Only owners should vote on levies

Only owners should vote on levies

Once again as I write out my check for “property” taxes, I ponder the question as to who should have a right to vote for tax issues.

I think of all the people who rent but don’t own. They vote on these issues that will not effect their wallets but the wallet of who actually owns the property that they live in. I think of the young adults who live with their parents but can vote on these issues, but it is their parents who will have to pay for their votes. I think of the elderly in nursing homes and senior citizen apartments as well.

I am all for everyone’s right to vote, but when it comes to issues that effect property taxes, it should only be property owners that have a right to vote. The Board of Elections computer system should be tied into the Treasurer’s/Recorder’s computer system and give special ballots with the property issues to the person who owns the property. All others should just have the right to vote for those running for office or sales tax issues as this would effect them as well.

I challenge legislators to look into this property issue, and also to give some sort of percentage discount to those who own condos. These owners have to maintain their own snow removal and maintenance of their roads. They also have to maintain their own street lighting. So in reality they are paying twice for these services.

Janice M. Schultz, Boardman

Pope sets a good example

For the past week, the eyes and ears of the world have been on the Vatican and the historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. There has been much speculation in the media as to why he resigned, because this is totally new to our knowledge and experience. We had never seen a great, and/or, a powerful leader, give up the “throne” while still breathing.

As a non-Catholic, and putting all that has been said about the pope’s resignation aside, I look at it as the “miracle” of the ages. Here is a man, who presided over a billion Catholics all over the world, revered and respected by most, if not by all of his followers, but who recognized the moment when he thought someone else, perhaps younger and healthier, not necessarily brighter, could do a better job for the church. He thought not about all the power and adulations that he could enjoy until death, but about the overall welfare of the church and its members.

How wonderful it would be if he could preside over our Congress just one day — and rub his garments against each member in the hope that what has is contagious.

What His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has done exemplifies selflessness, freedom from ego, humility, and total dedication to serve others above self. It is an example to follow by politicians, judges, or those who cling to power for life, anywhere in the world. Curing the incurable or bringing life to a dead body is a miracle for one person. But what this humble, intellectual, decent and holy man has done is a miracle for humanity. He is truly a role model for all the leaders of the world.

Rashid Abdu, M.D., Canfield

Presidential pay to play is a shame

It is amazing how far we have come as a country when access to the president can be bought for a cool $500,000. It has been reported in The New York Times that a donation of this sum to Obama’s 501c(4) Organizing for Action will garner the right to participate in quarterly meetings with the president as well as “other meetings at the White House.”

The rich (known in some circles as the 1 percent) will gain significantly more access than the average American by buying their way into the White House. And they are not even the rich conservatives you heard about all throughout the 2012 campaign. These are, dare I say, rich and liberal Obama supporters.

In his 2007 speech in Springfield, Ill., announcing his candidacy, Obama had a much different attitude toward the rich special interests: “The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests that have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we’re here today to take it back.”

That is a remarkable contrast from the Barack Obama that we see today in 2013. He is so eager to advance his agenda that he will go back on every populist line he sold the American people by taking money from the very people he demonized in both 2008 and 2012.

The bottom line is he lied to us, and even worse he used us. His campaign purposely tried to stir up feelings of hatred and resentment toward this so-called 1 percent, but behind our backs he was taking their money all along.

This may be the perspective of a Mahoning County Republican, but I also know there are good Democratic politicians out there doing good things — politicians who truly stand up for their constituents and reflect the values of their communities. But I caution you about this particular Democratic president. Nothing quite adds up with him, and his lies are very easy to catch if you just go back and look for them.

Alex Mangie, CPA, Canfield

Bottom line: The people spoke

Face the facts, the election for president of the United States of America is over, and Barack Obama has won a second term. The bottom line is that the Republicans lost the election because they either don’t need or don’t want any of the benefits or rights afforded to the American people by our Constitution or Bill of Rights, because they continually campaigned against them.

Some of these benefits or rights are: Social Security and Medicare, which benefit the retired; social welfare and Medicaid, which benefit the poor and, oftentimes, the underpaid, working poor; raising the minimum wage to a somewhat survivable amount, and collective bargaining, which ensures workers’ rights. The right of all our citizens to a quality and affordable education so that future generations can compete in this ever-expanding global economy. A fair taxation policy that alleviates the burden from the middle class and helps to level the field with the rich and powerful.

Then there are the social issues, ever so important to the Republican base. These are our personal rights, such as, marriage equality, gay rights, the right of every woman to make her own choice, and immigration, which is the foundation this country of ours is built on.

Mr. Romney, Mr. Ryan, both millionaires, and the rest of the Republican party campaigned against all these issues. Republican controlled states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Florida, knew they needed help to win, so they even tried to suppress voters’ rights. (We can’t win on the issues, so let’s cheat.) Still President Obama won those states. The people spoke.

What I liked most about this election was that the billionaires and millionaires, like Adelson, the Kochs, big business, Citizen’s United, and Carl Rove’s Crossroads, got no return for their money. This gives me hope.

David P. Gaibis Sr., New Castle, Pa.

The kindness of strangers

Last Wednesday, while pull- ing out of the Aldi’s parking lot and making a right turn on Goldie Road, I became trapped in a huge unmarked pothole at the end of the drive.

The outpouring of the kindness of so many people coming to my aid was unbelievable. One kind gentleman went to his home, got a hitch and came back and pulled me out.

An experience of this sort certainly makes me a believer and restores my faith in the kindness of perfect strangers.

Elayne Rusnak, Youngstown