During the Thanksgiving season, I always take time to think about the many blessings for which I am thankful. I am especially thankful this year that you, the voters of Wayne Township, decided to bestow on me the privilege of serving you as your Trustee for another four years.
I love this job and am excited about continuing to pursue the initiatives I started during my first term. Being able to help those in need and watching them progress toward independence is a wonderful experience. I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to carry on this work.
When I took office almost four year ago, I remember feeling a little overwhelmed with all that needed to be done. Between the election and the beginning of my term, I had familiarized myself with Township law and finances and began the process of putting my staff in place. Little did I know that within a few days of taking office, my staff and I would need to find new housing for several of our clients.
These clients were residing in a Township housing program. After an inspection, we discovered that the apartments in which our clients were living were filthy, infested with vermin and unfit for habitation. We immediately had to find suitable housing for the clients and help them move to their new residences.
We definitely had to “hit the ground running.” But, we were up for the challenge and the many challenges that followed.
When I took office, we were faced with a budget shortfall and had to take steps to get the budget under control. This was a painful process as we were forced to cut one program that, while beneficial, was expensive in view of the number clients being helped. During our first year, we had to put new personal policies in place to save the Township money.
I took office during a “perfect storm.” The economy was getting worse and worse and more clients needed our help. Yet, tax revenue was dwindling, and we had fewer dollars available for assisting our clients. We had to find innovative ways to continue to provide the best service possible with less money.
We spent time revising our Township Eligibility Standards. We placed caps on the amount of assistance we were providing while at the same time looking at ways to help clients become independent and no longer need Township Assistance.
We really focused on our Employment program. We created our “Employment Training Center” and started our Wednesday employment training classes. All clients able to work were required to attend employment training each week. We improved our Workfare Department, which oversees the work clients are required to perform for non-profit agencies in exchange for their assistance.
In our Representative Payee Program, we developed better communication with clients and started a procedure to make sure each client is getting all the benefits to which he or she entitled. The Representative Payee Program helps challenged clients, most of whom receive Social Security disability benefits, to manage their own money. The program is a service we at the Trustee’s Office provide for the public at no cost to the clients.
Most importantly, during the past almost four years, I have continued to stress to our staff the importance of treating every person who walks through our door with respect. Any one of us could fall on hard times. We must treat clients the same way we would want to be treated if we were on the other side of the desk.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
Latest posts by Richard A. Stevenson - Wayne Township Trustee (see all)
- HOLIDAY CELEBRATION WITH HOLIDAY CHEER SATURDAY, DEC. 16 – Voice Of The Township - December 8, 2017
- REMEMBER SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY – Voice Of The Township - November 24, 2017
- GIVING BACK BY WORKING – Voice Of The Township - November 10, 2017