Preserve Boardman park with yes vote on tax levy

Preserve Boardman park with yes vote on tax levy

If you have the luck to live in Boardman, you can’t help but take your hat off to this pretty huge (243 acres) public park just south of Route 224, including a large well-maintained recreational area, where you can get married and play bocce or play beach volleyball at your reception. There’s also a 183-acre area of preserved natural habitat.

The remarkable thing is the park has operated on a 1-mill levy for 70 years, during which expenses have grown to include 23 capital projects costing over $6 million, 80 percent of which was raised by grants, donations, and volunteer labor and materials.

The problem comes in the operating budget, which has not kept pace with the 40 percent increase in attendance just in the last 10 years. Funding has been cut by close to 10 percent in that same period by reductions in the state assistance. This operating budget has no inflation factor despite the 17.5 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index since 2009.

Clearly, it is an amazing feat that the park’s offerings to visitors have increased over these years in both quality and quantity as we can see, while on a declining budget. How they did it for the previous 60 years is an act practically beyond belief.

The 0.6-mill levy the park board is asking for in Tuesday’s election will increase the annual cost of $30 to $40 for the owner of a $100,000 home. As a Boardman resident of 25 years, I urge my fellow citizens to support it, both to keep our Green Oasis from withering on the vine, and as a way of saying thank you to the park board for its wise financial stewardship to date, and its vision for the future. Surely we can find a way to keep our Green Oasis green.

Howard Mettee, Beaver Twp.

Do not end term limits for city council members

As a resident of Youngstown, I am outraged. I can’t believe that the mayor, city council and others in the administration would put the safety and lives of its employees and residents in harm’s way the way they have.

First they started closing fire stations as a way to save money. Then last week they say they are taking a firetruck out of service and demoting firefighters to save money and stop the closing of stations.

First, these men and women worked hard to make the rank they have and now you are demoting them? The police and fire departments go through constant training for their jobs. Then over the weekend you had two stations closed. There has now been a life lost in a fire and one of the stations closed was closest to that fire.

Why is it every time the mayor and city council decide cuts are needed it’s always firefighters and police that get hit? These men and women put their lives on the line every time they walk out the door to go to work. Their families never know when they leave for work if they will see them alive again.

I want the best people protecting my family from fire and crime. Why would anyone want to come and work for the Youngstown Fire and Police departments when this is how they are treated? Yet the mayor has a nice new vehicle to drive.

Police and fire workers don’t always get to clock out as soon as their shift is over. If they are at a fire, accident, overdose or whatever they stay until that scene is taken care of. Why should city council make more than these brave men and women? Now they want us to vote to do away with term limits. Are they out of their minds?

I will be voting a big fat “no.” Citizens of Youngstown, you should be outraged and demanding that the mayor and his administration stop playing with the lives of its residents and employees.

Gloria Yakish, Youngstown

Democracy may live or die by our midterm votes

With the appoint- ment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the U.S. Supreme Court now swings far right. Whoever thought we would have a foul-tempered, accused drunken groper on the Supreme Court? After his temper tantrums during the hearing, how could the GOP say no to him? Otherwise, he might go to his room and refuse to come out. He also perjured himself, but who’s listening?

The GOP committee was loaded with “fair, honest” men. Take Lindsey Graham who was tutored by John McCain. McCain was a fair and honest politician who worked with both sides. Graham learned nothing from McCain, since Graham sides with Trump like a whipped puppy.

Then there is Mitch McConnell, a man of little or no integrity. Don’t forget Chuck Grassley who would like to keep women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen where they belong. Don’t you love those “good old boys?”

I’ll now unveil who is behind Kavanaugh’s appointment. The southern Evangelicals, led by none other than Franklin Graham. These people want an Old Testament-type society. And that would include installing a new government in America called a theocracy, or a one- religion government just like in Iran. They would continue to erode the rights of minorities and women.

Do these people believe Jesus would approve of children and infants separated from mothers and kept in cages? This is what their president is doing. And these people call themselves Christians?

America, be very afraid. This may be the most important midterm election ever. Democracy may live or die by this vote. Don’t let it be taken away from you.

Robert W. McKay, Grove City, Pa.

Performance audit needed before S. Range levy OK

Hats off to the South Range School board. Today as I was driving home from work past the South Range High School, I observed a small sign next to the football stadium.

“Vote for the South Range School renewal levy.” I had to do a double take and go back and pull off the road to reread exactly what it stated. There is a “three in one” renewal rolled into one, up in front of the voters of the South Range district on Tuesday, and it was the bestkept secret until now.

Over the years, I pride myself on keeping up with the activities in my community, fundraisers for the fire and police department levies, and all township news. Usually when the school board places any type of school levy on the ballot signs are everywhere on the roadside in Beaver and Green townships: “Vote for the School levy, be a Raider supporter!” However this is the first and only one I have seen. Could it be that the South Range school board is trying to “sneak” one by the voters, and taxpayers of the community?

I only have to look at the Ohio report card printed in The Vindicator Sept. 14 to see the D’s and F’s listed for certain areas in the school system. The South Range Elementary School was given a D of improving at Risk K-3 grade Readers component.

If the South Range school board was to continue to reach into the taxpayers’ pockets in the community, they must first be up front and open about it. The first step to being financially reasonable with our funds would be to request a “Performance Audit,” just as the Poland School District did. In turn the Poland school district has made some cost-saving choices. Let’s see where the money is going and what exactly it is being spent on. That is not much to ask before any more renewals are requested.

Second, when the retire and rehire of the South Range superintendent was addressed and approved, and a $10,000 bonus paid; that was a hard one to swallow for taxpayers as well.

It is very difficult for a property owner in the school district who makes $35,000 a year to give a pay raise to a teacher who makes $50,000 to $60,000 a year.

If you show the taxpayers of South Range a performance audit, are willing to work more closely within your budget, and bring up the low report card grades, we the taxpayers will be more than happy to support your efforts.

Dale Rhinehart, Green Twp.