Smith out as Eco Dev director

Smith out as Eco Dev director

There are 15 comments on the The Times Bulletin story from Jul 11, 2012, titled Smith out as Eco Dev director. In it, The Times Bulletin reports that:

A little over three months ago, Sarah Smith was named as Van Wert County Economic Development director and Ohio State University Extension educator.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Times Bulletin.

controlled by idoits

Richmond Hill, NY

#1 Jul 13, 2012
Nancy Bowen did such a fine job bringing jobs to our area she got promoted? Awesome!!
just me

Lima, OH

#2 Jul 13, 2012
controlled by idoits wrote:
Nancy Bowen did such a fine job bringing jobs to our area she got promoted? Awesome!!
Yup, because while we thought she was working for our county, in reality she was working for OSU. Educators have their own criteria to judge each other, not like the real world has.
I think Sarah Smith is owed a big giant "thank you" for bringing that difference to our attention.

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#4 Jul 13, 2012
Ms. Smith has my respect for recognizing the problem and speaking out. When Ms. Smith interviewed for the position, it was for a "community educator." Nowhere in the job description did it mention "economic development director."

All Ms. Smith did was state what I and several others have said for along time. That being that Van Wert needs to take ownership of economic development. As it is now, the economic develpoment director serves two masters, Van Wert and the OSU Extension Office. And since the paychecks are signed by OSU you know who takes a back seat. But then I guess I don't need to point out the obvious.
agreed

Lima, OH

#5 Jul 14, 2012
Kirby R Kelly wrote:
Ms. Smith has my respect for recognizing the problem and speaking out. When Ms. Smith interviewed for the position, it was for a "community educator." Nowhere in the job description did it mention "economic development director."
All Ms. Smith did was state what I and several others have said for along time. That being that Van Wert needs to take ownership of economic development. As it is now, the economic develpoment director serves two masters, Van Wert and the OSU Extension Office. And since the paychecks are signed by OSU you know who takes a back seat. But then I guess I don't need to point out the obvious.
I so agree with this.
But ya know, I never knew that the VW Co economic development director was actually just an employee of OSU.
Somehow, I think that should have been known before all this happened.
I don't think VW Co is being truly served by someone whose primary duty is to educate, and I wish I had known this years ago.
doublebubble

Paulding, OH

#6 Jul 14, 2012
I'm with Councilman Marshall. Get out now. Review the OSU contract and look for an out. Surely there must be a clause that requires our input before a major decision like firing the director is made. If our input is NOT required, then who are we in "partnership" with?
OH well

Fayette, OH

#7 Jul 14, 2012
glad she tried to stand up for something we really need. She stood up with new ideas,spoke her mind, and got cut down by the same old, same old, good ole boys club, never changes. good luck Sara Things need to change, that s for sure, Van wert has got to move forward sooner than later.
Puppet on a string

Norwalk, OH

#8 Jul 14, 2012
Got to be a "yes " man or woman. If not, they get rid of you. Can't make waves or rock the boat. Ms. Smith deserves to stlll have her job.

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#9 Jul 14, 2012
doublebubble wrote:
I'm with Councilman Marshall. Get out now. Review the OSU contract and look for an out. Surely there must be a clause that requires our input before a major decision like firing the director is made. If our input is NOT required, then who are we in "partnership" with?
I have read the contract, as a matter of fact I have a copy of it in my files. Van Wert contracts with the OSU extension for a "community educator" and there is no language which gives Van Wert any imput, or veto, in the hiring or firing of this OSU employee. The final say is OSU's. There is language in the contract that gives Van Wert the "right" to undertake a "performance review" but that's never been done. The only performance review done is by OSU and that's based on an academic criteria, not jobs created,etc. I have several of Nancy Bowen's performance reviews and it clearly shows that she's being judges on a criteria of an "educator." What's funny is I once asked about if any of the council people had ever seen Nancy's performance reviews and they didn't seem to know they existed. The bottom line is Van Wert entered into a contract with OSU Extension and really didn't understand what they where contracting for.

Incidently, I believe it was Councilman Jeff Agler who has publicly called for getting out of the contract. What needs to be done is to ask for the past three years of budgets from the economic development office to see is the revenues from the Hotel/Motel tax would be enough to cover the expenses should Van Wert decide to terminate the contract with OSU and bring in their own director.
doublebubble

Cedar Falls, IA

#10 Jul 14, 2012
Kirby R Kelly wrote:
<quoted text>I have read the contract, as a matter of fact I have a copy of it in my files. Van Wert contracts with the OSU extension for a "community educator" and there is no language which gives Van Wert any imput, or veto, in the hiring or firing of this OSU employee. The final say is OSU's. There is language in the contract that gives Van Wert the "right" to undertake a "performance review" but that's never been done. The only performance review done is by OSU and that's based on an academic criteria, not jobs created,etc. I have several of Nancy Bowen's performance reviews and it clearly shows that she's being judges on a criteria of an "educator." What's funny is I once asked about if any of the council people had ever seen Nancy's performance reviews and they didn't seem to know they existed. The bottom line is Van Wert entered into a contract with OSU Extension and really didn't understand what they where contracting for.

