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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ohio's top mental health official impressed with Lake County

When it comes to behavioral health services in Lake County, I frequently hear the word collaboration mentioned by leaders who visit from outside the area.

Tracy Plouck, who is the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services director, is no exception.

Plouck visited the county this week to speak with local leaders and to visit several facilities that provide services.

She took part in a roundtable discussion at the Lake County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board’s office that included many of the folks who are directly involved in the behavioral health field in the county.

Among them were elected officials such as Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap, Juvenile Court Judge Karen Lawson and Mentor Municipal Court Judge John Trebets, who also runs a mental health and drug court.

Also part of the discussion were members from the ADAMHS board and its management team including Executive Director Kim Fraser, Lake County Job and Family Services Director Matt Battiato, Lake County Educational Service Center Director Brian Bontempo, NAMI Lake County Director Carole Jazbec and Lake County Ombudsman Christi Farmer.

As jails continue to be overcrowded and caring for many people who need mental health and addiction treatment, Plouck talked about developing partnerships with sheriffs across the state and increasing the dialogue with courts to help improve services.

The state continues to integrate physical health along with behavioral health to treat the person as a whole, Plouck said.

Her impression of Lake County leaders is they operate with a great degree of collaboration, and she said she was particularly struck by the compassion they have to help people who are struggling.

Plouck wrapped up her visit to the county by serving as one of the featured speakers at the 20th anniversary reception in Willoughby for BRIDGES: Mental Health Consumer Empowerment.

Eastlake mayoral primary

The three candidates for Eastlake mayor turned in pre-election campaign spending reports for this past Thursday’s deadline.

The primary will be held for Eastlake voters Sept. 17 with the top two vote-getters advancing to the Nov. 5 ballot.

Candidates are incumbent Ted Andrzejewski, Council President Dennis Morley and Councilwoman Cindy Quinn-Hopkins.

Here’s a quick glance at their warchests, according to campaign finance reports turned in to the Lake County Elections Board.

Andrzejewski raised $23,263; spent $14,648, received $779 as in-kind contributions and had $1,900 in outstanding loans owed by the committee.

Morley raised $2,376 and spent $1,320.

Quinn-Hopkins raised $3,425, spent $1,334 and made $450 as in-kind contributions.


Quinn-Hopkins will host a soup-and-crackers free lunch event from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Surfside Towers Party Room in Eastlake.

Candidate endorsements

Candidates in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties who appear on the Nov. 5 ballot may send in listings of endorsements they receive for the upcoming election via email, fax or standard mail. They will appear online periodically on The News-Herald’s Northern Ohio Politics blog.


n A summer buffet fundraiser for Sarah Fowler, state Board of Education District 7, 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Orchard Hills Event Center in Chester Township. See Fowler.

n Susan McGuinness, candidate for Painesville Township trustee, hosts a ’60s Night fundraiser, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Harry Buffalo in Painesville Township. See Susan or Ray McGuinness.

n Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy hosts Fall Classic golf outing and Clam Bake, 12:30 p.m. shotgun start Sept. 27 at Lost Nation Municipal Golf Course in Willoughby. See Kip Molenaar.

n Morley hosts Steak Roast Fundraiser, 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 6 at Boracs Landing in Eastlake. See Donna Vaughn or Dale Bradley.

John Arthur Hutchison

Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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