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Letting inmates fill potholes is win-win for the taxpayers

Published: Mon, March 10, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Letting inmates fill potholes is win-win for the taxpayers

Potholes are everywhere in the Mahoning Valley. Recently, a fellow YSU student had two flat tires within 30 minutes. This is not the only incident of a flat tire or bent rim as the results of a pothole in Youngstown.

It isn’t just the streets around YSU, but all over the Valley there are death traps for cars around almost every corner. These holes are ready to eat your tires! What solution is Mahoning County taking?

Criminals fill the streets — to avoid jail time. Nonviolent criminals have the opportunity to avoid jail time by filling potholes. This solves so many problems all in one, but as with everything else, not everyone is happy.

First, it reduces the amount of money the county has to pay for road crews to fill the holes. With the amount of snow we have had this winter — an alternative to filling the holes needed to be found. As a result of the snow apocalypses, we now have a hole apocalypse on the streets.

Day-reporting inmates will be given this as an alternative to jail time. This in turn will give inmates a chance to help give back to the community and begin to pay back their debt.

This solution to the potholes seems to be a great decision, but what about the workers who in previous years were responsible for filling the holes? They are part of a labor union so it is not like their jobs are at stake but their hours.

This time of the year is guaranteed overtime for those in road repair. But money that last year these people counted on — is no longer theirs.

It is easy to see why labor-union crews would be upset about this newest decision; however the good outweighs the bad. As a labor union worker I’m sure some are wondering “it’s potholes now, but what will it be in a year?”

I think the county can agree that filling potholes can be a mundane task. I would rather our skilled road crew be focused on bigger projects, and let’s save taxpayer money by letting inmates fill the holes.

Karen Bell, Salem


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