LIMA — The head of an Allen County government agency with ties to the Cleveland area is being courted to lead the same agency in a northeastern Ohio county.
Allen County Children Services Executive Director Scott Ferris, who has been with the local agency for nine years, has reportedly been offered the executive director position with the Lorain County Children Services agency, but he said he did not give Lorain County Children Services Board members an answer after a two-hour meeting Wednesday with board Chair Bill Harper.
“I have not made a decision. There are a lot of factors to consider,” Ferris said. “They are pretty open regarding a decision and they did not give me a deadline to make a decision.”
Harper, who could not be reached for comment, told The Chronicle-Telegram of Elyria, “Scott’s interested in being here. We obviously want to negotiate with him, but we have a responsibility to offer an appropriate compensation package.”
If Ferris accepts the position, he would replace interim Executive Director Jane Robertson, who has directed the agency since May when the agency’s Executive Director Gary Crow resigned.
Waverly Partners, an executive search firm with offices in Cleveland, recommended Ferris for the position after Harper said board members provided them with the requirements they had for a director.
Ferris confirmed he did not apply nor did he have his résumé filed with Waverly Partners for the position. He said he was approached for the position.
Ferris, who is originally from Cleveland and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University in 1995, has served as executive director of Allen County Children Services since 2005.
“We have accomplished a lot here and there is still a lot more for me to accomplish here,” Ferris said.
He came to Lima after serving seven years as executive director at the Athens County Children Services and 2 1/2 years leading the Ashtabula County Children Services.
“It was kind of a family decision because all of our family is in Cleveland and Athens is quite the drive,” Ferris said. “We also wanted to be in a bigger city, more urban and metropolitan. I wanted to be with a much larger agency and to live in a much larger community.”
Ferris, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marietta College, also worked as a caseworker and investigator at Cuyahoga County Children Services in 1996.