Clinton County Legacy Fund bylaws vetted

By Gary Huffenberger –

WILMINGTON — Clinton County commissioners put the finishing touches Wednesday to bylaws for the Clinton County Legacy Fund — a fund that will generate ongoing income for grants to benefit the community and residents.

Discussed Wednesday is the way the members of the five-person Grant Selection Committee will be recruited. The method will be like many other volunteer boards or committees: Interested residents can apply on their own for a seat, and in addition the county commissioners may contact people who they believe are qualified and encourage them to apply for consideration as well.

As had already been spelled out in a contract between the county commissioners and the not-for-profit Clinton County Foundation, the Grant Selection Committee members will all be Clinton Countians, and the members will be appointed by a majority vote of the commissioners. The Foundation is the steward for the Legacy Fund.

The makeup of the Grant Selection Committee was an issue commissioners differed on in 2018 when then-Commissioner Patrick Haley strongly favored making it a requirement that the three county commissioners fill three seats on the five-person Grant Selection Committee. In January the current commissioners agreed to make commissioners’ membership on the selection committee optional.

Also of interest in the bylaws is a provision that the Grant Selection Committee can recess into an executive behind-closed-doors session in order to discuss grant applications in an uninhibited manner.

The selection committee will hold publicly announced meetings and all of its formal actions will be taken in open public session, according to the bylaws.

The Grant Selection Committee members are expected to help come up with the criteria to be used as the basis to make grant selections, while the Board of Clinton County Commissioners will have the authority to adopt those guidelines.

The legacy fund began earlier this year with a start-up amount of $10 million. The $10 million start-up principal is part of the proceeds the county received from selling county-owned Clinton Memorial Hospital.

The amount of dollars in the Legacy Fund’s principal may be increased in the coming weeks or months.

The term LEGACY in Legacy Fund can be taken as an acronym that stands for Local Endowment for Governments And Charities for Years.

In other news from the commissioners office

  • Supervision Department Supervisor Duane Weyand requested making the 30-hour per week position of Common Pleas Court Intervention Specialist Ken Houghtaling, who will retire by year’s end, into a 40-hour per week job.
  • Weyand told commissioners he can guarantee there is sufficient work in the Adult Probation Department to warrant the extra hours and thus justify the extra county expenditure.
  • Commissioners said they will provide an answer by Monday.
  • Union Township Trustee Jim Fife came to the commissioners office to thank them for naming him to the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.