Taxpayers not represented on Mill Creek Park board
How quaint that so many Vindicator readers, voters in the 17th Congressional District and even the ACLU are wringing their hankies or shaking their fists in the air over the "no taxation without representation" clause in our Constitution, now that our former congressman, Jim Traficant, is in jail.
Why all the fuss now? All Mahoning County property owners have had taxation without representation for years and years in the form of Mill Creek Park and MetroParks levies, and few among us offered any words of protest. Even after the park commission lied to everyone by calling for a new tax a renewal, thereby doubling their yearly revenue to about $12 million annually, not one person or newspaper called for an explanation or audit of the spending. In fact, I'll bet that no one except the board itself even knows who or what office in our local or state government is responsible for audits and checks and balances of the appointed Metro Park Commission members.
In most of The Vindicator articles on plans for the MetroParks since the levy passed, many commission members have seemed downright giddy over the pro spects of spending other people's hard-earned tax dollars on such whimsical ideas as an ultra-modern rest stop and a grand parking lot now being built on Kirk Road or several $2 million bridges spanning major roadways in the area.
Why stop there if Porta-potties and walking to the trails aren't good enough? Let's all chip in more tax dollars and erect elevated roadways the entire length of the bike, skate, jog and horse trails. Bad idea? Well call your elected MetroPark representative and let 'em know, OK?
Homeowners protected when Gains follows law
I would like to comment on your editorial of July 30, "If Gains has a better idea, he should share it with us."
I have been an attorney and title insurance agent in this area for more than 25 years. The in rem foreclosure process does not deliver a good title to buyers of these properties because of constitutional notice and due process issues. The title insurance industry will not insure these titles.
When the buyers of these properties try to sell these properties, they will encounter problems and delays. They may look to the counties and county officials who sold them these defective titles for redress and damages. Owners who had their properties taken in violation of their constitutional rights would also have redress against the offending counties and officials.
The foreclosure process Mr. Gains is using is fully insurable under Ohio title standards. Mr. Gains should be commended for protecting the public and following the law. The public is better served by having 757 sales done correctly and legally than 10,000 done defectively.
One solution would be for the state Legislature to change the law to allow owners of these worthless properties to deed the properties to the land bank on proof of good title and then have the taxes owed forgiven.
Until the law is changed, Mr. Gains should continue to protect the county and the public by following the statues and the constitution.
DONALD P. LEONE
What happened to theclassical music on WYSU?
I am disappointed that WYSU continues to narrow its window for broadcasting classical music. We used to have classical music from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. Now we have a foreign newscast preceding several hours of repetitious NPR news. Even worse, what used to be classical music from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. is now interviews with celebrities who are on the talk-show circuit promoting their latest books and movies.
HAROLD T. MUIR
Austintown residents are concerned over project
My neighbors and I would like to respond to a letter published in The Vindicator on Aug. 1. The letter states that the proposed builder, Mr. Jim Carsone, respectfully sat through a lengthy meeting while residents of Turner Road voiced their displeasure with the project because of increased traffic, loss of trees and concerns with the preservation of wildlife. That is true, but, that is what public meetings are for.
One of the major concerns that the writer failed to mention was the fact that the proposed plan the trustees were requested to approve immediately showed a road right along the rear property lines of the people who live in the Meander Cove development.
The trustees appeared to feel that the plan could be revised to relocate that road. For that reason, Trustee Richard Edwards moved to prolong the decision for approval of the plan for another 20 days so that they could look at alternatives. Mr. Carsone then requested to speak and protested the delay stating that he wanted to get started as soon as possible.
When Mr. Carsone protested Mr. Edward's motion, that protest drew fire from Mr. Edwards. And yes, he was abrupt with Mr. Carsone, but at that point he was expressing concern for over 100 people who signed a petition stating that they were opposed to the project. When that many sign petitions and attend a meeting, we need trustees like Mr. Edwards, Mr. Pritchard and Mr. Ditzler who are willing to review all concerns and to try to find a compromise rather than just cramming a project down the neighbors' throats. No one involved in the project, including Ms. Oles, lives anywhere near the project.
At some point, the letter turned into an attack on Mr. Edwards, who was fortunate enough to beat the letter-writer in the last election for the trustee position.
There will be a lot of losers if this project goes forward and they will include Mr. Carsone as well as the neighbors. Mr. Carsone will go to tremendous expense to put in the roads, the utilities and the landscaping. All one has to do is look at the unfinished condominium projects in Austintown and the new homes that haven't sold to know that this project won't fly.
RICHARD L. GARVER
JAMES S. RAYMOND
If ACLU wants election, let its members foot the bill
No one missed the story about the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio announcing that it is suing the governor because he and we do not think it is necessary to hold a special election for the remainder of Mr. Traficant's term of office.
I think the ACLU should come up with the $800,000 for the election since they feel so strongly about our representation in Congress for a few weeks. I would like them to pay for it out of their pockets.
Justice would be done for once if they put their money where their mouths are. Whose side are they on, really? Not ours.
The state is struggling financially, and so are the local counties. Isn't there a better place to spend money?
Once again the ACLU has let the average citizen down.
GENEVIEVE M. BAUMAN
Invading Iraq a bad idea
Invade Iraq? Putting 200,000 of our young men in harm's way for a supposed threat? There are many countries with weapons of mass destruction and questionable leadership. Which one is next?
It is easy for our policy-makers to make such decisions. I wonder how easy it would be if their sons and daughters were subject to those same policies through a universal draft system, with no superfluous exemptions, as in World War II?
JOSEPH H. EVANS Jr.
Ugly appendages mar new courthouse's facade
I work in the downtown area diagonally across from the new federal courthouse. Here is my question: What on earth are those two black smokestacklike structures that adorn the front of the building? They look totally out of place in front of a building that looks modern and sleek.
The two jagged-top metal columns do not complement the building's design at all. Everyone I have spoken with has a guess of what they actually are, and the consensus is they are ugly.
I have looked at the architectural design that is erected in front of the building, and the columns displayed in that picture look nothing like the cylindrical enigmas that presently inhabit those spaces. So -- how about a hint.
DONNA K. SMITH