City school board member says district can’t afford pay raises

City school board member says district can’t afford pay raises

In response to your editorial “Academic distress panel sends stern message to school board”, I would like to clarify a couple of points, starting with the fact that you stated in your opinion that “Adair, for one, contends the state panel does not have the statutory power and authority it has been exerting since it was created in 2010 when the state declared Youngstown to be in academic emergency.”

As a sitting school board member, I have read the Ohio Revised Code Section 3302.10 and been advised by the general counsel for the Youngstown school board and the assistant state attorney general that the Academic Distress Commission is empowered by the state Legislature with all of the powers outlined in the ORC. I have never questioned those powers.

I have contended that those powers not outlined/specified in ORC 3302.10 are reserved for the the board of education, by the state Legislature and until and unless issues not written in law are clarified in writing, I will continue to question these issues.

Secondly, the board was advised not to take any action on the commission’s “recommendation,” not “directive,” to increase the salary range of administrators working in the district to $95,000 to $105,000 — because of the negative impact on the district’s budget and the taxpayers.

I believe I have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers to take into consideration the salary ranges for not just two principals, but the fact that just last year the board approved pay raises for the Youngstown Education Association and administrators. Also consider that our mayor’s beginning salary is a mere $90,000 with responsibility for more than 60,000 residents.

Our first job is to educate children, provide reasonable salaries and benefits for employees and protect taxpayers of this city — that is what we are trying to do.

Please note: the commission can’t have it both ways. As recently as January 2014, the commission advised us that the city schools needed to reduce per-pupil cost by at least $2,300 — because Youngstown, at $17,000/pupil, is higher than all of the “Big 8” districts of Ohio — and is rated one of the two worst. Most of that cost is consumed by the salaries of administrators. But I say that the district’s priorities must change by directing the majority of our funding into the classroom.

Jackie Adair, Youngstown

Many residents are quite outraged over indictments in Oakhill case

This is in reference to Rev. Ellis’ letter June 8 in The Vindicator. He wondered why there was no citizen outrage over the three newest indictments from Mahoning County. Everyone I know is full of deep embarrassment once again and are devoid of any hope of a lasting change.

At the very brink of being able to lay the first of these indictments open to the light of truth, the naming of all names and deeds involved, followed by meting out fair punishment where warranted, our national FBI decided not to cooperate with our law enforcement two years ago. Outraged? Absolutely! How do people even begin to fight that?

It has been said that people get the kind of government they deserve. Perhaps, more to the point, people get the kind of government the FBI leaves behind for us to choose from.

As always, all are innocent until proven guilty and thank you to Mr. de Souza for keeping us informed on the Oakhill- Renaissance conspiracy.

Norma McBride, Austintown

US heroin epidemic is collateral damage from war in Afghanistan

Heroin has made a come- back. Oddly enough that has happened since we have been at war in Afghanistan. Why?

Is our law enforcement that ineffective? Are our legislators paying more attention to re-election, pay raises and lobbyists? Is there no enforceable plan to stop the terrible destruction caused by the use of this drug? Where is the “War on Drugs?” Do more “people of power” need to lose loved ones to this?

Where does heroin come from? How is it that the media never tell us that 90 percent or more of the heroin found on our streets and in the arms of our dead young people comes from Afghanistan — the very place where our soldiers are dying to keep Afghans free? No wonder the tribal leaders of Afghanistan want us to stay there and die there while they continue to profit from the export of this deadly drug.

To believe the federal government doesn’t know about heroin coming from Afghanistan is ludicrous. They’ve had boots on the ground and eyes in the sky for over 10 years.

This tells me that the American people — soldiers and civilians — are collateral damage once again to a foreign policy gone astray.

Kay Hoskins, Bellevue, Pa.