Letters to the editor
Here’s some more ways Warren can save money
Kathleen Fuller’s letter to the editor regarding how the city of Warren could make money saving cuts was full of good ideas. I would like to add a few more and back up some of her ideas.
l Pay cuts for administration and department heads. In 1976, the mayor of Warren made $24,000 a year. This was at a time when the median income for a home owner / occupant, from 1975 to 1980, was around $31,000. Warren mayors and their department heads made a living in line with the majority of the people they served. How did we come to a city where the median income is now around $30,000 a year, while the people at the top of the Warren public service pyramid are making over $80,000 plus all of their benefits? Cut!
l Get rid of city cars. It would be much cheaper to just give administration and department heads a per diem, per mile to use their own vehicles, rather than pay for insurance, maintenance and gasoline for a fleet of city cars. Cut!
l Move Warren’s Community Development to a contract for services agreement with the county or the Land Bank. Twenty percent of the block grant money that is to benefit the people of Warren goes to salaries for a staff of five people, one of whom is one of those “$80,000 a-year-plus benefits” men. Contract outside of the city structure for services at a cost far less than a quarter of a million dollars and the residents would benefit more. Cut!
l By all accounts, the city’s health department brings in money from fees, and if this department were outsourced to the county, Warren might lose. Keep!
l Require the two employees from the Music Hall who Mayor Franklin saved by putting on the payroll as grant writers in an enterprise fund actually get training to be grant writers. Failing that, get rid of them and hire the qualified grant writer that Mrs. Fuller wrote about.
l Get rid of the city Treasurer’s Office and move tax collecting to RITA. They will collect income tax for far less than it costs the city to staff a full department. Yes, RITA takes a fee to do this, but, the fee is far less than the cost of almost half a dozen city employees.
l Get rid of cell phones for city department heads and administration. There is no reason why anyone should have a new Galaxy 5 funded by the tax payers.
When the Franklin-Cantalamessa administration says they’ve done everything they can to cut costs, they are lying. They lack the political will to do any of the above things.
Support your local schools
With the start of the current school year, some of the recent Tribune Chronicle articles regarding developing technology and its impact on our country’s future are very relative. Leaders in emerging technology in 3D printing, America Makes, Computer-Aided Measuring Systems, CAMS, M7 and educational software, Turning Technology are located in the Mahoning Valley. The local school districts are challenged to assist their graduates to be ready for this new employment environment. These school districts are very welcoming to volunteers that can assist them in the STEM or science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas.
In the past, I have assembled, coached and escorted robotics and math competition teams from the LaBrae School District with support of then-high school Principal Doug Hitchcock. Those who possess a background in the STEM area are encouraged to volunteer and assist their local school districts. My education and association with outstanding educators at YSU and Warren City system have provided an excellent background that can be shared. At YSU, Dr. D’Isa and Dr. Tarantine both aided me in obtaining an engineering degree, along with Dr. Burden and Dr. Faires, who assisted with my computer science degree. The fundamental educational bases and encouragement started with Tom Hernon at Warren Western Reserve; that provided a great beginning. Many have remembered their beginnings and have given back to show their sign of appreciation. Many local school districts enjoy local support, like the LaBrae School District, with which I’m personally familiar. The LaBrae School District is blessed to have a STEM scholarship established for its students by Mike Birchak, alumni, to honor his parents, Joe and Mary Birchak. This is a simple and direct message, support you community by supporting your local schools.
Include others in debates
In the name of American democracy, responding to the will of the American people, and the expression of new ideas of political thought, the Commission on Presidential debates must include Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the upcoming presidential debates. The debates are the most important events in our election process. We can’t have real democracy without a free exchange of ideas and an informed public.
A recent Suffolk University poll shows that 76 percent of Americans want Gary Johnson and Jill Stein included in the presidential debates. More polls show that roughly 50 percent of Americans do not identify as either Democrat or Republican. This means the presidential debates as currently managed are locking out for the diverse voices and views of half of all Americans. While many may already have selected the candidate for whom they to plan to vote, being exposed to new ideas is never harmful. The right to vote means little unless we have the right to know who we can vote for.
The Commission on Presidential Debates should follow the footsteps of President Ronald Reagan, who in 1980 insisted that independent candidate John Anderson be included in the debates. When President Carter refused, President Reagan debated Anderson without President Carter present. As well, in the 2000 presidential election, Donald Trump found it disgraceful that third party candidates could not be included in the debates and he was absolutely correct.
In short, more voices equals more choices. If you believe Gary Johnson and Jill Stein should be in the upcoming presidential debates, email the Commission on Presidential Debates at firstname.lastname@example.org to request their inclusion. It is simply in the best interest of the American voter, and inherently undemocratic to exclude the third party candidates and their ideas.
Clinton is the better candidate
Many people say they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because they just don’t like her. She may not exhibit the easy, breezy camaraderie of Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, but don’t be fooled into thinking that she doesn’t care about the future of our country. She has spent her career working on healthcare, childhood and education issues from the time she was the wife of the Arkansas governor right up to the matters affecting us today.
