Voters OK Mental Health Renewal Levy
Voters overlooked the recent controversy over staff raises and salaries to approve the 0.7-mill, five-year renewal operating levy for the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services.
Issue 7 passed, 8,828 to 6,012, according to the final unofficial results of the Geauga County Board of Elections.
First approved by voters 25 years ago, the levy generates $2.3 million per year, said Jim Adams, the board’s executive director.
He said an estimated 12,000 residents in the county use services funded by the board.
Reached before the polls were closed Tuesday, Adams said the need for mental health services the board funds have increased since the 2012 Chardon High School shooting tragedy.
“Based on the experience of other communities that have had this type of tragedy, the need for our service providers will continue for a long period of time,” he said. “You can never know how the voters will decide, especially in this economic climate.”
Adams said the increased use of heroin and other drugs has also increased the need for alcohol and drug addiction services offered through the board and its partners.
He pointed to WomenSafe and programs to help victims of domestic violence as another vital service that falls under the mental health board.
The GCBMHRS focuses on recovery-based support programs, according to its website.
The board has the responsibility to develop, promote and monitor services, facilities and programs that address behavioral healthcare needs of Geauga residents.
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