B.S. in PreMed;
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine;
Masters Degree in Neuroscience/Anatomy
Wood Co. Commissioner (elected 2016); Eastwood School Bd (2 terms);
Past Pres. Wood Co. Bd of Health; Behavioral Connections and NAMI Boards; Perrysburg Businessman over 30 yrs.
Wood County’s Health Department and Emergency Management Agency handled the moving target of the COVID-19 pandemic well, considering that the virus was previously unknown and highly contagious. However, the lengthy shut-down of churches, schools, public meetings and businesses has taken a toll on the psychological, educational, economic and social health of our citizens. To avoid or mitigate some or all of these consequences going forward, I am helping to form a “Focus on the Future Committee.” This group will analyze information gathered from the current pandemic and propose a plan before another crisis can occur. Among other objectives, the group will focus on gathering detailed statistics, stockpiling protective equipment, finding ways to recognize and identify new problems, and timely testing and evidence-based treatment. This way, health officials can quickly educate the public of ways to respond. For more information, see my website at: www.CommissionerTedBowlus.com.
The County budget is monitored closely and discussed frequently. Budget decisions are made by considering our departments’ and agencies’ “wants” as compared to “needs.” Record-breaking sales tax revenue was collected up to April 2020, and a rebound in sales tax revenue began in June. Nevertheless, with the onset of the pandemic we asked county agencies and departments to spend money only on “urgent needs." For example, the Jail renovation was temporarily suspended. Our priorities are working with the County Engineer on roads, bridges and drainage; economic development; job creation; keeping citizens and staff safe while conducting business in the County; and providing essential services to our citizens. Also, we have received federal funds that are distributed through the states to county governments, which includes the C.A.R.E.S. Act, allowing us to give financial help to local small businesses and county departments. Our financial outlook remains optimistic despite COVID-19.
Wood County provides 51 bins for recycling materials at 12 different sites at no cost to county residents. Currently, Republic collects recycling and sells it to third parties. Since July 2018, there has been a 761 percent increase in recycling. The cost to process recyclables is rising, partially because of additional processing needed to remove food waste. Currently, we are in the third year of a five-year contract with Republic to pick up recyclables, which we will attempt to renegotiate at an appropriate time. Additionally, we must educate our citizens about the importance of cleaning food contamination from recyclables, identifying proper plastics for recycling, and not mixing recyclables with ordinary household waste, which goes to the landfill. Also, there needs to be a conversation with shippers about reducing their cardboard use or reclaiming cardboard for reuse. There are no plans to discontinue the service or charge residents for recycling at this time.
I assume this question refers to safety from infectious disease. It is difficult, if not psychologically damaging, for hospital patients and long-term care residents to be isolated due to events like the COVID-19 pandemic. However, restrictions such as limiting visitors have been effective in reducing the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in hospital and residential care settings. Due to the unpredictable nature of pandemic illnesses, it is impossible to guarantee that any facility is entirely safe. But by following federal, state and local health guidelines, these facilities will continue to be as safe as possible. Those guidelines include testing employees, quarantining ill patients, wearing masks and other PPE, social distancing and frequent hand washing. In the future, inexpensive tests like the recently introduced rapid-result saliva test for COVID-19, can be used to effectively screen for contagious illnesses, reducing the need for long-term isolation of patients.