2012-07-28 / Editorials & Letters

Writer says salaries, benefits responsible for higher costs

Editor:

Our “friends/neighbors” on Baltimore Village Council authorized water/sewer rate increases recently, and those increases have caused some anger and frustration among Baltimore citizens.

They say that they “needed” those increases, and I think that I can tell you why they needed those increases.

Council member Jim Hochradel stated in the December 3, 2011, issue of the Buckeye Lake Beacon, that “only 10% of the salary (village administator’s) comes from the general fund”. I believe that means that 90% must come from the water/ sewer funds.

I filed a public records request with the village, and received information from the village as follows:

From 2004 thru 2011, former Village Administrator Marsha Hall received a total of $ 669,040.03 in salary and benefits from the village. On the basis of comments by council member Hochradel, this means that somewhere near $602,136 was taken out of the water/sewer funds. It looks like citizens of Baltimore are being penalized for the “generosity” of our “friends and neighbors” on the village council. Our new administrator is also being paid quite well. The “estimated” wage and benefit package is only $ 75,906 per year, but I am sure that the cost will increase because that position is so important.

These same people gave us the “new” Baltimore Police Department. That department is also having money problems, and after a humbling defeat of a property tax levy, village officials are asking for an income tax increase to fund the department. You would have thought that expanding the police department would increase costs. Well, they did increase. I believe that this is the first time we have had a “full time” police chief. I have not studied changes in the budget for that department, but did council not consider that taking $79,929 out of that budget for the chief’s salary and benefits “might” have some effect on the ability to fund the other costs of that department.

I think that the only way to get out of this mess is to start new with an entirely new mayor and council that would eliminate both of those positions. Mayor Wooster would roll over in his grave if he saw what these people have done to the finances of this village, all because they do not want to do the job that they asked for.

Charles R. Lamb
Baltimore

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