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Financial-recovery plan calls for volunteer fire department



Published: Tue, May 18, 2010 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Jeanne Starmack

starmack@vindy.com

CAMPBELL

A new financial-recovery plan would call for an all-volunteer fire department and would ask voters for 5 mills in new taxes for the general fund.

Finance Director Sherman Miles said Monday that he, the council and the mayor all worked on the plan. Council is expected to vote on it Wednesday. It is to be presented to a state commission that oversees the city’s finances Monday.

The commission oversees the city because it is in fiscal emergency. The plan must include a five-year forecast that shows black ink, rather than red.

Miles said the crossover to an all-volunteer fire department would occur gradually, with firefighters now on staff being allowed to keep their jobs until retirement. The fire chief’s position would still be full time.

Miles said the move would help to lower home-owners’ insurance rates. Rates are affected by the city’s Insurance Services Office rating, which is dropping in June from a 6 to a 10 on a scale of one to 10. The ISO sent the city a letter in January indicating the rating will drop because the city can’t assure four firefighters at a fire scene.

If the recovery plan passes, the city will ask voters in November for 5 mills in new taxes. Of that, 31/2 mills would generate $245,000 for the general fund, and 1.5 mills would generate $105,000 for street paving.

The plan also includes efforts to collect delinquent income tax and boost revenue in the water department by charging according to meter size and buying transmitters to detect theft.

It calls for renegotiating a garbage contract and leasing a catch basin-street sweeper instead of subcontracting with two companies to do the work. It calls for replacing full-time positions with part-time where possible for employees who leave after July 1.

The plan also calls for assessing landlords a registration fee of $100 per unit per year.

It calls for a traffic-camera program to increase money collected from speeders, and assesses grass-cutting fees when the city has to step in and mow a property.

The city will explore options to reduce health-care benefits. I

f the levy fails in November, the city will assess $3 to $4 a month on each water bill to pay for street lights. That fee will generate $120,000 a year.

The plan is designed to increase the general fund by $208,000 this year and by $571,000 starting in 2011.


Comments

1theword(342 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

If the levy fails, and it will, council is going to impose a 3-4 dollar fee on your water bill to pay of street lights.

With the city income tax, and now this new tax, the city will drive out the rest of the working people that live there.

Why isn't council and the mayor going after the unions to pay more for their health care? The city employees should pay at least 10 % of their health care instead of the 3 % they pay now!!!

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2theword(342 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

also, why didn't the mayor and council include in the 5 year plan to get rid of health care benefits for all part time employees, including the mayor and council? This alone would save the city around 75,000 dollars a year if not more.

but then again to would be taking money out of their own pockets it they had to pay for it themselves.

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3mrblue(974 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

It has been stated in previous posts that the city has a 3 million dollar carry-over and a projected carry-over for this year. If this is true, why then is a levy needed? If council keeps increasing the tax burden, more homeowners will leave the city. Does council still want to eliminate the police department and bring in the sheriff's department? I don't believe a levy will pass. The citizens are fed up with this administration. I don't understand why the state commission is here if the city has a large surplus. I hope that someone on this post will explain it to me and others who are asking the same question.

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4campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

mrblue, its not the council wanting the levy its the mayor.

It is One council member from the 2nd ward who is pushing for the extra fee on water bills for the street lights.

The sewer jet truck the mayor wants, he already hired the one water/street dept. workers son instead of getting one at ZERO cost from Ceta which now is also costing the city, he hired back a fireman. After being told by the commission the money was not there.

Now explain to me this.....if we are running short of money why would you hire more employees, buy a equipment, then put it on the ballot for the citizens to foot the bill?
Did the mayor take into consideration it cost alot more money to purchase the equipment than lease it? You have maintenance, insurance, if anything breaks you are responsible for fixing it etc.?

How many sewers were fixed when the current truck we have was operational? How many sewers have been done this year with the added employee?

