It’s time to restore local government funds


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The State’s cuts came on the heels of the recession after Shelby County Elected Officials had already made serious cuts to their budget. As I assumed office in 2012, I was not present when the tough choices were made that included removing all support to 14 non-mandated state agencies, employee voluntary pay reductions, cuts to employee health plans, and deferment of necessary infrastructure maintenance and improvements. The cuts of 2012-2013 ensured hiring was frozen, raises for staff were nonexistent, and county department requests were met with the word “NO.”

Over time, Shelby County has been able to make long overdue infrastructure improvements and has made great strides in other areas such as improving support to economic development efforts. However, many of the cuts made 12-15 years ago have never been restored.

I know that as Shelby County, and all Ohio counties, compete in today’s economy we need new flexible funding to accomplish our citizen’s goals. While many legislators develop grant and loan programs for which we are to apply, the reality is that every county has different needs and should not have to try to use the latest lingo to bring tax dollars back to the local level. That is why I am advocating for a full restoration of LGF to 3.68% by the Governor and Legislature in the State Fiscal year 2024-2025 operating budget.

If we are to advance Shelby County competitively, we must be able to improve our broadband availability. We must have an educated workforce, and we must have infrastructure that allows for the efficient transportation of goods, services, and people. Having an increase in LGF monies would allow us to have funds towards these goals as well as fill in gaps currently seen with our Victim Services Agency, Juvenile Court and Child Protective Services. As one of the Shelby County Commissioners, I will strive to bring tax dollars back so that all of our residents have the opportunities they desire.

Many people say that “the government closest to the people is the best government.” Let’s help achieve that by asking our state officials to allocate more of your tax dollars to your local government.

Julie Ehemann is a registered pharmacist finishing her third term as Shelby County’s first female Commissioner.


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