Incidently, I believe it was Councilman Jeff Agler who has publicly called for getting out of the contract. What needs to be done is to ask for the past three years of budgets from the economic development office to see is the revenues from the Hotel/Motel tax would be enough to cover the expenses should Van Wert decide to terminate the contract with OSU and bring in their own director.
Thanks Kirby for the insight. This is far too important to let go.
controlled by idoits

Canton, NC

#12 Jul 14, 2012
Kirby R Kelly wrote:
<quoted text>
Van Wert contracts with the OSU extension for a "community educator"

So your saying Nancy Bowen was also a 'community educator' not an economic developer?

There is language in the contract that gives Van Wert the "right" to undertake a "performance review" but that's never been done. The only performance review done is by OSU and that's based on an academic criteria, not jobs created,etc.

If the review of Nancy's performance was based on jobs created, she would have been canned along time ago. Someone once told me she had the best job ever...she always got a paycheck no matter if she really did anything or not.

The bottom line is Van Wert entered into a contract with OSU Extension and really didn't understand what they where contracting for.

I find it hard to believe Van Wert leaders didn't understand something they signed.

Incidently, I believe it was Councilman Jeff Agler who has publicly called for getting out of the contract. What needs to be done is to ask for the past three years of budgets from the economic development office to see is the revenues from the Hotel/Motel tax would be enough to cover the expenses should Van Wert decide to terminate the contract with OSU and bring in their own director.
So are you saying the current Hotel tax moneys to OSU to pay for the economic developer's salary and overhead?
controlled by idoits

Canton, NC

#13 Jul 14, 2012
sorry in the previous post that some of my comments/questions appear as quoted text.

So I guess another obvious question is, did Nancy Bowen play a role in the firing since she has been promoted trough the extension office?

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#14 Jul 14, 2012
controlled by idoits wrote:
<quoted text>
So are you saying the current Hotel tax moneys to OSU to pay for the economic developer's salary and overhead?
The majority goes to economic development (75% if I remember correctly) with the remainder going to the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
linkappleyard_du h

Ashland, OH

#15 Jul 15, 2012
Help me understand; did the levy we approved pay for this position?

From this link: http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/extension-4-...

"Van Wert successful
The only county to pass a levy for Extension was Van Wert County, where voters approved a .4 mill, five-year levy.

Extension Director Andy Kleinschmidt was delighted, because now his county can maintain what it has, and potentially make improvements.
Sixty-four percent of the vote was in favor of the levy, with 34 percent against.

“That is a very positive margin,” he said.“This means that we now have — beginning in 2011 — full funding for Extension services and for the citizens of Van Wert County.”

Since: Sep 11

Location hidden

#16 Jul 15, 2012
linkappleyard_duh wrote:
Help me understand; did the levy we approved pay for this position?
From this link: http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/extension-4-...
"Van Wert successful
The only county to pass a levy for Extension was Van Wert County, where voters approved a .4 mill, five-year levy.
Extension Director Andy Kleinschmidt was delighted, because now his county can maintain what it has, and potentially make improvements.
Sixty-four percent of the vote was in favor of the levy, with 34 percent against.
“That is a very positive margin,” he said.“This means that we now have — beginning in 2011 — full funding for Extension services and for the citizens of Van Wert County.”
That levy had nothing to do with economic development. That levy was funding for the 4-H program. Without it, 4-H would have essentially been shut down. At least that's how it was presented.

The taxing mechanism for funding economic development is the Hotel/Motel tax.
noodles

Lima, OH

#17 Jul 15, 2012
linkappleyard_duh wrote:
Help me understand; did the levy we approved pay for this position?
From this link: http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/extension-4-...
"Van Wert successful
The only county to pass a levy for Extension was Van Wert County, where voters approved a .4 mill, five-year levy.
Extension Director Andy Kleinschmidt was delighted, because now his county can maintain what it has, and potentially make improvements.
Sixty-four percent of the vote was in favor of the levy, with 34 percent against.
“That is a very positive margin,” he said.“This means that we now have — beginning in 2011 — full funding for Extension services and for the citizens of Van Wert County.”
Boy, I hope not.
I am so tired of being lied to and deceived about taxes and levies. I just want the truth for a change.

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