What a beautiful day we had for the Waynedale picnic. My wife, Carol, and I enjoyed the picnic and enjoyed seeing many of you there. All of us owe a big “thank you” to the hard working organizers of this great neighborhood event.
September is budget time for many governmental entities, and Wayne Township is no different. During September, we are required to publish our estimated budget in the Journal-Gazette and News-Sentinel, conduct a public hearing and our Township Board will vote on the budget at the end of the month.
Like most governmental entities facing less tax dollars, we had to make cuts in our proposed 2009 budget. I am thankful we started planning last year so we would be better prepared for what we knew was coming.
After much thought and hard work, I am proposing a 2009 budget four percent below this year’s budget. It pains me to not be able to help those in need with as much assistance as I would like to provide them. But, I also understand the burdens we taxpayers face and the necessity to keep taxes under control.
We put controls in place last Spring as to how much financial assistance each client is eligible to receive. These controls have allowed us to recommend a budget without an increase in the direct assistance category.
We are able to help more clients, but each client we help may receive less financial assistance than in the past. I thought this was the fairest way to deal with our budget limitations.
In addition, I was able to recommend a considerable reduction in our proposed budget for personal services. We have not replaced some staff members who left Township employment and have reorganized to make sure we are using our dedicated staff efficiently.
To better assist our clients in these difficult times, we have focused on doing everything we can to help them become self-sufficient. We upgraded our Employment Department toward the end of last year and have been working with our clients to eliminate barriers to obtaining employment.
We are requiring clients to seek affordable housing and are giving them three months to find lower cost housing before decreasing their assistance amount.
We have partnered with Community Harvest Food Bank, which brings food to our office once a week for our clients. We also have a food pantry in our office as part of the Associated Churches Food Bank program.
I believe my staff and I have come up with the best possible budget for these trying times. While we had to make cuts, we are continuing to strive every day to provide quality services for Wayne Township.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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