Liberty school board should know that no means no
When is the Liberty Board of Education going to accept that no means no for the 7.9-mill school levy? You're wasting more taxpayers money. The taxpayers have soundly rejected the 7.9 emergency levy 3 times and will again. Why? Because the fact is that Liberty's total tax is the highest in Trumbull County and furthermore, the taxpayers are not convinced that the board is using the funds allocated to run our school system efficiently.
Now that the board is trying for the fourth time, it has a "Plan for Fiscal Recovery." Big deal. Again, the board is thinking punitive. Why not tackle the reasons causing the money problem? Are assistant school principals needed? How about the health care costs? The board is paying about $1,200 per employee per month -- that's about $40 for every day of the week. Of course, Mr. Lackey, chairman of the board, said he will take a firm position at next contract time. Where has the board been before asking the taxpayers for more money?
Also, it doesn't look good that the superintendent is pushing this levy and should it pass, it won't cost him one dime -- he moved out of Liberty.
LOUIS J. PIZZUTO
City religious leaders should oppose all types of gambling
As senior pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in downtown Youngstown, I am calling on main line evangelical, independent churches, synagogues, and mosques to come together in an organizational meeting to form a united front to support the economic and spiritual development of Youngstown, and our communities and to oppose gambling in all forms.
A major thrust of the new organization would be to oppose casino gambling in Youngstown. It is time to fund government and education in the old fashioned way, as a priority, with sound moral and economic integrity. Many who support casino gambling advertise it as "good, clean fun" and "entertainment." Well its economic life depends on people addicted and playing over and over. It hurts families and children, misleads people who believe they can get something for nothing and intentionally targets low-income people. Individuals who are persistent in gambling have extremely high rates of divorce, bankruptcy, suicide, child abuse and criminal convictions.
It does not take long for social and financial cost of gambling addiction to greatly out distance the revenue generated by gambling. Simply put, gamblingcosts money. It does not generate money. Opponents of casino gambling are asking the members of our congregations, synagogues, mosques to send messages to Gov. Taft, and our state legislators, who of course are on the side of doing business as usual, by letter, telephone, e-mail letting them know their opposition to casino gambling in the Mahoning Valley.
A meeting is being sought with Gov. Taft and state legislators by a delegation of clergy, business, and political leaders in the area. It is tragically ironic that we seek to fund government and education by teaching the community an addictive, exploitive behavior but of course we do that by the consent and encouragement of our political leaders who continue to do business as usual. Our Valley is filled with "business as usual" politicians but very few statesmen.
Where gambling goes there also goes crime. We just need to look around our own community and see the ramifications of the past, present, and what the future would be, "business as usual." It is morally wrong for government to raise revenue by a means that is known to be harmful, and addictive to its citizens. Expansion of casino gambling in the Mahoning Valley will expand the harm to our citizens, our government, and our elected officials, sworn by oath to protect and serve. Will our political leaders continue their march towards doing "business as usual" in the Mahoning Valley? Faces change but business as usual is the name of the game in the Mahoning Valley. Wouldn't it be terrific to be wrong.
Dr. D. LARRY KLINE, Pastor
Trinity United Methodist Church