2008-11-01 / News

Just say "no" again

It's back…! Buckeye Lake Village voters are again being asked to approve a NEW 2.5 mill police levy. Residents are already paying a 3 mill police levy.

This is now the fourth attempt in four years to raise more money for the police department. Village officials don't have any trouble asking residents for more money, but they can't seem to find the time to make the necessary reforms to earn your support.

How long do you keep putting more money into a broken down department? Village officials have made no guarantees or even pledges to address the department's well known deficiencies. They just want you to give them more of your hard earned money.

Frankly, we've been searching for a reason not to write this editorial and can't find any. Village officials and the police department leadership continue to make bad decisions like giving up the $7,200 a year in rental income for a rarely used conference room. This spring, at the peak for scrap metal prices, the department sold six abandoned vehicles at the bargain basement price of $70 each without seeking bids. That probably cost the village about $1,000. That's not a tremendous amount of money, but it demonstrates that it is still business as usual at the police department. Two cruisers are still driven home and the chief is still driving his gas guzzling SUV.

Plus we're still waiting for the department to crack down on drug sellers. A recent letter supporting the new tax claimed "drug related crimes cannot be publicized because most of them are linked to ongoing investigations." If someone is arrested, an incident report must be generated and we review those public records every week. So either nobody is getting arrested or these "ongoing investigations" have been going on for many years. Either way, that's clearly not addressing our critical drug problem. The long overdue crackdown on drug sellers would also cut thefts and burglaries.

We still have questions about the sordid allegations against former council member and safety committee chair John F. Cortez. What did police officers know and when did they know it? We already know that two officers sold weapons to Cortez, a convicted felon, which is a violation of the law. They claim they didn't know he was a convicted felon and haven't faced any repercussions for their actions. Cortez's trial is scheduled for November so maybe some of these questions will be answered then. His alleged offenses took place over a 14-month period which sure looks like someone missed or ignored something.

Money is tight now and will be getting tighter. For example, sewer rates will be going up $8 a month in January. That's another $96 a year. You need to get something in return before you pay more taxes. Maybe some day village officials will take your "NO" votes seriously and force changes in the police department. Until then, just say "NO."

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