Rather than blast her opponent for his outspoken prejudices, I prefer to point out Mrs. Clinton’s strengths on the issues. While Trump’s tax plan will raise the national debt and strangle our economy, Clinton plans to close tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy. She will loosen the purse strings in middle class households by capping child care expenses for working parents, while her opponent’s childcare tax credits will be available only for those who make enough money to itemize their deductions.
For our young adults, debt-free community colleges will help them cross the bridge to brighter futures. Those holding current student loans may be able to renegotiate them at lower interest rates. For the average small business owner struggling in today’s economy, taxes will be simplified. Those who take care of their beloved elderly will find relief with tax credits for senior care, and Clinton will oppose legislators who want to raise the retirement age. Protecting Social Security from privatization will guarantee that it is there when we need it.
When I see construction workers on Interstate 80 or elsewhere in our valley, I see people put to work by our current president, real jobs that will continue with Clinton. She will expand our work on the infrastructure, not only improving bridges and water systems but adding windmills and solar panels to be manufactured throughout the country – and many right here in Ohio. This not only creates jobs but provides clean energy and conserves our lands for future generations.
Trump repeatedly steps on the little guy on his climb to our nation’s top office. He has left carpenters, plumbers and housekeepers trampled in his wake, paid pennies on the dollar or left totally unpaid. He has taken the focus off the real issues of this election, while Hillary Clinton never stops caring about the people and issues that make this country great.
Please consider casting your vote for her on Nov. 8.
LINDA COCUZZI RICHTER
Cast vote for Donald Trump
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Charles Dickens wrote this legendary quote in his novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” and it also describes the season we are living in that happens every four years in what is called the most important election of our lifetime.
The best of times represents the people’s choice, Donald Trump, who survived among 17 candidates in the Republican Presidential Primary Election by achieving the magic number of delegates and an all-time record 14 million votes.
The worst of times represents Hillary Clinton, who represents the elitist’s choice among the 570 out of 712 superdelegates made up of Democratic National Committee members, distinguished party leaders, governors, senators and congress members. The Democratic party of labor manufactured their candidate in order to make history by nominating the first female to represent a major party for president.
But, thank God, we the people are not fooled once again by simply making history. While Hillary Clinton represents a lifetime of self-will run riot, her opponent, Donald Trump, represents the building of a movement as tall as a skyscraper.
Mr. Trump has been lifted up by the Democrats, Republicans and independents across this great country which makes up the overflow crowds at his brutally honest and spirited rallies as well as the results of his silent majority primary election victories. Donald Trump has gained the momentum to win it all, while Hillary Clinton has become a walking and stumbling infomercial forced upon us to accept more of the same harsh big government, over-regulated, artificially-inflated, extreme liberal policies, while asking us to look the other way when it comes to her corruption of 30,000 lost work emails and the thousands of dollars she made off of foreign countries in speaking fees for returned political favors as Secretary of State.
God is exposing Hillary Clinton and her foolishness, while delivering a self-made businessman in Donald Trump to become the next President of the United States of America.
Vote Republican! Vote Trump!
Candidates should wear flag
I noticed something during the recent Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. Trump and Pence both displayed the American flag on their lapels; Clinton and Kaine did not.
The two things I don’t understand about this is why would someone seeking the offices of president and vice president not display the American flag? And why wouldn’t the major news media comment on this?
The American flag is so much more than a symbol. Americans have died directly defending our flag. Average Americans display their flag often and with pride and patriotism.
What’s wrong with Clinton and Kaine?
JOHN R. EUSTACE
The flag stands for all freedoms
This country is headed down a dark path, littered with the tattered vestiges of those that came before us. Freedom and individual liberty are dying, not quietly and unannounced but to cheers and tremendous whoops of exultation. We are all too eager, all too petty, and all too misguided to realize that we are collectively destroying a great idea. We proclaim our love for freedom by attempting to strip it away from others. Freedom to do what I want you to do is not freedom at all.
A football player refuses to stand for the national anthem, and the response is vitriolic and riddled with tribalism. “Leave the country if you don’t like it” they snarl. I believe that is a direct quote from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams. The flag stands for freedom; it is not freedom incarnate and not standing for the pledge, or the national anthem is exercising that freedom, not disrespecting it. It has been explained best by Larry Flynt following his First Amendment win at the Supreme Court. “Freedom of speech doesn’t protect the speech you like; it protects the speech you hate.”
Not standing shows division
In the recent weeks we have seen so many professional athletes refuse to stand for the National Anthem, and now it seems to be spreading to the college and high school events.
How outright disrespectful can you be? You disrespect the Marines who put the flag on Mt. Suribachi. You disrespect all who died at Pearl Harbor. You disrespect all those in Arlington National Cemetery.
How dare you ungrateful people turn your back on those who have died to give you the rights you have?
You protest in the name of oppression! You don’t know the meaning of the term oppression.
Go to North Korea, the Islamic Middle East or Venezuela. Here you will find the true meaning of oppressed. You live in a country that has given you everything, by people who have given everything, so you can burn its flag, disgrace its name and riot in the streets.
Yes, there are things wrong in this country, but this type of action only shows our enemies how divided and vulnerable we are.