UPDATE: The Dept. on Aging had a levy approved in 2016, which means the money started coming to them 2017. In 2018 Director Jessica Boalt bought two 2019 GMC Terrain SUVs for $57,000. Why brand new? Didn’t Junction Auto have a couple of 2015s sitting around that she could have bought for half that price?
Vote NO on Issue 6: Department on Aging. It is a five-year renewal and they should have figured out with the last renewal how to budget their money, like the rest of us have to do.
Dept. of Aging Director, Jessica Boalt, had no experience for the job when she was hired in 2014 by former county administrator David Lair. Her background was music therapy and Lair knew her through that work. That’s all it took for her to get hired for a job she was not prepared to do and that paid about $50,000, plus 32% benefits.
In six years, her salary is now $75,500, plus benefits. Do the math on that one. What does someone have to do to get a 50% raise?
The Commissioners recently approved the law firm of Schraff Thomas to do 778 hours of legal work for the agency for 2020 at a cost of $110 an hour for the first 700 hours and $125 an hour for the additional ones. When Boalt was asked recently how many hours they worked last year, she did not know.
A public record request was made for a copy of all bills for legal work done for seniors and the number of hours billed. A seventy-seven page pdf file was sent in response to that request but no hourly figure was included.
When inquiring again about the number of hours, Boalt told me to add up the pages myself. How foolish of me to think that the director of a county agency, paid for by my taxes, would know how many hours they were billed for legal fees, but math was obviously not taught at music school.
I filed a complaint with the OH Court of Claims * because, whether they like it or not, the “keepers” of the records are civil servants and work for us. They somehow believe they own the records.
Although Ms. Boalt, whose husband also works for the county, couldn’t figure out how many legal hours were allegedly used by the law firm, I was able to. I requested from the Auditor’s office, the total amount paid to the law firm of Schraff Thomas last year. That amount was $75,215.
Dividing the entire amount by $110/hr., the total number hours accounted were 684 hours. (The first quarter pay reflected the last three months of 2018; however the first quarter pay this year should be equivalent to the last three months of 2019 .)
So with the Commissioners not even aware of how many hours Schraff Thomas charged last year, they added an almost extra 100 hours for this year. People are not doing their jobs and the taxpayers are getting hosed.
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 is 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 already have all the money they need; it’s just part of the nepotism network in Geauga County and it’s easy to spend other peoples’ money.
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?
VOTE “NO” ON ISSUE 6 ON MARCH 17. THEY DON’T NEED “OUR” MONEY. THEY ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH. AND ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
- I dismissed my complaint when I realized I was capable of doing what Ms. Boalt couldn’t do, or didn’t want me to know.