And it is also being rumored he wants to hire a part time Street Dept. Supervisor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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5mrblue(974 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

There are roughly 100 homes for sale in the city and it will get worse. Tax and spend, or in this case, spend and tax is not the answer. Major cuts have to be made if the city is to survive. It won't be popular but benefits, hours, etc. have to be cut. Cities all over the country are doing it in order to try and survive, Campbell is no different. A levy will not pass. Lets go Mayor, get with council and do what needs done.

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6author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Who in their right mind would work as a 'volunteer' in Campbell?

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7theword(342 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

How about all of the employee's taking two unpaid days off a month like all of the county workers do to save money. The employee's that are off, can be replaced by part-time employee's, thus saving the city a lot of money in wages.

Forget it, that means the employee's will have to give something back.

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8jimc51(58 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

I will not vote for another levy..no way no how..esp. hearing now he hired someone else..I will leave my home and walk away if i can't sell it..i'm sick of this BS.

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9jimc51(58 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

and now that i think of it..do they drug test before they hire? and do the full time employees get random drug testing?

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10cmhs68(134 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

To all I agree with this feeling about the levy. The only reason why I would think of voting for it is because the last thing the mayor wanted to do was impose a tax, which tells me how important it is.

However if it is not passed council and shermin miles wants to eliminate the entire police department (immediatley), fire department (by attrition) and impose the street light fee. The mayor is only suggesting it because of this reason.

I know he is beside himself, he has looked into the health benefits which there is a program called an HRA, or even adding a deductable on the current plan, he has asked all elected officials give up their benefits and pay for the 5 yrs, he has asked for many different things that the surrounding cities are doing and yet council and shermin miles has refused. He has looked at shutting down city hall one extra day every week, or one day every 2 weeks, or even one day once a month however council and mr miles keep saying that the police and fire have to be eliminated if this levy fails.

This has nothing to do with the recalled firefighter, or the fact that he is getting a person to supervise the street department for FREE because this person already works for the city, or even because he took his benefits. If he eliminated his benefits, to offset his secretary, and laid off the firefighter it would only save about 56k annually.

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11cmhs68(134 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Campbellcitizen

FYI about the Levy, The schools have been decreased from a 14 to a 12 mill levy, the mayor wants to pick up their 2 mills and add a 3 mill making it a total of 5 mills. or half a penny.

Next it is not just the mayor every council person has their name on the paper. So if was just the mayor why are all of their names on it. After I give it more thought it would only raise my property tax by $270.00 more per year on a 90k home and for police and fire protection I will happily pay it.

As for the equipment what equipment, the city spends 6k a year to pay another company to cut the grass in the city. The piece of equipment he bought was only $2400.00 making up a savings of $3600.00 every thing else council sub out and cost the city 72k.

As for the one additional street department employee working for the city part time during the spring and summer only, there is a fund called storm water which the money is given to the city from the county for rebuilding, fixing, cleaning so the sewers do not flood. So the money has to be spent only on the sewers it is a 2 man job to maintain and rebuild and if they are not rebuilt your house may flood. You tell me what you think is important or not.

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12cmhs68(134 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Blue

There was a total of 3.3 million dollar carry over that includes the 750k in the general, someone in a previous post said 600k, the actual is about 750k.

The mayor has gone to the treasurer and to other higher officials to try to find out why we are in fiscal emergency. The Mayor says the answer is always the same, they are not sure? The mayor feels we should not be in fiscal emergency and also so do these officials he talks with but for some reason Paul Marshal says we are and should be.

The only reason why the mayor is even supporting the levy is because council and mr miles want to eliminate the police and fire departments. If this levy dosnt pass the police will be gone as of december the way mr miles is talking.

Did anyone know the city pays almost 40k a year to have Paul Marshal oversee the cities finances and tell us we are broke.

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13cmhs68(134 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Please stop picking on the mayor about the fire fighter, the mayor only did it because he does believe saftey is the number one priority.

Did you know that before the mayor recalled that guy we only had one fireman on duty for a shift which is 24hrs. To some of you who dont understand this that fireman is not allowed to enter you house by himself, so if you home was on fire and you were stuck upstairs the fireman could not come in and get you out or help you other then spray water. The law requires 1 in and 1 out on a fire scene, now with the other guy there you have 2 per shift the way the schedule was done.

