Sunday, Dec 04, 2016
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Editorials

FOR Issue 4

TUCKED below the ill-considered constitutional amendments on the Nov. 3 ballot is a levy request of vital importance to Lucas County senior citizens. Issue 4 asks voters to approve a 0.45-mill, five-year replacement levy to fund services for the county's elderly population. We believe they should do so.

Toledo and Lucas County officials could take lessons from the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, which year after year, under president and CEO Billie Johnson, demonstrates high standards of fiscal responsibility as it provides critical services to a growing number of seniors.

The replacement levy - it's not a new tax - will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $13.78 per year. That's less than 4 cents per day, a small price for helping the county's 81,000 seniors stay healthy, maintain their independence, and live in dignity.

Among the services the levy helps fund are hundreds of thousands of nutritious meals, tens of thousands of hours of home care, and thousands of hours of respite care for families taking care of relatives with Alzheimer's disease. It is the local administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, which provides coupons for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to thousands of area seniors.

The office on aging oversees services for nine other counties in northwest Ohio, but Lucas County voters can be assured that the money generated by the levy will remain in the county for seniors here.

As the number of Lucas County residents 60 years or older continues to grow - from its current 81,000 to 89,000 in 2015 and 97,000 in 2020 - the number participating in or benefiting from levy-funded programs is expected to grow as well. Instead of asking for more money in a down economy, the office on aging is promising to do what it always does: be more creative as careful stewards of your money.

The Area Office on Aging does not replace the family. Instead, it provides assistance to families with aging relatives. We can't think of a more worthy use for taxpayer dollars.

Vote FOR Issue 4.

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