Comment history

What can we really afford?

Here's the problem - state funding to local governments has been slashed by, you guessed it, anti-government and anti-tax politicians at the state level. So local governments either have to cut services (cue screaming citizens) or come up with local levies to pay for services formerly paid through the state's funding of local governments.

Add to that a rapidly shrinking population. But the area's roads haven't shrunk with the population - there's still as many miles of roads with 220,000 people in Mahoning County as when we had 300,000 people. In fact there are now more miles as people moved to new developments in Canfield, Poland, etc.

So when you have as many or more miles of roads to be paved with 30% less people to pay for them what do you think happens? Everybody that's left living here has to pay more on a per capita basis.

Now we could all just start voting down every levy but guess what happens then? The population decline speeds up as people get fed up with bad roads, schools and other government services and move to, say Columbus, where the area just passed the 2 million mark in population. And of course no one will want to move in to replace those who left because who wants to live in an area that can't pass a road or school levy and where the housing values are diddly squat?

March 28, 2016 at 12:07 a.m. suggest removal

Mahoning COUNTY ISSUE Victory for seniors

Drone, are you referring to the $250,000 for the top 3 people paid in 2014 as seen on page 8 of the Guidestar document?

You don't mean they might squander the extra $100,000 or more in administrative expenses versus Trumbull County's senior levy administrative expenses?

Didn't Trumbull County give the Agency on Aging the boot as senior levy administrator and hire ONE person plus a volunteer citizens advisory board to replace them?

March 16, 2016 at 4:25 p.m. suggest removal

MILLCREEK MEETING | Ousted naturalist Novotny takes MetroParks leaders to task

momincanfield, since you're so concerned about cost savings, tell us your view of Young's $70,000 purchase of vehicles including one for him and one for his crony police chief exactly SIX DAYS after giving Novotny and the others the axe because of the desperate need of the park to "save money".

I'll be waiting to hear about how this jives with your philosophy that "saving money is a wonderful achievement".

March 15, 2016 at 2:47 p.m. suggest removal

MILLCREEK MEETING | Ousted naturalist Novotny takes MetroParks leaders to task

Agree with NilesOhio, I'll drive 5 or 10 more minutes to Kensington or Reserve Run this year. Not a dime to the Mill Creek golf course until Young is gone.

March 15, 2016 at 12:34 p.m. suggest removal

MILLCREEK MEETING | Ousted naturalist Novotny takes MetroParks leaders to task

republicanRick, "All respect is lost for this little, little man who does not know how orgaizations (sic) work."

Really? So Boccieri, who flew missions into Iraq during the war is a "little, little man"?

And Boccieri, who is the 757th Airlift Squadron Commander doesn't know how organizations work?

Right, I'm sure you have comparable experience. In fact why not share your resume and compare it with this -

March 15, 2016 at 12:31 a.m. suggest removal

Mill Creek cuts expose harsh reality

I've never seen a story like this where someone can say we need $30 milion over 15 years for "x" and not have to prove it with details.

Young didn't say he fired people to be "more efficient". He said he HAD to fire people to pay for an expected shortfall in capital improvements funding. The number of $30 million was trotted out by Young time and time again, but never any details. And the writer accepts this figure because ... Young says it's so?

In fact, in Young's own interview last week with the writer of this opinion piece Young said he and his staff hadn't completed the 15 year capital improvements plan that he said a month ago would cost $30 million.

How you can announce a cost for a plan you haven't finished yet or presented to the public is a great work of magic - sleight of hand, as it were.

And to use that "magic" figure of $30 million as a reason to fire 15% of your staff - and have the local press buy it without verifying the figure first - well that, as Mastercard used to say, is priceless.

Last year the park raised nearly $1 million for capital improvements outside of property levy money. We just voted them an additional $1 million per year for capital improvements.

