By Meladi Brewer
GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Commissioners met to discuss the opioid pandemic. Commissioners Matt Aultman, Marshall Combs, and Larry Holmes were present.
The commissioners met with Prosecuting Attorney Margaret B. Hayes in an executive session to file a civil complaint against the manufacturers and distributor of prescription opiates. It was voted and agreed upon to move forward with the recommendation from Hayes to enter the class action settlement for the distributors lawsuit.
“This is for the distributors. We’ve already done one for the manufacturers. It is for CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and a few others,” Hayes said.
Aultman said it had been five or six years since they went after the manufacturers because of the opioid epidemic that it has created.
“It is the manufacturers filling prescriptions knowing someone doesn’t need 100 pills in 20 days. This here is a class action separate from the original agreement very similar to the first round, but this is the distributor side not the manufacturer’s side,” Aultman said.
Any kind of settlement that may come from this action plan will fall under the One Ohio Plan that was an agreed upon settlement with the Attorney General’s Office.
Economic Director Mike Bowers advised the commissioners about a letter of request for funding from the 106 fund to compensate a Career Navigator Position. This position will be a bridge between high school students and the workforce.
“This position is for working with students that will go directly to the workforce, so if you think of it as a student going to college has a recruiter, if they are going to the military then they have a recruiter that takes them through that process, and this person will come alongside those,” Bowers said.
The position will not exceed $110,000 per year for the next three years to fund the salary and benefits of the new position. The position will be considered an employee of the Darke County Economic Development Office, under the direction of Director Bowers. This funding will be separate from the request for the regular yearly budgetary figure that will be worked out in the near future.
“I know it is a big need. I think we’ve seen an increase in demand for employees, and I think it’s a good thing to help that transition from high school to the workforce because there isn’t a direct path or help in that department,” Combs said.
The Darke County Board of Commissioners meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at their office located at 520 S. Broadway Street in Greenville. To contact the office, call 937-547-7370.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].