The Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ five year, 2-mill renewal levy with a 0.1-mill reduction was passed by Delaware County voters Tuesday.
According to the Delaware County Board of Elections, 31,279 (66.58%) votes were cast in favor of the renewal, while there were 15,701 (33.42%) votes against the tax levy. The DCBDD said the levy is actually a decrease in taxes and no new taxes due to reducing the 2.1-mill renewal levy and not renewing its 0.56-mill levy.
Kristine Hodge, superintendent at Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said the levy generates $15 million a year for the board, and the funds are used to provide services and support to people with developmental disabilities in Delaware County.
Hodge said Thursday the agency is thankful for the levy’s passage and the public’s support.
“We’re extremely grateful for the support that we have from the public,” she said. “We’re very overwhelmed by the support again. We think the results show that the residents of Delaware County really care about the people we serve with developmental disabilities and for us it re-enforces the confidence that our public has in our agency and the importance of our services. Overall, we are overwhelmed with gratitude, and it just motivates us to continue doing what we’re doing to help people.”
Hodge said the agency thinks of the five-year levy renewal as a sort of scorecard for the work it is doing and takes the levy’s passage to mean the community is in support of the agency.
“It’s the public’s chance to give us that vote of approval or confidence or not,” Hodge said. “Delaware County in general is a very inclusive community. They support people with developmental disabilities. It shows they believe in our mission and our vision, and for that, I am extremely grateful.”
Looking to the future, Anne Flanery, the PR & community education manager at the agency, said the board is currently in the middle of one of its three-year strategic plans and is focusing on “inclusion, accessibility, universal design, (and) just equality for all the people we serve to live their lives to the fullest.”
Hodge said the agency has several goals for the future, including continuing its “person-centered approach.”
“We look at areas where (people) need our assistance and so that person-centered approach we will continue and absolutely focus on inclusion and community for everybody,” she said. “Without the citizens of Delaware County’s support, we would not be able to deliver these very important services to people with developmental disabilities. I just want to reiterate my gratitude for the support and for the vote of public confidence for what we do here. People with developmental disabilities matter, and our community recognizes that and supports our mission.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.