Kelly Woodard: (216) 250-6146; email@example.com
Executive Ronayne proposes increasing staff in key departments in the 2024-2025 Biennial Budget
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne is committed to enhancing the quality of life for residents while maintaining fiscal responsibility. He presented the proposed 2024-2025 Biennial Budget before Cuyahoga County Council on Wednesday, October 11 in council chambers.
The balanced budget, worth more than $1.6 billion annually, allocates resources to key departments to ensure the well-being and growth of Cuyahoga County.
“This budget represents our dedication to creating a more equitable and prosperous Cuyahoga County,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne. “Through careful deliberation and collaboration, we have prioritized funding for programs and services that address the pressing needs of our community. We remain dedicated to fiscal responsibility and transparency in our budgeting process.”
Public Safety: The safety of our residents, no matter where they reside, is a top priority. The budget allocates over $360 million to the Sheriff’s Department, which includes 40 additional corrections officers.
The Juvenile Detention Center will receive 26 additional officers to help rehabilitate and support the children in our custody. This move will restore staffing to pre-pandemic levels. The budget also includes funding for public defenders to represent those children.
Investment in Public Health: Healthy Cuyahoga County! Executive Ronayne’s goal is to see everyone thrive in our region. From job assistance and child development to senior empowerment and programs encouraging healthy relationships, the Department of Health and Human Services provides resources to assist children, adults, and families in all stages of their lives.
The budget addresses the critical need for social workers and case workers. Executive Ronayne proposes hiring 40 additional social workers in the Division of Children and Family Services, 40 more caseworkers in the Division of Job and Family Services and increased funding for foster care and kinship care services.
The budget also recommends a 4.8-mill tax levy renewal for Health and Human Services to go before voters in the March 2024 primary. The levy renewal was introduced at the Cuyahoga County Council meeting held on Tuesday, October 10, and is supported by ten councilmembers. The levy will ensure our residents continue to receive the care, protection, and support they need to lead fulfilling lives.
Early Childhood Education: The foundation of learning for our youngest residents is a significant priority for Executive Ronayne. He has proposed a $2.1 million increase for Universal Pre-Kindergarten, which provides 3-to-5-year-olds access to high-quality pre-K educational programs throughout Cuyahoga County.
County Staff Retention: The strength of Cuyahoga County lies in the 6,000 employees who work for the County and the people in our region. In recognition of their efforts, the balanced budget includes a 2% cost of living adjustment for all employees.
Capital Improvements: Infrastructure is vital to the advancement of Cuyahoga County. The budget calls for $10 million annually in capital improvements toward county facilities. This is $3.2 million annually more than previous budgets. For the first time, the budget includes funding for an IT capital plan to address cybersecurity and infrastructure.
Affordable Housing: Everyone deserves a place to call home. However, many people in our region are unable to access safe, affordable housing due to shortages and rental price increases. The budget will fund the newly created Department of Housing and Community Development to implement innovative strategies and solutions to increase housing access and build a more equitable Cuyahoga County.
Budget discussions will continue through early November. Public testimony on the budget will be held on Monday, November 13 at 1pm in council chambers.