I attended the Elmhurst Neighborhood Association Picnic at Hodell Acres a few weeks ago and had a great time in spite of the rain. I had the opportunity to see friends at the picnic and to become acquainted with neighbors I had not met previously.
Sgt. Bob Theurer of the Fort Wayne Police Department was at the picnic with his police service dog, Johnny, a Dutch Shepherd. Sgt. Theurer and Johnny gave an interesting presentation about the Police Department’s canine program.
Attending the picnic with me in addition to my wife, Carol, and my grandchildren was a member of my staff, Karen Walker. Karen grew up in the Elmhurst neighborhood and continues to reside in the neighborhood. She works as an attorney and public information officer at the Trustee’s Office.
Thank you, Nancy Harz, Elmhurst Neighborhood Association President, for inviting me and planning such a nice event.
I, my staff and our Township Board, have been working recently on our 2008 budget. We are always mindful of our dual roles as guardian of the taxpayer’s money while providing emergency assistance to those in need.
Balancing these two roles is a challenge, especially because of the spike in need that we, as well as local social service agencies, have experienced in the past several months.
Indiana law and Township Eligibility Standards govern whom we must serve and the types of assistance we must provide. While we continually work to find ways to lower our budget, we cannot and should not violate the law by denying assistance to individuals who meet the eligibility standards.
As I stated in the last Waynedale News, the best way to lower our budget is to continue our initiative to find jobs for unemployed and under-employed residents of Wayne Township. One way my office has been able to hire additional staff is through the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
This program provides part-time jobs with government or non-profit agencies for persons older than 55 who meet income limits. The program is administered by Catholic Charities and is funded by a Federal Grant.
The Senior Employment Program is a win-win for everyone. My office gets additional staff at no cost to Wayne Township, and workers who need jobs get them at Wayne Township with their salaries paid by Federal grant money.
We have gotten some good, responsible workers through this program. The two senior workers who have been with us the longest, Betty Kummer and LaDena Wise, both are very enthusiastic about working at Wayne Township and about the Senior Employment Program.
I hope you enjoy the rest of September as we look forward to the beauty of the turning leaves and the fall season.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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