With care, Girard's debt could have been avoided
With the national economy in a rapid downward spiral, it is no time to have a personal debt or a city debt. Girard's 2001 financial statement looks like the boys running Girard make Jesse James look like the pope.
This small city is almost $1 million over budget ( $451,000 in police funds and $235,000 in fire funds for starters). The city's long-term debt is over $10 million, and now it will be hit with millions more for the upgrades to the sewer plant and the repair of the dam at Girard Lakes. The dam repair will cost at least $10 million.
The Criminal Justice Center cost $5 million and the underground cable on Route 422, $2 million. Consider the 34 percent to 54 percent raises for all elected officials -- including $10,000 for the new mayor, the creation of unnecessary new management positions and the purchase of large items like new vehicles.
The mayor publicly stated he did not know and was not informed of the city's monumental debt, but he was the city treasurer for the preceding 11 years or so.
In 1993 I tried to stop the "Jesse" boys from signing a 25-year agreement with Ohio Edison that set electric rates at about 13.6 cents per kilowatt hour for Girard residents. This was then, and probably still is, the highest rate in the United States with the exception of Manhattan Island.
The average household uses about 800 kilowatt hours per month. In Girard, 800 kilowatts cost about $108.80. In Niles the same electricity used would cost only about $64. That means that every household in Girard pays about $50 more per month for electricity then Niles.
I don't see how Girard residents can have any money left over to pay their taxes. Now all of this could have been avoided if the voters of Girard would have voted for the most qualified, not the most popular candidate.
I know for a fact that if Girard voters had put people in office like Dan Moadus, Don Rex or Mickey Krizancic this problem would not exist. The only solution now is for the voters of Girard to form a citizens group and attend all the city hall meetings.
Drug abuse continuesto plague young people
Drug abuse among teen-agers is a major problem today. Steps are being taken to improve the situation and to inform teens on drugs. I think that the consequences for drug possession should be stricter. I also think that more should be done to make teens aware of the effect drugs can have, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and on your every day interactions with people.
Schools should become more involved in the fight against drugs; by having speakers come in and talk to students and making drugs a more open discussion.
If more steps are taken to make people aware of drugs and how they affect people, then maybe the drug problem can be controlled or at least drugs can be decreased on the street.
X The writer is a student at Struthers High School.