Infante deserves re-election
During the course of this campaign season, some people would like you to believe that Mayor Ralph Infante and city council are responsible for our city being placed in fiscal emergency. However, Mayor Ralph Infante and council requested that a fiscal analysis be performed by the Auditor of State for the City of Niles.
Our State Auditor Dave Yost revealed during this audit the fact that the City of Niles had not reconciled its journals and ledgers with the bank. The last reconciliation completed for the city was Dec. 31, 2011.
I point out this glaring fact to show that the city administration and council were not provided correct financial numbers to properly perform their duties and oath of office.
How can intelligent decisions be made when the financial facts provided to you by the city auditor and city treasurer are inaccurate?
Mayor Infante’s administration and city council are exhibiting great teamwork in resolving these problems and leading us to financial recovery.
As Mayor Infante has stated, hard decisions have been made and will continue to be made to protect our future. As you look around our city, it is very evident that Mayor Infante has a proven track record of teamwork and results.
On May 5, I will be casting my ballot for Mayor Ralph A. Infante and his hard-working team.
Camera purchase is grandstanding
What year are we in? And is Warren a borough in New York City in the 1910s?
James Bluedorn, a candidate for city council in the 4th Ward, donates a camera to the city two weeks before the election and the administration allows this grandstanding?
In Warren, can a council seat really be bought for the donation of a camera? I can’t blame the candidate for this political move, but why were Doug Franklin and Enzo Cantalamessa on board for this?
A hundred years ago, Mr. Bluedorn would have bought everyone in the ward a chicken. Would the mayor and director have been pushing the delivery wagon for the candidate?
Anthony Natale best for city auditor
After attending the recent brunch held by the Warren City Democrats club, I am eager to share how impressed I am with Anthony Natale, a candidate for Warren City Auditor. During his short speech, Natale expressed his desire to revise our tax codes to help local business owners expand and to help ensure essential services for the city’s residents are adequately funded. In a later conversation, he shared some of his credentials, including an MBA from Youngstown State University and experience working in both banking and for Trumbull County Job and Family Services. He also expressed that one of his long-term goals for the community is to make sure there are job opportunities available to younger workers in Warren so that they are not faced with the tough decision of leaving the place they call home in order to secure gainful employment.
In contrast, Andy Barkley only shared a brief personal history with the audience as he lost his train of thought and was unable to complete his speech. His flier did not contain any of his ideas for the city and he did not approach me to start a conversation despite the small audience. Although Barkley does have work experience, I am doubtful he would be more that a placeholder for the office as he did not present any ideas and seems to be unable to communicate effectively.
My choice for auditor is clear. I will be voting for Anthony Natale on May 5 and strongly feel anyone who has an interest in our city’s future should do the same.
Mayor Infante established legacy
I have known Mayor Ralph Infante for more than 25 years and during that time he has proven to be an effective and solid leader. His record of accomplishments are second to none in the Mahoning Valley. His tenure of nearly 24 years as mayor of Niles clearly demonstrates his commitment and dedication to his job.
Having previously served as councilman-At-Large, I know firsthand the mayor’s great understanding of budgets, teamwork, credibility and integrity.
Mayor Infante has provided residents of Niles with quality of life options unduplicated in the Mahoning Valley, such as: Eastwood Field Stadium; the Niles Senior Citizens Center; the Niles Bike Path Project; the Niles Wellness Center.
Furthermore, in addition to the basic services of continually paving streets, upgrades of our utility system and automation of the Niles billing department, he continually strives to provide our current taxpayers a solid foundation on which to prosper and grow.
Mayor Infante has established a legacy of accomplishments and I believe he will continue to make the right decisions for all citizens of Niles.
Please join me in voting for Mayor Ralph A. Infante on election day.
Paul D. Lawrence
Unique opportunity in Lakeview
The Lakeview Local School District has the unique opportunity to reach down to Columbus and return more than $9.4 million of tax money to our community. This bond levy will be used to consolidate our 90-year-old elementary school and our physically declining middle school into one modern, quality built, preK-8 building. This cost also covers demolition and asbestos abatement at both buildings. Our stadium seating is rapidly becoming unsafe. Less than 6 percent of the total project cost (about $1 per month for most Lakeview homeowners) will be earmarked for bringing the outdoor athletic facility to ADA compliance and to address a few long standing serious safety issues encompassing the field and stadium.
Lakeview has qualified for a 30 percent share of this project to be paid for by the state of Ohio. Lakeview Elementary and Lakeview Middle School face many challenges of out-of-date design, deteriorating conditions, and changing utilization pressures. A new preK-8 building will be much more conducive to high-quality teaching and learning. Examples include mandated early childhood education beginning at age 3, our expansion from half-day to full-day kindergarten, technology for instruction, security, electrical upgrades to allow for video, data highways, computers, smart boards, hands on inquiry-based education and, of course, collaborative, peer-to-peer educational delivery.
We are very proud that Lakeview is among the 20 percent of Ohio public districts with the lowest operating expenditures per pupil and among the 20 percent of Ohio public districts with the highest academic performance index scores. Lakeview scored 24 out of 24 on the most recent state report card – spending $8,480 per pupil while the state per-pupil average is $10,445. Our taxpayers continue to earn a superior investment as Lakeview ranks fourth lowest in total school millage in Trumbull County (out of 20 school districts). Even with the addition of this proposed levy, our millage would continue to remain in the bottom half of the county.
This bond levy initiative presents the community with the opportunity to collect more than $9 million from the state’s share of this project which will effectively reduce our project cost by 30 percent. An additional benefit will be the upcoming reduction in levy millage. This reduction in tax is occurring because the 2.75-mill bond levy approved by this community in 1998 and used to pay for the auditorium and for upgrades to all of our buildings media centers will soon be paid off. The actual net increase from our 4.55-mill bond levy will be significantly offset by the reduction and retirement of the 2.75-mill auditorium bond levy. Beginning in 2020, the additional net cost for the owner of a $100,000 home will be approximately $80 per year.
Robert A. Wilson,
Lakeview Local Schools