Commission discusses 911 handbook, advisory board

By Brittany Hively -

POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission recently met approving the 911 employee handbook and discussing the 911 advisory board.

Commissioners Rick Handley, Sam Nibert and Tracy Doolitle were present.

Also present were County Clerk Diana Cromley, Administrator John Gerlach and Assistant Administrator Jason Bechtel.

A copy of the 911 employee handbook was presented to the commissioners for approval.

Gerlach said Bechtel has been working with Tiffany Franklin, 9-1-1 director, who had been working on revisions to the handbook to get it to the final form.

Doolittle made a motion to accept the revisions and the handbook. The motion passed 3-0.

A discussion was made on the 9-1-1 Advisory Board appointees.

Gerlach said it had been suggested to him that instead of appointing one fire department chief to represent the fire departments, all of the chiefs be asked and one can attend a meeting to represent them, as the board does not vote on anything. The same suggestion was made for the law enforcement.

The advisory board calls for a minimum of six members on the entire board.

The commission would need to appoint a citizen to be on the board, as well.

Doolittle said she prefers to appoint someone who is not associated with anything else.

The committee contains a representative from law enforcement, the city/town, fire departments, 9-1-1 director, Office of Emergency Services director, ambulance service director and community representative.

The discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

Gerlach reported Denee Sidenstricker, Mason County Animal Shelter director, has requested opening a PayPal account to be able to receive donations, as she has received a number of requests through Facebook and inquires to donate to the shelter.

Gerlach said donations and adoptions since the first week of November are “really good.”

Bechtel has been working with Sidenstricker to come up with a volunteer form for the shelter. Bechtel said he modified another shelter’s form.

“Basically I just redrafted that to say Mason County and we changed a few things around with it,” Bechtel said.

The form was reviewed by Sidenstricker and Gerlach, Bechtel said.

“As long as you guys are okay with that improvement, I will give that to her to have all of the volunteers to fill that out and she’ll have a copy of that on file,” Bechtel said.

Doolittle said she would prefer volunteers to not be directly in the dog kennels.

“I think they do walk, I think that’s the only time that they would be in contact with the dog,” Bechtel said. “I think they walk around the building and play with them and such.”

Gerlach said the volunteer age was changed from 18 to 16 to allow high school students to be able to volunteer. Wearing pants and closed toe shoes was also added to the form.

Doolittle asked about the painting at the shelter. Bechtel said it is done as time allows. Doolittle asked about painting the floor, something Bechtel said he would talk to Sidenstricker about.

Gerlach reported a need for new computers in the tax office.

“The GTS, which maintains all of our computers, tax office PCs, they have a shelf life of about five years,” Gerlach said. “Well, they’re now seven years old, failing and we’ve got to modify to Windows 11.”

Gerlach said the replacement of 10 computers will be $14,000 and would come out of the data processing budget.

Doolittle asked about the office having that many computers; Gerlach said he would confirm the number of computers before ordering.

Handley made a motion to approve the purchase of needed computers for the tax office, which was approved by the commission.

Wi-Fi- for the magistrate’s office was discussed with options to have three hotspots or one hotspot and two boosters at $1,500 per year.

After a brief discussion on current workings, Becthel agreed to talk with the magistrate about the use of wi-fi.

Cromley presented the newly developed district maps to the commissioners to discuss during the next meeting.

“We’ve [had] really great, great help,” Cromley said. “Our maps are going to be superior now, we’re going to be able to overlay the precincts on Google maps. You walk in with your address, put it in there and zoom right in on what precinct you’re supposed to be. It’s really going [to] help us a lot.”

Cromley said Mason County has 25,000 residents with 17,000 registered to vote, so the county will add an additional precinct with the town of Leon moving into a different delegate district.

Cromley said she would have more details at the Jan. 13 meeting.

The meeting was adjourned with the next meeting scheduled for Jan. 13 at 4 p.m. at the Mason County Courthouse.

© 2021, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Brittany Hively

Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.

Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.