County pay raises defy logic

County pay raises defy logic

We live in a city that now has more poverty and homeless than it has ever had in the past, and yet those of us who are still able to pay taxes have to read about how much money the county employees are making. Raises between 2 percent and 22 percent? How greedy can people be? To see that someone in the engineer’s office is making over $95,000 is shameful.

I worked in a bank for 20 years and never made a fourth of that amount. Don’t use the excuse that you have to pay that amount to keep the workers. If they don’t like their wages, let them leave. Anyone can be replaced, especially in these trying times.

If any of these highly-paid workers passed away, would the county shut down? I think not. Oh, I forgot. It might be a snowy day and they’d have the day off with pay.

Whether these workers are union or non-union, they are overpaid with taxes from us underprivileged citizens. No wonder the roads are full of deep potholes; all the money for road repair is going for wages. If there were no greed and people didn’t think they were indispensable, it would be a wonderful world. But, I guess that’s wishful thinking.

Pat Olson, Youngstown

Councilman and editor see police levy through different eyes

The Jan. 23 column by Todd Franko starts out by saying that New Middletown residents will get to vote on a 3-mill police levy so that the village can continue to fund a police position to cover the midnight to 8 a.m. shift. This position has been funded, in part, through grants.

In the next paragraph, he opines that he thinks it is unfair to get citizens “hooked” on a service then draw more tax dollars out of them to continue it. He compares it to a crack dealer giving out the first hit for free. That analogy is at best ludicrous, and at worst pathetic. The village was lucky enough to receive a grant to fund that position and thankful for it.

The nice thing about proposing levies is that the voters can vote for or against based on their merit or lack thereof. My guess is that the people of New Middletown won’t be basing their decisions on his opinion.

He suggests that the village make a Facebook budget page, presumably so the citizens will have input into the process. Facebook, really? Anyone who so desires can attend the monthly meeting and get a copy of the fiscal officer’s report or more if they feel inclined. It’s called the Open Records Law, Section 149.43 of Ohio’s Revised Code. Not Facebook.

Perhaps Franko should share with Gov. Kasich that with “two swipes” on a Web page, he figured out how to save $4.5 billion dollars for the State of Ohio. I’m sure the governor awaits his opinion on that.

Jack Novicky, New Middletown

The writer is a member of New Middletown Village Council.

Only taxpayers make sacrifices

As a resident of Boardman Township, not only will I be voting no on the police levy, I will be campaigning against it.

Six months ago, the people said no. It does not matter whether it was by one vote, 50 votes, 500 votes, or 5,000 votes. We said no.

Have the township trustees taken the time to compare unemployment numbers, number of residences, and average family income over the last several years to present day? If they had, I’m sure they, the trustees, would conclude that they have not improved, they have gotten worse.

Property values in Boardman have already declined, in part because of the housing market crunch, the overabundance of shopping centers, malls, theaters, and even its proximity to the South Side of Youngstown.

We in the private sector over the last decade, if we are lucky enough to still be employed, have taken numerous pay cuts, have been forced to pay more for benefits, like health care, retirement (if even offered) and forced to live with less coverage and higher co-pays and deductibles. Have the Boardman police, fire and road department personnel faced the same painful sacrifices?

The choice of the Boardman Township trustees seems to be that we lay off 20 workers or hire 20 workers. If they want to change my mind, become proactive and find a middle ground that we all can live with in. Like, perhaps, assessing these facilities through tax legislation, so that they pay their fair share instead of the already tax-burdened township residences.

I for one will not give up my cable TV or coffee for this levy.

Chuck Johnson, Boardman

Increasing signs of wimpiness

My first 30 years were in Michigan, ’50s thru the ’70s. My lifelong friend, who still resides there, and I figure we’d be about in the middle of our junior year of high school if weather forced the closing of schools as easily then as it does now. So, when I read your opinion in Wednesday’s Vindicator about our Mahoning County employees getting a day off due to weather conditions Feb. 1, I couldn’t resist climbing on your wagon.

Without citing any group, what I see is we’ve become a nation of wimps and whiners as a whole, looking for an excuse not to have to work. All that need occur as the triggering event is for a weather advisory or warning to be issued and we pull our heads into the shell like a turtle. Doesn’t matter what kind of advisory or warning — heat, cold, rain, snow, ice — we react the same way, we can’t be expected to work in those conditions.

Is our insatiably litigious society with its trial lawyers holding the liability lawsuit over the heads of those in management to blame, or, is it that we really have become a nation of wimps softened to mush by today’s good life minus many of the rigors of just a few decades ago? Likely it’s a combination, but we’ve still become wimps and I worry how we’d deal with truly rigorous conditions.

My vocation has been transportation where we used to pride ourselves in keeping things moving safely no matter the weather. Now, however, let a weather advisory or warning be issued and we begin implementing a “shut-down plan” before the conditions become reality. What would we as a people do under truly emergency conditions now? I fear we’d just go into our shell and figure it was someone else’s responsibility to do what’s necessary. Too bad it’s come to that.

Terry L. Feichtenbiner, Poland

Please don’t confuse these ‘hopes’

The articles in the Jan. 9 and 10 Vindicator concerning the investigative reporting done by Dan Pompili on the House of Hope are excellent, but resulted in collateral damage to Hope House Visitation Center. Readers need clarification that there is no affiliation or relationship between the House of Hope Center and Hope House Visitation Center a.k.a. “Hope House” at 660 W. Earle Ave. in Youngstown.

Hope House Visitation Center is a facility for supervised visitation and safe exchange of children between parents serving families involved in the issues surrounding divorce, custody, domestic violence and other problems that affect families in the Mahoning Valley.

Carole J. Bopp, Youngstown

The writer is executive director of Hope House Visitation Center.

Resurfacing job is short-lived

Every time I drive on I-680 I wonder if anyone else notices all of the potholes.

The repaving job was not finished until December 2009. How can a road get so bad in 15 months? Is there no way we can go back to the paver for a bad job?

Maybe there were inspectors looking the other way when the paving was being done.

Stan Rydarowicz, Youngstown