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Stewing over Campbell’s books



Published: Wed, September 28, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Stewing over Campbell’s books

Only in Campbell, Ohio. You couldn’t make this story up. Our fair city is in deep financial trouble. The state of Ohio takes notice, declares that we are in a state of fiscal emergency, and takes oversight of our financial activities.

We struggle under state supervision and somewhere end up with Sherman Miles as our finance director. He appears to have minimal financial experience, running the cash register at a local discount store at best. Our financial troubles continue and we stay under state supervision.

When our previous mayor sees no progress being made, he decides to replace Mr. Miles. When he tries to fire Mr. Miles, Ms. Rich and her supporters on the council, refuse to see him go. An embarrassing confrontation ensues, and Miles maintains his position. The mayor loses his position.

The new mayor and Ms. Rich’s council hold a gun to the citizens’ heads, pass an emergency levy, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Right? Well, no, the state says we have to reconcile our financial records before we can exit fiscal emergency. Lucky for us we have a finance director who’s been taking care of that. Right? Well, no, but we’re sure he can. Right? Well, no. Mr. Miles says that he knows nothing about reconciling any books.

It’s obvious to a blind man that we should replace Miles with someone who knows how to reconcile the books, you know, what a finance director does. Nope. Miles stays on salary. Miles distributes election petitions for Ms. Rich. Miles campaigns door-to-door for Ms. Rich. The books remain unreconciled. You can’t make this stuff up.

We’ll just have to live with it, I guess. There’s nothing we can do. Right? No, there’s an election coming up soon. When candidates come to your door, ask them if the books are reconciled, and if we’re still in a state of emergency. If you don’t like the answers, you know what to do.

Justin Pritchard, Campbell


Comments

1sweetcheekz(8 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Couldn't have said it better myself!

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2PrichardFan101(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Prichard really nailed it on the head with this one. I'd have to agree with everything that was said in this article. How can someone such as Miles do such a poor job and still well, have a job? Hmm only in Campbell is right. Hopefully things will change here shortly and someone who can actually do the job will replace him. Goodluck Campbell citizens hopefully things will work out and someone will take his place and things will start to work out for the better of the community. Miles go back to working at the vitamin store and leave it for someone else who can actually do your job. Thanks

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3mrblue(965 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Only in Campbell is right. A good letter and it is right on. Major changes have to take place or the city will just die. VanSuch, Dill, Miles, and Rich should be the first to go! Wake up voters. We need people that actually care about the city and not their own personal agendas.

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4PrichardFan101(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Amen mr blue

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5jimmyBafoony(2 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Wow, it's so refreshing to see such honesty about these issues. Our fiscal emergency needs to be handled with the same honesty and transparency, if were ever going to come out on top. Thank you Mr. Pritchard for your article, it sounds as if you know more about how this should be handled than Miles or Rich.

Save Soup city, Jimmy Bafoony

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6concerncit(12 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

You people should feel honored to have Mr. Miles as Financial Director. He is a graduate of Georgetown School of Law. Not the Georgetown School of Arithmetic. Even so, you would think that he or some official could find the help they need to solve this problem. He must be a better lawyer than an accountant. Hey, why not hire an accountant and make Mr. Miles the Law Director? That ought to take some of the attention of our fiscal problems.

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7Sherminator(2 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Miles needs to GO!!! Rich needs to GO!!!! He Obviously can't do his job. Maybe IGA is hiring for cashier position, with his credentials and a Georgetown graduate he has a pretty good shot at getting hired,but as long as rich is in there he's not going anywhere which is why she needs to go too. Look, I'm not a hater but facts are facts and if the city was doing well I would be all for them, but it's not. It's actually doing really bad so residents of Campbell please go and vote!!!! They've had plenty of time to make it right or at least try to make it right. Let's get some new faces in there what do we have to lose?

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8trustinthetruth067(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Let's see what we have going on here...Hmm...First the Vindicator allows a Fictional Character write a Letter to the editor advising everyone how to vote but being Non Existant has never voted in Campbell or anywhere else, then you have a bunch of Political Pundants beat up on Ms Rich who was not even in office when the City went into Fiscal Emergency nor Mr. Miles. Where were all these Pundits when the The State first came in and stated it was the worst Set of Books they have ever seen. Again before Miles or Rich were in the picture. This is nothing more than an attempt to get Rich out of office but I don't see that happening..Why? ...Because you might fool the people once but not Twice!!!!...& what new face? Ms Rich Republican Opponent? I don't think so....I'm afraid He carries enough Baggage to sink the Titanic. Thank you for Supporting the Unions on the Senate Bill Issue Ms Rich...Enough Said.

