Jason Mantell, the embattled director of Scioto County Children’s Services has tendered his resignation leaving his $2,000 per week check behind. That resignation was effective immediately as he, reportedly, accepted a position with the Oak Hill School District in Jackson County.
A source within the organization said he has been actively seeking a new job since last winter. It is unclear if the County Commissioners will seek to replace him or create a similar position as a subordinate to Job and Family Services Director, Tammy Morton.
In a Friday evening conversation with SCDN, Scioto County Commissioner Scottie Powell said, “I wish Jason the best in his next endeavor. He has served CPS well during unprecedented times of the most children in care and budget shortfalls.”
He said he is confident that this will be a good move for Mantell both personally and professionally. “During this transition period, we continue to be focused and dedicated on a successful combination of CPS and JFS in an effort to better serve and protect the children of Scioto County.”
Show Me the Money
As far as budget shortfalls are concerned, they continue to rise. In January, the expected deficit was $1.1 Million. That number soon rose to $1.9 Million. Currently, the expected deficit sits at a nearly insurmountable level of $3 Million.
Although they weren’t happy, Scioto County Commissioners approved $2 Million in additional funding for Scioto County Children’s Services in February. Powell stated that at the time, the projection of a $2 Million shortfall was based on maintaining the same number of children in care and current funding levels.
Commissioner Bryan Davis said that the State of Ohio was not providing enough funds to take care of children in foster care. “That revenue truly should come from the State of Ohio. That’s the way it’s set up to be. State and federal funds fund children’s services.”
There is no explanation given as to why the deficit increased to $3 million since February. One source familiar with the finances told SCDN, “The commissioners scared foster parents early on by pretty much forcing them to go to private agencies which costs MORE instead of actively seeking more to be with CPS”.
A 2.5 mils tax levy will be on the ballot this fall to help fund CPS. Based on approximately 22,000 homes in Scioto County with an average value of $100,000, the levy would generate about $5.5 million. That money, however, won’t help ease the financial burden until taxes are collected next year.
On Monday, SCDN will be informed of the exact wording in the levy. After that, we will be able to share the plan that will be presented to the voters in the fall.
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