A BIG ‘THANK YOU!’
It goes without saying that a big “thank you” is owed to all of the nurses, doctors, hospital staff and first responders.
Thank you to all who put themselves in harm’s way for the well-being of all. I would also like to thank everyone else who, while they are not in continuous direct contact with the ill, still generously serve our residents with mail delivery, package delivery, food boxes, grocery delivery and home health services.
All of this is essential to our seniors who are some of the highest at risk. Without them, we would surely have suffered even more during this quarantine.
A special thank you to the Maranatha Bible Church in Van Buren for food from their pantry; West Ohio Food Bank and the National Guard from Lima, who delivered the food boxes; and family members and our personal care aides for their service.
I hope I did not miss anyone, but thank you to all for everything in assisting our residents during this difficult time.
Blanchard House and Kiwanis Village
CITY MUST GET INNOVATIVE
At the May 19 Findlay City Council meeting, City Auditor Staschiak informed council that he would be reducing estimated general fund receipts by $5.3 million. I’m sure this was not an easy decision to make, but it was necessary since the State of Ohio does not allow deficit spending. This early notification by the auditor allows the mayor and city council time to make the required adjustments in spending to avoid major budget shortfalls at the end of the year.
During the late 1970s, I served as the city auditor for a community in Northeast Ohio where revenue sources were significantly reduced due to the closing of the steel mills that were our largest employer. As stated earlier, the mayor and council were required by law to balance the city budget. Obviously, I am aware that a city can address this issue in many different ways. Some of the things we did then were:
• We evaluated our expenditures, making public safety the highest priority. As a result of this process we found that, over the years when finances were good, we had added expenditures to the budget that were nice but not necessary. These were our first cuts.
• We cut all capital expenditures, except for emergencies.
• Although economic development had never been a priority because of our low unemployment, we built an industrial park to attract new businesses and jobs to the community.
• We reached out to our citizens by holding public meetings to solicit ideas.
The COVID-19 virus has had a profound effect on the nation’s economy resulting in local governments having to find innovative ways to do more with less. I would encourage the mayor and council to move forward in a positive direction and develop a strategic plan that increases the tax base without increasing the tax rates.