Community Alternative Sentencing Center will soon admit women

Post originally from Clermont

BATAVIA, Ohio (July 14, 2017) – Clermont County Commissioners approved on July 12 the expansion of the Community Alternative Sentencing Center (CASC) to serve women. The CASC, which has been open since September 2015 under the management of Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Systems, provides an alternative to jail for misdemeanants who are convicted of drug- or alcohol-related crimes.

Since 2015, the CASC has served men. It provides various kinds of treatment and therapy, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), cognitive behavioral therapy, sober recovery meetings, and work readiness classes. It is funded by Clermont County, and its current budget is $440,800.

Now, thanks to a grant from the federal 21st Century Cures Act, Clermont County will start admitting women to the CASC as of Sept. 1, said BCC President David Uible. “This will allow us to address a gap in our attempts to address this crisis. We have wanted to offer this treatment alternative to women, and the grant will allow us to do so.”

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Alternative Sentencing Center to be Housed in Clermont County Jail

Article originally published in The Clermont Sun – July 15, 2013 by Kristin Rover

Clermont County Commissioners in June approved the implementation of an alternative sentencing center for inmates in Clermont County.

Commissioners awarded the contract for the services to the Talbert House, a Cincinnati based non-profit organization that provides behavioral health and court corrections services in the community, to run the alternative training center.

Commissioner David Uible said Talbert House will be leasing space in the Clermont County Jail for the center, and the organization will be serving inmates with chemical or dependency issues.

“The jail is a big building,” Uible said. “It is divided right down the center, there is the north half and the south half. We’ve not opened the south side because of the cost of opening it.”

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Economic Study for Industrial Park

In the last four years since becoming a commissioner in Clermont County we’ve had three businesses (~650 jobs) that moved out of the county.  We also missed out on 175 companies during that time that looked to relocate here and decided to go elsewhere.

Your first question may be why would a business leave Clermont County or choose to locate somewhere else in the Cincinnati area? Was it because we couldn’t match tax incentives? Was it because these companies couldn’t find employees? Or was it because of the traffic congestion on I-275, SR 28 or SR 32?

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The Forgotten Man

For decades, our tax system has been designed by political elites and wealthy benefactors who only seek to enrich themselves. But it’s long past time for that system to end.

President Trump ran on a platform based on the Forgotten Man, the men and women who have been left behind by the prominent and powerful who have held the reigns in our country. The vision for tax reform the president and Congressional Republicans have laid out represents another promise fulfilled by President Trump to stand up for these forgotten people. Congress must swiftly tackle tax reform so that more of these everyday Americans will see money going back in their pockets.

President Trump’s tax plan for the Forgotten Man will shift the tax burden away from struggling Americans and level the playing field for all. It will close the loopholes and exemptions that have been perverted and taken advantage of by the wealthy and powerful. It’s time for Senator Sherrod Brown to join Republican efforts to create a fairer and simpler tax plan that will truly help the Forgotten Man.

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Fixing the RFS Pothole

One measure of good government is how easy it is to spot the long term benefits of a policy or law.  This is particularly true when it comes to being good stewards of Americans’ tax dollars. If a local government is going to spend $1,000 to fill its potholes, then the measure of whether or not the money is spent wisely should be how long the road remains smooth and level.

In Washington, where not every decision levels the potholes, there is an existing policy called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  The RFS was created to help increase demand for renewable fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring a certain percentage of ethanol and biofuels be blended into automobile gasoline.  Blending the renewable fuels into gasoline helps refiners meet certain octane requirements. You probably didn’t even know this was a law, and you may have even wondered why there are E-10 signs at the gas pump, which designate the percentage of ethanol mixed with the gasoline.

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Operating efficiently in Clermont County

Since becoming County Commissioner in 2012, I have learned much about local government. Coming from the perspective of owning and managing private sector companies, I was familiar with how the recession had impacted the manner in which business had to adjust and react in order to continue to grow and prosper.

The same forces impacted local government as well requiring creative, innovative, and disciplined policies so that local government could continue to provide needed public services in an environment of reduced revenues.

Between 2008 and 2014, Clermont County government reduced employee headcount by 90 positions, a 6.9% decrease. Total payroll for that same period was reduced by over $500,000 annually. These reductions occurred at the same time as the county’s population grew by over 16,000 citizens, an increase of 3.1%.

As a point of comparison, these increases in efficiency at the county level have come at a time when our national government has increased its debt by over $10 trillion, increased the number of employees in the executive branch, and has increased the average per employee compensation to $116,828!

How has Clermont County managed to do more with less? First of all, “a rising sea lifts all boats!” Given Clermont County’s increasingly diverse business base, we saw an increase of 16.5% in sales tax collections last year. Sales taxes accounted for 49% of Clermont County’s general fund operating revenues.

As we adjust and recover from the recession and the resulting property valuations, property tax related revenues have decreased by 11.5%. These revenues now make up 17% of the county’s general funds. While property owners as a whole have seen a decrease in taxes, the increase in sales taxes has allowed the general fund to balance, benefiting all citizens.

Economic development steered, encouraged, and supported by your local government has played a role. You see it in the form of new development, business attraction, business expansions, and bringing in more events, activities, and visitors into our community all helping to generate additional sales tax.

County government is run by fiscal conservatives. Clermont County has had a balanced or surplus operating budget for each of the past four years. General fund reserves have steadily increased from 25% to 33%.  Clermont County has taken proactive steps to create a long-term capital plan, allowing us to pay cash for most capital expenses related to buildings, deputy vehicles, 911 cell towers, and economic development. This practice allows the county to avoid debt and the resulting interest costs associated with such debt.

