By: Chardon Resident
Vote NO on Issue 5 & 6. These were renewed in the past. A renewal is just to get an agency over a rough patch and should give them the opportunity to adjust there spending. They are not meant to be continuously renewed. Vote “no” and our property taxes will go down.
Issue 5: Geauga County – Job and Family Services (78 PCTS) – Tax Levy – 0.5 mill – Children Services – Renewal – 5 years – commencing in 2020, first due 2021
The Director of JFS is Craig Swenson. He oversees family services. Swenson had $28,246 dollars withheld from his pay in 2019 by Child Enforcement Support. While he is telling other how to run their lives, he isn’t taking care of his responsibilities.
His annual pay is $91,000, plus 32% benefits, last year he netted $45,313, plus benefits.
Why does Swenson reimburse the Prosecutor’s office $75,000 each year for the services of Prosecutor Flaiz’s investigator Christopher Scott? Are we supposed to be gullible enough to believe that Scott works a forty-hour week for JFS? Swenson worked for Prosecutor Flaiz before he went to JFS. It smells like another Flaiz crony hire but hidden in someone else’s budget.
JFS is poorly run and overly financed. They have excess monies and they do not document work schedules. Try calling any staff member, they never answer their phones. The staff does not fill out accurate time cards/reports.
The building housing JFS on Merritt Rd. was sold to University Hospitals for $2.5 million in Dec. 2019. JFS will remain it in for three years, with the first two years rent free, according to County Administrator Gerry Morgan.
JFS does not need our tax dollars. Let them figure out how to work a budget like the rest of us do. And they could immediately save $75,000 by dumping Scott. They have other investigators on the staff.
Salaries and benefits for this agency for 2019 was $ 7,277,919.
Issue 6: Geauga County – Department on Aging (78 PCTS) – Tax Levy – 1 mill – Senior Citizens Services – Renewal – 5 years – commencing in 2020, first due 2021
This is another joke that isn’t funny.
Dept. of Aging Director, Jessica Boalt, had no experience for the job but was hired by former county administrator David Lair. Her background was music therapy and Lair knew her through her work. That’s all it took for her to get hired for a job she was not prepared to do.
The Commissioners just approved a law firm to do 778 hours of legal work for the agency for 2020 at a cost of $86,750. When Boalt was asked recently how many hours the law firm worked last year, Boalt did not know. Apparently, she is still not prepared to do her $75,000 a year job (plus benefits).
The Department of Aging is spending millions of dollars a year on what? I know residents who are living in homes valued at $250,000 and they are receiving meals on wheels? The agency is spending money on catering, paying for trips out of state, buying vehicles from Auto Junction, greasing the palms of local business friends and not opening up to new vendors. If you are not in their inner circle, A.K.A., the “good old boys” network, then you are out of luck.
The Department of Aging spends $3,900 a month for rent for a senior center West Geauga Plaza shopping center. It is one of four spaces they rent for seniors. It’s a dump and overpriced for its size. Additionally, there is a large rent increase anticipated since the entire budget for rent is going up more than 40%. I am a senior and do not know one person who goes to any of the centers.
The Dept. of Aging building on Merritt Rd. was sold to University Hospitals for $1.05 million in Dec. 2019. The agency administration moved to 470 Center St. but the senior center will remain on Merrit Rd. for two years, rent free, until a new facility can be found.
They do not need passage of this levy, they should close this department. It’s just part of the nepotism network in Geauga County.
Salaries and benefits for this agency for 2019 was $ 2,154,073.
Rents for the four senior citizen facilities for 2019 was $64,575. The rent now budgeted for 2020 is $95,870. WHY? Who is getting the kickbacks?
VOTE NO ON BOTH ISSUES 5 AND 6 ON MARCH 17. THEY DON’T NEED “OUR” MONEY. THEY ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH. AND ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.