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County Councilman donates half of salary to charities

2/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Bill Roemer
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Councilman Bill Roemer (R-at large) announced Jan. 12 that he has donated half of his annual salary to local charities.

Roemer, of Richfield, said a committee helped him determine which organizations to support. The result is that $11,850 is going to 22 different charities, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, Battered Women’s Shelter, International Institute of Akron, OPEN M, Victim Assistance Program and Flashes of Hope.

“This is a promise I made two years ago, and it is imperative to keep commitments,” Roemer said. “It is important to give back to the community, and I believe this will benefit many charities spread throughout Summit County.”

During his 2010 campaign for Council, Roemer said he focused on fiscal restraint and promised to donate half of his salary to charity if he were elected and Summit County did not propose a balanced General Fund budget and then maintain it for 2011. During 2011, Roemer said Summit County had expenditures of $101.7 million and revenue of $99.9 million, resulting in a deficit of $1.8 in the General Fund, which was covered through the use of reserves.

Last year, Roemer formed a committee of philanthropist Mary Serpentini; Dan Bell, an attorney with Jackson Lewis LLP and chairman of the board for Summit County Children Services; Kevin Crum, CPA, with Crum, Buchanan and Associates and chairman of the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board; and the Rev. Jeffrey Jemison, pastor of St. John Baptist Church.

Suzanne Hollon, director of resource development for the Boys and Girls Clubs, said that organization appreciates the donation from Roemer.

“The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve greatly appreciate Councilman Roemer’s commitment to our community and support of our efforts to serve children who need us most,” she said. “His contribution will help us continue to provide a safe place for children and teens ages 5-18 to belong when the school day has ended.”

She added that Roemer’s donation would be doubled due to a matching grant the clubs received from an anonymous donor.

Roemer said he plans to again accept requests from charities for half of his 2012 salary as the county used reserve funds again last year.

Kathleen Folkerth contributed to this report.

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