Although Canfield Township boasts a savings account that would be the envy of many communities in the Mahoning Valley, the need to manage government’s finances is ever present.
The future, as every public official knows, is uncertain at best. The federal and state governments are no longer dependable sources of revenue.
Against that backdrop, the key to good governance is stability.
And that’s what trustees Anthony Bettile and Marie Cartwright have brought to Canfield Township in the four years they have been in office.
Bettile and Cartwright have been good stewards of the public treasury and have served the community well. To be sure, there are critics, as evidenced by the three challengers in the Nov. 5 general election. However, fairness dictates that voters evaluate the incumbents objectively.
We urge Canfield residents to refer to the news story on the trustees race published in The Vindicator on Saturday or online at vindy.com/politics to familiarize themselves with the five candidates in the race: Bettile, Cartwright, Brian Governor, Dave Morrison and Joe Paloski.
A fair reading of the story will lead to the conclusion that while Governor, Morrison and Paloski are sincere in wanting to serve, they have fallen short in making the case for getting rid of the incumbents.
Strength in numbers
If the $6 million in the bank isn’t a persuasive enough argument, consider this: The trustees — not on the ballot is Stephen Maszczak — have concluded that going it alone is no longer a viable strategy when it comes to certain projects. Thus, this year, Canfield Township joined with Boardman and Austintown townships on road paving.
“We continue to reap the benefit of economies of scale by bidding and conducting joint programs with other cities and townships, including this year’s joint road paving program, which allowed us to pave an additional road since the job was bid with Austintown and Boardman townships,” Cartwright explained in The Vindicator survey form that was sent to the candidates.
The township also worked with the county Engineer’s Office on a crack and sealing project.
“These programs save everyone money and allow us to do more with less,” Bettile noted in his survey form.
As we noted, while township government is financially stable today, the future demands a commitment to reducing costs. And since a big chunk of the budget goes for salaries and benefits, it behooves the trustees to hold a firm line on negotiations with the employee unions.
It may come as a surprise to township residents to know that employees receive longevity pay, 12 paid holidays, four personal days, paid lunch, medical insurance premiums and retirement contributions totally paid by the township.
Such benefits are no longer sustainable.
We believe that Cartwright and Bettile are in the best position to force changes in the compensation of public employees.
The challengers, Governor, Morrison and Paloski, insist that government needs to be managed better, but on the singularly important issue of the budget, they fail to show how the incumbents have squandered opportunities to bolster the township’s revenues. They also have not shown how the trustees have failed to provide services that are important to the community’s quality of life.
One of the issues that Governor and Paloski have focused on is the absence of a fence around the retention bond in the township park. But the trustees note that the pond isn’t very deep and that they have received a legal opinion that a fence would be an admission that the pond is a liability.
Morrison, who is the zoning inspector, has complained about the lack of adequate staffing in his department and the administrator’s office.
But Morrison’s suspension by the trustees for his alleged use of his work computer for personal reasons cannot be ignored.
In order for the voters to reject the incumbents, Cartwright and Bettile, they must be convinced that government is being mismanaged and that any one of the challengers can do a better job.
After careful study, we are hard-pressed to arrive at such a conclusion.
Thus, The Vindicator endorses Marie Cartwright and Anthony Bettile for re-election.