By Louie b. Free (Contact)
Published November 4, 2008
Dear Voters of Mahoning County
We need to put witness into action on an extremely important community issue. On November 4th we have the opportunity to support and expand public transportation throughout all of Mahoning County. The Western Reserve Transit Authority will have a 1/4% county-wide sales tax initiative on the ballot to continue funding and expanding its operation, especially in the far reaching areas of our county.
Let’s revisit the man left on the roadside in need of assistance. (Luke 10: 25-37) After being passed by several times, one person filled with compassion recognized the larger responsibility to take care of his neighbor. In the spirit of loving thy neighbor, the man was able to assist, while still continuing his own journey.
This is not just about the poor, or even the Youngstown community, but Mahoning County’s opportunity for greater accessibility and transportation options.
Morally, we must champion for those who are most vulnerable in being isolated from the community. Many use the transit system to meet quality of life needs, such as shopping attending school, visiting their doctor and yes, maintaining their employment. Our elderly and disabled neighbors, who rely heavily upon public transportation, risk losing their independence.
Communities on the move are noted for their regional transit systems. Imagine, with rising fuel costs, having the option of saving driving expenses, such as gasoline and maintenance, and having the ability to travel at a nominal fee. This certainly would enhance the common good and make options available for all of us.
Therefore, we urge all Mahoning County voters to support the WRTA Mahoning County-wide 1/4% Sales Tax on Tuesday, November 4th.
In the Power of His Might,
Rev. Orlando Chaffee
United Methodist Church
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Ernest Ellis
East Ohio Baptist District Association
Rev. Eleanor Felder
Interdenominational Clergy Women’s Alliance
Rev. Michael H. Harrison
Ohio Baptist State Convention
Rev. J. DeWayne Heard
Baptist Pastors’ Council
Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II
Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
Rabbi Frank Muller
Congregation of Rodef Sholom
Bishop George Murry
Catholic Diocese of Youngstown
Bishop Norman L. Wagner
Calvary Ministries International