Search is on for new Developmental Disabilities leader

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(Posted Sept. 4, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

After 40 years with the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD), Jim Canney is preparing to retire.

Canney has served as superintendent of MCBDD for the past 28 years, before which he spent nine years as the adult services director and three years as a teacher. He will step down June 30, 2016. A search is under way to find his replacement.

“You’ve been very good for the county and for the people you serve,” said Madison County Commissioner David Dhume in praise of Canney’s four decades of service.

During Canney’s tenure as superintendent, MCBDD has initiated residential services, providing housing options for individuals with developmental disabilities so that they can become integrated into the community. Madison County Ride was created to increase transportation options. The school-age program was moved from a separate environment at Fairhaven School to an integrated environment within the public schools.

As for what he will do in retirement, Canney, who has suffered strokes in the last few years, said it depends on his health.

“If my health holds out, I will still play some golf and I’ll cook dinner,” he said. The kitchen efforts will be for the benefit of his wife, Melissa, who heads up the Madison County Health Partners Free Clinic, soon to be the Rocking Horse Health Center.

The Ohio Association of County Developmental Disabilities Boards is conducting the search for Canney’s successor. The search comes without charge as part of Madison County’s membership in the association. The position requires a master’s degree and superintendent’s certificate.

New MCBDD board member

On Aug. 31, the county commissioners approved the appointment of Robert Barton Jr. to the MCBDD board. He replaces Jean Hughes who stepped down due to a move out of state. The unexpired term expires at the end of this year.

Barton has been involved with the county’s MCBDD program for 27 years, ever since his daughter, Jillian, enrolled in the program. He has helped in a variety of ways, from coaching Special Olympics to handling the Friends of Fairhaven account. Barton’s wife, Pam, is a former MCBDD board member.

Barton also brings to the position experience as an eight-year member of the Jefferson Local Schools board of education and a three-year member of the Madison Champaign Educational Service Center.

The MCBDD board is comprised of seven individuals, five appointed by the county commissioners and two by the county probate court. The other board members are: president Diane Miller-Ryan, vice president Peg Johnson, Mary Hopkins, Sue Mosier, Sandy Birchfield and David Ridenour.

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