Letter: Grafton County Social Services
To the Editor:
A short article about the proposed Grafton County budget that appeared in your June 22 edition stated that the Executive Committee recommended deleting $54,600 in grants to some social services agencies (“Grafton Budget Vote on Monday”). That statement is somewhat misleading and implies that social services to our neediest county residents are being reduced. In fact, every social service agency that was funded in the FY 2013 budget was funded at an equal or higher level in the proposed FY 2014 budget. The difficult decision was made not to fund two new programs that would benefit very limited portions of the county, and to reduce funding of a third program from its requested amount to just slightly above FY 2013 levels. These changes account for a reduction of $14,600 compared with the county commissioners’ proposed FY 2014 budget, but an increase of $60 over the FY 2013 budget for the same three programs.
The remainder of the so-called cuts of $40,000 in social services were in fact shifts of funding from social services for troubled youth to a new $135,000-plus juvenile-diversion program for those same troubled youthful offenders. Three agencies that would have been funded for a total of $40,000 as part of social services are now eligible to compete for what is actually a larger amount of money, although it will now come through the new juvenile-diversion program.
I would like to assure the residents of Grafton County that your county commissioners and Executive Committee members are very much committed to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable citizens while at the same time keeping tax rates as low as possible for our property owners. I am proud of the work that we accomplished by working together for the citizens of Grafton County.
Rep. Linda D. Lauer, Democrat
Member, Grafton County Executive Committee