2012-01-07 / Editorials & Letters

‘Baltimore must live within its means’

Editor:

The financial condition of Baltimore may be starting to look a little better since they have reduced their expenditures by somewhere near $80,000 +/-. One can only hope that the governing body of the village does not continue down the same path.

If another community wants to have additional debt incurred, more power to them, because that is what I believe they will be getting. I do not know how many new rules and regulations have been added to the village regulations, but based upon minutes of their meetings, one could assume that there have been more new regulations enacted during the term of the Village Administrator, than the entire period of time prior to the arrival of that full-time position.

Baltimore survived many years without a full-time Village Administrator, and I believe they can do it again. What it takes is a Mayor and Village Council that will do the job that they assumed when the decided to be elected to the position. Most of what has happened since the arrival of the full-time Village Administrator, is the Village Council basically, “rubber stamped” anything and everything that was presented by the Village Administrator.

I read the announcement that was made when Baltimore had to lay off four employees, and they stated that their “costs were increasing” as one of the reasons for the layoffs. Did they ever consider that the residents of Baltimore are facing those very same problems? If they did, why then would they allow the Baltimore Police Department become so expensive to operate that they could not increase the budget of the Police Department, but they would allow taxpayers to absorb those increased costs by placing a property tax levy on the ballot.

As I have stated in prior letters, I have lived in Baltimore since 1961, and have seen many different variations in the policing of Baltimore starting with Police Chief Elwood Phillips. Police services in Baltimore have always been responsive, and they continue to be that way. I spent 14 years with the Baltimore Fire Department as a volunteer. The fire department was funded by the village and the emergency squad vehicles were funded by the village, while all emergency squad supplies were funded by an annual “Dollar Day” where members knocked on every door in Baltimore and Thurston and asked for donations. Donate, or not donate, if you called with an emergency, we were there. We did what we could with the monies that we were allocated. That is what I was expecting from Baltimore Police Department.

Even though I have only lived in Baltimore for 50 years, I consider it my home. I think that people who have “grand ideas” as to what Baltimore “should be” have attempted to change my home, and I will fight for Baltimore to be the village where I choose to live, and plan to stay here for my remaining lifetime, unless the village “taxes” me to where I can no longer afford to live here. Baltimore must live within its means, as must the citizens.

Charles Lamb
Baltimore

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