ENDORSEMENT: Vote Yes on Issue 9 to Renew the Levy for Health and Human Services

From the efforts to stem the rise in opioid deaths, to providing a way for young children attend high-quality pre-schools, to provide treatment for the mentally ill, Issue 9 will assure that those most at-risk in society are treated humanely. And thank god that we have one of the best public hospitals in the country, MetroHealth Medical Center, which is also dependent on the levy.

Passage of the 3.9-mill, two-year renewal levy will bring in $104 million annually for these much needed services, and it will not raise taxes. The owner of a $100,000 home will continue to pay about $135 a year they are currently paying.

We strongly ENDORSE passage of Issue 9 to renew the levy for Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services. It is NOT a tax increase (it is a renewal), and it helps those in most need in our community: seniors, children, and those in crisis.

It’s too bad voters don’t have a means whereby they can ensure greater accountability in return for approving levies that increase the taxes they pay so that the county can protect children, but alas, it doesn’t work that way. Nonetheless, some voters will have to hold their noses as they pull the lever for Issue 9 this year, and with good reason.

The lives of four innocent children were snuffed out at the hands of their parents, all of whom were known to social workers at the Department of Children and Family Services. How could this happen? It’s not enough to state that such incidents are on the rise nationally, perhaps as a result of additional pressures being placed on parents due to the shifting political situation in the country. In spite of the fact that the social safety net has gaping holes in it, there simply is no excuse for professionals to not do their jobs.

But voters shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. In spite of being upset with how one agency within county government is performing its job, voting down the levy will only make things worse for a whole host of others. Failure to pass the levy would be “catastrophic,” according to Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. So hold your nose if you have to, but we strongly recommend you do the right thing and vote for Issue 9.

[Written by Mansfield Frazier]

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