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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus


Letter to the Editor: Support ADAMH Board levy renewal

Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015

The following letter to the editor was submitted to The Columbus Dispatch but has not yet been published.

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus urges Franklin County voters to support Issue 14, the county mental health and addiction services renewal levy on the Nov. 3 ballot.

In our evaluation of the levy proposal, the League considered performance of the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH) on a range of issues, including the Board's stewardship of public funds, its history of accomplishments and its plans to continue delivering services to the central Ohio community. On all points, we determined that ADAMH is meeting the needs of our families, friends and neighbors with mental illness and addiction.

Issue 14 is a simple renewal of an existing levy and will not cost homeowners any more than they are currently paying, about $67 a year on a $100,000 home. Research shows that every dollar spent on substance abuse treatment saves $4 in healthcare expenses and $7 in law enforcement and criminal justice costs. Improved treatment for mental illness generates an estimated $7 in positive economic benefits for every $1 invested. The levy represents a necessary and meaningful investment; helping people get treatment for and recover from these conditions leads to a more vibrant, healthy central Ohio.

The levy funds the majority of ADAMH's budget, which connects people struggling with mental illness or addiction to well established treatment providers, such as The Buckeye Ranch, the Urban League, Children's Hospital and Maryhaven. As a nonpartisan grassroots citizens network, the League of Women Voters is about making democracy work. We believe that treatment and recovery are essential in returning people to full participants in the central Ohio community, and we urge you to vote yes on Issue 14.

David Patton, President