Indianapolis - Council President Steve Talley announced the establishment of the Children’s and Family Services Special Investigative Committee. On November 21, 2005 as ordered by the State, the council met in special session to consider proposals to authorize the issuance of bonds and to effectively increase the tax burden on each homeowner in Marion County. The council does not have any input or oversight over the spending of their tax monies by the Marion County Office of Family and Children. President Talley said, "The citizens of Marion County should have the right to know exactly how the agency spends their tax money."
"For many years, the departments responsible for providing this information to the citizens of our county have not done so," President Talley said. He continued, "It is in such cases as this that I will use the statutory authority given the council to appoint a special investigative committee to learn how our tax monies are spent. In order to best assess the effectiveness of the Marion County Office of Family and Children in expending taxpayer funds, the Children’s and Family Services Special Investigative Committee’s mission will be to study and provide insight on the following concerns, as well as others that may become apparent, namely:
- The number of children to whom services have been provided over the past three (3) budget cycles;
- The effectiveness and qualifications of the agencies, providers or contractors providing services to our children their families;
- The number and nature of all out-of-home placements funded by the County Office;
- The number and nature of expenditures for children residing with parents, a guardian or custodian or other out-of-home placements;
- Discuss and suggest procedures to provide such services in the most cost effective and cost-efficient manner;
- Consider actions that will result in effective, cost-efficient delivery of services including a revision of how the budget for the Office is funded; and
- Consideration of alternative means of delivering such services so as to eliminate the need for borrowing as experienced for 2005 and as expected to be needed (mandated) in 2006.
President Talley also said, "We will be a more successful city by taking a careful look at the opportunity to reverse a necessary but growing tax burden to our entire community. The Council will take a leadership role in the delivery of children’s services in Marion County so as to keep our community the best place to work, live and raise our families."