Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Human services director resigns


Differences running Warren agency cited

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Warren County's Human Services director — the second in less than five years — has fallen victim to a planned restructuring of the department.

        County commissioners late Tuesday accepted Philip Masten's resignation, effective Friday.

        They and Mr. Masten cited philosophical differences running the agency, which manages state and federal money for social programs such as job and disability assistance, food stamps and Medicaid.

        The county is launching an effort to better integrate Human Services and the One-Stop Employment Center, Commissioner Pat South said after the meeting.

        The commissioners have hired Arnold Tompkins, former director of the Ohio Department of Human Services, for two months to review the two agencies and suggest improvements, Mrs. South said.

        Mr. Tompkins oversaw the overhaul of Ohio's welfare system. His last year on the job — before stepping down in 1998 to start his consulting business — 55,000 Ohioans fell off the welfare rolls.

        Among possible changes in Warren County, Mrs. South said, she would like to combine fiscal operations and cut back on the agencies' paperwork.

        “I think we will ultimately end up by going with one director over both One-Stop and Human Services,” Mrs. South said.

        In the meantime, commissioners named Doris Bishop, a longtime Human Services official, acting director there.

        The One-Stop, which Gov. Bob Taft hailed this month as a model for programs statewide, is led by Sue Wettstein.

        Mr. Masten, 50, of Lebanon, had been director of Human Services — where he also began his career — since 1998. He earned about $58,000 a year. Between his stints in Warren County, he worked for the state Human Services Department in Cincinnati.

       



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