2012-12-08 / Editorials & Letters

Preparing for growth proves to be expensive

Editor:

When I first came here in 1960, Baltimore was a nice quiet village where everyone knew everyone. Our needs were attended to by a small, but efficient village staff. Snow was removed from the streets in the winter and we even “paved” streets in the village on a routine basis.

Years later the village started to plan for the “Growth of Baltimore,”and changed our government to prepare for that growth. Rather than just a Mayor, we also needed a Village Administrator to replace the “much less costly” Board Of Public Affairs.

We started slowly with two “part time” village administrators, but to properly prepare for the growth, we had to have a full time Village Administrator. That was when village finances started deteriorating. You have read before about our first full time Village Administrator and the reduction of village finances by $669,040.03 from 2004 till 2011.

If that was not enough, we also needed a Service Superintendant to manage the streets, water and sewer departments. Those departments already had supervisors in place, but we needed more. Service Superintendant position was created in 2004, and ended in 2008. That position apparently required some special licenses that you would have thought would have been in place before putting someone in the new job. Well, not in Baltimore !

Baltimore taxpayers paid $ 199,733.95 for a position that was eliminated due to the apparent inability of the Service Superintendant to qualify for the necessary licenses. Those should have been in place before the position was filled. .

You are also aware of the “full time” Police Chief position that was created that now has to rely on reserve officers for staffing, due to the inability to properly fund what the village administration created, and resistance from taxpayers to approve the two different attempts to tax Baltimore homeowners/residents/workers to pay for “their” idea.

If that was not enough, we now have a “part time” village engineer. That position was created in 2010, and as of November 2012, we have only spent $53,536.42 for that position.

What does all this mean??? Over $1,000,000 has been spent by the village administration to prepare for the “growth of Baltimore.” If you have lived here any time at all, you know that the growth has been “minimal”. We need a village administration that consists of realists, not dreamers. Dreamers have cost Baltimore a lot of money, and it does not appear to be slowing.

I still love living here, but I really miss the smell of hot asphalt used to pave streets every once in a while....do you ? I know that I have not enjoyed that smell for several years, and tar and sand/ gravel/cold patch do little to replace that smell.

Charles R. Lamb
Baltimore

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