Children#8217;s levy will make lives better

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 17, 2008

How much is one child’s safety worth? What would you pay to ensure a better life, a better future for a child in need?

Most people would quickly say that it is impossible to put a price tag on these types of securities that many of us take for granted. But this does have a price and it may be just a few dollars a month — in fact it is only $2.55 a month for someone who owns a home with an assessed value of $100,000

Some may say this is an oversimplified breakdown of the Lawrence County Children’s Services tax levy that voters are going to be asked to vote on in the March 4 primary? It isn’t.

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This is the cold, hard truth of what these dollars will be used for and we hope voters weigh it on its own merits rather than focusing on other levies they already pay.

The agency is asking voters to support a 1-mil property tax levy, that will generate approximately $625,000, in order to continue providing services to the neglected and abused children of Lawrence County. More than half of Ohio’s 88 counties already have this in place.

But this wasn’t something director Gene Myers took lightly and not something he felt he had any other recourse on.

“Right now, we are only able to do the minimum,” Myers said. “The minimum, when it comes to a child’s life, is unacceptable.”

The agency averages nearly 100 children a day that it has in its care and custody. At $42.50 per child, per day, this adds up to a big chunk of money each year, nearly $1.5 million.

With dwindling state and federal funds that were cut nearly 10 percent in 2007, combined with a growing need tied to an increase in crime, Myers said he was left with no choice but to appeal to the taxpayers to give him the tools to continue to take care of these children in need and to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to protecting children who may be in unsafe homes.

While many people may want to balk at giving more tax dollars, they have to understand that this has nothing to do with the county’s financial problems and these dollars would only be spent on services for these children.

Myers is adamant that his agency has continued to tighten its belt everywhere that it can and that these monies will be spent the right way.

“It is my responsibility to do something for these children, we are hoping people look at the integrity and value of what we do.”

We hope voters do support this because a few dollars is a small price to pay for the future of a