County Board First Quarter Checklist

January is a busy time for county boards of DD as they organize for the year and welcome new members, and boards must complete several tasks at the beginning of each year to comply with state law. This page lists these items along with guidance on how each should be approached in order to comply with the Ohio Revised Code.

Questions about the content of this page should be directed to Randy Beach ( or Bridget Gargan ( Questions about OACB member services of the MemberConnect portal should be directed to Adam Herman (

1) Conduct Annual Organizational Meetings

Per Ohio Revised Code 5126.029, every county board of DD must hold an annual organizational meeting no later than January 31 to elect its officers and set a meeting schedule for the year. Ohio law requires each board to have a president, vice-president, and recording secretary. Boards must meet in regularly scheduled sessions at least 10 times per year (or at least eight times per year for year for boards that share superintendents or other administrative staff).

Note: If a board member misses more than two regularly scheduled board meetings without giving prior notice, that board member is required by the ORC to be removed from the board.

Each board member must be eligible to serve on the county board, and people applying to serve on the board must complete and submit a board member eligibility declaration to the appointing authority prior to their appointment. For an example of a board member eligibility declaration, see the OACB Board Member Reference Manual, section 8, page 2.

The board's annual organizational meeting is also a good opportunity to make revisions and updates to the board's rules for conducting business. Boards are required by the ORC to have such rules. Ohio statute, however, does not prescribe how these rules should look or function. This gives each board flexibility in deciding how it will operate. Board rules can take the form of by-laws, meeting policies, or rules of order. They are necessary for establishing and clarifying board functions such as board and committee meeting notifications, public participation, officer elections, board member absences, and more.

2) Update Your Board Roster and Staff Listing

Updating your board member roster is essential to ensure that your county board members receive important policy updates, member resources, and news from OACB. Updating your roster is quick and easy in MemberConnect, OACB's member services portal.Only superintendents or superintendents' assistants can add, update, or remove board members from their boards' pages in the MemberConnect Directory. Board members can see one another's information, but they cannot edit or remove other board members from the roster. Updating your roster consists of three steps:

  1. Adding new board members;
  2. Updating existing members (if necessary); and
  3. Removing members no longer serving on your board of DD.

Click here for instructions on updating your board member roster.

At the beginning of each year, it is also important to ensure that your staff directory in MemberConnect is complete and up to date. OACB uses the information you provide to us to determine who receives our various resources and e-publications. Please ensure that your superintendent, superintendent's assistant, or personnel director reviews your board's directory page in MemberConnect and makes any necessary updates. Out-of-date records could result in there being a gap in OACB communications to you board members or administrative staffers.

If you have questions about updating your board member roster or staff listings, please send an email to Erich Hiner at 

3) Conduct New Board Member Orientation

Click the above image to download OACB's New Board Member Orientation PowerPoint

Under OAC 5123:2-1-13, new county board members are required to take part in an orientation training within three months of their appointment. The purpose of this training is to introduce new board members to the county board of DD system and their roles and responsibilities within it. This orientation must cover the following topics:

• Duties of a county board of DD
• Roles and requirements of board members
• Confidentiality
• Ohio ethics laws

Details about new board member training requirements can be found in section 4 of the OACB Board Member Reference Manual, which is available for download in the MemberConnect Document Center. OACB has created several ways of satisfying the new board member training requirement.

Option 1: Create Your Board's Own Training Using the Board Member Reference Manual
Section 8 of the OACB Board Member Reference Manual contains a sample board member training outline (complete with ORC citations and language) that can easily be adapted into a one- or two-hour orientation for new board members.

Option 2: Use OACB's Prepared Orientation Training Slides
OACB has prepared a PowerPoint that can be presented by your board's superintendent or a designated trainer to fulfill the orientation requirement. This presentation can be downloaded from MemberConnect by clicking on the image to the right. Please note that a MemberConnect account is required. You will be asked to enter your login credentials. The download will begin after you are logged in successfully.

Click here to download OACB's orientation training slides.

To ensure accuracy, the majority of this presentation cannot be altered. However, the PowerPoint includes several editable slides that boards can use to customize this presentation to their counties. Questions about the content of these slides should be directed to Randy Beach at

Option 3: Request An In-Person Training from OACB Staff
OACB staff members are available to provide local or regional board training for all board members that covers the mandatory topics for new members. To request an in-person training, send an email to

4) Review Open Meetings Laws

County boards of developmental disabilities are defined as "public bodies" by the Ohio Revised Code. As such, meetings conducted by the whole board or any committee or subcommittee are to be operated in accordance with the Ohio Open Meetings Act. In practice, this means all board committees – regardless of size – must do the following:

• Have a policy specifying how the board will inform the public of upcoming meetings;
• Provide at least 24 hours prior notice of regular meetings that indicates the meetings' time and place;

• Meet in public session;
• Adjourn to executive session only for appropriate reasons; and
• Maintain detailed minutes of board and committee proceedings.

The board must establish a rule establishing a reasonable method for informing the public of upcoming meetings. While boards are required to meet in a public session, members of the public who attend are not entitled to speak.

For details on public meeting requirements, refer to the OACB Board Member Reference Manual – section 4, page 23. You can also click here to download the complete 2019 Ohio Sunshine Laws Manual from the Ohio Attorney General's Office. 

5) Review the OACB Board Member Reference Manual

OACB is proud to offer a comprehensive manual pertaining to issues of importance to the seven governing board members and senior management staff at county boards across the state. Updated annually, OACB's Board Member Reference Manual is a go-to resource for county board members seeking basic information about a wide variety of topics in Ohio's developmental disability service delivery system. 

A complete PDF copy of the Board Member Reference Manual can be downloaded via the Document Center of OACB MemberConnect – to download a PDF of the manual, click here (download will start immediately upon log-in). Individual sections of the Board Member Reference Manual may also be downloaded within the Board Members tab of the MemberConnect Document Center or at (MemberConnect login required).

MemberConnect Services

OACB member services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through OACB's online member services portal at To access these services, simply click on the image below (login required) or visit and use the navigation menu therein. For technical support with MemberConnect, including login issues, please contact Lana Beddoes at or (614) 431-0616 ext. 7988.

Last updated January 18, 2019