Even IF Young's $2 million a year need for capital improvements over the next 15 years is true - and remember we spent only $1 million last year AND he has given no specifics on line item costs or what the projects will be, why can't Young just do his job and raise the other $1 million he says is needed each year for capital improvements like the park did last year?

Why doesn't he? Because it's easier to dump staff members who you believe somehow threaten you. Plus, then you don't have to to do the job you promised to do to fund raise to pay the other 50% of capital improvements.

That's what he said he'd do before the levy - raise 50% of funding via grants and foundations. Don't take my word for it. On the "Levy" tab at the Mill Creek MetroParks website here was the promise to the voters if the levy was passed. Note: it says nothing about staff cutbacks or service reductions. It says: " Assumes Maintaining Leveraging History of 50% Acquired Via Grants, Foundations, Etc."

This has nothing to do with "millennial leaders" and everything to do with dishonesty and lies.

March 13, 2016 at 11:39 a.m. suggest removal

MetroParks document details cost savings from staff cuts

momincanfield, you said, "I applaud Mr. Young. He needs to stretch our taxpayer money as far as it will go"

Then I'm sure you're calling for Mr. Young to take a $5000 pay cut to match his predecessor's salary and to decline the vehicle purchased for him and instead just take a mileage reimbursement for use of his car?

You are asking him to do that aren't you? Because after all "he needs to stretch our taxpayer money as far as it will go".

March 5, 2016 at 3:11 p.m. suggest removal

Rent charged to Austintown Senior Center used for other township needs

Well, that sure is a mishmash of bs. Could that be a current or former trustee avoiding the subject? Lots of silence from the current trustees so this personal attack sounds like its coming more from out of the past.

You do know mishmash that a false statement of fact ("not getting re-appointed for many improper reasons" and "He recently self created a position as a so called Senior spokesman via a sales driven paid cable network show") can constitute defamation.

Good luck with that.

February 21, 2016 at 11:01 a.m. suggest removal

Mill Creek shake-up prompts calls to repeal MetroParks levy

"Mill Creek MetroParks Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Strategic Master Plan" section 5.1.2 "Financial Strengths" page 44, "The MetroParks has no debt which is a great situation for a large agency, as this is uncommon."

Section 5.3 "Financial and Cost Recovery Summary" page 56 "Mill Creek MetroParks is in a sound financial position with respect to operating revenues and expenditures, fund balance and investments in capital projects. The use of operating revenues for capital renewal and replacements demonstrated that Mill Creek MetroParks is willing to maintain the MetroParks asset to the maximum potential life."

The problem the park has had for years is the lack of or poor grant writing that has failed to bring in additional revenue beyond the major chunk from the property tax levy. Section 5.2 "Cost Recovery Analysis" page 50, "The industry best practices are 35 - 40% for cost recovery from revenues other than taxes for park districts. Non-Taxes Revenues, which exclude revenues from property taxes and state sale tax
allocations, have decreased by 27% since 2006. Figure 32 shows that the Mill Creek MetroParks’ cost recovery from non-tax revenues is 34% to 26% of the total expenses."

THAT is where a good executive director can make a difference - RAISING MONEY from foundations, corporations and wealthy individuals through well written grants, inventive sponsorships, and proactive estate planning.

What has Young done to INCREASE revenue before looking to cut staff?

February 20, 2016 at 11:19 a.m. suggest removal

Mill Creek shake-up prompts calls to repeal MetroParks levy

Cobaltblue, if the board seriously refuses to listen to the people and change course on this issue out of stubbornness or pride and lets this escalate to a ballot recall then the park is in the hands of insane people and letting them handle the levy funds that are generated would be like simply setting the money on fire.

Or, to look at it another way, your desire that citizens back down from the board already and not even challenge them with this leverage is akin to the battered wife who is afraid to leave her abuser and so never files charges or challenges him in any way.

In both cases, you know what the future will bring - more abuse at the hands of an all powerful and unchallenged tyrant.

February 19, 2016 at 11:41 p.m. suggest removal