The Kent League of
Women Voters endorses Issue 3, a 1-mill renewal levy that funds mental health and recovery services for Portage County residents through the Mental Health & Recovery Board. First passed in 1983, it isn't a tax increase.
The League believes that all citizens should have access to treatment for mental illness and addiction at an affordable cost. The levy funds mental health and addiction treatment for children, teens and adults through the MHRB's network of agencies, which includes Coleman Professional Services, Townhall II and Children's Advantage and Family and Community Services.
In 2012, the board funded services for 2,700 children and 4,500 adults. Families and individuals pay what they can afford according to a sliding fee scale while the funds generated by the levy help pay the cost of services. The levy also pays for 24-hour crisis services available to all residents.
The League endorsed the levy based on its advocacy of community services for children that promote their well-being, full development and ensure their safety.
This relates to the counseling that the levy funds for children who have been sexually or physically abused or neglected; the support services helping families who have a child with mental illness; and the education provided in local schools to prevent children from becoming abuse victims.
With funds from the levy, the MHRB provides services that connect students with mental health problems to appropriate care. The services are available to every school district. It costs $2.50 per month on a house valued at $100,000.
The levy would be renewed for a 10-year period. Because it's a renewal, property owners will benefit from the property tax rollback which requires the state to pay 12.5 percent of the tax.
The levy brings in $3 million annually which is more than half the MHRB's annual budget. The League of Women Voters of Kent urges voters to renew Issue 3.
Jane Preston Rose,
Vice president, Kent League of Women