Orchids and onions
• ORCHID: To U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, who recently returned to the U.S. Treasury about $250,000 in unused money previously allocated to run his office, instead directing that the funds be used to reduce the federal debt. Each year Joyce, R-Bainbridge, returns unused funds for this purpose. He’s given back about $800,000 in taxpayer dollars during his time in office. Now that’s a good example of fiscal responsibility.
• ONION: To eight Warren City Council members who voted to go forward with legislation granting a new contract to members of AFSCME Local 2501 union — whose members include city management and human resources who negotiated the contract — despite getting information on the new contract’s financial impact only shortly before the council meeting when the vote was set to take place. Councilman Ken MacPherson, D-5th Ward, voted “no” for that reason. Still, the legislation passed 8-1. Yes, maybe the issue granting 5 percent raises over the three-year pact warranted passage, but MacPherson was correct to stand his ground in demanding data earlier, giving council members and the public time to absorb the details.
• ORCHID: To Trumbull County Transit Administrator Mike Salamone and some members of the transit board for seeking cooperation among county agencies to benefit local riders. For years, transportation issues have been problematic in Trumbull County, and frustrations led to the Trumbull County Senior Levy Advisory Council’s decision to direct their transit funds on their own. Now Salamone is asking agency leaders to put the past behind them and work together for the good of the region to best use some federal funding that must be used by September or it will be lost. We applaud the sides for coming to the table and looking for solutions.
• ONION: To Bazetta Township trustees for a policy placing citizen comments after any scheduled votes on issues at meetings. Residents expressed concern, saying they would like to provide input on issues before trustees vote on them. That only makes sense, and trustees should have thought of it long before now. Government officials often forget they work for their constituents — not the other way around.