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Campbell official blames loss of tax revenue for financial crisis

Published: Wed, May 12, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

By Jeanne Starmack



The city is running out of money mainly because of a decline in revenue, says its finance director.

Sherman Miles says hard decisions lie ahead as the city tries to avoid running out of money by November.

The city, which is in fiscal emergency, is spending more than it should for the year in some areas of its budget, but the revenue decline is two-thirds of the problem, Miles said.

The chairman of a state commission that oversees the city’s finances has said that if the trend continues, the city will have to shut down in November.

Miles said that $75,000 of the $80,000 in revenue decline is in income taxes. The other $5,000, he said, is in shares of intergovernmental revenue the city gets from the county.

He said that the city can take steps to collect delinquent income taxes, but he believes the decline is largely due to the bad economy.

“They have no income, there’s no income tax,” he said.

Miles gave examples of the city’s overspending. Spending should ideally be at 25 percent for the year, he said.

Wages and benefits are up 51 percent for the safety forces, he said, though that will improve when money from the safety forces levy is allocated. He reiterated, though, that there isn’t enough money for a recalled firefighter. The city recalled the laid-off firefighter in January even though no money was budgeted for him.

Another unbudgeted expense is nearly $16,000 in health benefits for the mayor. Mayor George Krinos began taking his benefits in March after saying in January that the money for them would be put back into the general fund so he could afford a full-time secretary. There isn’t money in the budget for both.

Spending is 10 percent over what it should be for benefits for council because of a bookkeeping issue, Miles said. He added that part of the council clerk’s benefits were not allocated to the park fund. He said the allocation is proper because the clerk also works at the community center at Roosevelt Park. He said that once he makes the allocation, the problem will be corrected.

Miles said the city administrator’s salary is at 38 percent for the year, but a recently passed ordinance allows two-thirds of his salary to be allocated to the water department. Miles said the allocation is proper because the administrator is the manager of the water department.

Miles said overspending is also showing up under the budget’s administration, land and buildings category. He said natural gas is at $15,000, with only $20,000 budgeted. Telephone service is at $7,000 out of $22,000 for the year.

In building repairs, $12,000 out of $14,000 has been spent.

The street department is already at 103 percent for overtime. Its operating budget is 77 percent for the year. Miles said bad weather this winter is why.

Miles said the city must reduce expenses, because it can’t control the revenue decline.

“I want to see the city stay in existence,” he said. “But serious changes have to be made.”


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

There is an easy solution: Cut Spending and Taxes to attract businesses to Campbell. Layoff all the city workers except safety forces that are doing little but collecting a pay check and benefits.

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2havinmysay(155 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The leaders in this area are very slow to accept and respond to reality. Campbell has been losing population (like the rest of the county) for decades now.

Leaders should have sat down and worked up some forecasts and crunched numbers a long time ago.

The idea of attracting businesses to Campbell is just not even based in reality. The downtown is a slum. The best they have is the strip along Wilson Ave and it's a dump too. There are too many uneducated, unqualified people running things in this entire area.

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3sue(177 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Shut the city down and merge with youngstown.

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4campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

LOL are you serious?? Mr. Miles is not a magician he can not pull money out of a hat! You can only work with what money you have!

Unionforever: All employees EXCEPT safety forces???? who's going to plow the roads fix the streets, make sure water is safe for consumption etc...?

Why on earth are the Department heads NOT cutting expenses? Why was city hall and the police depatment painted?

Just my thoughts: Mr. Jackson and Mr. Miles DO NOT accept or pay any items that are not dire neccessities, nothing notta zilch!

Mayor: recind your benefits as you stated you would do, and put your secretary down to part time.

Mayor & Council: start the process of going to VOLUNTEER fire Department, kills 2 birds with 1 stone. We still have fire protection AND our homeowners ins. will go down.

CMHS & LOL before you start your rederic on my last statement the citizens voted I believe in 07 to do so.

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5mrblue(1170 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

If the money is not there,it doesn't matter who the finance director is. The state has the final say so. And by the way, I am not a fan of Mr. Miles. Drastic cuts were needed some time ago. It may be too late. You can't wait for the promise of new jobs for the companies that may or may not come in. Make the cuts now and hope for the best. Doing nothing makes the situation worse. I understand that making cuts is hard and unpopular, but what else is there??

