There's no extra cost to add a flier to city water bills.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Letters of support for the city school district's renewal levy have made their way into city water bills.
And officials say it's no big deal.
Councilman-elect Robert Holmes III, who unseated Ron White for the 4th Ward seat in the May primary, expressed concern in an e-mail to The Vindicator, questioning why water customers should be made to pay the extra cost of the flier.
School board member Linda Metzendorf said the district pays for printing fliers.
"It's a good way to get the information out to the voters," Metzendorf said. "We have a good relationship with the city, and we work hand-in-hand."
No extra postage: Mayor Hank Angelo said the city can add up to two sheets of paper in the envelope with the bill, without changing the cost of postage.
Holmes should know this, the mayor said, because he worked for the city water department for a number of years before retiring.
Angelo also said he doesn't appreciate Holmes' taking his concerns to the press instead of to city officials.
Holmes said that he'll vote in favor of the school issue in today's general election, but that political mailings should be kept separate from bills sent out by the city.
It's his job as a councilman-elect to stay close to city issues and watch every dollar it spends, Holmes added.
The renewal levy is for operations, and it first passed in 1996. It would generate roughly $9 million a year for five years.
Not unusual: The mayor said it's not unusual for the city to back the schools or for the schools to get behind a city issue.
In the past, the city and school board have passed resolutions expressing support for each other's ballot issues.
Three things at the core of any community, according to Angelo, are education, jobs and housing. It only makes sense for the city to support the schools, he said, because people take into account the quality of a district when they choose a community to live in.
"Absolutely we support schools," the mayor said. "It's an economic development thing."