I addressed the Lake County Commissioners today and discussed the following items:
- I mentioned that I attended the Sunshine Law Training at Lakeland Community College. Since we learned that a citizen may ask for the compensation package of any public official, we gave Mr. Dave Hackman, legal assistant to the Commissioners, a letter requesting the 2017 compensation package for all of the ADAMHS Board employees. Mr. Mike DeLeone of the Prosecutor’s office said that I should get the information by next week. We will post that information when it becomes available.
- We asked Mr. Jason Boyd, County Administrator, if he had the answers to our question about RSVP, and he indicated that he did, and proceeded to give them to me after the meeting. We will discuss the results in a separate post.
We did indicate to the Commissioners and Mr. Boyd, that we believe that there seems to be two better, cost effective, alternatives to handling Lake County volunteers: (1) have a volunteer keep track of the other volunteers, or (2) have all volunteers under the direction of Mr. Joe Tomsick of the Lake County Council on Aging.
- We also mentioned that we are concerned about the “unfunded pension liabilities” that we see on reported balance sheets in Lake County. For example, Lake County’s pension liabilities in 2015 were $74,172,952, but increased to $106,151,474 in 2016. Lakeland Community College showed $97 million in pension liabilities, that appear to be largely unfunded. Mike Matas, Lake County Finance Director, is an fine individual that I have tremendous respect for his knowledge and transparency. He indicated that he has been debating with the State of Ohio’s Auditor’s office about the correctness of showing this item on Lake County’s Balance Sheet. I am still not satisfied that I have the answer yet on this whole issue, so I will continue to pursue other avenues to get to the bottom of this issue.
- We also inquired about the Commissioners’ Retire/Rehire policy. This policy deals with County employees that have 30 years of service and wish to start collecting their pension benefits, but also wish to continue working for the County. We will have a separate post on this specific issue.
- We learned that Job and Family Services is required by the Ohio Revised Code to handle all elder abuse issues in the County. (We had previously learned from the Council on Aging that elder abuse is a serious problem) In the past, the Director of Job and Family Services did not have the financial resources to assign personnel to adequately handle this issue. Working with Jason Boyd, County Administrator, funds from the Senior Services Levy will be reassigned to Job and Family Services to allow for full time employees that can be dedicated to resolve elder abuse issues. Lake County is fortunate to have dedicated public servants like Jason Boyd and Matt Battiato, Director of Job and Family Services, to address the problems for seniors of Lake County.