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Tablack to JFS: Prepare for cuts



Published: Fri, December 10, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

photo

George Tablack

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Mahoning County’s Department of Job and Family Services faces major financial uncertainties in 2011, County Administrator George J. Tablack said.

The county’s JFS department will have to be prepared to react quickly if its state and federal funds — which together constitute almost all of its $24 million budget – are reduced in the middle of the current state fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2011, Tablack said.

With nearly 300 employees, JFS is the largest county department, and its caseload is increasing, said Tablack, also the county’s budget director.

“The agency is going to have to be very cautious and be prepared to react on a dime,” Tablack said after Thursday’s county commissioners’ meeting.

A budget cut in the middle of a funding year forces double the number of job cuts than would have been required had the cut come at the start of that funding year, he observed.

“They have, for two years now, been constantly adjusting downward, and are still trying to hit a moving target,” he said of JFS employees and their budget. “We will continue to try to provide as much service as we can and expect to plan for less revenue,” he added.

Although sales tax revenues are rebounding after 17 consecutive months of recession-induced decline, when compared to the same month in the prior year, the county’s general fund faces several additional challenges, Tablack said.

Those challenges include the absence of what was recently $4 million in annual income from federal prisoners housed in the county jail, together with a potential $5 million loss in state funding going into 2012, he said.

“The commissioners and the budget office have been planning for reductions since July 2008,’’ Tablack said.

The general fund is the county’s main operating fund, which pays for central functions of government, such as the jail, courts and prosecutor’s office. The general fund revenues were projected at $53 million in 2010.

In the meeting, Marilyn Kenner, chief deputy county engineer, told the commissioners her department recalled in late November six of the 16 employees it had laid off earlier this year to enable it to resume snow and ice removal. Those recalled were five truck drivers and a mechanic.

The commissioners approved a resolution to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission’s capital improvement program for the $2 million repaving next year of seven miles of Mahoning Avenue and for $1.1 million worth of other smaller road and bridge improvement projects.

The Mahoning Avenue repaving project, between the railroad track near Rosemont Road in North Jackson and the Portage County line, will be funded 80 percent by the federal government and 20 percent by an OPWC loan to the county, Kenner said.

To free up court space, the commissioners approved a $2,679 agreement with RGJ Industries Inc. of Boardman to move about 400 boxes of court-case files from the year 2000 and earlier from the area courts in Boardman, Canfield and Sebring to the basement of Oakhill Renaissance Place.

Old Austintown court case files were moved there earlier.


Comments

1author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Why couldn't Anthony, John, David and George load up the boxes in their cars and move them?

How come our population keeps going down, but the caseload for JFS and area county courts keep going up?

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2Photoman(1004 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

We have already killed and partaken of the goose which laid the golden egg. Now it's time to pay for that mistake and pay the price. Big government does not create any wealth-it only redistributes what it takes from we the people. We need to work smarter at the local level and stop counting on others.

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31970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

That is $6.69 per box!

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4Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

author50

"How come our population keeps going down, but the caseload for JFS and area county courts keep going up?"

Actually that is a very good question.

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5unhappyvoter1(87 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

How come some of the useless administration at JFS don't get the ax, and above all do they need dear old Tablack who bosses everyone around. He doesn't cut the higher up people in any of the agencies, its always the very hard workers on welfare side that keep getting screwed. This has got to begin at the top level and come down, That doesn't take to much to figure out. People you must start rebelling or you will be out of a job. God Bless You hard working people who dont make that much money compared to the private sector.

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6gandadl(4 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

At 300 employees, that's about one employee for every 250 residents of the city. One for every 850 of the county, and yes, that number includes the city population.Are there that many people needing the services of the JFS? Trumbull county has about 1 employee per 1000 residents. Maybe he's on to something.

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7lidieo3(23 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Commissioners make 78,000 and are only required to be there 15 hours a week. Tablack makes around 116,000. Plus they all get PERS Benefitts! They should take the cuts. Not the hard workers who actually do something and make 12/hr

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