YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County Treasurer John Reardon says he's actually reduced his budget and staff since 1999.
At his recent budget hearing, figures provided by the commissioners' office showed the treasurer received $689,154 in 1999 and that he got $738,654 last year and asked for $743,009 this year.
But Reardon says a closer "apples-to-apples" comparison is needed when you take in the fact that postage, which was once paid by the commissioners, is now being handled by his office, and that's the reason why his budget has increased.
"My office began budgeting for postage in 2001," Reardon said. If you remove the postage allocation from his department budget, which he didn't have in 1999, he has actually asked for 5.24 percent less this year than he received in 1999.
The treasurer's budget, minus postage, in 2005 would actually be $653,009.
Reardon just wanted to make it clear his department is living within its budget.
"We understand the fiscal situation the county is in," he said.
The department had nine full-time employees and a part-time worker in 1999. Today, the department has six employees.
The treasurer is responsible for collecting the county's real and personal property taxes.