Mental Health Board Rehires Assistant Director

In an unexpected turn of events, Amie Martin-D’Arienzo has been rehired as the assistant director at the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services.

In an unexpected turn of events, Amie Martin-D’Arienzo has been rehired as the assistant director at the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services.

Martin-D’Arienzo had resigned just a little over two weeks earlier.

At the time of her resignation, Martin-D’Arienzo had been acting as interim director. She had assumed that role when Jim Adams, executive director, was placed on paid administrative leave in early May.

Martin-D’Arienzo was initially offered $65,000 per year by the board, but she successfully negotiated a salary of $70,000 with flexible time during the board meeting June 21, 2022.

“The state average is $85,000 — is there any way we can bump that to at least $70,000,” Martin-D’Arienzo asked, noting she had conducted a salary review of other similar positions.

She also stressed her education should be a factor in determining compensation. While other positions require a bachelor’s degree, Martin-D’Arienzo reminded the board she holds two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree.

Martin-D’Arienzo said she was willing to take a salary lower than the $85,000 average because of the opportunity to work flex time, with potentially two days working remotely each week.

Mike Petruziello, board member, wanted to postpone the pay increase.

“What if we re-evaluated in 90 days based on your performance,” he asked.

But Martin-D’Arienzo stayed firm in her request.

Ultimately, board member Carolee Lesyk made a motion to hire Martin-D’Arienzo at the $70,000 annual salary she was asking and board member Jimmie Lee Holden seconded the motion.

The board voted 8-2 in favor of the increased salary. Ann Bagley, Alberta Chokshi, Kathy Johnson, Linda Miller, Mary Ruth Shumway, Petruziello, Holden and Lesyk voted yes, while Skip Claypool and Jennifer Malainy voted no.

Board members Steve Oluic, Marty Fay and Greg O’Brien were not present.

Martin-D’Arienzo joined the mental health board in 2020, coming from Ohio Guidestone in Summit County where she served as a prevention facilitator.

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