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9concerncit(12 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

If trustinthetruth has nothing better to do than check on Pritchards voting record, maybe he should head down to city hall and volunteer to help on those books. If Pritchard said something untrue then call him on it. If not, call the current administration and demand a reconciliation of the books. It's this kind of stuff that makes me long for the good old Mafia days.

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10PrichardFan101(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

First off how can he be a fictional character? You act as if the easter bunny written that article and last time I checked it didn't say the Easter bunny wrote it. And also just because someone didn't vote doesn't mean they are fictional does it? That would mean half the people in Campbell are fictional and we are all living in fantasy land you imbecile. You are about as smart as rich and miles With your idiotic statements such as that. I know one thing I'd rather vote for my Doberman pinscher than have any of them running anything period. I wouldn't let either of them run a lemonade stand. Before you talk about anyone else's baggage maybe worry about the problem at hand and maybe our city wouldn't be in fiscal emergency.... I'm just saying though what do I know I'm probobly fictional as far as I know?

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11campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Its completely obvious what this letter is all about. It really has not much to do about the city getting out of fiscal emergency at all, what it is in fact is the supporters of Mr. Levendis. And the reason I say this is for the following reasons.
1st off you make no mention of other council persons name repetativly other than Mrs. Rich. 2nd of all just as Mr. Levendis you really have no clue as to where this city stands on getting out of Fiscal emergency, if you did you would realize that the books are not the only issue that has not been resolved there are several other issues that the Mayor and City Administrator needs to complete. In fact there was suppose to be a caucus meeting wednesday night after the CHIP meeting where Mrs. Rich was going to go over what else remains to be completed to finalize getting the release from the state, when she comes to your door campaigning why dont you ask her who all attended this important meeting? You probably would rethink if she and Mr. Miles are doing what is needed and required.
You attack Mr. Miles but yet you make no reference or question why there are other people in the finance department that handle the books on payroll and accounts recievable but yet are either refusing or being directed by the Mayors office not to help in reconciling their portion of the books. If you ask around in other cities that are the size of Campbell you will find that each person within the Fiancial Department reconciles their portion and the finance director finalizes them, or they do them together. It doesn't happen here, there is no team work.
You also fail to mention that the books for this city have been reconciled I believe it might be 2 or 3 times in the history of the city. This is suppose to be done every single year!
Also you fail to make any remarks that Mr. VanSuch over the time span that we have been in fiscal emergency held offices in the city as City Administrator, councilman, Council president and now mayor. and this is the 1st time he is concerned they get done?????
Mrs. Rich has been in office 4 years of the 7 years we have been in it. And if you would take the time to either attend meetings or at best look into her voting record or legislation record, she has done everything she can to help get us out of the mess that the other people in office got us into.She DOES look out for us,and votes or supports legislation accordingly to achieve such. Don't take my word or anyone elses its public record read it yourself.
Another thing that you seem to neglect to realize, when Mr. Miles was hired the thought of getting out of fiscal emergency was bleak, actually we were somewhere around $400,000 in the RED! We are now in the black and that light is getting brighter at the end of the tunnel. But yet you say he is incompetent?? He doesn't know what he's doing? Seems like he's done a pretty good job to me.

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12campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

To me it's actually a pretty logical answer why Mr. Miles is having trouble reconciling the books, look at it this way. Lets say you and your spouse had a small business with say 2 employees and all of you had a couple checks that you kept with you everyday to cover any business expense you might have.Everyone turns in the receipts everyday but not everyone puts a notation on what all it was for. Say for example, a check written out for $85.00 to Truck World but they didn't break it down to $40.00 was for gas, $15.00 was for food and $30.00 was for tire repair The end of the year comes and your accountant has to reconcile the books and he can't get the gas figures to come out to what you have recorded. So he calls you up and asks. Would you say "I don't have the time" or "you get paid to figure that out"? I doubt you would do either, you would find out which employee wrote it out and what it was for.Everyone would work together right? At least that's what most business people would do. So think about that before you pass judgement, and remember we are not talking about a small business here we're talking about a city with 40+ accounts that all have to balance out as a whole.

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13Billybob21(96 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like Mr Pritchard should do some research before writing.

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14concerncit(12 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

It's also completely obvious who campbellcitizen is supporting. Unless The Vindicator is mistaken, the state auditor stated that Mr Miles could not do his job. He's not keeping books for a small business, he's trying to keep them for our city. He was hired to be the Financial Director. The other people you allude to work for him. If they're not helping it's up to him to see that they do. But I may not have the insight that campbellcitizen does. If he's not responsible for the financial wellbeing of Campbell, why is he on the city payroll? Does the buck stop here or not? The last mayor was no good, now the new mayor is obstructing things. It's always someone other than the Finance Director. As far as Ms Rich is concerned, unless The Vindicator is misleading us in it's council reports, she blocked the previous mayor's effort to dismiss Mr Miles. Dispite all Ms Rich's best efforts the books are not reconciled. I'm under the impression she is the chairman of the Finance Committee. Listing the reasons why they have not done their job means nothing. They both knew what needed to be done when they signed on. If they can't do it, let's find someone who can. Excuses from them or their supporters don't cut it anymore.

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15campbellcitizen(25 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

concern....your right I will not deny who I am supporting I am supporting her because of the legislation she has supported or sponsored.And because of the issues that have been discussed in the caucus room where there is no doubt where she stands or where she is coming from. It was not only her who "blocked" Miles dismissal it was all of them because the candidate the previous mayor suggested had fewer skills than Miles.
Should the books be done? Absolutly! Should the others in the finance department help him? Absolutly! My point is, if this is the only thing that Miles has ever asked for help on (and to the best of my knowledge it is) he should recieve it. No questions asked, get the others off their duffs and put their time in too. If the problem is somewhere in the other employees part of the books in his department they should sit down with him and find it. But that doesn't seem to be happening.Apparently some forget it's the Mayors job to direct the employee's in their duties. Miles has taken us from the RED and put us in the black, (which no other previous finance director was able to do) it is because of his knowledge in finance that there is even talk of getting out of fiscal emergency.
As far as me being "insightful" as you stated, well I can only suggest to you that you start attending meetings, pick up the papers in the front of the court room on the railing and read them. Sit in on caucus meetings as well as regular meetings. Listen, watch and learn, ask questions of the elected officials no question is too dumb nor is it ever ignored. I suggest that to all my fellow citizens. You'll be surprised as to who has our city in our best interest in mind and who has a personal agenda. And even more importantly, you too will become just as "enlightened" as I am.

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16PrichardFan101(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Hey Billy Bob I seen the Easter bunny on 12th street maybe mr miles can get some help from him and if he's busy i think Santa Clause can perform a mircale and get us out of this fiscal emergency cause he obviously can't

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17concerncit(12 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Was it Mr miles or the levy that put Campbell in the black? As I said the time for excuses is over. Good leaders find a way to get past the obstacles and get the job done. There is no shame in being unable to do a job. But it would be a shame if we continue to expect the desired results from the people who have failed for years. The status quo must go. You've heard of "talking a good fight", THE TIME FOR TALKING IS OVER. It's time to fight.

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18PrichardFan101(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Way to go concerned cit POW POW roasted

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19Sherminator(2 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Whether Mr levendis or Ms Rich Wins, Mr vansuch or Mr Jackson it sounds like the finance director position will be available for anyone who's interested.

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205thwardcouncilman(9 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Campbellcitizen you hit the nail on the head.This is nothing more than the Levendis camp smear tactics.This is very apparent, how can you mention fiscal emergency without the names of Dill or tedesco in the same sentence? You know why? Because they are both supporters of Levendis.How do i know this? Well a simple phone call to Tedesco can confirm that much other than attending the meetings. If its legislation supported by Rich or suggested by Sherman. Tedesco an Mazocco vote NO even if its legeslation needed to get out of fiscal emergency or legeslation to avoid layoffs.
Now as far as Dill supporting Levendis.Ask Dill and Vansuch why they asked Levendis to attend a meeting with Aqua.Why isnt any other candidate asked to join in on the meetings on the comittee for the position they are running for? Well because Levendis has the exact agenda Dill has,to sell the water plant to aqua.
Now before you Levendis supporters start your attacks saying i'm starting rumors or telling lies.This information came from one of his family members.Another part of the conversation was that "Mr Opencar,Levendis,and Matash were going to sweep the election".That should narrow it down to what family member said this.So No its not lies or rumors.They stated sell the water plant to aqua and get rid of the crooks down there.
Now another reason you can tell this is a Levendis smear tactics.It is no secret how Levendis feels about Sherman.A simple call to the police chief could verify this.The police chief had to be called to a caucus meeting due to Levendis's actions.Levendis was trying to call Miles out to the hallway in the middle of a meeting.The police chief had to have a little talk with Levendis.So what does Levendis do he runs around town telling people that Miles was making googly eyes at him.His exact words.Same tactics Krinos used, try to get him in a confrontation to have Miles suspended but this time it didnt work.
NOW you are going to say, "well this is Miles job to reconcile the books", Yes it is but at the same time you have 2 other employees that have to do with finances who's job it is to assist Miles in completeing this job who REFUSE to help him.Now Vansuch should order these 2 people to do thier job and assist Miles or be dealt with accordingly.
Some people are saying this is his job if he cant perform his job replace him.No help no training.Well my question would be, do those standards apply to all employees? If it does should, all employees who cannot perform thier duties be replaced or fired? If the answer is yes then we have to look at the employee in the street dept who;s job it is to fix the sewers in the city.Not only was he given a HELPER yes helper, (Something miles is denied) But the sewers were subcontracted out to Rudzik to the tune of 14,000.00 thats what is getting passed thru legeslation this month.