Next it was a step to also help your insurance rating decrease for your home owners.

Council and Jack ignored this warning from ISO and now everyones home owners insurance is going to go up 50% to 100%. Mayor Krinos had nothing to do with this council and Jack Dill have been being warned since 2006 that this would happen if they didnt staff the fire department and fix the trucks properly. For those of you who read this and your rates havent gone up, even if you call you agent they dont know the amount until you renew.

Let me see, pay double the home owner insurance cose and loose the police and fire department, or pay 270.00 per year and get my home owners insurance decreased and get police and fire protection. I will be happy to pay the 5 mill levy even more that I think about it.

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14cmhs68(134 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Campbellcitizen

FYI the city still pays for the CETA kids. Its a summer job program.

Besides if the levy passes all the streets get repaved next year. That to me is worth the 270.00 I will have to pay just in wear and tear on my car.

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15devildog(96 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Geeezzzzz cmhs you know EVERYTHING!!!!!!! hhhmmmmmm!

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16campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

CMHS if the Mayor really cared about this city he wouldn't of had a platform of promises he didn't know he could keep.

He said no new taxes well when you want to do all this hiring and buying this and that of course now you have to find the money to pay for it.

by hiring 1 fireman did not help the ISO it made no difference, the fire trucks were not getting the required testing either that ISO requires so your saying council and Dill should of been doing it? Oh and along with the manditory training every fire fighter HAS to have periodically as well the mayor and council should of been doing? And by the way if he had WAITED somewhere between a few days to a few weeks he could of brought in as MANY VOLUNTEER Fireman his little heart desired and wouldn't of had to bring the one back! Yeah he's thinking of my safety riiiight?

How much higher can you go up the chain about the financial emergency? Paul Marshall isn't the states auditor there are 1 or 2 other persons on the comminssion that does that not Mr. Marshall. I guess your not as informed as you think!

Eliminate the fire dept! We're better off give them 30 and out. which is exactly what Mayor Dill was going to do. And if everyone remembers it wasn't that many years ago there was a levy STRICTLY for the streets it was voted DOWN!

On your grass cutting comment since when did the street dept. employee start working for another company to cut grass???? Its Mike that does it! GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

I can say honestly most people I've spoke to are saying the same thing we will NOT vote for a levy

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17L0L(648 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

the word, the mayor tried to get the council to give up their bennies and THEY voted it down! Know what youre talking about!

Campbellcitizen, if you know mike then tell him to start cutting the grass then, it all looks like shiiit and hasnt been done for awhile.

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18Billybob21(96 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Looks like the mayor is scared to make the tough decisions. He needs to quit being scared and go ahead and do away with the police and fire. Let the sheriff come in and go volunteer with the fire dept just like other smaller towns do. I don't want to see anyone lose their job as I am sure alot of people don't want to see. But the mayor, that cmhs68, and most of the Greeks in Campbell think is God created half this mess. Council and Dill had the city's head above water then "Krynos" came in with all his crazy ideas and over-spending to sink it. So now everyone has to suffer. SO its either make the tough decisons now or say goodbye to Campbell. Now the police dept has to suffer and we have to let the sheriff come in; they can do a good job. And maybe this will eliminate some of the corruption in the city. What are some of the Greeks afraid maybe now they might get a ticket instead of a verbal warning if the sheriff comes in? Hey, here is an idea and I know some people are going to say "Oh, you're going against the Greeks!" and I am not because I am one myself, have plenty that I am friends with. But has anyone looked in the paper when tax time comes around and seen all the Greeks that haven't paid their property tax? Why doesn't the city go after them for all their back taxes. I am sure alot of that would add up. And maybe you could pay to pave the streets and keep the street lights on with that money. And the mayor wants to put a levy on the ballot? LOL!! Is he crazy?! That will never pass!!! CMHS68, the more I read things from you, it sounds like you know alot about the mayor and why are you worried about the sherriff coming in and taking over the police dept? I just saw on the news there are about 100 sheriffs about to get laid off. I am sure alot of them would gladly come and patrol our streets. Nothing against the police we have, most of them do a good job. I am being hypothetical, and maybe the police we have should look at cutting their gas budget. I have been told by people that I know that live in the city that they have patrol the police chief's house every hour. What is up with that? Does anyone know why they have to do this? I never heard of anything like this in other cities. I know Youngstown's old police chief moved really really close to Campbell and he didn't have extra patrols at his house. And why doesn't the mayor, instead of worrying about levy's, worry about bringing businesses to the city and jobs. I dont want to hear from you, CMHS68, because I have read other blogs you wrote that there are some coming 5 or 500 years from now well so is Christmas. The city needs jobs or business. Now the city has to look at making the city more livable and think of ways for people to stay and not vacate the city. They should be focusing on ways to better whats is already in the city. It seems as though the city has become more of a township than existing as a city.

