Hamilton County Commission Relocates Thursday's Meeting, Again

May 22, 2019

After questions about moving the Hamilton County commissioners meeting to the Daniel Drake Center, Thursday's meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Administration building.

Board President Denise Driehaus announced at Tuesday's meeting relocating to Drake's would accommodate Commissioner Todd Portune, who is recovering from neck surgery.

Vice President Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas opposed changing the location, citing personal and professional reasons. "I am really concerned. Is there an issue that's going on that possibly I won't vote 'yes' for that we need another vote for?" she asked Tuesday. Summerow Dumas continued by saying the county's business could be addressed without relocating the meeting and inconveniencing the public.

Driehaus' schedules the board's meetings and said Drake would have found a space to host members of the public.

The board has held meetings at Drake in the past to include Portune. 

Driehaus said Portune's staff reached out to her after hearing the negative response and thought it was best to keep the meeting at the County Administration building.

"In the past when Todd has gone through similar procedures the commission meetings have moved out to Drake to accommodate his needs because he is unable to get to the meetings," Driehaus said during the meeting.

Although Portune is unable to physically come to meetings, Driehaus said he has continued to be involved despite his medical conditions and requested the change so he can be more active in participating. In 2018, Portune had his left leg amputated to remove a malignant tumor. 

During Tuesday's meeting Summerow Dumas said there is a larger issue than trying to accommodate Portune but did not elaborate on what it concerns. WVXU contacted Commissioner Summerow Dumas' office but did not receive a comment in time for publication.

In a WVXU interview Wednesday, Driehaus said she isn't sure why Summerow Dumas was concerned.

"When either one of them ask me for some kind of deference on something I try to be very accommodating," Driehaus said. "That is what I was trying to do yesterday for Commissioner Portune."  

The board has been hosting evening meetings in different venues around the county to make them accessible to community members.