Jack Hunter served as role model to young politician
I wanted to share with the residents of Youngstown my sadness at hearing that Mayor Jack C. Hunter passed away. Youngstown has truly lost a mayor of the people. As a child, he inspired me to want to become a public servant. I was greatly impressed by the way that he interacted with the public and other officials. He gave me the sense that leadership was truly an honorable calling and that it took a special kind of person to fill that role.
I knew he was a good man because my mother thought very highly of him. If he was all right with my mother, he was surely all right with me.
I followed Mayor Hunter around town and would always pay close attention to how he conducted himself. I recall a visit he made to Williamson Elementary School when I was in the fifth or sixth grade. He came over to me and introduced himself. He asked me my name and said, & quot;So what do you want to be when you grow up? & quot; I replied, & quot; Just like you. & quot; I really could see and feel that he was proud to know that he could inspire someone such as myself to want to become a public servant.
Once Mayor Hunter left office, he was still the same guy. I recall seeing him walking around the plaza or having lunch, and he was still the same guy.
Always polite, affable and interested in you as a person. He had that magic and it was for real.
Well, I haven't become mayor yet. But whoever would believe that a kid from the South Side of Youngstown would leave Ohio and in five short years of doing, become the first person of color to be elected to the board of aldermen of Somer ville, Mass., and then become that board's president, again making history. Believe it or not, Jack C. Hunter had a lot to do with it.
I'm proud to have known him and to have called him my mayor.
KEVIN A. TARPLEY
Area cost of living higher than in other cities, towns
Mr. de Souza appears to have less than a full set of facts. In a recent Sunday column, he suggested that YSU faculty forgo their annual salary raise because & quot;the cost of living [in Youngstown] .... is lower than in other parts of the state in which there are other [state] colleges and universities. & quot; That assertion about the comparative cost of living is false.
Assuming a $50,000 annual income in Youngstown, it would take the following lesser amounts to have the same standard of living in Ohio cities having state colleges and universities: Akron, $46,933; Athens, $45,304; Bowling Green, $48,323; Dayton, $48,889; Toledo, $48,276. Moreover, faculty at state colleges and universities in Akron, Athens, Bowling Green, Wright State, and Toledo have a significantly higher annual salary than YSU faculty and lower workloads.
Compile, then, the above data and we get the following: Compared to faculty at other state universities and colleges in Ohio, YSU faculty have a higher cost of living, lower salaries and greater workloads.
So if Mr. de Souza thinks that YSU faculty should forgo their annual salary raise, he should find some reason other than our cost of living in Youngstown. But this time, Bert, get the facts.
GABRIEL PALMER-FERNANDEZ, Ph.D.
X The writer is a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at YSU and chairman of the faculty union's negotiating committee.
Gated neighborhoods no help to communities
As is my early Sunday morning custom, I went jogging around Wick Park on the north side of Youngstown, and encountered my usual Sunday-morning friends, like the African-American lady who takes her dog for an early morning stroll, a few very friendly folks from a neighborhood transitional home, a Caucasian fellow who volunteers to walk the dogs (mascots) from nearby Park Vista, a wonderful Hispanic lady who has the biggest smile in the world and an elderly African American couple who walk the park every morning. What a great way to start a sunny Sunday morning with all kinds of people together.
An hour later, I was talking with Youngstown City Councilman John Swierz as he and an army of volunteers were getting ready for round two of the local Soap Box Derby which had close to 90 participants from all over the county. The promoters were justifiably proud of bringing so many families and young people together.
Back home for church, as pastor, I presided over St. Patrick's Sunday morning liturgy with our congregation which is made up of Caucasian, African-American and Hispanic families. We pray together and then we visit together, people from all over, many of whom pass other churches on the way to St. Patrick's. Community and fellowship ... you can't beat it.
By 1 p.m., I was ready to have a light lunch and read the Sunday paper as I usually do, before embarking on my afternoon activities. I came across the article "Created to be gated" on page three of The Vindicator's business section -- a local story about developed communities that are gated to control who comes in and who leaves.
I am a faith-filled person who has needed the Lord's mercy many times. I am not perfect, and I believe in the freedoms of our wonderful country, including the freedom to live where one wants to. But after reading CREATED TO BE GATED, my only response was SAD, SAD, SAD. In my opinion, I think we were created to be together. If the energy put into fencing people in and out was directed to solving some of the community's problems, we would all be better off ... together.
Rev. EDWARD P. NOGA
X Father Noga is pastor of St. Patrick Church.
Police going overboard in ticketing cars in yards
Aren't policemen supposed to fight crime, to respond to burglaries, to keep homeowners safe? But beware, people, because our law enforcement officers have nothing better to do than issue tickets to homeowners who have parked their cars in their lawns to wash them.
Recently, in my neighborhood, policemen have been issuing tickets to people who temporarily park their cars on their lawns. I agree with the ordinance to keep junk cars out of the yards. My problem is with ticketing all cars without even a warning.
We apparently don't need extra police because they obviously don't have anything better to do.
City life is down and I often wondered why. Now I know.
PAMELA J. VEGA