Job, Family Services Questions Are Posed

Editor, News-Register:

In the appropriately provocative and intriguing editorial titled “What’s wrong at the DJFS?” that appeared in the June 24 edition of The Intelligencer, speculative questions were asked regarding the current state of the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services, respective to the agency’s oversight by the Belmont County Board of Commissioners.

In Al Molnar’s “Around East Ohio” column that appeared in the April 21 issue of the News-Register, the contents of the letter of resignation of current Belmont Department of Job and Family Services Director Mr. Dwayne Pielich included the statement, “There are more and more important agency decisions accumulating at the courthouse in which the board hasn’t completed. As your director and partner, I am concerned that failing to address or decide these issues will lead to larger problems.”

I, as well as many others, am quite curious as to what these accumulating decisions may be and what possible negative impact they may have on DJFS and its clientele.

Unfortunately, of late the Belmont County Commissioners have decided to become significantly less transparent with the public when it appears that under such circumstances more transparency would be much more helpful and needed.

Another recent decision made by the commissioners would create a “senior services department” that could be implemented in the near future, which would separate Belmont County Senior Services from Job and Family Services, under which they were placed less than two years ago by this same group of county commissioners.

Questions regarding this pending new approach to Belmont County’s delivery of services to its senior population include: How may this new configuration impact those currently providing necessary services to the area’s seniors? What impact if any may this move have on existing funding sources? Where will senior services’ administrative offices be located upon their departure?

These are but some of the questions/concerns that should be addressed and appropriately answered in the very near future.

Paramount here is not only the question of transparency but also the accountability of those officials in whom we have placed our trust, elements which are essential to good government at any level.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry