I’m glad I attended today’s Commissioners’ Public Hearing for alternatives and input on increasing the county tax. There will be two more meetings and I hope the attendance is greater than today’s, it may have been the weather or the time of day, but the majority seemed to be County employees.
I learned a lot from the dialogue and I believe we can’t rely on mass media for the information needed to make our decisions. The Commissioner’s meetings have always been televised (wish Lorain’s Council meetings were).
I came away amazed that the ordinances/laws in place will not allow the system to improve.
• There are State mandated rules that affect the prison system (where prisoners have better living conditions than our men and women in service overseas)
• The salaries of our Commissioners (they can’t take a pay cut)
• Civil Service (they can’t take a pay cut)
• Unions have contracts and non-union receives the same increases
• A Sheriff’s Deputy must remain with an inmate in the hospital 24/7
• The Levies we’ve voted for pay for the salaries of those individuals who contribute (MRDD etc) (they can’t take a pay cut)
In the words of Ted Kalo, “Expenses are mandated.”
I hadn’t realized how much the Sheriff’s Department does with so little:
• They serve warrants
• They are responsible for the 700+ Sex Offenders in the County
• The FBI’s report says that a County this size should have 110 Sheriff Deputies, at this time we have 20 on the road all shifts.
It’s forecasted that with the reduction in revenue 1 of 3 criminals will avoid the Justice System if the tax is not implemented.
I didn’t realize ¼% of the current tax goes to the Jail, ½% goes toward the County Government and the remainder is the State’s. (I don’t understand I hope someone will explain)
It was mentioned that they were going to approach the Unions to discuss concessions. I can’t help but think, if I were asked to give up something, I would ask if the rest of the “Team” was doing so as well.
I learned a lot; I have a different perspective, but I also wonder now if we have any chance.