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6Ctown(115 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Just a question: The mayor's job and council jobs are part time, correct? I don't know of many part time workers who receive a health plan like these guys get. The mayor at one time proposed cutting his and all of council's health insurance. For the good of the city, why doesn't the mayor and all of council give up their health insurance benefits? The mayor promised to give up his health insurance to fund a secretary but now receives health insurance. He should not make promises which he cannot keep. Secondly, start making these cuts sooner, not later or else the cuts at the end of summer will be more drastic.

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7jimc51(58 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Ctown and I've said many times, none of council or the mayor should have benefits, most have other jobs outside of city hall or some are retired. the citizens can"t give anymore. As for Mr.Miles, I kind of feel sorry for him..i'm sure the last finance director left a huge mess for him..ever see the previous finance directors office? a real cluster %$#@

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81970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

sue (55 comments) posted 3 hours, 43 minutes ago

"Shut the city down and merge with youngstown."

Why in the world would Youngstown want to do that!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?

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9UrbanWolff(10 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

actually, it would make some sense for Campbell to merge into Youngstown.

Campbell's population is about 9000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A community of 9000 can't support all of the functions that a city requires.

Merging into Youngstown would make sense. Youngstown already has the infrastructure to absorb Campbell and maintain the services needed to maintain the community.

Moreover, Campbell would never lose it's identity. That part of town would always be known as Campbell, even if it merged with Youngstown.

The Valley can't maintain so many little duplicative governments. The tax base is no longer there to allow for these small 'cities' and protect the political fiefdoms.

You need people to plow the streets, maintain water treatment, provide community services.

Running a city is a full-time job. Part of the problem is when part-time officials try to run a city, Even the operations of a small city require a lot of time and attention.

>> "Why was city hall and the police department painted?"

It's cheaper to paint things now rather than put it off (known as deferred maintenance) . It becomes more expensive to deal with the physical plant if any type of maintenance is deferred.

The idea or 'place' of Campbell will never go away, even if it merged with Youngstown. However, with 9000+ residents and declining tax base, the days of the City of Campbell municipal government seem numbered.

Change can be good.

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10cmhs68(134 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Does anyone know why the mayor took his benefits. Also does anyone know why he needed a full time secretary, what happened to the one who was there, Jack Dill had a full time secretary and took his benefits.

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11Ctown(115 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I have no problem with him taking benefits. But to go around and telling people that he would forego his benefits to get a full time secretary, and then changing his mind is wrong. He owns a company and probably has a group plan for his employees. He and council should all forego their health insurance as they really don't deserve a plan being that the mayor's position and council positions are part time positions.

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12havinmysay(155 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

If anything Campbell should merge with Struthers. They are similar in population size and land area. They could clean up Wilson Avenue and build a new city center there that would be equidistant to citizens of both cities. They could work together to redevelop both Wilson Avenue and Poland Avenue. There would be no benefit to Youngstown to merge with Campbell.

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13cmhs68(134 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I have been calling and asking people who work at city hall. They were telling me that the week Mayor Krinos was to take over council moved the mayors secretary (Dina) to be the clerk of councils secretary and left him a slim budget of only 10k to hire a parttime secretary. Is this true from what you know.

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14campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

CMHS ...From my understanding, Dina was doing that as a favor for Mayor Dill. She wasn't "moved" by council, she has been clerk of council right along. She just did what was needed at the time for the same amount of pay. I have no doubt you already knew all this for you seem to have so much "knowledge" on all other aspects. I have to wonder is this just something else to get people going about council yet again? Try looking at the real issues of this city.

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15jimc51(58 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

campbellcitizen is correct with that statement, and i also am surprised cmhs didn't no this, being HE knows everything else supposedly.

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16mrblue(1170 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A few years ago Youngstown wanted Campbell's water plant but the citizens voted against a sale. I am sure that Y-town would still want the plant but that is not enough of a reason to merge with them. If Campbell were to merge with anyone I think a better fit would be with Struthers, Coitsville and Lowellville. ( Just an opinion. )

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