Pounds: Yes to three leviesWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
Lucas County voters will see three countywide levies on the Nov. 8 ballot, less than one month away.
- Issue 15 is a renewal for Lucas County 911 operations and capital improvements.
- Issue 16 is a tax-levy renewal for Lucas County Children Services.
- Issue 17 is a renewal of the levy for the maintenance and operation of one of our most famous assets, the Toledo Zoo.
No renewal should be an automatic yes, but these three requests are as close to that as voters are likely to get.
The 911 renewal levy is not to exceed 0.7 mill for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.07 for each $100 of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2011, first due in calendar year 2012. This is a vital service that unquestionably saves lives and deserves its continued funding.
The Children Services levy is not to exceed 1.4 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.14 for each $100 of valuation for five years, commencing in 2011, first due in calendar year 2012. The organization has made the necessary adjustments to merit strong support. It is working with 20 fewer staff positions than in 2007, it manages with declining funding from state and federal sources and it has utilized its fund balance to maintain uninterrupted services to local families. It has taken such tough steps as limiting personnel costs, eliminating its tuition assistance program and reducing agency expenses.
Meanwhile, it has seen a 30 percent increase in demand for services through the first half of 2011, serving 7,759 children and 3,348 families through the end of June. For the next few weeks, Toledo Free Press, as a show of its strong endorsement for Lucas County Childrens Services, will spotlight the agency in a series of articles about its services and its efforts to do more with less.
The Toledo Zoo may not be as life-and-death urgent to our lives as 911 and Children Services, but as a former board member, I can attest to the economic impact and quality of life contribution the zoo represents. Again, this is a renewal levy, with no additional expenses requested.
Lucas County voters do not need to be told these are difficult economic times. Nor do they need to be told that some services are too essential to the long run to be cut during a short-term crisis. We hope Lucas County voters will consider a yes vote on Issues 15, 16 and 17.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.