Friday, June 12, 2009

Tough Medicine: Sales Tax Still Off for June

Unfortunately, the tough news continues when it comes to our revenues.

We received our June sales tax results yesterday, which represents March sales activity (which may have been the low point of the economy, if the general media discussion is any barometer). Our June receipts were down 8% compared to the same month in 2008--a steep fall, but at least higher than the 10% fall we saw in May. State-wide, sales tax receipts were down 10% for June.

Because we have been erring on the side of the caution, we had already assumed a 10% reduction for June because of the 10% reduction realized in May, which prompted the cuts we made last months across departments.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nominate A Local Civil Rights Pioneer

On June 20, Great American Ballpark will play host to the Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game (Reds versus White Sox). A number of national dignitaries will be present and honored during the day's events.

We at Hamilton County decided to take it a step further, and also recognize and honor five local Civil Rights pioneers at the same time.

To do so, we are asking for nominations from the community. Please go to this link to make your nomination. And please be sure to do so by this Wednesday, June 10, at 5:00 p.m.

A selection committee will announce the honorees on June 17.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Long-Term "Savings" of Prevention

After I posted a story (An Ounce of Prevention) early this week on investments we are making with federal stimulus dollars, in employment, job and job skills training for high-risk youth, I was sent a fascinating article by a friend of mine in the criminal justice world.

It is a detailed analysis of the "monetary value" of "saving" a high-risk youth from becoming a career criminal. The full article can be accessed here.

Let me be clear. The most important reasons to do all we can to keep high-risk youth from becoming career criminals go way beyond dollars and cents. It is to allow our young people to lead fulfilling, productive lives--and to prevent criminal acts against fellow citizens in our community.

But when measured in dollars and cents, this article makes it clear just what a good investment effective prevention is. Every high risk youth we "save" from a criminal path through effective prevention and intervention saves between $3.2 million and $5.7 million for the lifetime costs the community would have incurred if that young person had become a career criminal. We see substantial savings when we also prevent heavy drug use ($1.15M-$1.3M) and drop-outs ($675k-$1M).

I ran for the Commission seat arguing that I wanted to hold those who commit crimes accountable while also addressing the root causes of crime, after my opponent proudly stated he was "not a root cause guy." Not only is prevention the right thing to do, but it turns out, it also is the most fiscally prudent approach.
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