Monday’s Delaware County Commission organizational meeting saw two women appointed to positions of power — Barb Lewis was named president of the board of commissioners, and Dawn Huston was named acting county administrator.
“You’re going to do a great job,” said Commissioner Gary Merrell, who had been president, after nominating Lewis.
“This is a totally awesome honor,” Lewis said. “We have many goals that we want to work on this year, there’s so much going on, and it’s great for the county. Look no further than across (Sandusky) street. Soon a building will rise that will be our new courthouse.”
Lewis became a commissioner in 2015, after seven years as a Genoa Township trustee. A graduate of Big Walnut High School with three degrees from The Ohio State University, she has worked for the Ohio Department of Development and managed successful election campaigns.
Lewis is the second woman to serve as the county’s president of the board of commissioners. Debbie Martin was president in 2000 and 2004.
Newcomer Jeff Benton was named vice president of the three-person board of commissioners, which are the county government’s appropriating, budgeting, purchasing and taxing authority.
Huston said she will serve equally with Si Kille, who are both assistant administrators for the county.
“The commissioners were only able to officially appoint one person,” Huston said following the meeting, “but technically speaking, we’re both sharing the duties.”
A county administrator is responsible for many of the county’s day-to-day administrative operations. The administrator is appointed and attends commission meetings, but does not vote.
Huston has been employed by Delaware County since 1992, working in the Juvenile Court and as director of human resources. She is a graduate of Buckeye Valley High School and Bowling Green State University.
Tim Hansley will retire as administrator on Friday, which is also the county’s deadline for applications for his replacement. Huston said she hoped a decision would be made by mid-February, with the new administrator starting by mid-March.
Hansley, who has been the county administrator since November 2010, has spent more than 45 years as a public servant in several Ohio cities.
County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien praised Hansley, saying she liked his “ability to look at things from all different angles and come up with a solution that seems to work for everybody. … Enjoy your retirement, and realize you’ll always have friends in Delaware County.”
Making light of the suddenly cold weather, Hansley said the time is right for him to retire.
“I knew the timing was right when I got up (Monday) morning trying to get here early, and my car was frozen shut, my back door handle broke off in my hand, I get into the car and then lock the keys in the car while it was running, and had to crawl in from the other side,” Hansley said. “I appreciate my time in Delaware County and have made a lot of friends here.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.