Gerken urges county to adopt cost-effective measures

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email

Posted by Kate Oatis - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Like other communities across the country, Lucas County is in a money crunch.

In response, Commissioner Pete Gerken is urging the county to adopt cost-saving measures.

"Our budget is under stress as every family's budget is, every business budget is and it's not getting any better," said Gerken on Tuesday. "We're looking for creative ways; things have to change from the way that we've done business that was easy and comfortable into something more efficient."

For example, Gerken points to appraisals done by the sheriff's office on homes entering foreclosure. In 2008, there were more than 4,000 appraisals conducted, and at $105 per appraisal, that represents more than $430,000 in potential revenue for the county.

The trouble is, those appraisals are currently being done by sub-contractors.

"If there's a way in the sheriff's office that he can do those appraisals -- and there's a lot more now, unfortunately, than there have even been before with staff inhouse -- I would encourage Sheriff Telb to look at that," Gerken said.

According to Gerken, the key is making government more efficient while avoiding a new round of layoffs.

"Do we have personnel in house? I'd rather be paying UAW-represented county employees to keep their jobs ... than to pay sub-contractors," Gerken said.

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