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Seneca County Commissioners thank local officials for public service during Kerschner’s final session




Commissioner Mike Kerschner (from left) poses for a photo with Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael P. Kelbley and Commissioner Anthony Paradiso during Kerschner’s final session in office. The commissioners presented a proclamation to Kelbley honoring him for this 34 years as a judge as he head into retirement. (Photo: Seneca County Commissioners)

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday morning during Commissioner Mike Kerschner’s final board session.

Kerschner, who has served as a commissioner for eight years, leaves office on Dec. 31st.

Many of Kerschner’s colleagues spent time Tuesday thanking him for his service and letting him know that his knowledge and experience will be missed.

Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Shuff was among those in attendance to thank Kerschner.

“I’ve known him since 1980 when he gave me my first car loan,” Shuff said of Kerschner. “You have made our community better … I appreciate the eight years that you have been a county commissioner.”

Shuff said Kerschner never complained or blamed anyone. “I think that shows your character as a leader. Thank you, you will be missed,” Shuff said.

In addition to Shuff’s comments, commissioners Tyler Shuff and Anthony Paradiso each also shared some words of gratitude.

Commissioner Tyler Shuff said he wished he had more time to work with Kerschner. “It’s been a real privilege,” Commissioner Shuff said, complimenting Kerschner’s ability to use logic and his fairness.

Kerschner shared some words of wisdom for those in attendance. “If we do just one good thing a day to help somebody, if everybody does that, it helps make us much better people,” he said. “I challenge you all to do something minor for someone every day.” Kerschner ended his remarks by thanking everyone for their support.

Seneca County Public Relations Director Jimmy Flint played a 10-minute tribute video for Kerschner, which featured messages for Kerschner from several different local, state and federal officials. Congressman Jim Jordan, State Senator Bill Reineke and Seneca County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Jay Meyer were among those featured in the video. You can watch the video here.

In other action, the commissioners thanked two other county officials for their long and successful careers in public service as they enter retirement.

Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael P. Kelbley was in attendance to receive a proclamation recognizing his 34 years as a judge.

The proclamation states that the commissioners were “honored to have the privilege to work closely with Judge Kelbley over the years, as he has been a beacon of justice in the community, using his role as judge to ensure fairness and uphold the law.”

Kelbley has officiated more than 730 weddings, both in and out of the county, and he said he considers that one of the best parts of his job.

Kelbley served as the director of the Seneca County Public Defender’s Office and as the village solicitor for Attica, Bettsville, Bloomville, New Riegel and Republic. He is a member of the Seneca County Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association and has served on the Supreme Court Magistrate Committee since 2011.

Kelbley also has made significant contributions to his community, serving on the Seneca County TB & Health Board, where he served as vice president from 1995 to 1996 and treasurer from 1998 to 2004. He has also been involved with various organizations, including the Sons of the American Legion, the New Riegel Moose, the United Services for Alcoholism and the Alcohol Intervention Program.

County Engineer Mark Zimmerman (from left) watches as longtime Seneca County Tax Map Office employee Dawn Fitch is thanked for her service by Commissioner Anthony Paradiso. (Photo: Seneca County Commissioners)

The commissioners also thanked longtime Seneca County Tax Map Office employee Dawn Fitch for her service to the county.

Fitch tirelessly ensured that legal descriptions and land surveys complied with state and local standards and oversaw the modernization of the Tax Map department, leading a transition away from hand-drawn plat maps to parcel maintenance on the county’s computerized GIS mapping program.

County Engineer Mark Zimmerman said Fitch is not usually a person who likes to be on the forefront but said she deserves credit for all of her hard work.

In new business, the board approved:

  • Renewal of Fairfield Computer Services LLC online dog license program agreement on behalf of the Seneca County Auditor and Dog Warden.
  • Agreement with Seneca County General Health District for 2023 medical and health care services on behalf of the Seneca County Youth Center.
  • Contract service agreement with Crawford County Board of Commissioners for the receipt, custody and care of Crawford County juveniles on behalf of the Seneca County Youth Center in 2023.
  • Agreement with Resource Solutions Associates on behalf of the Seneca County Emergency Management Agency.
  • Amendment to resolution certifying unpaid assessments to the County Auditor for collection under Ohio Revised Code Section 6117.02.
  • Resolution authorizing fund transfers to the Budget Stabilization Fund (1900), bringing the fund to just under $2 million and maximizing the amount that can be statutorily invested in the “Rainy-Day Fund” for 2022.
  • Resolution to approve American Rescue Plan Act fund requests in accordance with federal guidelines.
  • Resolution to approve the fifth amendment to the agreement of sublease between the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the County of Seneca.
  • Acceptance of petition and granting of annexation to the City of Fostoria for certain parcels of land in Jackson Township.
  • Regulatory compliance amendment to the Master Services Agreement with Pay Tel Communications on behalf of the Seneca County Sheriff.
  • Amendment to a contract with IamResponding for emergency services.
  • Emergency medical services agreement with the Seneca County Joint Ambulance District.
  • Agreement with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. for general services agreement on behalf of the Seneca County Airport.
  • Amendment to the contract between the City of Tiffin and the Seneca County Prosecutor’s Office.

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