Commission to Stay With Belmont Senior Services

Belmont County commissioners said Wednesday they have no plans to move administration of senior services back to the county Department of Job and Family Services, and Belmont Senior Services will continue to do the job.

Seniors from the Centerville Senior Center submitted petitions Wednesday to commissioners indicating they did not want another change in the agency providing senior services. The county DJFS oversaw senior services in Belmont County from Oct. 1, 2011, until Sept. 30, 2013, when the separate Belmont Senior Services agency took over operations.

Belmont Senior Services coordinator David Hacker said he is not aware of any attempt by commissioners to make another administrative change.

“I understand the legitimacy of (the seniors’) concern,” he said. “Our staff members have been approached by people telling them someone on the board of commissioners has pushed to move the agency back under DJFS. I’ve done my best to dispel the rumors. They have made no indication to me that they want to change again, and I hope I would know before they made that decision.”

Hacker said it is too early for commissioners to determine the move to Belmont Senior Services a failure, and he said the agency is proving itself to be financially stable. Belmont Senior Services is on track to stay within its budget this year, according to Hacker.

Jeannie Dunlap, representing the Centerville Senior Center, told commissioners there were over 300 signatures on the petitions signed by area seniors. She said they are concerned about the rumors they are hearing.

Commissioners denied the rumors came from their office.

“I have no intention of moving Belmont Senior Services back under Job and Family Services,” said Commissioner Ginny Favede. “No disrespect to Job and Family Services, but they have their plate full as well. They need to concentrate on their primary mission of taking care of the residents of Belmont County with their own priorities. It causes me great concern the seniors of Belmont County are taking their time to solicit (signatures). I apologize for that.”

Commissioner Matt Coffland said he “does not care who runs it” and provides care to Belmont County seniors so long as they do so making the best use of senior levy dollars.