3 Lucas County agency chiefs get raises despite economic crisis

Some in Lucas County, with fresh new levies passed last year, have bumped up their salary.
The Commissioners are angry.
As Lucas County prepares to slash staff and freeze wages, the leaders of three agencies that assist many of the county's most at-risk residents are enjoying pay raises.

Amid the worst economic downturn this region has endured in a generation, the county's Board of Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities, the Children Services Board, and the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board have approved pay increases for their top officials, sending their six-figure salaries even higher.


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Does anyone know what Grossman, the director of the Lucas Co. Health Department, receives? I cannot find anything substantial about the department, no listing of departments or employees, no pay scales, nothing. I believe he is appointed by the County Commissioners, but I can't even verify that. The department is like a black box.

This problem is so ingrained in Civil Service people that it just irritates me to no end.

"I work hard," Mr. Trunk said. "I feel like I bring value to this job, to the board of MRDD system. We, as a board, have always watched our dollars carefully."

Mr. Trunk needs to understand and acknowledge that the Board, no public service board has any money. They have tax money which was forcibly taken from tax payers. Yes a simple majority may have voted to approve the levy but that would leave 49% who did NOT vote to have their money taken from them.

There was another quote about how "we can't have quality employees if we don't pay them sufficiently" that is true to an extent, if you were producing a product for which the users were willing to pay, but the government is NOT producing such services.

The government TAKES money from citizens and provides services it ASSUMES are needed by the "people".

Were I trying for a doctorate at U of T my thesis would be that the people of Lucas County and/or Toledo would do better for themselves if government just stopped trying to be so helpuful and left the people alone to sink or swim on their own. Private charities are available for those that sink...well that is until Obama removes all the tax incentives to be charitable!

shows the greed that enters into the conversation. "I'd like as much as I can get when I negotiate my pay...."
This from a public employee.

Adoptive parents would like as much as they need to parent children destroyed by his agency. This from an adoptive mother.


Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter (African proverb)

always shake the piggy bank

Dean Sparks is greedy? Is there anyone here who when given the chance wouldn't take what they could get when negotiating? If your answer is yes you're either a fool or independently wealthy.
When did it become wrong to negotiate for as much as you can get? I'm not saying Dean isn't overpaid, but to fault him for trying to get what he can is just crazy.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

in some aspect of our lives. And public and private employees do negotiate for the best possible outcomes for them and their family but the statement ""I'd like as much as I can get when I negotiate my pay...." to me was a little bit over the top knowing what I know about Mr. Sparks and his child stealing agency. A little too much transparency for me.

Now if he had said something like........."because of the great job that I do for the abused and neglected children of Lucas County, I feel that I should command as much money as the county can afford to pay me because if I am compensated well I can work much better for the abused and neglected children of Lucas County."

Fred, now this is simply my opinion and really I am not crazy. :=)

That statement just conjured up a picture of Rumpelstiltskin.

I feel as Toledo homeowner and also an adoptive/foster parent that the public should of had a say in the raises. As a foster parent for over 7 years we have had only one increase and that was 5 years ago. Lucas County is one of the lowest paid for fostering in the State. Were any of these facts considered when Mr. Sparks was given a raise? Somehow I serious doubt it.

I don't know if foster parents can negotiate the foster care payment but parents of adopted special needs children who receive a subsidy can negotiate an increase every year. LCCS and Mr. Sparks do not tell you that you can negotiate the subsidy. When the children get older it is wise to re-evaluate your family circumstances.

It is true that when you go in for your for initial adoption subsidy they tell that at any point in time you can re-negotiate you monthly stipend however when you try to do that a subsdy worker (Pam Gaffney) will deny any adjustments unless the child is age 5 or 11 . Those are the only ages where they look at upping the stipend, They currently do not negotage very high payments. We adopted 5 years and then 1 year ago and got half the stipend that we received for the first adootive children.

Agreed that it is tough to get an increase in the adoption subsidy, which in our children's cases was about half the foster care per diem. Of course, we didn't get into foster and adoption to make money, but those subsidies helped, and if we had known then what we know now, we would have pushed for more money.

Anyways, the raise to Dean Sparks is indeed an insult to the agency's foster parents, who have not received a "raise" in longer than I can remember. I know purnhrt will disagree, but our financial situation actually improved after we stopped fostering. Less money coming in, but much less going out.

I will give the state and the agency credit for finally compensating foster parents for their time during the annual training classes. It was not a lot of money, but it was better than minimum wage, and at least it would help with gas and a meal on those 3- or 7-hour classes.

Anyways, we recently went on a hiatus from fostering after 14 years, though not due to finances. I am finishing up my PhD this year, and I just don't have enough time or energy to put into fostering right now. Still, for those considering going into fostering or adoption, do not be bashful about insisting on proper compensation. Train for the highest level of caregiving and be paid accordingly. For too many years we fostered medical needs and severe behavioral problem children at "regular" rates because we were too nice (or too altruistic) to insist that the agency pay the appropriate rates for some of the children in our care.

My husband and I do not foster for the money pat of it, Most times we spent more on the childen than we receive. We particually like babies and when you figue the $400-450 a year for clothes doesn;t go far enough and then figure the cost of diapers and baby food. You have lost alot. The last adoptive child's stipend was not even half of the foster rate - but yet they say they negotiate fairly.

Good luck to you in your career and futue fostering.

This comment "I know purnhrt will disagree, but our financial situation actually improved after we stopped fostering. Less money coming in, but much less going out." is stupid because I don't know you or what your family situation is. Don't twist my words.

Children 10
As far as the subsidy goes you can negotiate every year for an increase in the subsidy. I am sure that none of us adoptive parents of special needs children do it for the money. When you negotiate a new subsidy you start at the agency. Pam Gaffeney acts like the money is coming out of her pocket. Anyway if you are denied at her level you have the right to appeal. The state will then hear the case for an increase. If you have documented needs for an increase get it (negotiations) out of Lucas County and appeal to the state. Not to say that they aren't sometimes also in cahoots especially appeal hearing officer Demetria (Dee) Petros and Susan Lehman Sentle with the state , but then you can appeal that also. I think you can appeal up to common pleas court.

People just stop at the local level because they make it seem like you are just greedy when there are legitimate reasons $300 a month does not cover the needs of special needs children. That is why the children are called special needs and that is why there is a subsidy. The first child I adopted 35 years ago did not come with a subsidy because she had no special needs only that she did not have a mother becauseLCCS took her from her mother. The children now have special needs that adoptive parents are not equipped to handle especially if they aren't told all of the special needs up front from Sparks and his people.

If you want information on how to negotiate a larger subsidy there is a website. I usually put "Ohio adoption subsidy" in the search engine. There is a man named Tim Hanlon who is an authority on this subject.

You either have a short memory or you are being intentionally dense. We got into a lengthy debate about per deims in October on this thread when you argued against my assertion that my family budget improved after we no longer had any foster placements.

Here are some highlights of your position on foster care per diems:

* "This is a lucrative business and foster parents are no way in a “woe is me” position."

* "LCCS does not prefer to place children with relatives, they would rather place a child with strangers and pay them a bunch of money."

* "Foster parents are given free child care, respite care, food stamps, memberships to the Y and many more perks. " (this was the most hilarious one)

Now prnhrt: you are entitled to your opinions, even when they are woefully mistaken, but please do not try to pretend that we never had this conversation. Look it up to refresh your memory.

I am not going head to head with you on this issue. What I said on that thread is my belief and experience.

However I have no experience in you and your family's day to day expenses in foster caring or adopting.

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