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215thwardcouncilman(9 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Now lets look at the city mechanic, lesislation is being passed to send a salt truck out to have it transferred from electric to hydraulic to the price of 5000.00.Now could that be because he needs help tansferring that or maybe its behond his mechanical skills.So what should be done to these 2 employees?According to your way of thinking they should be replaced! Now i dont want to see anyone lose thier job but I also believe there should be the SAME standards for EVERY employee of this city. Not different standards because of political bias.

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22sweetcheekz(8 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Gee 5thwardcouncilman! You seem to be just a fountain of information. Except you forgot the"secret meeting" Levendis had with VanSuch at city hall last week when he was in Toledo working. I'm also curious to know which family member you got this info from - his 2nd grade daughter or maybe his nephew that's in preschool. In fact, I heard VanSuch was supporting Rich. I don't think Levendis wants to sell the water plant. The city can save more money by taking away council's health insurance. Oh and didn't Levendis say in the Vindicator that he wasn't taking ANY compensation?!

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23PrichardFan101(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

So hearing a rumor from someone's family member makes it a fact? That means if I heard miles was having an affair with a midget that automatically means it's a true statement? Stop with your arrogance and false statements. Spreading rumors isnt going to help either miles nor rich and only makes you look bad.

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24trustinthetruth067(6 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Sweetcheekz, you are correct that Mr. Lavendis did say in the article that he wasn't going to accept Medical Benefits, but so did Former Mayor Krinos but everyone Remembers what happened there...3 Month's into office when no one was paying attention He called and Put himself onto the Family Plan until he Resigned, it just shows anyone can make this statement which sounds good & nothing more. I must agree with PritchardFan101 spreading rumors doesn't help anyone, we should stick to the Facts. Ms Rich has a Record to run on, Mr Levendis does not, so we must look at his Character, Integrity, Judgement, & Accountability to name a few. So let's look at some Facts pertaining to Mr. Levendis:
FACT #1. In 2001 Mr. Levendis was charged with 2 Counts of Bookmaking & 2 Counts of Possession of Criminal Tools & Plead Quilty to One Count each of Public Gaming & Possession of Criminal Tools. Source Campbell Court & CPD.
FACT #2 During same period of Time Mr. Levendis was Busted by the Water Dept. for Tampering with his Water Meter, Breaking the Seal so he didn't have to pay a Water Bill or anything associated with the Bill, a Time when other Residents were getting there Water turned off or Liens placed on there Property. Source, Water Dept, Employees & Pictures taken of the Tampered Meter.
FACT #3. In 1995 when Mr. Levendis was Foreman the Owner & Co was charged by the FBI for Bribery & Conspiracy so it could perform sub standard work Resulting in the Owner Pleading Quilty and going to Federal Prison. Source Youngstown Vindy & other sources.
FACT #4. In April of This Year while Mr. Levendis was Project Manager as stated in the article with experience dealing with Local, State, & Federal Authorities on a daily basis His Company was Slapped with a $207,000 Fine from OSHA for numerous Safety Violations for placing their workers at Risk of Injury or Death. Source, Youngstown Vindy, the Toledo Blade, and OSHA Website.
PritchardFan101 asked to stick to the facts. Remember its all about Character, Integrity, Judgment, & Accountability

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25concerncit(12 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

"Rumor" has it that Rich and her pal Miles can't get the job done. Thats not rumor thats a proven fact. Levedis must get the job done at work cause he'e been there twenty five plus years. In the real world they can fire you if you don't get the job done. Since he's not taking pay or insurance, it's hard to see his ulterior motive. Maybe he can't stand to see the city being embarrassed any longer. Poor leaders tell you why they can't get the job done, real leaders find a way to get it done. It's time to give someone else a chance.

