|Quote of the Week: “A true friend is someone who is there for you when they would rather be someplace else." - Len Wein|
County Commissioners Discuss Financial Outlook
|County Commissioners expressed
concern about issues highlighted in a recent staff report that projected
revenue shortfalls in 2001 and 2002. Commissioners requested that
the report be shared throughout the County organization and that these
concerns be discussed at the joint planning session scheduled for late spring or early summer.
As with previous years, this planning effort lays out broad
goals and establishes the foundation for the next year's budget.
Of particular concern is the possibility that in 2002 the county could be facing significant losses in the General Fund, $45 million in reductions to DJFS from known state budget cuts, and $50 million from two special levies (Health/Hospitalization and Children's Services Levies) that will be before the voter this November. Current year revenue concerns center on a proposed freeze of local government funds by the State and a projected shortfall of $1.7 million in the portion of sales tax not dedicated to riverfront development and tax relief. A similar gap exists in the dedicated portion of sales tax, but this is offset by the sales tax stabilization fund established by the Commissioners this past Fall.
In response to these concerns, county administration is implementing hiring restrictions that require a review of all vacant positions in departments under the Board of County Commissioners and approval prior to any recruitment activity. In addition, the County Administrator will be reviewing all large capital projects ($500,000 or more). It was noted during Monday's meeting that County departments generally do a good job in managing expenditures with most spending between 3% to 5% below their budgets.
|MSD Director Karney testifies before Congress|
|The environmental gains made by the water and
wastewater community over the past thirty years are impressive, but they
are in jeopardy. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
the nation will lose a generation of water quality progress without
significant new investment in water and wastewater infrastructure.
"Recently, more than a million consumers in California were plunged
into darkness as the nation's energy crisis deepened. Imagine what would
happen if the nation's water and wastewater systems began to fail,"
Karney stated. "As the Director of Hamilton County's sewer district, could
I ask our consumers to tolerate untreated or unsafe water? I think not,
because the failure of wastewater systems could create a public health
emergency, cause widespread environmental degradation, and lead to an
erosion of our local economies."
The $23 billion gap is documented in two reports released by the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN), most recently in last month’s Water Infrastructure Now: Recommendations for Clean and Safe Water in the 21st Century (WINow), which has been endorsed by AMSA and over 30 nationally-recognized organizations. The WINow report makes specific recommendations on bridging the infrastructure funding gap through a renewed federal commitment to the nation’s municipalities. By authorizing an average of $11.5 billion per year in capitalization funds over the next five years the federal government will provide states with the necessary funds to offer grants and loans to local water and wastewater agencies for repairs and replacement of aging infrastructure.
"We commend Congress on addressing the issue of infrastructure needs," AMSA Executive Director Ken Kirk said. "Cincinnati is only one of thousands of cities, counties, and towns facing aging infrastructure. This problem may be ‘out of sight’ but it no longer can stay ‘out of mind’. The time to do something about this problem is now. We look forward to working with the Congress to identify workable solutions to preserving the environmental gains of the last decades," Kirk added.
|National Public Safety Telecommunications Week recognizes unsung public safety heroes|
as the critical link between the citizens of our county and the police,
fire, and emergency medical services, these men and women are an intricate
part of our public health and safety systems.
Processing hundreds of thousands of telephone calls a year; these
public servants are trained to calmly perform a very difficult job with a
high degree of speed and accuracy. Hamilton
County operates a multi-jurisdictional Public Safety Communications Center
that serves 105 public safety and public service agencies throughout the
county. In 2000 alone, the
Hamilton County Communications Center processed 885,088 calls, resulting
in 413,653 dispatches.
Safety Dispatchers and call-takers, both those that work for Hamilton
County and those that serve jurisdictions throughout the County, truly are
the unsung heroes of public safety,” said Hamilton County Board
President John Dowlin. “They
are always there to help when citizens call, anytime day or night.”
|Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District Receives Top National Award|
As a part of the national recognition, member of the the Soil & Water Conservation District Board and staff participated in a presentation before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "It was a thrill to be recognized as one of the best in the nation and to shares our programs and perspective with members of the national media," said Tom Reininger, a Member of the Board of Supervisors who made the trip to Washington. "This award is a real complement to Hamilton County."
The Goodyear Conservation Awards program makes awards based on a comprehensive rating of Soil & Water Conservation Districts throughout the United States. The ratings are based on how well the district operates in fulfilling its mission of stewardship of soil and water resources. The Hamilton County district has been credited with a unique ability to meet both the needs of agriculture and a rapidly changing urban environment. Hamilton County is one of the first urban counties in the country to receive the Goodyear Conservation Award.
|What's new at Environmental Services?|
|Municipal Courts, Probation Team with UC on Proposed Abuse Study|
|Hamilton County Municipal Court, Adult Probation
Division, is part of an application submitted to the National Institute of
Drug Abuse by the University of Cincinnati entitled “Community Response
to Substance-Abusing Batterers.” The
goal of the project is to develop an assessment-guided, treatment-matching
program to address battering in our community that will reduce recidivism
and deal with the multifaceted problems that batterers have, such as
chemical dependency and cognitive impairment (e.g. impaired learning and
memory). The Adult Probation
Division’s involvement will be the intensive supervision of selected
population of chemically dependent domestic violence offenders and
outreach to domestic violence victims to obtain information about the
offense for the court and follow up monitoring of the victim’s well
being after the defendant is sentenced.
Other participants in this study are Women Helping Women and the
YWCA AMEND program.
Have a Great Week!
|Hello, Hamilton County is published twice each month. It is placed on both the County's internal and external Web pages. It is design to enlighten and inform both citizens and employees of Hamilton County. If you have questions or suggestions for future editions, contact Sharon Booker (946-4428) or Eric Stuckey (946-4432) in the County Administrator's Office or e-mail to email@example.com.|