2012-04-07 / Editorials & Letters

More new rules for Baltimore

Editor:

It did not take long for the new village administrator to show what he will do for our community. If council does not do something that it does very rarely, and say “no,” restaurants, car washes, service stations, maintenance facilities, nursing homes, schools, grocery stores and churches will be required to make some probable costly upgrades.

With the proposed FOG ordinance, even a church social might not be possible without a major cash expenditure plus someone to keep the required inspection records. Inspections will likely also generate a fee for the periodic inspection by the wastewater superintendant. Violations of the ordinance are misdemeanors and will likely result in monetary penalties. I would assume that the offender could have their violation addressed in the Baltimore Court and not have to travel to Lancaster for a court hearing. The other nice thing about it is that the financial penalty levied by the court will apparently stay in Baltimore.

So that you know, the upcoming increase in your sewer/water bill is likely not the last on. The new village administrator recently said he’d like to see the 77 year old water plant replaced, and that Baltimore has the permit for the sewer line extension for Ohio 256 east. I assume our previous village administrator is the person responsible for the sewer line extension, and she thought that all the new monies coming to Baltimore from the 125 new jobs at the vegetable processing plant would help to fund the sewer line.

By the way, those jobs are not here, and probably never will be. I would guess that with the explosive growth of Baltimore over the last 50 years, developers are waiting for their chance to cash in. The last sentence is a joke, because the growth is mostly unnoticeable and verified by the US Census. I don’t know where our mayor gets the idea that growth is coming to Baltimore.

It is my opinion that if we were to change our system of government, we would hire a village administrator who actually lives in our community. A person who knows our community and our citizens, and a person who has to live with the proposed regulations and answer to his/her neighbors, rather than driving home to another community. Our mayor, village council and village administrator are apparently not happy with Baltimore and are determined to change it.

We have a mayor who thinks build it and they will come, a village council that will not say “no,” and a village administrator that gets a paycheck and then goes home to another community.

I cannot remember a time over the last 50 years that the Village of Baltimore has been so financially stressed as it is now. The strain on finances in Baltimore began with the governmental change and the arrival of the village administrator. That change resulted in larger payroll, employee increases and hundreds of new resolution/regulations. I cannot remember a time prior that we had to layoff employees due to monetary shortages. When you spend like there is no tomorrow, tomorrow does come. Baltimore appears to be there, but the spending is not likely to stop.

Have any council members by the Basil Firehouse (food pantry) and seen the people waiting to receive donated food? Governmental spending has created the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression, and our town just continues spending. When they spend more, we have to pay more. What are they going to do when we have no more to give?

One of my friends, who just happens to be on village council, asked me to come to a council meeting and see what they do. I responded that there is no need to see what they do when you very seldom see any “no” votes. Why even have a village council or a mayor, just let the village administrator run the entire show. That would at least lower the electrical usage by not needing to have the lights on in the village hall for evening meetings and reduce payroll costs for several village officers who have little or no affect on the day-to-day operation of the village. The mayor and village council are irrelevant…the village administrator does your job now… you wanted this system… now you have it.

If you are a voter, and are displeased with what is happening in our town, there is one solution. Vote then all out of office, and give us back our town and give us some chance of being able to pay our water/sewer bills without causing financial distress. We can elect a new mayor, new council, create a board of public affairs and send the village administrator home. Baltimore survived many years before a village administrator and a full-time police chief arrived. Those positions cost money that we do not have. Fiscal sanity must be returned to Baltimore.

Charles Lamb
Baltimore

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