A county can't run without money -- and that's the truth
A letter in last Sunday's Vindicator about the Mahoning County sales tax issue brings to mind some famous words of former U. S. President Harry Truman. Accused of giving his opponents hell, he replied, "I just tell the truth, and they think it is hell."
The previous writer's suggestion that our sheriff is using "fear and the drumbeat of scare tactics" to promote the levy is just blowing smoke. The undeniable fact is that loss of money to pay deputies means loss of deputies, and that means closing parts of the jail, and that means bad guys who should be in jail will be walking the streets. Sheriff Wellington is just telling the truth, and if the writer thinks that is "hell" -- that's his problem.
The writer badmouths much that our county government does, and ends by asking, "Why do we elect these types of leaders?" If he knows a way to run Mahoning County without money, maybe he should run for commissioner next year.
ROBERT D. GILLETTE
Those who choose to livein Brookfield should choose to support strong schools
It's all about choices. When my husband and I were first married, we chose to move to the Brookfield area, and when we started our family, we chose to stay in this community. We are now faced with another choice -- whether or not to support the school levy. With two kids attending Brookfield schools, we always vote yes, and encourage our friends and neighbors to do the same. However, those two kids are faced with some choices that they had to make, and the consequences of the choices of others, in which they had no say. My older son has been involved in both basketball and baseball for many years, as well as other scholastic activities. This year, he had to choose which things he could be involved in, due to cost. We chose to pay for him to participate both in sports and student government, because we want to support his involvement in school activities. That choice cost us much more than the levy increase would have.
My younger son didn't get to make any choices. At Addison School, his gym teacher and art teacher were cut, and both these classes were loaded onto the homeroom teachers, and we had to pay an activity/supply fee of $50 -- no choice there.
Brookfield is clearly not a wealthy district. Visit the buildings -- they are all well kept, but by no means lavish. We don't have the newest textbooks, or a state of the art library, or an all-weather track, but our kids are getting a good education. In spite of our lack of funds, our students are meeting the state education goals; in fact, Addison is an Ohio School of Promise, an achievement award given to low-income schools.
No school district is perfect, no superintendent, no school board. But why must students pay the price for the perceived failures of the district? If you don't like the choices that the board makes, then choose a different board. Brookfield is hardly the only local district to put levy after levy on the ballot; part of the problem is that our legislature in Columbus has failed to address the school funding issues for many years. Our board receives only a certain amount of money from the state; the rest must come from the residents. That is the way it works in Ohio -- if you don't like that method, choose better legislators who will fix the funding system. Or move to Pennsylvania, where you have no choice and school boards just raise taxes as they see fit.
Choose to become an informed voter, and get the correct information. Don't base your votes on billboards, placards or anonymous mailings. If you want to find out how much the levy will increase your taxes, you can call the Brookfield school treasurer, and she can tell you.
Many people in Brookfield Township have fixed incomes and low incomes, and no one wants to pay more taxes, but how can we refuse to support the future of our kids? Homeowners should also consider that if the school district must be consolidated, or goes into fiscal emergency, it will be very difficult to sell their home when that time comes. After all, who in their right mind would choose to move into a district that won't support its schools?
Make a choice for the future and support the Brookfield school levy.
Ministers protect their turf
Over the past few months, we have heard the leading opponents to casino gambling, the ministers of our local churches, spout half truths and lies on how the casinos will invite crime, prostitution, bankruptcies, and the decay of the families.
Well, open your eyes: what do we have now? If these ministers are so opposed to gambling, why do most of your churches have Las Vegas nights, festival gambling, raffles, and instant pull tabs?
Bottom line is, the ministers are scared that the casinos will take away the money they would make on their form of gambling.
Nothing new about what's happening to Social Security
Some years ago I wrote a letter much like this one.
Once again the Republicans are going after Social Security. The Republicans along with professional businessmen and big businesses were very much against Social Security. The CEOs and other businessmen in high positions think nothing of accepting millions in bonuses. Stockholders are hit in the pocketbook under this big payoff system.
I've sent Sens. DeWine and Voinovich letters asking for the amount of monies taken out of Social Security each month by SSI recipients (each month!). Again our attorneys are advertising on TV for prospective SSI recipients to possibly make them eligible for SSI.
All you retirees, regardless of party, better be alert to who you elect.
Some 45 years ago Reader's Digest ran an article on how the federal government was taking money out of Social Security and replacing it with savings bonds. They likened it to any one of you taking money out of your piggy bank and replacing it with an IOU. "No Value."
Think of this, I worked at G.F. for 43 years and my pension is now $509.31 after putting my wife on my pension, which cost us $90. If I die first, she will get half my $509.31 or $254.66. But, being as G.F. filed bankruptcy, I along with other G.F employees, lost my life insurance and hospitalization.
If I was any retiree, I would join the National Committee for Preservation of Social Security and Medicare. Have a happy and healthy retirement. Thank you.
WILLIAM G. DUNLEAVY