Lake County Council on Aging….questions answered

Updated: 12/11/18

After reviewing the financial statements of the Lake County Council on Aging, we had some questions and sent the following email to Joseph R. Tomsick, Executive Director.

“Upon reviewing the financial statements for 2017, we noticed that the Council had $900,000 in cash, $1,290,371 in investments, no long term debt, and $3,109,898 in unrestricted net assets   With your current cash position, you have absolutely no trouble in paying your bills.   We would call this a very “clean” and “strong” balance sheet.  Is there something that we are missing, or failing to consider when looking at your balance sheet, which gives the financial condition of an entity at a point in time?

Council of Aging Balance Sheet 1 12-31-18

This catches us by surprise since we thought that the Council was running out of cash, and therefore, needed the senior levy to be passed.  It has the image of an organization that is financially strapped, and requires 600+ volunteers to carry out the services into the community.

Can you please tell us what plans you have for the $1,290,371?  Perhaps it has already been spent on new programs in 2018.  What is the current balance of your marketable securities?

*********************

Here is the Senior Levy distributions for 2013 – 2019:
Senior Levy Distributions 2013 – 2019 details

It is worthy to note that there are two functions formerly done by the Council on Aging that have been assigned to other agencies.  Jobs and Family Services and Western Reserve Community Development have seen their revenues increased because the issues of elder abuse and home repairs for the needy, formerly handled by the Council on Aging, are now being addressed by their respective agencies.  The Ohio Revised Code gives the authority to the governmental agency, Jobs and Family Services, to deal with elder abuse, and the Council on Aging was happy to transfer home repairs to Western Reserve Community Development since that was not their area of expertise.

The Council on Aging, with their increased revenue and a reduced role in the other two areas, should now have the resources to combat the issue of ‘food deficit’ in our senior community.

LFC has recommended that the RSVP non-profit be folded into the Council on Aging, since many of the same volunteers are used by both non-profits; we believe that there is waste of taxpayer funds by supporting the RSVP non-profit.

*********************
Here is the response that we received from Mr. Tomsick:
  1. As a non-profit organization, it is imperative that the Council on Aging practice fiscal responsibility in dealing with the challenges of the ever growing, aging population of Lake County.   We continue to be good stewards of every dollar the agency receives.  The general rule for nonprofit organizations like ours is to maintain a financial reserve for unexpected financial difficulties that could occur, for example, in the event that one of our current funding sources is unexpectedly delayed, reduced or completely eliminated.

We will continue to always act responsibly.   Should a financial shortfall occur,          having this reserve would be vital to the agency and our community to help sustain services and programs for the senior population in Lake County until funding could be restored.

  1. In regards to your question from Friday, Dec. 7, 2018:

    The “Coalition” is a term used to describe the original group of senior levy recipients, 10 senior centers, RSVP and COA.   I will refer you to page 9 and 10 of the Lake County, Ohio Senior Citizens: Today, Tomorrow and in the Future, FINAL REPORT: October 16, 2015 for some more detail about the Coalition:   https://www.lakecountyohio.gov/Portals/4/SeniorReport/Lake%20County%20Report%20-%20FINAL%2010-16-2015.pdf?ver=2015-10-30-122133-077 for some more detail.

    Thank you,

    JOSEPH R. TOMSICK
    Chief Executive Officer
    Lake County Council on Aging
    8520 East Avenue
    Mentor, Ohio 44060
    (440) 205-8111

    ********************

    We reviewed their program expenses for the year and compared them to their annual revenue.

    For the year ended 2017, their total revenue was $2,472,890 and their program expenses were $2,109,312, or 85.3% of their revenue.   We would applaud them for the overwhelming majority of their revenue going to their expressed purpose of aiding seniors of Lake County.

Their programs expenses were:
1. Meals on Wheels    $817,145
2. Geriatric Services   $658,914
3. Congregate Meals   $213,154
4. Other programs      $419,689
Total                           $2,109,312

We would agree with Mr. Tomsick’s  statement that they are good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.  They do not display excessive spending on offices, compensation or benefits.  They rely on a tremendous number of volunteers to provide the services to the community, and even their Board of Directors are all volunteers.



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