2011-09-24 / Editorials & Letters

Writer says Baltimore’s police costs are too high

Editor:

I guess with the recent announcement of up to 125 new jobs coming to Baltimore, village officials are quite happy. I’m happy too because I do like where I live, but I still feel that we can do what we need to do without spending that is more than receipts.

I cannot imagine what the Village Administrator is planning with the probable increase in revenue. I suggest restarting the annual repaving of our streets. My guess is that won’t happen.

You may remember my comments about the costs in one Village of Baltimore department and the costs involved in its operation and that those costs seem to be larger than necessary. I compared the cost of “Protection of Persons and Property” in four Fairfield County Communities.

• Canal Winchester ( year ended 12/31/10) Total receipts - $10,960,012. Cost of “Security of Persons and Property” - $934,524 or approximately 8.5% of receipts. Police protection from Fairfield County Sheriff, Columbus Police and Madison Township Police. Estimated population as of July 2009 is 6,433.

• Lithopolis (year ended 12/31/10) Total receipts - $1,340,673. Cost of “Security…” - $179,869 or approximately 13.5% of receipts. Estimated population as of July 2009 is 1,112.

• Pickerington (year ended 12/31/10) Total receipts - $19,884,989. Cost of “Security…” - $4,239,816 or approximately 21.3% of receipts. Police protection from Pickerington Police Department. Estimated population as of July 2009 is 17,771.

• Baltimore (year ended 12/31/09) Total receipt - $959,059. Cost of “Security…” - $298,188 or approximately 31% of receipts. Police protection from Baltimore Police Department. Estimated population as of July 2009 is 2,937.

Baltimore needs a police department, but I think its cost at 31% of total village revenue is slightly out of balance with neighboring communities and Baltimore’s needs. I find it hard to believe that the amount of crime in Baltimore is much more or less than Pickerington or Canal Winchester, but our cost for this protection is significantly higher than in those communities

The Village Administrator, Baltimore Mayor and Village Council members have created this huge expense which they now want to remove this cost from their books and put it on a new property tax levy. Once funding is transferred to a property tax levy, Baltimore residents will have little influence over the operation of this department and little is known about the costs to residents.

Rather than a story about the possible new jobs, how about some of the costs to residents if the tax levy is approved and what village officials will be doing with all the money they will no longer be spending on “Protection of Persons and Property.”

Charles R. Lamb
Baltimore

Editor’s Note: This letter was received before we announced our 250- word limit for election letters. This is our LAST unpublished election letter that is not subject to our 250-word limit.

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