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19campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

LOL...Mike Troy and Gary make up the street department in a nut shell THEY do more work than the one that works for both the street and the water

You want to jump on Mike about the grass? Why don't you get away from your computer screen and go ask the mayor when Mike got the cutter for the tractor to do the cutting? And while your at it why don't you go after Juan and his son about standing around with their hands in their pockets watching the contractors up on struthers liberty (who were actually earning their pay) acting like they are state supervisors? I'm sure their hands would fit a weed wacker.

I have never seen either of those two do much of anything unless it involved sitting on their duffs! Again how many sewers have gotten done since he got his "helper" And please don't insult my intelligence by saying it was raining and they couldn't. Remember they were watching the contractors doing their job while it was raining

And one final thought....I think I may have figured out what CMHS stands for...Campbell Mayors Hysterical Secretary??????

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20campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Billybob21..... Amen Brother!!!!!!! You have said what a I have been hearing from quite a few fellow citizens. But no one wanted to say it out loud and in a public forum

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21Billybob21(96 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

The mayor wants to hire a street dept supervisor....once again more and more unnecessary spending. Georgy georgey georgey when are you going to cut that unneccesary spending out? You never learn! And I don't know much about the street dept., but from what I heard, Mike, Gary, and Troy are the only men on the street dept that do some work. So why not just promote one of them to supervisor? And from what campbellcitizen says, if it is true and Juan and his son like standing around, have one of them take the spot of whomever gets promoted. And someone answer this for me: how do a father and son get to work together in the same truck anyway? Sounds like everyone is drinking that corruption water in Campbell. And LOL, since you like giving orders to cut grass, why don't you get out there and cut some grass? Or are you one of those Campbell citizens that has someone else cut their grass for them?

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22L0L(648 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Because its not my job to cut the grass. And are you that dumb? Yes, Dill did so wonderful with teh city for ten years and Krinos came in and bancrupted it in 6 months? I dont think so. That shows your inteligence.

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23lookagain(4 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Let’s see go to a volunteer fire department what a joke!! Look at the big almighty Poland they have a all volunteer department and they can’t even ensure that someone will show up at a fire and most of their manpower is young children or very old out of shape men. I have heard recently that they have had to let a convicted child abuser volunteer this is what Campbell needs all of the convicted low life thugs can become volunteer firemen.

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24jimc51(58 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

first of all..I don't think any dept. employee should have their child working with them or for the city for that matter..and I see nothing wrong with the citizens stepping up and mowing a vacant house lawn thats next to them or down the street..we no how short handed the city is..step up and help out. I do have a problem with watching our city workers standing around or riding around.
I don't think one person has said Krinos did the total damage to this city..but he is not helping by spending, if he wants council to give up their bennies..then maybe HE should give his up first!!!! be a freakin leader!

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25campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

As for the Mayors proposed Street Dept. Supervisor costing the city an extra 3 grand, Just take the extra $1 an hour that Miranda is paid to run the backhoe for the water department, that he is no longer needed to do because the water dept. has their own operator now, give it to Gary, Mike or Troy to be supervisor. Problem solved with no extra spending! See this isn't rocket science it's common sense!