We have also embraced technology in each department, seeking ways to deliver our services to citizens in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. This, in turn, has allowed us to deliver services with fewer employees. As employees retire, we have sought ways to maintain or improve upon services provided to the public without hiring replacement employees, thus giving the citizens of Clermont County a better rate of return on their tax dollars.

Clermont County is a wonderful place to live, work, raise a family, and retire. Our local government operates within its means. We have safe neighborhoods, good schools, and low unemployment. I’m fortunate to call Clermont County home and feel both humbled and blessed to serve here as county commissioner.

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Two Worlds, One Lifestyle

Professionals David Uible and his wife, Cindy Cassell, raise buffalo in New Richmond.

Fall 2015


Bison graze at Vista Grand Ranch, New Richmond, OH.

Two worlds. That’s where David Uible and his wife, Cindy Cassell, live. One is the professional world of business, politics and health care.

In the professional world is where Uible owns two businesses, serves as a Clermont County commissioner and is chairman of the Clermont County Republican Party.

That professional world is also where Cassell, a registered dietician, works for the University of Cincinnati and Kettering Sports Medicine, owns a private practice and is the incoming president of the Clermont County Farm Bureau.

Then there is the other world in which they live —the world of agriculture.

In the world of agriculture Uible and Cassell raise and grow all their own food on their 171-acre farm in New Richmond. That world includes raising all the typical farm animals such as cows, chickens, pigs and turkeys.

Oh, and buffalo.

You know, massive heads, menacing horns, thick fur, thundering across the Great Plains in choking rivers of dust in the early 19th century.

Yep, those buffalo. They’re in the couple’s backyard.

About 57 buffalo, including at least 12 calves born this spring, roam the pastures behind the couple’s main house. They’ve been here for 20 years, as long as Uible and Cassell have owned the property, which is named Vista Grand Ranch.

But raising buffalo and selling their meat wasn’t something the couple set out to do when they bought the property in 1994. It just made sense.

It made sense because the couple simply couldn’t afford to pay the residential tax rate on 171 acres, says Uible. That meant they needed to devote 10 or more acres of their land to commercial agricultural use in order to qualify for a substantially lower property tax rate under the state’s Current Agricultural Use Value assessment program.

But because of their busy schedules in the professional world they needed to find an agricultural activity that wouldn’t take too much of their time. After conducting research the couple concluded that buffalo fit that low-maintenance definition.

Buffalo, after all, were once prolific in North America with a range that stretched from the Yukon Flats in Alaska all the way to northern Mexico, says Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association.

How prolific were the American buffalo, scientifically known as bison, in adapting to the North American ecosystem? “It was estimated at the time when white men came to North America there were probably about 40 million [buffalo],” says Carter.

So buffalo, which had already adapted to the environment of the area and thrived by themselves, required very little maintenance. And that fit the couple’s busy schedule, especially Uible’s, since he was tending to his business interests in Switzerland and Russia. “I could leave for two weeks and they were fine, whether it’s winter or summer,” he says.


David Uible and his wife, Cindy Cassell.

The couple initially bought 12 buffalo calves and began the process of raising them. After doing some market research Uible and Cassell decided that they wanted to be known for their ground buffalo meat. They sold the meat to the local IGA grocery store and then to the three Dorothy Lane Markets in the Dayton area.

Dorothy Lane Markets now buys about 70 percent of the buffalo meat from the Vista Grand Ranch, says Uible. Buffalo meat from the Vista Grand Ranch is also available at the Jungle Jim’s stores in Fairfield and Eastgate, and at the University Club restaurant and all of chef Jean-Robert de Cavel’s restaurants, says Uible.

That’s typical of the commercial buffalo industry, says Carter, where about half of the meat is sold to restaurants and half to retail outlets. “We are a very, very diversified business,” he says.

It’s also a business that’s in need of more people like Uible and Cassell. “My job consists primarily of going out and trying to find more producers raising bison just because we’re running so short,” says Carter. “The demand has outstripped our supply.”

Carter says the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent census shows there were 46 bison farms in Ohio with 849 animals, 41 bison farms in Kentucky with 1,411 animals and 58 bison farms in Indiana with 1,319 animals.

There are about 162,000 bison on private ranches in the U.S. and an equal number in Canada, says Carter. Those figures do not include the public bison herds in places like Yellowstone National Park or Custer State Park, he says.


Cindy Cassell, David Uible and their daughter Emma.

Demand for commercial buffalo meat has skyrocketed because more people have tasted it in restaurants or farmers markets, says Carter.

Demand for buffalo meat has also soared because of its nutritional profile. “This is an incredibly healthy meat,” says Carter. “It’s low in fat, high in protein, high in iron.”

But this story isn’t about buffalo, insists Cassell. It’s about the life she and Uible have carved in the country since moving from Mt. Adams 20 years ago.

“I am not a farm person and neither is David,” says Cassell. “So many people who live out here are. And many people that we associate with are. So I learn things every day.”

Whether that means learning which day the closest turkey processor is open, or how to string wire on an electric fence or where to take frozen meat when the power goes out for nearly a week, each challenge faced and conquered is rewarded with a nugget of knowledge.

But don’t call this agriculture world in which they live a job. “It’s not a job,” says Uible. “It’s a lifestyle.”

Cassell says, “I love gardening. I like knowing where my food comes from. I like raising buffalo. I like raising chickens. I like raising pigs. I like it. Nobody is making me do this. You know, I think it’s a good way to be.”

Uible and Cassell wouldn’t have it any other way.

They may live in two worlds, but they have just one lifestyle on top of this hill overlooking Clermont County’s 12 Mile Creek valley.

“It’s wholesome,” says Uible.

“It’s normal,” says Cassell. ■

As appeared in CincyEastsm

Written by Eric Spangler

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