Sunday, February 24, 2019
Public, private sectors invest in Liberty’s future
Thank you for your recent editorial regarding regional efforts to improve and beautify the gateway to Liberty Township and the city of Youngstown along Belmont Avenue.
Belmont Avenue is the hub of Liberty’s business district and includes numerous service businesses, health-care establishments, banks, restaurants, hotels, offices, retailers and small manufacturers. The design and implementation of major infrastructure improvements will go a long way toward enhancing this vital corridor and its future economic prospects. A regional effort will be a big step forward and will be critical to the “tangible enhancement to community pride” as noted in your Feb. 8 editorial.
Unfortunately, government grants, tax dollars, engineering designs and new construction can only take us part of the way toward our gateway revitalization. The most important player, rarely mentioned in this type of effort, is the private sector.
It is the property owners and the business owners along this corridor that will provide the bulk of aesthetic enhancements. It is these folks who will pick up the litter, keep their grass green and cut, plant some trees, pave their parking lots, improve their business facades, improve their signage, improve their lighting and maintain their sidewalks. It is these folks who provide the first and last defense against the “broken window” syndrome that afflicts our community.
It makes good business sense to beautify a commercial establishment. It will be more appealing to your customers, draw in new business and enhance your property value.
Let’s make this revitalization a two-pronged effort: business and government. Separately we will fail, but together we will be a resounding success!
Jodi K. Stoyak, Liberty
Jodi K. Stoyak has served as Liberty Township trustee since 2004.
UAW could flex its muscle over GM Lordstown future
During contract negotiations, the United Auto Workers union may call for a strike against an auto manufacturer’s facility – preferably a highly profitable facility. A lengthy strike could result in the bankruptcy of the manufacturer. The UAW has the leverage.
When a manufacturer closes a facility to control excess capacity (i.e., cost) the UAW approaches the federal government for assistance in forcing the manufacturer to keep the facility open. The federal government lacks the authority to interfere with the marketing and strategic planning issues of free enterprise in a world economy.
The closing of GM Lordstown exemplifies the consequences of trying to produce unwanted or unprofitable vehicles.
Would anyone care to guess the percentage of SUVs and pick-up trucks in the GM Lords- town parking lot compared with family cars before the plant’s closing?
K.W. Johnson, Lexington, Ohio
Trump has backstabbed General Motors workers
President Donald J. Trump avoided a key opportunity to condemn the General Motors Lordstown closing during his State of the Union address last month, and his continued inaction, as well as his numerous false promises, make him unelectable in 2020.
For someone who touted him-self as a man of the blue-collar worker during his presidential campaign, he has done little to help that group. Instead the rich, and that includes the likes of GM, received massive tax cuts that helped GM CEO Mary Barra make her decision to shutter Lordstown.
As a result, thousands of Midwestern workers are on the verge of losing their jobs, and the leader of our country, who at one time gave a toothless threat to punish GM, won’t even show his support for a region that showed an overwhelming amount of support for him in the 2016 general election.
Not backing up the people who, by and large, voted to put you in office is a proverbial backstabbing that cannot be tolerated. And you would think that with the 2020 election just under two years away, the president would actually want to make it seem as if he cares about the American people. Alas, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.
And with everything considered, Trump should not be re-elected in 2020. The American people tried an experiment to see if this billionaire reality television personality could effectively lead the country, but we’ve seen that it has failed.
Some, including the very people that will be without a job when Lordstown closes, supported him but have or will be spurned. And the many people who didn’t’ like him originally haven’t been swayed since he took office.
The promises that he would change the outcome of GM Lordstown are meaningless, and that should be more than enough to know that he can’t back up the claims he spouts. He says he’s a master at making deals, but the deal for Lords- town workers hasn’t come nor does it now look as if it will ever come in a meaningful way.
Preston Byers, Youngstown
Traffic cameras exploit sudden speed-limit drops
While law enforce- ment officers and city council members believe traffic cameras are beneficial and effective in the tri-state area, people have been caught on camera for going only a few miles over and having to pay for the consequences, literally.
Traffic cameras have been a major concern and inconvenience for hundreds of people who travel on a daily basis. Yes, technically anything over the set speed limit is speeding and considered “breaking the law.” While traffic cameras do make you aware of how fast you are going, they are out to collect money. In the state of Ohio, going between 5 to 9 mph over the speed limit often is allowed without getting penalized.
Giving you a significantly large ticket amount for going 5 to 9 mph over the speed limit is bad judgment by the cities. In many cases, it appears that traffic cameras are out to catch cars that are in that range of the speed limit. Many people would consider this to be unethical and a money pit for the city.
On Interstate 680 going through Youngstown, the speed limit drastically goes from 65 to 50 mph. The city sets cameras up in the area to catch people who don’t automatically make the speed-limit change. Drastically falling by 15 mph gives the cameras an opportunity to send out tickets for no valid reason. Instead of harshly changing their speed, many drivers choose to slowly change their speed. This can allow people to be seen on camera and get a $100-$150 ticket for no legitimate reason.
Traffic cameras come off as a “safety precaution” on the freeways, but most people will still flow with traffic even at 5 to 9 mph above the posted limit.
There has been controversy for years over the traffic cameras being an effective method in our area to catch people speeding or doing an illegal act.
Increase the amount of police officers on site and dispose of the traffic cameras to have the face-to-face interaction with a police officer. Being able to interact with a police officer is more beneficial and better allows the drivers to correct their mistake the next time.
Amanda Joerndt, Boardman