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Belmont County Senior Services

Dear Editor,

As it has recently been announced that Lisa Kazmirski has been selected as the new executive director of Belmont County Senior Services, as current executive director Dwayne Pielech has announced his resignation to take effect Dec. 3, 2021, in order to return full-time to his private sector business.

Mr. Pielech, who assumed his current position with Senior Services approximately 1½ years ago, has served in his position of leadership during a very difficult and especially challenging time for area seniors as well as all residents, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has performed quite admirably indeed, and continuing to successfully meet the needs of Belmont County seniors in spite of being confronted by such a unique, and troubling, health crisis.

Also, the Belmont County Senior Services renewal levy recently passed overwhelmingly, garnering 9,422 affirmative votes out of 12,260 votes cast, which translates to a very impressive approval vote of 76.9 percent by area voters, and in addition Belmont County Senior Services has been awarded a $350,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Aging that is to be used to expand their nutrition program, as well as purchase needed equipment and vehicles.

Ms. Kazmirski, who will be assuming her new duties with reportedly over 30 years of experience working with and administering programs for seniors as well as individuals with disabilities, appears to be extremely well-qualified to successfully meet the challenges of her new position of leadership.

Belmont County Senior Services, which currently has 10 centers in the county, and reportedly serves over 1,200 meals to area seniors daily, began over four decades ago as the Belmont County Committee on Aging, with its administrative facility then being located off State Route 9, just south of St. Clairsville, then later moved to the Oakview building, and currently he uses its administrative services in a recently constructed modern facility on Oakview Drive in the western portion of St. Clairsville.

Personally, I became very much aware of the outstanding work by the department/agency when I was a member of the administrative staff of the then Belmont County Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (C.E.T.A.) Program from 1979-1981, as many of the staff and service providers at that time were participants of oru program, and I always admired them for their compassion, work ethic, aid dedication in the service to Belmont County’s seniors.

I am greatly honored, and it was my privilege, to have been associated with such fine professionals, and have been a staunch supporter of the department ever since.

I wish Mr. Pielech well as he pursues other professional endeavors, and thank him for his service to the people of Belmont County.

I also wish Ms. Kazmirski well, and good fortune, in assuming her new position of leadership as the chief advocate on behalf of Belmont County’s seniors.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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