Pounds: Heavy leviesWritten by Tom Pounds/ Michael S. Miller | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not practical, logical or fair to give a blanket endorsement to every levy on the ballot. Nor is it logical or fair to dismiss every one of them without careful consideration. Toledo Free Press strongly endorses two levies on the ballot:
Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County: Service demands are outpacing this important organization’s resources. It has shown fiscal responsibility by eliminating nearly $3.2 million in programs and cutting staff levels by 20 percent, yet risks a nearly $1 million deficit in 2013. More than 24,400 people were served by the MHRSB this year, with needs increasing. It has submitted a strong and responsible strategic plan and has worked to deliver on its mission to “cultivate a high quality, efficient and accountable network of community assets dedicated to reducing the impact of mental illness and addiction.”
This levy would cost $30.62 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
Lucas County Children Services: Under the consistent and resourceful leadership of Executive Director Dean Sparks, LCCS has actually reduced the amount of its levy millage.
“If it doesn’t end up passing this time or next time, that’s going to affect direct services for kids, services we contract for,” Sparks said. “We spend $350,000 for substance abuse services. Child advocacy contracts would be in danger, mentoring and tutoring for children would be in danger, not to mention there would be a significant layoff of our staff.”
Other levies deserve your consideration. Scott J. Savage, president of the Board of Park Commissioners, argues for the Metroparks: “Metroparks enhance property values and make communities attractive places to live and do business. The Metroparks play roles in education, environmental protection and the overall ‘livability’ of our region.”
The 0.9-mill levy would replace the 0.3-mill levy that expires at the end of its 10-year term Dec. 31. If passed, the 0.9-mill levy will require renewal in 10 years. This levy provides the funds for the Metroparks system’s land acquisition, improvement projects and park operations.
The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library is placing a 2.9-mill levy on the ballot that if passed will replace and increase its 2-mill levy, which is due to expire at the end of this year. The current 2-mill levy has been in effect for four years.
The proposed levy will require renewal in five years, said Clyde Scoles, executive director of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
With a total of seven levies on the ballot, voters face tough decisions. Not all the organizations on the ballot have made a strong case. Perhaps this jam-up at the polls will cause some groups to think twice before they again pile on voters with this many requests on voters at one time.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.
Tags: Clyde Scoles, Dean Sparks, Lucas County Children Services, Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, Metroparks, Publisher's Statement, Scott J. Savage, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Tom Pounds