After serving the maximum three terms, Linda Craig is leaving her position on the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities. She attended her last meeting on Nov. 18, receiving a surprise farewell banner and much applause from FCBDD employees and early-childhood program students.
“It’s been 12 years, but it sure doesn’t seem like that long,” she said. “I just feel honored to have been a part. All I can say is, this is the best board ever.”
Because no one in her immediate family has a developmental disability, Craig’s experience with the disabilities system was fairly limited when she was first appointed to the board. From Medicaid waivers to privatization of services and a seemingly endless list of acronyms, “It was a whole new world to me,” she said. “I learned a lot.”
Craig said she’s especially appreciative of the friendship she developed with Christine Brown, a passionate self-advocate who attends most board meetings. “Christine is my heart,” she said. “She has so much to teach people; that young lady could be a lobbyist. She has so much knowledge, and she’s a fighter. She’s inspired me.”
Brown said she has always found it easy to work with Craig. “We formed a connection and I keep her up to date,” Brown said. “We’d both like to see a self-advocate on the board sometime.”
A native of Yonkers, New York, Craig works for the Franklin County Treasurer and is married to state Sen. Hearcel F. Craig. He came to the county board offices – with flowers — for her last meeting.
“Linda has always been so supportive of those we serve and our staff,” said Jed Morison, FCBDD Superintendent/CEO. “Her guidance as (board) president helped to pass a levy and she provided steady, insightful leadership. She will be missed.”
Craig promised not to be a stranger. “If ever you need a volunteer,” she said, “I will be there.”