To The Editor:

My wife and I are the parents of an adult son who has developmental disabilities. Although we love him and he brings great joy into our lives, he requires a considerable amount of our time and resources and always will. Thus, we have been greatly blessed throughout his life by the services provided by the Jackson County Board of Developmental Disabilities that are partly funded by property tax levies. He has benefited from various physical therapies, speech therapy, education at Hope Haven School, Special Olympics, adult daycare, and respite services. Without these services, our lives would be much more difficult and he would not have reached the level of ability that he has.

As a member of the Jackson County Board of Developmental Disabilities, I am keenly aware of the need for the passage of the levy on the November ballot to continue to fund these services. I feel the board has been good stewards of the funds they have been entrusted with over the years. The last time the board received increased tax millage was 26 years ago. The current levy request is a replacement levy with a 1-mill increase which would cost the owner of a $100,000 house twenty cents ($.20) per day.

The need for services is increasing. In 2011, the board was funding waivers and supportive living services for 22 individuals -- today there are over 100 individuals receiving waivers and supportive living services -- over a 350 percent increase in only 8 years. With the drug epidemic resulting in more children being born with developmental issues, the need for services is forecast to continue to grow. These services are provided to these individuals for life.

In summary, the funds provided by tax levies supporting the Jackson County Board of Developmental Disabilities pay for essential services needed by some members of our community at relatively little cost. The need -- and the cost -- is increasing so I ask Jackson County voters to vote for the levy to support the Jackson County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Thank you,

Bob McCoy

Member, Jackson County Board of Developmental Disabilities