Kellogg-Martin’s job eliminated, four other Child Support employees cut (Audio included)
2/22/2013 6:12:31 PM
By Bill Tipple
In an effort to save money, Logan County Child Support Enforcement Agency Director Kim Kellogg-Martin’s job has been eliminated. Three investigators and a clerical position from the agency have also been eliminated.
The Logan County Commissioners announced the decision during a meeting Thursday afternoon.
Kellogg-Martin (pictured) has led the agency for six years.
The staffing moves, which take effect March 8th, are expected to save the county $263,617 annually.
The five employees can apply for three other positions within the agency.
County Commissioners John Bayliss, Tony Core, and Dustin Wickersham presented this letter to explain the county’s financial situation and their decision.
In November 2011, the Logan County Board of Commissioners first learned of fiscal concerns with the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) from Logan County Job and Family Services (LCJFS) Director Dan Willoby. At that time, Director Willoby informed the Board that there would need to be an immediate significant reduction in staff in the CSEA. The Board of Commissioners immediately began looking to find a way to reduce other expenses and control costs, rather than impose the significant cuts to staff recommended by Director Willoby.
In January 2012, Director Willoby resigned. To increase efficiency and gain operational and fiscal experience, the Logan County Commissioners hired Susan Bailey-Evans in March 2012 as a shared director between Champaign and Logan counties.
In 2007, the Board of Commissioners merged LCJFS and CSEA as a combined agency, believing that the merger would create efficiencies in administrative costs. This merger required that CSEA begin paying a portion of shared costs of LCJFS. Those shared costs include rent, utilities, postage, copier expenses, and administrative personnel (human resource officer, JFS director, administrative assistant, janitorial, etc.). The merger was fiscal only, and not a physical merger, leaving CSEA to continue carrying costs of a physically separate agency totaling $74,000 each year. At the time of the merger, employees from CSEA received pay increases between 4 percent and 18 percent to match the salary schedules in the LCJFS, increasing costs $28,879 annually. The prior CSEA director (Dianne Goslee) also retired at this time at a salary of approximately $65,000 and a new CSEA director (Kim Kellogg-Martin) was hired at approximately $88,000.
In addition to merger changes, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services stopped allowing child support enforcement agencies to use federal funds for matched dollars in October 2009. These increased expenses and decreases in revenue caused more CSEA reserves to be used to support current operations.
In March 2012, the CSEA had a staff of 15. Since that time, Director Bailey-Evans and the commissioners have moved 4 CSEA staff from the CSEA funding pool to open positions in LCJFS. Of those 4 staff, 3 continue to be supported through the shared expenses between the two agencies. The total savings of moving these 4 staff from CSEA, prior to shared cost pool calculations, was approximately $178,707. In September 2012, a child support enforcement agency employee retired and the position was not filled. This saved $38,400.
In April 2012, an error was discovered by Director Bailey-Evans that LCJFS had not been accurately submitting requests for reimbursement for IV-D contract expenses from state/federal funds. From 2007 through early 2012, the agency had only been requesting 66 percent of that total. Federal law allows for a 24-month look back for corrective entries. The agency was recently reimbursed approximately $110,000 of those expenses. However, the prior three years worth were not able to be recovered totaling about $150,000.
In early 2012, the Board of Commissioners decided to physically merge both CSEA and LCJFS into one location. This physical merger produced an annual savings of $74,000 from expenses identified above.
Since learning of the fiscal concerns in 2011, the Logan County Department of Job and Family Services and the Logan County Board of Commissioners have reduced staff costs by $352,505 per year and overall expenses by $456,469 annually.
Thursday's personnel actions will reduce staff costs in the CSEA cost pool by an additional $263,617 annually. However, through other efficiencies accomplished in the past year, there will be employment opportunities for 3 staffers affected by Thursday's actions to move into LCJFS positions in other cost pools.
Listen to Commissioner and Board Chairman Dustin Wickersham explain eliminating the five positions.