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26jimc51(58 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

campbellcitizen thats to easy lol..the mayor has favors to pay back :)

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27Billybob21(96 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Lookagain, do some research before you open your mouth. Poland has one of the biggest, finest departments around and do have men with years of experience. For being a volunteer fire department, have one of the most fast response time in the area. And, mind you, is on 224 so every firefighter has to deal with hectic heavy traffic. And to be a firefighter, one has to pass a drug test as well as an FBI background check. So would you rather have someone who wants to be a volunteer and be there to put your burning house or no one at all? Campbellcitizen, that would make too much sense and the mayor would have to break some of those campaign promises he made.

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28momof4(3 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Poland has a good fire department, but they are not volunteer, they get paid per call. That being said Campbell fire department is a good department who else in the state would respond to a call with 1 man on duty. The City is violating OSHA,& NFPA regulations every time that happens . The City should look back to the days when the fire department had full-timers work the station and aux. fireman responding straight to the call. Pay them $8-$10 bucks an hour they help out at the call & then go home when there done. As far as some of the comments on this board go to a council meeting and voice your concerns.

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29campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

momof4 you may want to check out their web page they are 100% volunteer here is the web page for your convienence. They do recieve a small compensation for responding to fire calls but it is a lot cheaper than a paid FD

http://www.polandfire.org/volunteer.php

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30momof4(3 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Volunteer means no compensation at all.. So campbellcitizen why don't you go down to the fire department and put in an application to be a volunteer

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31L0L(648 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

If you consider causing more damage than the fire would do the work of the biggest, finest fire dept in the area then sir you are correct in calling Poland the leader of that category. I know people who have had friends houses catch on fire like a grease fire in the kitchen or other small managable fire and once Poland volunteers get on scene with their vast knowledge next thing you know every window is broken out and walls are gutted to put out that fire. This has happened and thats not what I want in my city!!!!

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32campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

momof4... I was seriously going to put in my app. but after listening to what Horvath and rosile had to say there is absolutly no way I would ever want to work beside them anywhere! With thier statements, they are pretty much so saying that volunteer fireman are incompetent, and not dedicated! I guess they forget Coitsville FD is their backup at fires. And I can say that whenever coitsville is dispatched you can hear their sirens at the same time you hear campbells so dont say that they are slow responding, The two above mentioned fireman were arrogant and prudish with their statements about volunteers. Shame on them!

LOL....Got one thing to say about your post Belleria burnt to the ground for god sakes they could of strung their hoses across the street to put that out.

And the fact of the matter is the volunteer fireman actually do more of the manditory training sessions than Campbells paid fireman. Whats up with that!

Campbell FD motto...we haven't lost a basement yet! And we pick and chose what non fire calls they want to respond to. So if you live anywhere near the jets and your having chest pains Campbell FD wont show up they'll say they dont do that. But if you live up near Struthers Liberty your safe they'll come help you!

Lets talk dedication...from what I have heard over the years, Horvath wont even enter burning buildings he stays at the truck....he ran out of a burning building leaving another firefighter in there! Thats what you call dedication? Thats who you want responding to your house if god forbid its on fire? Dont get me wrong there are a few firefighters on Campbell that I would absolutly trust with my life if I ever needed them, that go above and beyond the call of duty. That are great examples of true Firemen.

And before all the anti council anti Miles rederic starts. We as a city, the voters, voted to go to volunteer a few years back, when Mayor Dill was in office but he chose to do it thru attrition.

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33lookagain(4 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

MOMOF4 Poland has a great fire department is not a correct statement. There is a big chance that if no volunteer’s are available that a call will go un answered until another towns fire department arrives. With a average response time of 8 to 10 minutes there is a good chance that a trapped resident in a fire will be DEAD. This department has a CONVICTED CHILD ABUSER on their ranks and they are aware of this fact. As far as damage goes as a previous poster talked about, there is a large chance that there will be a lot of damage injury or death with a average response of 8 to 10 minutes. As far as experience a few 22 year old kids with 2 years volunteering does NOT count as experience. All of these facts should scare a mom of 4.

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