Dear Editor,

Seven years ago, I was appointed to the Hocking County Board of Developmental Disabilities by the county commissioners. My purpose for volunteering for this position was threefold; to be an advocate for those with developmental disabilities; to support the staff who are involved in the day to day work of the Board and to fairly represent the taxpayers of Hocking County. Seven years later, I am even more committed to this purpose.

In being a Board member and advocate for those with development disabilities I have heard mothers say they did not know where to turn to for help until they found a connection with the Board. I have heard stories from older adults who began life in a system that was not always fair to those with disabilities to now being able to live with dignity and have a voice in planning their own life. I am thankful that the degrading words that once described people with developmental disabilities are fading from people’s vocabularies or at least should be.

This important work is being done by a very dedicated staff at the Hocking County Board. I have witnessed the compassion of those who do this work everyday. Yes, this is their job, but it is much more than just a job. I know there are bonds formed that will last a lifetime. The staff is truly making life better for those it serves, which in turn makes Hocking County a better community. These workers are highly trained with specialized degrees and certificates. They deserve to be compensated fairly for the dedication they show.

I also understand that paying an extra levy is not popular. The Board did not come to this decision without much thought and consideration. The truth is there had not been a new levy for 20 years. Everyone knows that costs have not stood still. Services, utilities, wages and insurance have escalated to the point that a new levy was needed.

I believe the majority of voters passed the levy because they knew what they were voting for.

Board Member, the Rev. John Williams


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