Book begins transition to new position

By Wayne Allen

September 14, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

It was recently announced that Scioto County Economic Development Director Todd Book has taken a position with the Ohio State Bar Association.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Times, Book said it was not an easy decision to accept this new position.

“My professional life has been in this community, my involvement in the community has been ingrained and deep. I’m pretty connected to the community and continue to be, but this opportunity has came along and this is not something I could pass up,” Book said.

According to released information from the Ohio State Bar Association, “Book has been hired as legislative counsel. He succeeds previous OSBA Legislative Counsel Mary Amos Augsburger, who recently became OSBA executive director.

Book’s duties as legislative counsel will include management, coordination and administration of the OSBA legislation and government relations program, through interaction with the Ohio General Assembly, administrative agencies of the state of Ohio and OSBA committees and sections. He will assist OSBA committees and sections in preparing their legislative proposals.”

Book said the transition to his new job leaves a lot of work to be done.

“There are things to be done here at my law office and at the county. We’ve talked with the folks at the bar association and they are supportive and know that I have a lot of things I need to take care of here before a full transition can be made,” Book said. “The county commissioners were made aware of this and I have utmost faith in those gentleman. I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to assist them with some important changes and I want to continue with that process.”

He said the transition will officially start in the first part of October, with a goal of completing necessary tasks and fully transitioning as expeditiously as possible.

“I feel great for the opportunity that I’ve received from the county commissioners and their confidence in my to help make some changes. I’ve never seen so much excitement in the community for what’s going on. I feel like people realize there are some big changes coming through the Southern Ohio Port Authority, the Joint Economic Development Initiative or the Scioto County Health Coalition. I think the community is moving in the right direction and I’m glad to think that maybe I’ve been a part of that and I look forward to watching to continue to in a positive step,” Book said.

Book is in a unique position because he gets to be part of the discussions to choose his replacement with the hiring of the Executive Director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority.

“As the chairman I get to help with that decision and am looking forward to that. We have several good applicants,” Book said.

The position of director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) has netted nine applications. Book has stated he would like to have someone in that position by the first of October.

According to information provided by the Ohio State Bar Association, Book, is a former four-term member of the Ohio House of Representatives, was first elected in 2002. He served the 89th House District, which includes all of Scioto County, the western half of Lawrence County and the eastern half of Adams County in Southern Ohio, from 2003-2010.

Book earned his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University where he majored in political science. He earned his law degree from the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law.

Book is a fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation, a former member of the OSBA Board of Governors, and a trustee of the 2nd Presbyterian Church. His wife, Emily, is a tutor for dyslexic students. They have three children: Cassidy, Avery and Meredith.

William K. Weisenberg, OSBA assistant executive director for public affairs, government relations and diversity initiatives said in a released statement, “The Ohio State Bar Association maintains an excellent relationship with the state’s elected officials, offering advice and counsel regarding legislative matters that are important to the Ohio legal community and the general public. As the next legislative counsel, Todd brings extensive knowledge of state government that will help us continue that longstanding tradition. His legal training and public sector experience will make him a valuable resource for our Association in working with the Ohio legislature.”

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.