The Wayne Township Trustee Office is the local government office entity established to serve the residents of its township in emergency financial situations. Our mission statement is “guardian of the taxpayer, advocate for those in need.” The Indiana statutes under which the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office operates are very explicit in terms of describing the emergency situations that qualify someone for township assistance. The Indiana statutes, however, are far less explicit in the budgeting phase thereby empowering the local trustee to budget the appropriate amount for the local need. This empowerment is a great example of the wisdom in design of Indiana local government allowing the flexibility to adjust to meet the emergency situations of our less fortunate. During our budget process, every effort is considered in the estimate of the budget to save taxpayer dollars.

The Wayne Township Trustee Office offers many programs and works with other agencies to save taxpayer dollars. In my opinion, one of the most beneficial of all the programs is the Payee Program.

The Payee Program has eliminated numerous residents from the need of poor relief assistance by budgeting monthly resources and ensuring that basic living expenses are paid first before anything else and that the beneficiary’s day-to-day needs for food, shelter and medical care are met. Benefits are then used for the beneficiary’s personal needs, such as clothing, recreation and other items for the beneficiary’s personal comfort. Or, it may be saved on his or her behalf. Interested participants can be assisted with obtaining funeral trust, furniture, auto and home insurance (when applicable and feasible).

The Payee Program has saved taxpayer dollars that can be used for residents in need and has prevented resources from being wasted on non-essential expenses. The services received far exceed the budgeting of monthly income. Participants are assisted with re-certifications for continued shelter, food and medical assistance from the city, state, and federal government. Income and expense verifications necessary are provided to the appropriate destination when requested.

While the notion of saving taxpayer dollars is always a priority, other rewards come from this program as well. Proper budgeting with each individual cannot only ensure that further assistance is not needed, but also increase the quality of living for the individuals.

The Wayne Township Trustee’s Office Payee Program has grown rapidly. Over the years we have adapted our approach to satisfy the increasing need for the Payee Program’s services. New software and bookkeeping strategies have been implemented in order to serve more individuals while not increasing the resources needed from the taxpayer.

Although the program has grown immensely since its inception, I believe that we have continued to help each participant of the program on an individual basis. By combining strict organization and knowing each individual and the needs that they have, our office has been able to increase the productivity of the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office Payee Program with little increase in the program’s budget.

The Wayne Township Payee Program is truly a model of our mission. By advocating for those people with disabling conditions that are not able to manage their finances and then by using those same finances for all their current and future needs, your tax dollars are not used to care for them. In fact, they help pay as well. The Wayne Township Trustee Office employee for sixteen years and payee representative for the participants of the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office Payee Program recently stated, “I can honestly say that it has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career. The participants and I, along with office staff, have become very close. The individuals are considered the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office families.” If you have any questions about the Payee Program, please contact William, Callie, or Tim at the Wayne Township Office at 449-7000.

The Waynedale News Staff

Matthew Schomburg

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