Commissioners honor 9/11 anniversary

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — Miami County Commissioners passed a proclamation Thursday declaring September National Day of Service and Remembrance Month throughout the county in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The proclamation encourages all county officials, employees, schools, and residents to participate in activities around their communities, including this weekend’s memorial events throughout Troy.

From Friday to Sunday, the Tunnels to Towers 9/11 mobile exhibit will be parked in front of the Courthouse. The exhibit, a high-tech, 53-foot tractor-trailer, which transforms into a 1,000-square-foot exhibit, was launched in 2013 and is a tribute to all who lost their lives as a result of the attacks. At the Miami County Fairgrounds, a “Home Grown Heroes and First Responders Celebration” will take place throughout the weekend, hosted by the Miami County Agricultural Society. The Miami Valley Veterans Museum will also host an event called, “Troops in Town, Then and Now” from Friday to Sunday.

Visitors can park for free at the fairgrounds and a shuttle service will be available to each event.

“It’s truly been a collaboration between the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, Veterans Services, the city of Troy, Miami County, and Miami County Fairgrounds and Ag. Society,” said Commissioner Ted Mercer. “It’s really an honor to have the 9/11 exhibit here, and it just shows how all of us can work together to bring such a great project here.”

Mercer recognized Selena Loyd, executive director of Miami County Veterans Services, who spearheaded the project and helped secure the 9/11 exhibit.

“It was my understanding that there were many cities that (requested) to have this exhibit on the 20th anniversary and they selected Troy,” said Commission President Greg Simmons. “I think it has a lot to do with our county, with our city, and I’m very proud to be a part of it and very proud to be a lifelong member of Miami County.”

Commissioner Wade Westfall encouraged Miami County residents to join in on the weekend’s activities.

“There’s a lot going on this weekend within the community. It’s a tragic day in the history of our nation that we’re remembering, but one that we need to remember,” he said.

For more details about the 9/11 events, visit www.homegrowngreat.com.

In other news:

Commissioners approved the creation of a full-time position of public assistance administrator at the Department of Job and Family Services.

According to JFS Director Bonnie VanGorden, the department currently has a children services administrator, business administrator, and child support administrator.

“I thought it would be beneficial for us to have a public assistance administrator. This person will be taking care of SNAP, cash, medical, and workforce programs, which is a large majority of our agency,” VanGorden said. “It’s going to be a large undertaking and they’re going to have the responsibility of making sure we are administering and following all of the regulations.”

The assistant director position, which has been vacant since VanGorden’s promotion to director, will not be filled at this time. Instead, the responsibilities previously handled by the assistant director will be now handled by the four administrators under the guidance of VanGorden. VanGorden noted these organizational changes have still allowed the department to stay within budget.

Commissioners also approved employee requisitions for the newly vacant child support administrator position with a pay range of $24.04 to $37.12, as well as for a full-time contract evaluator with a pay range of $20.78 to $32.06.