Black Americans want to see more role models
In response to Roger Smith's recent article with the block watch presidents, "Race of the new chief," how ironic that the only black male block watch president was not asked for an opinion.
After 150 years, a city saturated with racism and racist glass ceilings at every level of every business cannot truthfully state after a few weeks on the job that it doesn't make a difference, do a survey a year from now. If your life is in jeopardy and you need immediate assistance, of course it shouldn't matter who comes to your rescue, but for over 150 years prior and some strange inexplicable reason it's taken over a century and a half to arrive at this historical moment. Why?
The white community cannot possibly know the pride we in the African-American community feel when we see mayors, business executives, police chiefs and black female bricklayers functioning in and around other communities.
Every major city that has experienced growth has had or presently employs a black police chief, including black female chiefs in Cleveland, East Cleveland, Atlanta and Hurricane, W. Va., among others.
Conflict resolutions and domestic violence confrontations, which police chiefs deal with regularly, are resolved much more amicably when the authority/mentor figure looks like you. Something white Americans have taken for granted all their lives. Wake up and catch up Youngstown.
Tax dollars shouldn't pay for community recreation
Why is the Boardman Township government playing sock it to the taxpayers by placing an Issue on the ballot to construct and maintain elaborate recreational facilities in Boardman Park?
The Y.M.C.A., which has been in Youngstown for more than 100 years, has already had a ground-breaking for such a facility on McClurg Road in Boardman. It will have indoor and outdoor pools, two gymnasiums, a running track, whirlpool and much more. Those who wish to use such facilities can simply join the "Y" and their dollars, not tax dollars, will pay for its operation. It is being built with private money, not tax dollars.
Why should residents who cannot, or do not wish to use such recreational facilities pay for those who do?
It would seem to make more sense to wait three or four years and then, if there is more demand that the "Y" can absorb, consider public facilities.
If the levy passes, taxpayers will have to pay in four ways. Construction costs, interest on bonds sold to raise these costs, if necessary, cost of operation, as well as increased prices in Boardman retail stores.
Most commercial leases are for a set amount plus cost of real estate taxes and insurance. If the real estate owners have to pay higher taxes, that will be passed on to the store operators who will then pass the cost on to all of us in higher prices.
I have been a "Y" member for over 40 years and always received my money's worth. Think before you vote.
DEAN F. FERRIS
Don't reward inefficiency in police department
On Tuesday, May 7, the voters of Milton Township will be voting on a 2-mill levy for the police department. If passed, this levy will generate approximately $100,000 a year to be used in any way the trustees deem necessary for the police department. Last year, the police department spent $171,000.00. This would bring their budget to a little over a quarter of a million dollars a year.
I would be inclined to vote for this levy if the police department were run more efficiently.
Every pay period this year, the chief has been paid 24 hours overtime for officer coverage even though there are 11 officers on the force. Some of these officers average only 8 to 16 hours per pay. Since the chief is the highest paid officer on the force, this just doesn't seem very cost effective.
Another example of bad management is one officer who is averaging 40 hours work per pay period this year after averaging only 12.5 hours a pay for all of last year. When the officer was asked about this, he said that he wasn't working his other job now and the chief was just helping him out. Would this same favor be extended to anyone who wasn't the son of one of the trustees? I don't think so.
Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if something is worth putting any more money into. I don't think this department is worth putting anymore money into. I urge the citizens of Milton Township to please vote "no" on the police levy.
Pass levy for continued excellence in Canfield
Have Canfield homeowners taken a look at their property tax statement? If they are like most homeowners, the bill is going to their mortgage company to be paid from an escrow account. Thus, they may not be aware of how their taxes are broken down and how their money is being used. I recently received my tax bill and realized that 64 percent of my property tax dollars go to schools.
Even so, Canfield has one of the lowest costs per student in the state of Ohio. Canfield has one of the best educational programs in the state of Ohio as represented by the statewide testing results. In looking at my tax bill, I have discovered that it takes the combined taxes of seven to eight households to educate one student. We, as homeowners, have taken on the responsibility of supporting our schools through our property taxes.
The issue of school funding in Ohio has been in the hands of our elected officials in Columbus for many years. The Supreme Court did order the legislature to correct the funding problem that exists in the system today. But they have not resolved this problem, leaving local taxpayers still responsible for the majority of the school funding through our property taxes.
I no longer have a child in our school system; however, I am still responsible for the education of the students who attend our schools. They are our schools, belonging to all of us who reside here in Canfield. I believe that the school board in Canfield has performed responsibly in managing the funds we have provided. Our school system is well run and has a history of excellence.
To continue the successes of our students in Canfield, we cannot afford additional cuts in programs, services and personnel. I urge you to support our schools and maintain the excellence of Canfield.
J-M schools need levy
As a graduate of J-M High School, parent of three graduates and four grandchildren that have and/or are now attending Jackson Milton School, I must speak out. (I rarely do this, only when I feel strongly about a subject)
I urge my fellow senior citizens as well as all J-M District citizens to consider a "yes" vote for J-M School bond issue.
The community supported us as students many years ago and I feel it is now our duty to our community and children to pass the same support on to this generation. The children are the future of this great country.
Please help pass the school bond issue and save the J-M district.
Vote "yes" for Jackson-Milton Tuesday, May 7.
Most clergy are honorable and deserving of regard
In the recent weeks, we have been overwhelmed with stories about the horrible crimes of some priests in the Catholic Church. I think that we need to remember that there are a lot of great priests still out there.
I attended St. Dominic's School. While there, I met a priest who helped me tremendously. He always knew when I need to talk, especially in the years after grade school, when I thought I was never wrong and my parents were never right.
He strengthened my faith in God and helped shape the man I am today.
So the next time we hear about one of the bad ones, I challenge everyone to say a prayer for the victims; then try to remember one of the good ones, whether he be a priest, minister or rabbi.
Thank You, Rev. Frank Sutman, OP, for being one of the great ones!
JOSEPH C. VOYTKO
New schools unecessary when enrollment declines
Should the residents of Austintown really be expected to pay for a new facility for a declining middle school population? In 1968 there were 1,400 pupils; in 1999 there were 905 pupils. I agree with the previous letters to the editor that stated that what we need is more fiscal ac counta bility from the school board and a reorganization of existing facilities.
A diminishing class of pupils does not demand a larger tax base.
Vote "no" on May 7.
MARY ANN KARAS