Tax hike not the answer in Liberty


You would have to be blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other not to know the roads are bad in the Liberty. The township is not unique; there are scores of crumbling roads in every community and state. Wonder why the lowest bidder always gets the paving contract? Because dollars have to be stretched to obtain maximum results when you have miles of roads to maintain.

Here we are again, looking at yet another road levy after having defeated it twice; talk about not taking ”no” for an answer. Ah, but this one is different because it’s ”petition driven.” You don’t have to go to a trustees meeting to air your complaints, just get a cluster of signatures from people who think like you and email them to your trustees, who in turn, will act upon the request because, ”your wish is their command.”

This is the lame excuse the administration is using to place this road levy on the ballot again, because it will be ”resident driven” (door to door) and the trustees won’t have a hand in it. Who’s kidding who?

Ever since they returned the 911 levy money to the taxpayers after contracting with the Trumbull County 911 Call Center, they have wanted that money back, exactly as I was told the night they voted to join the county 911.

Wonder why you haven’t seen any roads being paved? Per the Ohio state auditor, money taken illegally from the police and fire funds was used to pay outstanding loans. Township general fund monies were used to replace those funds.

The administration has identified 15 roads needing immediate attention at a total cost of $13,723,094. With a levy generating $226,320 a year, and all the other miles of roads to maintain, you could sit on your front porch with a beer, and by the time they get to your road, you would be drinking Ensure.

Here are the facts you won’t hear at a Liberty trustees meeting or from the levy committee when its members come knocking on your door:

Liberty Township taxes (the county’s highest) are 39 percent higher than the next highest community in Trumbull County.

Liberty Township itself (excluding the school) has the highest township tax rate in the county.

There are millions of dollars in unpaid property taxes in Liberty Township.

Next to the city of Warren, Liberty Township is second highest in foreclosures and loss of property values in Trumbull County.

The co-chairperson of the new ”Citizens for Good Roads in Liberty” levy committee said, ”this is a quality-of-life-issue. We should be able to walk down the street and not trip in a pothole.”

Do you know residents who are fighting sickness and disease, lost their jobs, or are having a hard time in this economy? I wouldn’t want to be the person who tries to tell them a pothole in a stinking road is a ”quality-of-life-issue.” Fellow taxpayers, vote this tax increase down because ”taxing people beyond their ability to pay that tax does not make a community better.”

Edward E. Palumbo Jr.