the interim executive director; and Patty Notestine, the office manager.
That’s down from the five full-time staffers the board had last summer. The board does plan to hire a part-time finance officer to replace Maria Robinson, the former full-time chief financial officer, who left to take a new job.
Taylor, the former deputy director, is serving as interim executive director until the end of December. But before the end of the year, it’s likely the ADAMHS Board will conclude a contract with Taylor to make her the executive director, said Tom Tucker, the chairman of the board.
The board will have to vote on the matter, but “at this point, we are planning to continue with Diane,” Tucker said.
The Erie County commissioners have taken ownership of the former board’s building at 1907 E. Perkins Ave., and it appears likely the building will be sold soon, putting it in the hands of a private owner and putting the property back on the tax rolls, Stidham reported.
The building was put up for sale at an asking price of $400,000, and the last offer received for it was for $340,000. Commissioners for both Erie and Ottawa counties believe a sale likely will be concluded soon, Stidham said.
When the building is sold, 52% of the money will go to Erie County, and 48% will go to Ottawa County, matching the distribution of levy dollars for the former two-county board, Stidham said.
Email sent to Taylor and Notestine at their old email addresses will be forwarded for several months to their new addresses.