The President of the Summit County Township Association is defending Ohio's townships from the claim by a state government spending report that smaller governments duplicate services, cost residents more money and could be reduced by joining with other government entities.
Helen Humphrys, who is also a Copley Township trustee, says a recent report by the Ohio Township Association indicates that townships spend less, borrow less, and have lower taxes per capita than other local governments. Humphrys backs up her claim with numbers.
"According to the report, all of Ohio’s local governments spend a total of approximately $48 billion per year. Municipalities spend 21.3 percent of this amount, while townships spend only 2.7 percent, with the balance of the spending by school districts, counties and special districts. And, in Ohio metropolitan areas, cities with more than 100,000 residents spent more than five times the per capita rate of local governments with populations of 1,000 to 2,500. The report also showed that per capita spending of Ohio’s larger townships, with populations as high as 60,000, is less than cities of comparable size," says Humphrys.
Humphrys tells AkronNews Now "We just wanted to let them know that townships do run efficiently, and they are the best bang for your buck, if you will, type of government. Townships cannot spend money unless they have the money in hand. That is a fact. You cannot write a purchase order unless the cash is in the fund."
Humphrys says townships have the least government overhead of any local governments in Ohio. " If you think of our administration, township administration is three trustees, a fiscal officer, and in some cases an administrator, and that's it."
Humphrys says she thinks some services are best done at the local level, and she says townships are the closest form of government to their residents.
Helen Humphrys says Copley Township, for example, is even more efficient because it is represented by the Summit County Prosecutor, County Engineer and other county departments