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26mrblue(965 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Maybe---he too wants to sell the water plant.That is all that Campbell has left. Must be a big payday for those who want to sell the plant. Just my opinion.

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27onlyincampbell(35 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

I've been sitting here thinking about all these post, some are at best laughable others spot on. Whether we like it or not this has been status quo for the city for years, the books not reconciled that is. It would appear to me that its a task that is not an easy one to accomplish if you take into consideration the state came in and did some of the previous years (prior to Miles) and had a difficult time getting them to balance, if they got them to balance at all which I think they didn't. But I can't swear to that.
Now we all know not a single person or two people are responsible for this city, it falls on everyone who sits at city hall. I don't understand why no one has done what is right for this city and made sure that ALL the employees in the finance department get involved! If the Mayor is so "concerned" that the books get done then why doesn't HE direct those employees to get on the ball and get the dang thing done???? For pete sakes this is beyond rediculous!
Bottom line the books need done to get out of this mess! ELECTED OFFICIALS need to work TOGETHER and make sure it GETS done!!!!!!!!!! There are 3 people in that office have them work TOGETHER, quit the political satire and placing the blame on 1 person! And while your at it get everything else on that list that needs to be done, done! If we don't get out of fiscal emergency it is not just because the books aren't done it's because of the other things that the mayor and city administrator haven't done as well. There is more on the check off list than this!
And one last note, there is "rumor" the 2nd ward councilman has legislation to hire an assistant finance director. Are you serious? Krinos tried it and you all said NO! Just get the people I mentioned above to help, why put another employee on the books and pay someone to help do the job that they are there for? I'm sure the other employees of this city would like a little pay raise (that the city says it can't afford) vs hiring another employee for this!

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28mrblue(965 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

VanSuch and Dill must GO. If no one else, these two have got to GO! VanSuch is clueless and has done nothing in all the years he has held office. Dill was defeated in the last election because he did nothing. So Mr. Clueless brings back Mr. Do Nothing. WHY? Wake up Campbell voters, this city is dying. You want to know why Campbell gets no respect? Take a walk throught city hall and see how some of the employees are dressed. Maybe its me, but I think city hall should have a look of professionalism. As far as the books are concerned-----I wonder when was the last time they balanced.

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295thwardcouncilman(9 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Sweetcheekz if you read my post again I gave no time line when that meeting took place.I did not say it took place last week when Levendis was in toledo.
Mrblue i agree totally with your last post.What is a shame is no one is running against some of the other councilmen.My question is why isnt Levendis running against the 2nd ward councilman.Actually if he did, he would of had my support. With Tedesco's voting record and the lack of caring about his position on his committee which is the park he's one who needs replaced.But at one of the meetings Levendis asked Tedesco what he was running for and Brian response was, what are you running for?The 2 of them took a walk in the backroom the outcome you know..
If as many people that post on vindy used as much energy walking up the city hall steps and attended the meetings they would actually see for themselves how the elected officials vote instead of listening to hearsay.
Let me give you a little insight to how they are voting then you decide who has the citys or citizens interest in mind.
For this first legislation you will want to read up on Fiscal Emergency ORC 118 .It states to get out of fiscal emergency 'eleminate all fiscal emergency conditions" With that being said legeslation was brought in for a CASH RESERVE policy of 15%.for the citys general fund.This is needed so you dont run the citys funds dry.That is what happened back in 2004, this is why we are in fiscal emergency.This ordinance was sponsored by Rich,Tsikouris,and Jackson voting no on this was Tedesco and Mazocco.But no mention of them being replaced on these posts.
Now this other Ordinance is needed to avoid layoffs in 2012 when the state has its budget cuts.This ordinance is to offset those cuts.It is to pay off a loan early to offset those cuts.Sponsered by Rich,Tsikouris and Jackson and again the no votes are Tedesco and Mazocco.Now if this isnt payed off early with the budget cuts next year the layoffs will be probable in our safety forces.The reason its the safety forces is because thats who eats up most of the general fund.So with this is mind.Next year when the cuts come down and a full time police officer is laid off no part timers or reserves can be used so what do you think this will do to the over time.Now the next layoff will be a full time fireman and when this happens there goes the volunteers.Now with that happening what is going to happen to the ISO rating.It will never get lowered from a 10 in turn means all of our homeowners insurance will never go back down.
Now maybe if everyone on these posts here would attend the meetings instead of listening to hearsay they would see how your elected officials are voting and WHO REALLY needs replaced.Maybe if Levendis didnt take Tedescos advise he would be running against the one who really needs replaced.

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