Monday, May 24, 1999

Fox to advise state on merger of 2 departments

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Butler County Commissioner Mike Fox has been selected by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft to help guide the consolidation of the Ohio Department of Human Services and the Bureau of Employment Services into a new Department of Job and Family Services.

        The merger will occur July 1, 2000.


        Mr. Fox, a former state representative, will serve on the Guidance Team, which will assist Mr. Taft and the Cabinet Leadership Team in creating the new department.

        Jacqui Romer-Senski, director of the Ohio Department of Human Services, recommended Mr. Fox for the Guidance Team, said Jon Allen, department spokesman. “She knows he has a passion for both human services issues and workforce development,” Mr. Allen said. “That's what this merger is all about.”

        She also thought Mr. Fox's experience as a state legislator and a county commissioner would be valuable, he said. “He can look at things from a state perspective and a local perspective,” Mr. Allen said.

        Mr. Fox, who became a county commissioner in 1997 after 22 years in the state legislature, said he appreciates the chance to be involved in the creation of this new state department.

        He said the merger embodies welfare reform ideas that he was advocating years ago. In 1982, he said, he proposed state legislation requir ing the welfare program to emphasize job placement and job development.

        “I was trying to get the Human Services Department to do things like this before it was fashionable,” Mr. Fox said.

        He said his participation in this project will help Butler County make sure its human services programs keep pace with the state's actions.


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