Mental health levy plans underway PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 10:54
In gearing up for a planned levy renewal in the November election, members of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board heard from two consultants interesting in helping organize its campaign.
Members of the levy steering committee heard from BJ Fischer, director of strategic services at FLS Group at Thread Marketing, and Daniel Lipian, Strategic Planning and Consulting LLC on Monday.
Fischer is a former BG City Council president and Lipian is the former chair of BGSU College Republicans. Fischer's firm has worked previously on numerous levy campaigns for the board.
While the board has not taken an official vote, a consensus has been reached to place a renewal on the ballot for its existing 1.6-mill, 10-year levy. The board also has a 1.0-mill, 10-year levy. The two levies are staggered.
The committee made no decisions on which, if any, consultant to contract with on Monday. ADAMHS Executive Director Tom Clemons said the meeting was used to gather information, with further meetings planned with the consultants and additional board members.
Fischer discussed the top voter concerns.
"The biggest thing in this environment that you can't overlook is, people are feeling stretched financially," Fischer said.
"This is one of the few financial things in peoples' lives they have some say in," he said.
Another top concern for voters is public safety.
"People need to feel safe and they need to feel secure," he said.
"Second thing, is they want to see you are good stewards of the money you were given," he said.
Youth programming is also key for voters, he said.
Wood County, he said, benefits from having "civic-minded" community members.
"They just understand that a well-functioning community has a strong mental health system for people."
Fischer said he felt hopeful the planned levy renewal will pass.
"New money (a new levy) is very tough, but I think with a renewal, the track record has been good in the past and I think you will be able to get this done," he said.
Lipian also spoke at the meeting and presented information on previous levies, offered services to target messages to selected groups of voters, and door-to-door canvasing, Clemons said.
 

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