Mahoning County departments must prepare for decline in population, auditor says


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Projections for a gradual decline in Mahoning County population mean that county officials will have to collaborate to be better stewards of tax dollars, Auditor Ralph Meacham said on the eve of his first anniversary in office.

A declining population means fewer sales and real estate taxpayers to financially support county government, he noted.

The county’s current population of 229,484 is projected to drop to 201,097 in 2030, according to the Scripps Gerontology Center, which says the percentage of people in the county over age 60 will go from the current 27 percent to 34 percent in 2030.

“We have to make county government as efficient as possible by utilizing our technology,” and by cooperation among county departments and local communities to maximize cost efficiency, Meacham said.

“If you work cooperatively, you might accomplish something. If you just sit in your own silo, you’re not going to get much done,” he said.

He was referring to the decentralized system of county government, which has separately-elected officials and independent boards overseeing many of its departments.

Read the full story in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com Monday.

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