Inaction will cost townships dearly
As a former trustee of Boardman, I was disturbed by David Skolnick’s recent column on the ABC Water and Storm Water District that was formed by Austintown, Boardman and Canfield Township as an effort to solve the decades old flooding problems in their townships and to protect their citizens and businesses from an unwelcome annexation, JEDD or income tax.
The township trustees learned of the agreement between Aqua Ohio and Youngstown, which ended any hope for an agreement between Aqua and the ABC water district, not from the board they appointed, but from an article in The Vindicator.
The formation of the ABC Water District was prompted by the Ohio Supreme Court decision in Bakies vs. Perrysburg, that ruled that a municipal water supply could shut off a non-resident’s water unless they agreed to annexation. Also as a consequence of that ruling, the city of Youngstown initiated a $100,000 analysis of how to use city water to levy a 2 percent income tax on the suburbs, in addition to the 40 percent surcharge suburban residents were already paying for Youngstown water.
In January 2010, the trustees of the three townships appointed the board for the ABC Water District to a two year term: Austintown Administrator Dockry, Boardman Administrator Loree and Administrative Assistant Landers, and Canfield citizen, Bienko. Aqua Ohio had requested the trustees of Austintown, Boardman and Canfield contact them when the district was officially formed to discuss a water agreement with Aqua Ohio. Neither the trustees nor the appointed board members bothered to meet with Aqua Ohio to formally sign a contract for the newly formed water district’s water supply.
The agreement between Aqua and Youngstown has a non-compete clause that prohibits Aqua Ohio from selling bulk water to the ABC Water District. As if that was not bad enough, it includes a 10 percent surcharge to the city. So thanks to our elected officials and their appointed board members for the ABC Water and Storm Water District, township residents and businesses can look forward to a 10 percent increase in Aqua Ohio rates, a 50 percent surcharge for Youngstown water and a future income tax.
How did an effort to save the citizens money on water and to avoid unwanted annexation, end up with the citizens still vulnerable to annexation and an income tax along with guaranteed higher water rates?
Kathy Miller, Boardman
Demand more of our politicians
For those truly concerned about the state of American politics, the question is how much longer we voters will tolerate the demagoguery, name-calling, character assassination and the outright lying now rampant among those whom we have elected.
It is incomprehensible to me that voters would overlook the stupidity, the lying and the lack of basic morality of an Anthony Weiner or the tax evasion, ethics violations and censure by the House of Rep. Charles Rangel. One must look no farther than the Mahoning Valley where a significant number of people believe that Jim Traficant, the disgraced felon, should be returned to Congress.
There is a non-partisan organization, Politifact (politifact.com) devoted to investigating claims made by politicians. It recently investigated the claim by Rep. Nancy Pelosi that our national debt increased by 16 percent under President Obama while it increased by 115 percent under President George W. Bush. After investigating, the claim was labeled “Pants on Fire,” the group’s worst rating. During a speech on the Senate floor Sen. Jon Kyl made a claim that “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is provide abortions.” Politifact investigated the claim and stated the actual percentage was 3 percent. When Kyl’s office was contacted about his claim, the astonishing reply was that it “was not intended to be a factual statement.” It seems to me that if it was not intended to be a factual statement, it was intended to be a lie.
Unfortunately, the broadcast media, from whom most people get their news, do not provide the same kind of impartial analysis. To get an investigation of politicians’ claims on TV, one must endure the sophomoric sexual humor and vulgar language of the Comedy Channel’s satiric “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” or “The Colbert Report” with Stephen Colbert. During a recent interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News channel, Stewart summed up the sad state of our politics with this quote from Will Rogers, “People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
One rare sign of hope was the statement made by Jon Huntsman, candidate for president and former governor of Utah, that he will treat his Republican rivals as well as the president with respect. One can only hope that this would start a trend. Broadcasters as well as politicians could begin by referring to the president as “President Obama,” “the president” or even “Mr. Obama” not simply “Obama.”
Respect for those with whom we may disagree. What a novel thought.
Robert F. Mollic, Liberty
Defending the engineer
I am coming to the defense of Trumbull County Engineer David DeChristofaro.
We had a very dangerous speeding situation in front of our house for many years. There was no response to our many letters and numerous phone calls to the former engineer. When Mr. DeChristofaro took office I thought I would try one more time to correct the problem.
Within a week our problem was assessed and corrected to the best of his ability. It has made a big difference.
I’m not privy to the Miles lawsuit but from personal experience, kudos to Mr. DeChristofaro for his commitment to his office.
Ruth DeLallo, Liberty
A little trimming goes a long way
I took my aunt to the ceme- teries for Memorial Day. My Mom and sister are at Calvary. While putting flowers on the graves, I noticed there were so many stones that I couldn’t read. I asked a maintenance worker last year why they aren’t trimming and was told it was the family’s job to do this. It’s not just in one area, it’s all over.
We went to Tod Cemetery on the Northside and the grounds were amazing, as always. My grandparents have been dead over 50 years and their stone was clean and well kept.
My question to Calvary is why they can’t have extra help for the Memorial Day weekend when most people visit their graves. Once a year would make a great difference. If other cemeteries can keep their grounds looking nice, then certainly Calvary can too.
Rosemarie Carson, Youngstown
Covelli did the blues proud
Covelli Center deserves praise for bringing Robert Cray and Buddy Guy to Youngstown. I’ve seen Buddy Guy in Chicago and Blossom Music Center, but never before have I seen them here.
Robert Clay’s set was one that was never better. It was great to see Buddy Guy. He didn’t disappoint. He admitted he is slowing down and sang a new song about turning 74.
The big surprise was a 12-year-old boy from Massachusetts named Quinn Sullivan. He has played and sung the blues since age 7.
It was a great night for Mahoning Valley blues fans.
Lucia S. Flevares. Warren