The Huron County Commissioners announced this morning that former South Central Superintendent Lowell Etzler will be the interim director of the county human resources agency.
Etzler will start running the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services (HCDJFS) full-time as of Tuesday. He is familiar with the position, since he was the agency's interim director for about three or four months in 1999.
"He is well respected," commissioner Gary Bauer said. "I think Lowell will bring dignity to the office ... and do whatever needs to be done to regain the confidence of the public."
Commission President Ralph Fegley called Etzler "a very positive asset" and pointed out the benefit in the Greenwich resident overseeing HCDJFS previously.
Commissioner Mike Adelman said Etzler was "the first guy I thought of" in establishing a "short list" of people to be appointed HCDJFS director. He called the former superintendent someone who has answered the call of local schools.
Etzler, who was unavailable for comment, served as superintendent of South Central Local Schools from 1969 until his 1993 retirement. He was the interim there for a few months in 1999 and again for one year, starting in August 2005.
He also was the interim superintendent in the Monroeville and Western Reserve school districts. Etzler was the Greenwich mayor from 1998 to 2001.
The lifelong Huron County resident is the current president of the Community Action Commission. Etzler is the former president of the Huron County Senior Enrichment Services board.
Etzler has "good, strong administrative skills," Fegley said, which are characteristics the commissioners are looking for in the permanent director.
Current HCDJFS Director Erich Dumbeck, whose last day is June 1, will be handling other work obligations, such as a statewide JFS meeting the week of May 14, while Etzler takes control of the agency.
"Mr. Etzler felt it was prudent to have (Dumbeck) there," Bauer said, in order to get a handle on the director's daily responsibilities.
Eztler will be making $27.90 per hour, the same pay rate as Dumbeck.
Bauer said the commissioners haven't established a timeline to hire a new director, stressing that they want the proper time to review resumes.
"We want to do a thorough search and go outside," he said. "We want fresh blood."