Vote NO on Issue 5 & 6: March 17, 2020

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?


6 thoughts on “Vote NO on Issue 5 & 6: March 17, 2020

  1. I’m voting “No” on both levies.

    I do not know anyone who is qualified for free meals, housekeeping, etc., from the Department of Aging. Geauga County has the highest property values, incomes and education in Ohio, how can we be spending over 5 million dollars to serve who?

    Jessica Boalt’s salary has increased close to $25,000 quickly after she was hired, for what?

    I’m voting NO. If they keep taxing us, I will be eligible for meals on wheels.

  2. I don’t need anything from the government, including meals on wheels. They need to stop the part of the property taxes on our homes that they give to the schools. I paid for my children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren to go to school. How about giving the seniors a break. Stop taxing us for the schools when we hit seventy years of age.

  3. I”m voting no on all levies. I’m done. I just posted on the salary site because my taxes have gone up 35% over the past five years. enough is enough.

  4. As a Chardon resident, I have to comment on the inaccuracy of this post. Anyone can look up public salaries, make faulty assumptions, and create paranoid hype. Clearly they don’t understand how lucky we are to live in this county. The taxes we pay on these levies is well monitored and goes to at risk children and elderly. None of us like paying taxes but we would be paying a lot more on the back end if these amazing agencies didn’t do the preventive work they do!

    Don’t we all want abused and neglected children to be cared for? How about the elderly who have nobody? If you think renewals aren’t necessary, look up the drastic increase in numbers of children needing county services due the opioid epidemic. Geauga Job and Family Services is well run and one of the most efficient in the State of Ohio. Do the staff there work 40 hours per week? No. They work 50-55 on salary! If you don’t believe that, educate yourself on what they actually do for our community. I know because I worked as a child abuse investigator in another county. I wish they all ran like Geauga. They go above and beyond yet people like the resident posting this just pull salary stats and make stuff up. When you’ve worked in the trenches of this emotionally and physically draining work, you know the truth! And yes, child support is paid out of a person’s paycheck no matter who they are. That’s how it works. It’s automatic! At least it is for those who are handing their responsibilities and paying it. I trust those who help the vulnerable in this county because I see the outcomes of my tax dollars. I will proudly vote for Issues 5 and 6. I know most Chardon residents will because this is an awesome community!

  5. I’m voting no. Enough is enough. Where and how is grant money being spent? Cps just got a renewal on grant money. That should take care of taxpayers money. People are coming here to find ways to steal our money because they figure it’s a high percentage of seniors and why not steal from them!! Don’t steal our elections like some are trying to steal our votes for our duly elected president. Some love what he is doing. I am one

  6. Enough is enough All government agencies waste our tax dollars
    They need to start being concerned about the tax payer not themselves

    Blame it on ourselves for not holding politicians accountable

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