Letters to the editor – March 11, 2018

County should tighten purse strings


I have some concerns about the recent article regarding programs to make Trumbull County more efficient. Trumbull County commissioners are paying $18,000 for 13 employees to go to the Lean Ohio Boost Camp Program. I think it would be money well spent to send the three commissioners to this class so they could learn how to save money for the county.

Two of the commissioners recently voted to hire an administrator / purchasing agent at $95,000 per year.

Frank Fuda, who did not vote for this hire, said the county cannot afford to pay for this position. The last administrator worked in Trumbull County from 2003 until he resigned in 2006.

Polivka said this administrator saved the county money over the three years he held the position.

If this was such a financial benefit to the county, why was a replacement not hired immediately instead of waiting 12 years?

Since 2006, Delphi and General Motors have downsized, General Electric in Niles, Ohio Lamp and Denman Tire and other manufacturers have also closed.

There are schools that have closed, and the Trumbull County population is declining.

In spite of these declines, there are two commissioners who want to add to the tax burden of our citizens. I’m glad there is one commissioner, Fuda, who holds the welfare of the people foremost.

In addition to this, the commissioners awarded an outside engineering firm with bridge expertise to examine the county bridges over a three-year period for close to a half-million dollars. Where’s our county engineer? Next year the county will have a shortfall of $2.7 million in tax revenue.

When facing a forecasted $2.7 million deficit, one would think it is time to tighten the purse strings rather than spend money that is not there.



It takes two parents, not a village for kids


There will almost assuredly be another school shooting unless we can instill strong deterrents in our schools to avert another tragedy. Keeping our schools a gun-free zone is like advertising to the insane person: Shoot here because there will be little resistance, maximum notoriety and the ability to inflict utmost damage in a short time.

Why do we continue the insanity of insisting on gun-free zones which leave our children vulnerable to these mentally unbalanced individuals?

Teachers and other adults that work at the school and who choose to go through additional firearms training would provide a great deterrent for those thinking of acts of violence. People with guns displayed walking around our children is not what I am talking about. The guns would need to be concealed and out of sight of children. Also no children should know who’s carrying and who isn’t. The fact that some adults in that school would be armed would help prevent additional school shootings.

The message coming out of the news media is stuck on one thing and that is outlawing semiautomatic rifles.

According to a government table, in 2016, there were approximately 374 people shot and killed with rifles of any kind. In comparison with 1,604 people killed with “knives or cutting instruments.” That is a 4:1 ratio. All of us want shootings to stop, don’t we? If the goal is to slow down and stop the shootings, then you need strong deterrents. Law-breakers are committing these crimes. They don’t care if they purchase a gun legally or not.

Trying to control guns is like trying to put paint back in the can after you have already used it. We can, however, secure our schools in a cost-effective manner and ensure our children are protected to the best of our ability. It’s taken us decades of decaying family values to get to this point, and it will take an equal amount of time to rebuild the family unit which is the core element of society. Our society wants us to believe that it takes a village to raise a child, but it really takes two involved parents to properly raise a child. A village will never have the influence nor the concern for your child’s well being as an involved parent will.

Are you involved in your child’s upbringing or are you waiting on the village idiot to do it for you? Good families make great communities. I encourage parents to attend their next school board meeting to request new safety measures be put in place to discourage any acts of gun violence.



People, not guns, kill


Here we go again. Another mass school shooting, and like clockwork, here come the anti-gun nuts out of the woodwork demanding stricter gun control. Define stricter gun control.

To me that means taking away all guns and abolishing my rights under the 2nd Amendment. If this happens, only bad guys will have guns. Guns in the hands of good guys are the reason this country is still free and will remain free as long as common sense prevails. Idiots and mentally ill should be at the top of the list of people not to have a gun. The FBI needs to allocate more resources to weed questionable people out for gun ownership, but most important, if you see something say something.

Guns don’t kill people, bad people kill people. When you protest, use good judgment. Our nation needs you.


Beaver Township

Oppose bill to limit traffic camera income


Last November, Republican State Reps. Bill Seitz and Jim Butler introduced House Bill 410.

The bill will require cities to file all traffic camera cases in municipal court, while also reducing the amount of money issued to communities from the state’s Local Government Fund by the same amount that they collect in traffic camera revenue.

In 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a similar bill, also sponsored by Rep. Seitz, was unconstitutional because it violated the self-governing powers granted to municipalities, known as home-rule authority.

The problem with HB 410 is that it serves to punish municipalities that had to seek out other revenue sources because of continuous cuts to their Local Government Fund allocation. Over the last decade, Ohio counties and communities have lost nearly $1.2 billion in revenue from cuts to the Local Government Fund and estate tax. Two local cities using the cameras, Youngstown and Girard, have lost a combined $2.2 million through these reductions. And the problem is not improving; Our current state budget appropriates just $381.8 million to the fund, a full 45 percent decline since Gov. Kasich took office.

