Pennsylvanian no longer envies his Ohio neighbors
Being a lifelong Pennsylvania resident and living a quarter mile from the Ohio line I at times envied Ohio residents enjoying things such as no zoning, no auto inspections, easy auto insurance requirements, etc. Mostly I always liked the idea of voting on tax issues; however, seeing the stressful situations in many school districts that desperately need buildings repaired and maintained and various programs that were dropped re-instated, and the utter chaos in the judicial system, law enforcement, jail, etc. I have to think Ohio's system is not so good.
What is going on with the systems needed to protect the citizens is nothing short of frightening. I personally do not believe that so many departments in county government are so drastically affected by one-half cent sales tax not being collected. However if that is in fact true, a major revamp is desperately needed. It is beyond any scope of my imagination why any sane person would allow funding for such a vital and necessary arm of the government such as the courts, law enforcement and the jail system not be on a permanent source. Having to vote this tax in every few years is insane.
I fully understand and agree with the taxpayers, frustrations with all of the previous inept and corrupt government officials that had been discovered and apparently are still being discovered; and not wanting to give them any more money fearing it would be squandered. Solutions to difficult situations do not come easy. However the more I compare Ohio and Pennsylvania taxing methods the more I like Pennsylvania. We certainly have stability in our schools and law enforcement, etc., which is badly needed in these trying times. If your government is not honest and stable, what can you expect from everyday citizens? It's time to change this part of Ohio's system to fund government.
JOSEPH P. HILKO
Reaching 200 could bethe beginning of the end
As an octogenarian, I am now a part of history and I would like to share some of my observations.
In the year 2003 we were busy with primaries, among other things, but 2003 was a historical year -- the bicentennials of Ohio, the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Ross Perot appeared on Larry King Live and stated that political history has democracies failing in 200 years and, of course, he was optimistic. There is unrest. The voters voted term limits and now the professional politicians are playing musical chairs with the elective offices. This is not what the voters wanted.
The Mahoning Valley is an example of a failing government and changes must be made. There are also major problems at state and federal levels.
We have lost our freedom as we once knew it. The list is too long, but a few examples are laws that should be an informed personal choice, ordinances, zoning, permits, building codes, hunting and fishing, the EPA, OSHA -- the list keeps going. The health care system, state and federal, are a national disgrace. I have Medicare and could use the VA. The real problem is the uninsured. The most vulnerable are those who completed their education and five to 10 years there after. There are many diseases that cannot be traced to the cause, such as an auto-immune disease.
We have lost the right to protect ourselves and our property. Among my age group you hear the statement, "I'm glad I am not 16 today." It is time to change.
Vanishing sign of the times
Add this to the list of things we'll never see again: Signs at gas stations saying, "We do not accept $100 bills."
JEFFREY D. ADLER