I was asked recently by Billie Rykard to make a presentation to the Belle Vista/Allendale Neighborhood Association on July 8. Many of you probably know Billie as the President of the Association, as well as a dedicated worker for her neighborhood and a great advocate for Waynedale.

As I was preparing some background information to give to Billie, I began thinking about the many changes my staff and I have made here at the Trustee’s office since I took office in January of 2007. I took office at a very difficult time for Wayne Township.

Our country was heading into an economic crisis that would bring many more clients to our office for financial help with basis necessities. Yet at the same time, our tax revenue was being reduced by the State and by the circumstances of the coming recession. We also were being attacked by those who wanted to eliminate Township Government.

Yet, we rose to the occasion and began making adjustments so we could help as many clients as possible with fewer resources. We changed our Eligibility Standards, reduced staff through attrition and worked very hard at becoming more efficient in service delivery.

As we made changes, we always kept in mind the dual goals of the Trustee’s Office. Those goals are being a community leader in countering the effects of poverty, while maintaining careful guardianship of the taxpayers’ resources.

I am very proud of the strides we have made, particularly in reorganizing and improving our Employment Department, now called the “Employment Training Center.” We have three full-time employees now assigned to the Employment Training Center and several employees help on a part-time basis.

The employees in the Employment Training Center work individually with every client who is able to work to assist them in finding jobs. We provide employment training and partner with other agencies, which help our clients with resume’ writing and training.

I told you in my last column about our new Employment Computer Center where Wayne Township employees assistant clients in searching and applying for jobs on-line. Our Employment Training Center employees spend time in the field meeting with and establishing partnerships with employers who are looking for good employees. Last year we had great success with our employment program, which found jobs for over 200 clients.

Wayne Township has faced criticism by the larger newspapers and opponents of Township government, who have claimed our administrative cost is too high. Included among our administrative costs is our Employment Training Center, which provides a much-needed service for our clients.

Finding jobs for clients is a win-win for everyone. Clients who have found jobs feel good about themselves because they no longer have to accept public assistance and because they are contributing to our community. Employers receive good, prepared employees and tax money is saved.


Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.

Wayne Township Trustee

The Waynedale News Staff
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Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.

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