Interim DJFS Chief Named

County commissioners named Lisa Fijalkowski interim director of the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services on Thursday.

Fijalkowski, who has worked at the DJFS department since 1985, had served as supervisor of public assistance and supervisor of the Fraud/Investigation/Benefit Recovery Unit. Commissioners noted she has more than 27 years of experience in public assistance.

Fijalkowski’s annual salary is $80,000. The appointment will last until a permanent director is appointed, at which point Fijalkowski will be entitled to return to her prior position and rate of pay. She was voted into the office by Commissioners Ginny Favede and Chuck Probst. Commissioner Matt Coffland was not present for the vote, and the commissioners could not be reached for comment.

Fijalkowski said she was surprised by the news but is confident of her ability to take on the task. She added that her experience and familiarity with the workings of the agency and the different agency departments will prove valuable in the continuing transition.

“Everyone that works out here knows me, and we know that we can get the job done …,” she said. “I expect an extremely smooth transition. I don’t foresee any trouble whatsoever.”

Fijalkowski added that she would work closely with the commissioners on ongoing issues and operations.

The Department of Job and Family Services is responsible for addressing such needs as families requiring financial assistance, going through domestic troubles and children in need of the resources the department can provide.