Many reasons to vote for Boardman park bonds
Let me set the record straight on the Boardman Park bond issue. As the varsity swimming coach at Boardman High School it is very obvious why I would want to see a competitive swimming facility in Boardman. Our team would see an immediate benefit to having a state-of-the-art competitive pool for many reasons. But a lot of Boardman Township voters don't particularly care about the benefits to the high school swim team or the indoor track for the track team. Why raise my taxes $63 a year for Coach O'Halloran's, Coach Pavlansky's and Coach Gorski's teams? Even though we know the positive reasons for voting yes, it is a legitimate question for those not directly involved in our programs.
Should you vote yes because we will have at least 45 more acres of green space? Is green space an issue that Boardman voters think is important? Does the present park administration have a history of managing green space effectively?
How about a yes vote for our senior citizens? Is the mall really the place to go for exercise or would a complete senior center with unlimited exercise options and social activities be something our seniors might deserve and appreciate? Why should seniors have to move away from their families and friends to move into a planned community in Florida to find recreational things to do?
How about a yes vote for our Boardman youth? Have your teens tried to get together lately in a group of more than 10? If so, was the party crashed by other teens looking for a place to go and shortly broken up the Boardman police? Ask any police officer in Boardman if he or she thinks this community center would help solve the many problems they experience with teens who have no place to go.
Will voting yes on the issue prevent a school levy from passing in the future? I have taught fourth grade in Boardman for 29 years, and I have seen how our school population has changed. Even though our kids present more challenges to us than 10 years ago, our Boardman system has received the highest rating by the state of Ohio. Will the voters not vote for the schools because the park district wants to build a facility to enhance the quality of life in our community? The Boardman schools can stand on their own reputation without having to worry about the park taking money out of their pocket.
On the first day this community center opens its doors, property values will immediately increase by 5 percent to 8 percent (according to national statistics on communities that have recreation centers). On a house appraised at $100,000, the owner will realize an average gain on his or her investment of $6,500. The tax increase is only $63 per year for 30 years.
Balloon releases a danger to wildlife, environment
In consecutive issues The Vindicator carried stories about two dissimilar school projects. An Austintown Middle School class released 100 balloons carrying messages to celebrate their 100th day of school. They got a response from a gentleman in New Bedford, Pa. How cute. Isn't that special?
The next evening's paper chronicles the activities of Struthers Middle School sixth graders who study wildlife in Mill Creek Park and will monitor Yellow Creek water quality. They will also study birds of prey up close and personal. Bravo Struthers Middle School.
What brought the two stories together for me was Scott Shalaway's column in Sunday's paper titled "Make every day Earth Day. "One of his points was to resist the urge to release balloons to commemorate special events. It seems they can travel hundreds of miles and can play havoc when ingested by wildlife.
I have read this caveat concerning balloon releases for many years, but I continue to see this abomination at football games. Shalaway's advice, which I am taking to heart is: "Write letters, make phone calls. Be persistent. Our children and grandchildren deserve no less." Again, way to go, Struthers Middle School.
New school will only yield more growth, more taxes
After the passage of home rule by the Austintown trustees, I saw there could be some large monetary gains for the township and hoped the school system could benefit from this also. Then the school board might not be raiding taxpayers' pockets nearly so often.
In my case alone I have seen my real estate tax jump a whopping 38 percent between the end of 1995 and 2000, and I receive a decent rollback because of my age. I can only imagine what is happening to younger people, many of whom live in more expensive homes than mine and do not get the rollback.
I wonder if the school system is practicing the & quot;fiscal responsibility & quot; we read and hear about so much these days. I realize that we need good schools in the township but maybe the school system needs to be more efficient in spending.
I know families in Austintown (with children is school) who cannot stand another raise in real estate taxes. I am referring to the school bond issue that will be on the ballot in May (for 26 years, no less).
After reading about the fantastic "growth" in Austintown during the last several years, I have decided that this "growth" we are experiencing really means two things -- busier roads and much higher taxes. Enough is enough, already.
Milton Township needs own police protection
Is it possible that Loy Metzler, the elder of Milton Township's newly elected trustees, simply forgot the main reason township citizens wanted their own local police force back in the early '80s? Why else would he have cast the single vote against putting a police levy on the ballot in the May primaries? Whatever the case, let me refresh the memories of all those thinking like him.
Loy Metzler and his family were our next-door neighbors back in the '70s. Our phone rang at 2 a.m. one summer night when he was out of town. His wife, Betty, was in a panic that several men were ransacking their garage. "Did you call the sheriff?" my wife asked. "Yes, of course," she replied. "But that was nearly half an hour ago!" It was a scary situation after I rousted two drunks from their garage at gunpoint, holding them face down on the ground for another 20 minutes until the sheriffs depu ties arrived.
The truth is that Milton Township's problems with police, fire protection, road maintenance and even our children's schooling, come directly from faulty state legislation and apathetic locally elected state officials. Ohio spent millions of tax dollars constructing Lake Milton State Park, but the state contributes nothing toward township police and fire protection or road repair when thousands of tourists, boaters, campers, fishing enthusiasts and other visitors crowd into the area each summer. Adding more outside state park police and sheriff's deputies in Milton Township simply means more year-round citizens will be getting traffic tickets, but not necessarily protection of life, limb and property.
Instead of trying to shift their township safety and road responsibilities to Mahoning County or the state park police, Milton Trustees would better serve the people by proddingly locally elected Ohio State senators and representatives to come up with legislation that shares Milton Township's increased summer costs each year. Until such actions appear to be taking place, Milton citizens should continue to "take care of their own" by voting "YES" on local police protection.
Value human lives as much as those of animals
Has anyone noticed the violence in our community? It's like a disease that has reached the stage of an epidemic, spreading fast through the neighborhoods.
Unfortunately, the violence is mainly among our young adults and youth. It's kids killing kids. The majority of these young people are inner-city residents. Maybe that is why no one seems too concerned. I believe all of our young people are valuable and worth saving.
A short while ago, a puppy was tragically killed in a suburban neighborhood. The local media gave more print and airtime to the death of the puppy than it did to many recent homicides.
Maybe the media, city officials and our politicians learn to value life, even that of an inner-city youth. His life should be at least as valuable as that of a puppy.
CECIL B. MONROE
Valley residents forced to suffer for Traficant's pride
Speaking to the media regarding his resignation from office, Mr. Traficant clearly indicated he has no intention of stepping down unless he is forced to.
In so doing, he shows contempt and disregard for his constituents by leaving them without effective representation in Congress. If he truly cares for the residents of the Mahoning Valley, he will step aside to make way for a replacement.
The sooner he is replaced, the sooner an effective representative can serve the residents of the Mahoning Valley. Give it up, Jim, you lost the battle. Don't make us suffer for your pride and arrogance.
CHUCK and KATHY ROGERS