Mahoning Bar board opposes state Issue 1

Mahoning Bar board opposes state Issue 1

The Board of Trust- ees of the Mahoning County Bar Association strongly recommends a “no” vote on state Issue 1.

The Ohio State Bar Association has taken a “no” position on state Issue 1, and our board has had an opportunity to independently review its position and our board has concluded its reasoning is sound and that the Mahoning County Bar Association should adopt a similar position.

We oppose state Issue 1 because of the following:

1. The Ohio Constitution should not be the vehicle to attempt alleged reforms to the Ohio criminal code and sentencing laws. If such reform is sought, it should be done by the Ohio Legislature as, once a constitutional amendment is passed, it can only be undone or modified by a constitutional amendment.

2. The proposed amendment undermines judicial discretion in sentencing of convicted drug felons to prison. That is why most, if not all, judges oppose state Issue 1.

3. The proposed amendment would undermine all of the good work done by Ohio drug courts and would likely exacerbate the drug crisis. For these reasons and more, we urge voters to vote “no” on state Issue 1.

Atty. Gregg A. Rossi, Youngstown

Atty. Rossi is president of the Board of Trustees of the Mahoning County Bar Association.

Get rid of term limits for Canfield City Council

The issue of Canfield term limits has again been brought to the forefront, and once again, the man that introduced them in 2012 continues to ride the wave into oblivion .

Mr. Micchia’s grandstanding about “fresh ideas” simply offers “stale results” for the community. He states shorter term limits bring in “fresh ideas” with a newer slate of individuals. Putting it quite simply, it is downright counterproductive in that it slashes the city’s ability to make decisive, well-thought decisions.

Current individuals, especially newer council members, relish their colleagues’ opinions like Chuck Tieche and John Morvay for their 60-plus years of combined knowledge of their community. I can tell you how important their rules are, combined with the new city manager Wade Calhoun, Mayor Richard Duffett and Police Chief Chuck Colucci. Continuity has proven to be successful, especially in smaller communities like Canfield.

Much needs to be done in Canfield, and it’s being done with a new, energized city manager and mayor, coupled with seasoned members of council working together with stability and harmony.

Mr. Micchia speaks of “career politicians” and “wiping the slate clean.” This has been a major wave across the U.S., and I agree with him to a certain extent. But, Canfield City Council members (including the mayor) receive a small stipend for their meetings that hardly compensates for the time and effort they devote to their community and by no way falls under “career politicians.” The members of city council are city residents that truly care for their community and are willing to give back countless hours to the cause.

Canfield has had term limits in place from day one. They are called campaigns and elections! Any city resident can run – and can win. I urge the residents of the Canfield to take heed and vote “yes” on Canfield amendments 1 and 2 to eliminate the counterproductive term limits.

Steve Rogers, Columbiana

Rogers is a former 12-year member of Canfield City Council.

Poland Twp. leaders urge approval of the road levy

The Poland Town- ship Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to place a road, resurfacing levy on the Nov. 6, 2018, ballot. There has not been a road levy since 1977.

According to a Pavement Condition Rating study by Tetra Tech Inc. in 2017, approximately 40 percent of Poland Township roads are rated as less than good. Roads rated as good are quickly falling out of this category. Our current budget allocates approximately $100,000 toward repaving of roads per year. With over 50 miles of township roads at a cost of $100,000 per mile to repave, it will take approximately 50 years to repave all of our roads.

This is a unique levy. This is a tax levy for which the revenues generated will be pledged as collateral for bonds issued. The levy will generate revenue of $4.5 million that will be used to issue bonds in the first year. This will cost a homeowner of a home valued at $100,000 approximately $71 per year. The levy is for seven years. All monies generated will be used for repaving projects, exclusively.

This levy will allow Poland Township to be resurfaced in a short period of time rather than over seven years. It is our hope that the entire project is completed by year-end 2019. Due to the size of the project, we expect to receive a large, percentage discount.

ACE Fiber will be added to the asphalt. It is a high strength additive that increases the performance characteristics of asphalt pavement.

Passage of this levy will allow our road department to spend more time and energy on cleaning storm sewers, maintaining catch basins, street sweeping and many other duties.

Eric Ungaro, Joanne Wollet, Edward Kempers Poland

Ungaro, Wollet and Kempers are members of the Poland Township Board of Trustees.

Keep Y’town term limits

Regarding the Pro- posed Charter Amendment Sections 5 and 6 appearing on the Nov. 6 ballot for the city of Youngstown, passage of this amendment would result in the elimination of term limits on city council.

I was on a committee of 17 that worked tirelessly for a year back in 1986 to establish these very same term limits. Before establishment of term limits, it was not unheard of for incumbent council members to cling to their position for decades. We could revert to a similar situation if this measure passes.

As the city charter currently imposes term limits, the following benefits result:

1. New people participate in government on a regular basis, thus bringing new ideas to the table.

2. It becomes easier to correct any governmental activity not in the city’s best interests.

3. Council members are still given the opportunity to advance their programs in two consecutive terms.

The potential drawbacks to eliminating term limits are the following:

1. Council members could build a power base that nearly guarantees retention of their seat for life.

2. It becomes nearly impossible to unseat an incumbent council member.

3. Council activity would become stagnant and unproductive because new ideas would rarely come to fruition.

Since the office of mayor is already free of term limitations, it becomes all the more important that council members retain term limits.

Tom D’Amico, Youngstown

Why your vote matters

VOTE! People, if you want any chance at all of a decent life, or even life, you will take up the single weapon most of us – so far – still have in our possession: your vote.

“My vote won’t matter.”

No? Then why are so many billionaire CEOs and (sometimes) racists doing whatever they can to disenfranchise as many ordinary citizens as they possibly can? Why suppress votes if voting doesn’t matter?

“Nothing changes.”

The heck it doesn’t: the neo-con revolution – financed by the likes of the Koch brothers – has bought enough political clout to eviscerate unions, shred the safety net, deregulate the banks, keep real wages stagnant, enfeeble the public-health system, lower safety standards in the workplace, make a killing (pun intended) in the health-care business, turn high-quality public education into a privilege rather than a right, pollute the air we all breathe and poison the water we all drink. They are driving us full speed ahead toward climate catastrophe.

Sara Culver, Canfield