Board of Commissioners
- 8:30 am to Noon
- 1 to 4 pm
- Henry County Office Complex
1853 Oakwood Avenue
Napoleon, OH 43545
Watch Public Sessions via Zoom or dial-in using 929-205-6099.
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
Terms are 4 years.
As with all Ohio counties with the exception of Summit, Henry County is organized under general statutory law and has three county commissioners. The county commissioner elected during the gubernatorial election takes office on January 1, and the two commissioners elected during the presidential election take office on either January 2 or 3. Candidates for these two commissioner positions file for either the January 2 or 3 position.
The Board of County Commissioners is the policymaking and legislative body of this county. The commissioners hold title to all property owned by Henry County. The Board must annually approve Henry County's general fund and all-funds budgets, and is the County government's taxing, appropriating, and purchasing authority. There is, by law, a limitation to the Commissioner's authority in some matters involving other elected officials' offices, as powers are separated in county government. There is no chief executive officer, rather each of our eleven elected officials possesses some executive authority. Commissioners also have a myriad of other responsibilities, including hearing and ruling on annexations, approving drainage improvements through the petition ditch process, establishing water and sewer districts, and making improvements and providing for solid waste disposal. The Board appoints department heads of offices for which they have responsibility and also appoints members to a variety of other boards and commissions.
Individual commissioners have no power to act independently. The Board of County Commissioners, acting as a body by a majority or unanimous vote, must take all formal and official actions. Each commissioner does sit on a number of other organizational boards throughout the county, region, and state, including but not limited to: the Board of Revisions, Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), Corrections Commission of NW Ohio (CCNO), NW Ohio Juvenile Detention Center, County Risk Sharing Authority (CORSA), EMS, Family and Children First, Litter Advisory and Solid Waste Policy Committees, Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), Maumee Valley Planning Organization (MVPO), Maumee Valley RC&D, Railroad Safety Task Force, Planning Commission, Humane Society Advisory Board, Senior Center, American Red Cross, Transportation Board, Homeland Security Advisory, Health District Advisory Council, and the Workforce Policy Board. As county government is also an administrative agent of state government, commissioners frequently comment to members of state government either directly or through the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
Unlike municipalities, counties may perform only those governmental functions specifically authorized by state law and in the manner specified in law. If the Ohio Revised Code is silent on a subject, counties do not possess the authority to act; therefore, they do not possess home rule authority. For example, county commissioners are without authority to license and control cats, as they do dogs because the ORC is silent on the subject. Municipalities, however, are free to enact an ordinance requiring licensing of cats.
It is the non-statutory duties of county commissioners that make them different from other county elected officials. By necessity, county commissioners must take a broad view of actions necessary to make the county a better place to live and work. Many commissioners are thus active in promoting public/private partnerships in human services, economic development, health, and infrastructure development. Other commissioners take an active role in improving the environment, promoting job training programs, and improving agriculture in their counties. County commissioners must be astute and have good business sense. Perhaps the most important attribute of a county commissioner is the ability to lead, to listen to the needs of the citizens and other elected officials, to compromise, and to develop a consensus on priority issues to improve the county.
The organizational meeting of the Board of County Commissioners (ORC 305.05) occurs on the second Monday of January each year when they must organize, elect a president and appoint a clerk. The Commissioners must hold at least 50 regular meetings per year (ORC 305.06) and as many special meetings as necessary to conduct their business. The salaries of commissioners are established by state law and are based on population.
To schedule appointments, please contact Clerk Kristi Schultheis.