Delaware County Commissioners approved a recommendation to proceed with layoffs and elimination of positions within the county’s Department of Job and Family Services.

“We’re inversely related to the economy. As the economy goes up, the need for our services declines,” David Dombrosky, Delaware County Job and Family Services director, said during Thursday’s commission meeting.

“Earlier this year we reduced staff in our Workforce Development Division,” he said. “That was largely based on the fact that work program participation in work programs tied to public assistance programs had gone down.”

Dombrosky said his department has been closely watching the weekly caseloads since July and they continued to decrease.

“At this point, it would warrant the reduction of three employment counselor positions,” he said.

However, Dombrosky said according to the collective bargaining agreement, employees are allowed to move back to previously-held positions.

“We currently have enough vacancies to allow them to do that without disrupting other staff,” he said.

In April, Dombrosky reported to commissioners that since 2013 the local caseload for Ohio Workers First had declined by 40 percent and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, decreased by 18 percent.

Commissioners commended Dombrosky for his diligence in managing the JFS staff and taxpayer dollars.

“You’re managing the taxpayer dollars responsibly,” said Commissioner Jeff Benton.

Commissioners approved the layoffs and the position eliminations.

In other business from JFS, Dombrosky asked commissioners to accept a donation from the Liberty Presbyterian Church.

“They donate every year, food baskets or boxes that we can give to families with whom we work,” he said. “This year’s donation was (one) hundred boxes with the total value of $5,000. We also wanted recognize them and thank them.”

Commissioners approved the acceptance of the donation.

Delaware County Board of Elections Director Karla Herron asked commissioners to approve a transfer of appropriations for a mail ballot verifier. Herron told commissioners that absentee ballots had become very popular, which increased the labor for staff.

“We have more and more mail ballots,” she said. “We’ve always had a concern of keeping the integrity of the envelope. What (the verifier) does is it will allow us to keep our ballots more secure.”

Herron said each returned ballot’s information is confirmed against voter registration cards for authentication.

“When ballots come back, we divide them up each day,” she said. “We put them on each desk of the employees that will be processing them. We would scan in all the ID envelopes as they come back then we would secure the envelops in a secured environment. We do have money in our fund for what we are asking for.”

Commissioners approved the transfer.

By D. Anthony Botkin

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D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.