Hubbard doing well as a city, overtime necessary
This is in answer to your editorial of Jan. 29 on Hubbard employees' overtime pay. First of all, salaried workers are not paid overtime, just the hourly employees who belong to the bargaining unit, AFSCME.
In the water department, at one time, we had 10 employees, but now we are down to four. Under the union contract, we cannot hire part-time or temporary workers. I could cut all the overtime from Friday at 3:30 p.m. until the following Monday morning at 7:30 if that is what 4th Ward Councilman Keenan would like me to do. That would cut down on a great deal of the overtime.
I will not let that happen to citizens. If there is an electricity outage, a sewer backup, water breaks or bad roads, they deserve the best service that we can provide, whatever it costs. A chart that accompanied an article on overtime lists only eight employees. We have 64 employees, and if you average the overtime over all 64 it amounts to over $4,000 a person. One problem is that some of the employees will not work the overtime and others will.
Council appropriates in the budget the overtime for each department for the year. We are the only community in the area with a 1 percent city income tax, and all of our accounts for 2001 were in the black.
Keeping citizens happy and keeping all our accounts in the black is very good management considering what is happening in other communities. All the new growth in our town over the last four or five years has put a great burden on our employees.
We just completed a new waterline under an Issue II program on Myron Street that took quite a bit of overtime, the cost on that was over $400,000. Just recently I received a grant/loan from the Issue II program up to $1 million to replace a waterline from the square of Hubbard north to the city limits.
We have also received $2.1 million from AMP-Ohio to install three generators in our community.
The reason that we are putting these in our community is because a few years ago the cost of electricity was so out of range we figured we better look into the future. The maximum we will pay is about 7 cents a kilowatt-hour compared to the $3 or $4 dollars we paid two years ago because of the electric demand overload in the summer months.
With the three new generators we will be able to supply one third of our power at a very low cost and the excess will be sold to different outlets as part of our agreement with AMP-Ohio.
With what I have just mentioned we could work 12 hours a day, seven days a week and not get caught up on the community's projects.
When I became mayor, I set as my goals vigorously trying to get everything possible for the community, and it is happening. If some people would work to improve things in our community instead of tearing it down, it would cut down on the negativity and improve the positive feelings.
MAYOR GEORGE P. PRAZNIK
Mayor and council should stand firm on arena board
As a citizen and voter who helped elect our mayor and members of the Youngstown City Council, I resent the remarks made by Paul A. Lyden referring to these persons as being "thoughtless," "part-time" and "un-professional politicians."
I am reminded of the spoiled child who picked up his marbles and ran home to mama because he couldn't change the rules of the game to satisfy his personal gain.
As a citizen and voter, I salute our mayor and the members of the city council for standing firm in their position on the civic center board's responsibilities. I would rather place my trust in our governing body to do the right thing for the citizens of our city, than to go along with some spoiled brats who are also thoughtless, part-time professional self servers.
ALBERT A. ROBINSON