2012-01-14 / Editorials & Letters

Writer says operate within the budget

Editor:

By the time they read this letter, many Baltimore residents will have read the letter prepared by the Village Council. In case you missed it, it was all about how the Village Council was saddened by the failure of the Baltimore Police Levy.

Why should they be saddened when 64% of the citizens said NO? Did they listen to the voters? NO! Unless something changes, it appears that the levy request will be returning to the ballot this March.

Seniors, don’t spend your Social Security increase because the Village Council wants to make sure that the community is safe and protected, and that will apparently require a larger operating budget for the Baltimore Police Department.

You might not be able to pay your property taxes, and you could lose your home, but Baltimore will be safe and protected. They also referred to today’s police department as very professional, and I agree that they are professional, but every police officer who ever served with the Baltimore Police Department, including deputy sheriffs that were contracted, prior to this department should be offended by the thought that the Village Administration/ Council think that Baltimore was not safe and protected and officers not very professional, prior to this time.

Maybe it just took a full-time police chief at a cost of near $1,000 per week to create a safe and protected community and a very professional police department. I believe that when a budget is set, it is the duty of the department to operate within the budget, and if they cannot, they need to go to the Village Council and ask for an increase. If that increase is not granted, you must make your department operate within that budget. Private citizens must do it. Why can’t the governmental operations?

The letter also referred to all of the grants that have been received over the last four years. The dollar values stated, show significant amounts of monies in those grants. My question is, “how much did they increase our outstanding debt?” Outstanding debt on December 31, 2009, was $8,281,140.

I am not a person familiar with governmental operations, but Baltimore seemed to operate just as efficiently with a mayor, village council and board of public affairs, that was in place before the village administrator, and I believe that the total costs of all three were much less than $80,000 +/- salary of the village administrator. I feel that the citizens of Baltimore will see that the true costs of the village administrator are going to result in costs much greater than the $80,000 +/- salary. It is my understanding that Ohio law requires a village administrator when the village owns a water/sewer system. The costs to the taxpayers for the 13 grants could be a disaster unless the economy makes a rapid correction.

Charles Lamb
Baltimore

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