FCPS levy: helping the helpless

Michael Orlando of Fairfield County Protective Services (FCPS) spoke to Pickerington City Council on Feb. 5 urging the community to support the agency’s 1 mill levy on March 4.

FCPS protects children and elderly from abuse. The agency’s funding has remained the same since 1999 although the case load has more than doubled. The agency receives 4,000 reports a year of child abuse, but can only investigate 40 percent of the reports.

"We need to get in and assess (the remaining 60 percent’s) safety," Orlando said. "It’s something we are not doing right now. It’s a considerably small type of levy."

If voters approve the levy, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $2.56 per month beginning in 2009.

Orlando said his agency looks for patterns in the reports they receive of abuse.  The most alarming trend is the escalating number of reports countywide; however another problem is that more and more reports originate in Violet Township and Pickerington.

When he started working for the county more than 25 years ago, the Pickerington area comprised 5 percent of the agency’s cases, now it comprises 40 percent, Orlando said.

Per person, Fairfield County spends $11.60 a year to protect elderly and children from abuse, most neighboring counties spend much more. Franklin County spends $90.50 per person and Licking County spends $21.94.

For information on the levy, visit www.votetoprotect.com.

Hansley compensated

Council approved an ordinance to compensate Tim Hansley for performing double-duty as both development director and interim city manager. Hansley will receive an extra $2,500 per month.

Mayor Mitch O’Brien said he asked the council to create the ordinance to confirm his appointment of Hansley to the position.

Hansley earns $69,000 a year as Pickerington’s development director. He said the extra $2,500 helps "split the difference" between his pay and the $105,000 salary of the former city manager, Judy Gilleland.

Hansley will receive the extra compensation while he fills the manager role.  Once Pickerington hires a new city manager, he will return full time to his position of development director.

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