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Press Release

Seal of the County Commissioners

Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners
112 Hamilton Court
Cleveland, OH 44114

For more general information contact:
Tom Ford 216.698.6559

Cuyahoga County Commissioners announce placement of Health and Human Services levy on May ballot

The Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners yesterday took the required action to place a replacement Health and Human Services levy before the voters this May 6th.

This levy, not yet assigned an issue number by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, will replace an expiring 3.1 mill levy, plus ask for an enhancement of 1.8 mills. This will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $150.06 annually.

Approval of the Health and Human Services levy will:
  • Continue services for vulnerable and abused children
  • Ensure community-based health services and protective services for senior citizens
  • Continue to support MetroHealth
  • Support programs for mental health and alcohol and drug addiction recovery services
  • Support the Early Childhood Initiative – which provides services to our very youngest children and their parents.

Cuyahoga County voters first passed this levy over 70 years ago, showing this community’s ongoing support for the human services. The levy has consistently been renewed since that time, with the amount changing over time. It supports basic human services needs, such as the OPTIONS program, which keeps seniors in their own homes instead of in institutions, and services to children at risk of abuse or neglect.

Since State support has eroded in the past several years, and promises to continue to drastically decline in the next biennium, the additional millage is requested to offset the impact of inflation and loss of funding to bedrock programs that touch the lives of the majority of the residents of Cuyahoga County.

Commissioner Jimmy Dimora said “Cuyahoga County depends on the funds generated by this levy to pay for important human services that many of our citizens cannot do without. Over 500,000 citizens annually utilize our services in some way. The loss of state revenue is a significant hit to county services—services that make Cuyahoga County a safe and vital community for children, for seniors, and for all of us. The funds collected in Cuyahoga County are used right here in Cuyahoga County—for essential programs and services that help our neighbors and friends. The passage of this levy is critical to the well-being of Cuyahoga County, its citizenry, and its future.”

"Given the current economy, one could very well ask whether this is the opportune time for a new health and human services levy,” said Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones. “Clearly, because of the slow economy and a series of state budget cuts, now is exactly the right time for this levy. The fact is that the levy will provide services to virtually every resident of Cuyahoga County - from prenatal care and early childhood development, to job training and placement, emergency and trauma care at Metro Health, and critical, cost-effective senior programs. For only the price of one Starbucks latte a week, we can preserve these vital heath and human services for our friends and neighbors.”

Commissioner Tim McCormack added, “The funds generated through the passage of Health and Human Services levies do not just help those most in need, they help all of Cuyahoga County’s citizens. Who among us can say they do not have a friend, neighbor or family member whose life has not been touched by organizations such as MetroHealth Hospital and departments serving seniors, adults, children and families. Given the current economic situation facing our community, those who are victim of a company layoff rely on services provided by numerous County agencies. These services must be available for anyone at anytime. WE can only convince the community to consider this levy as long as we are assuring that those funds will not be used to grow county government, but will go directly to services to those most in need.”

The levy campaign offices can be reached at (216) 685-0750.

For additional information, contact Rick Werner, Interim Deputy County Administrator at (216) 443- 7032.