The cuts have forced municipalities to tighten their fiscal belts and when that is not enough to maintain vital services like police, fire and road maintenance, communities have had to increase local taxes, place levies on the ballot or come up with new revenue sources like speed cameras. Meanwhile, the state “rainy day” fund now holds over $2 billion.

Republican, Democrat or independent, we can all agree that Ohio municipalities are hurting. Contact your elected officials and urge them to reject HB 410, and to tap into the “rainy day” fund instead. Ohio’s municipalities need some relief.


Liberty Township

City should not allow recovery houses


I sent a letter in early August to the mayor of Niles concerning group homes in that city for drug addiction.

I told the mayor if I was not satisfied with his answer, I would take may case to the Tribune Chronicle on the issue. I did not get an answer I believed or liked.

Glen Beigh on North Road was there when we bought our house 24 years ago; we knew that. Since then, in the last few years, whoever bought, rented or allowed five other houses in this corridor of North Road and state Route 169 to become drug addiction homes to 5, 6, 7 or more people in each house, never notified or told anyone this was happening. I addressed this situation to Mr. Lastic, on our council. I asked if any of these types of houses are where he lives; he said no. I then asked if the mayor had one next to where he lives; he said no, he did not know this was happening and never heard about it again. The answer in a letter to me said he shared the “same feeling as I do.”

I do not think so. These were single-family dwellings. He said one of the problems is there are state and federal laws that we must abide by and that constitute our city ordinances.

What a crock of words. I guess it is okay next to our house and not theirs.

At one point a house on North Bentley had 20 mattresses delivered. Do the people on this street know what is going on there? These houses on North Road must be monitored. An overdose occurred there in August.

I did not buy into this situation 24 years ago. To me, this city has no right to do this to our neighborhoods and not to theirs, right down the street from a grade school!



Road is bad for development


This is a plea to whomever is responsible for maintaining the approximately 300 yards of pavement south of King Graves Road on Ridge Road behind the airport.

My wife and I moved to Fowler 26 years ago and use this stretch of Ridge Road often. During that time, it has never been repaved. I am not sure if the Vienna Road Department or Youngstown-Warren Port Authority is responsible for its maintenance. Most of Ridge Road is well taken care of by Fowler / Vienna Road departments — other than this part.

There is a marketing company that is being paid thousands of dollars to do a feasibility study on the vacant land that is available in that area. This section of road, on which drivers hit pot holes or bumps or both, which are impossible to avoid, has been patched and repatched.

The road looks like moldy Swiss cheese that has turned black, and it is not a good image for future development.



Trump is the source of fake news


The presidency of Donald Trump has me mesmerized.

I have read and watched everything this man and his political party have done in his first year in office. What truly stuns me is the fact that the Republican Party made a deal with the devil just to be able to force its political agenda and policies on our country. Conservatives and die-hard Republicans know I’m right.

President Trump has said and done things they would never have stood for in years past: calling John McCain a loser for being a prisoner of war; fighting with not one, but two, Gold Star families; and allowing Trump to be soft on Russia knowing they tried and are still trying to sow discontent in our country, meddling in our elections to get the people they can control in office.

Another stunner is all the Trump believers who think he is the best thing to come along and anything he says is true, or anything he says is fake news they believe. A good example is the idea that Trump is the reason the economy is doing so well. Really?

I get my monthly and quarterly investment statements from Vanguard and Charles Schwab telling me the economy has been doing increasingly well for years. Actually our economy officially started growing again in June 2009. How ironic that the man who cries fake news incessantly is the source of most of the fake news.

Knowing everything Trump has said and done and his followers still back him, if he did shoot an innocent man on Fifth Avenue, would they still praise him? Or he could blame the shooting on Hillary’s emails.



The reason why charter schools fail


The purpose of the charter school is to provide an alternative to public school education. However, there is no indisputable, clear-cut evidence that charter schools are better.

In Ohio, over half of all charter schools have been rated deficient compared to 10 percent of traditional public schools.

Parents tend to be attracted to something they don’t understand. In New York, a parent boasted that her child had been accepted by a charter school. “Tasha has teachers’ phone numbers in case we have questions about her homework.”

No matter what charter schools do to make their programs attractive, to put it bluntly, a charter school is no more than a non-union public school. Their pay comes from the same source, the board of education. Teacher tenure is not possible. Class size is determined by enrollment numbers. Unlike public schools, charter schools are not required or forced to accept students reading three and four years below grade level. Any teacher pay in most charter schools is low.

The educational system is not leaning in favor of the charter school model so much for its effectiveness. The charter school model saves the system million of dollars. Educator and advocate Sonali Murarka did a study on charter schools in 2004. She was happy to report that most charter schools took advantage of their increased flexibility of hiring and firing teachers.

No wonder many Ohio charter schools fail. Unions will, one day, be a thing of the past.