2013-01-12 / Editorials & Letters

Baltimore keeps spending

Editor:

If you have traveled east on Market Street, be sure to slow at Holder Road so that you will be able to read the sign about $ 169,505 of taxpayer dollars being spent to complete the Route 256 East Sewer Extension, a.k.a. The Marsha Hall Memorial Sewer Line.

It is generally known that Fast Max has some problems with their septic system and they were trying to find a way to address their problem. Well, Baltimore answered their problem by running a sewer extension to the east. This will be what was needed for Fast Max, but what about the other residential and commercial property in that area that did not need a sewer line ? It is almost guaranteed that those properties will be forced to abandon and probably remove their existing septic systems, and pay Baltimore for something that “they” did not request.

Next in line for the sewer service is apparently the area along Holder Road. I was told by one resident that the cost to “tap” that line is estimated to cost $15,000 per household. I’ll bet that some of them are now sorry that they were annexed into Baltimore. I also believe that this village administration is so determined to be ready for that elusive “growth of Baltimore” the sewer will not stop at the village limits.So if you live in that area of Holder Road/ Witherspoon Drive that is presently outside the village limits, you are likely to be the next target. Why would they do this ? Because they want your money. They annex you, then you get to pay the village income tax.

In 2004, Baltimore’s total debt was $ 734,718. That was about the time that our system of government changed from Mayor, Council and Board of Public Affairs to Mayor, Council and Village Administrator. By 2011, Baltimore’s debt had increased to $ 8,705,557.

With the adoption of the Mayor, Council and Village Administrator structure, payroll exploded due to several newly created positions such as Village Administrator, Service Superintendant ( now gone ), full time Police Chief, and Village Engineer. One might wonder how Baltimore was able to survive from 1825 to 2004 and later without these positions.

Mayor Kalish states that Baltimore must be ready for growth, but in the same breath laments that 40% of Baltimore dwellings are occupied by tenants. Home ownership is a key to growth, but we seem to be going the other way. Mayor Kalish and the Village Council need to review official census figures from 1960 to 2010 and then show me where the growth is. I am 67 and my eyes are not as good as when I was 17, but I fail to see the growth that they keep talking about.

I would ask citizens one question, and that is “have you seen any improvement in Baltimore since this “new” form of government was installed ? The income tax was “sold” on the basis of street maintenance. When was the last time you saw a street being paved ?

With the “enhancement” of the police department, police protection was increased until they could not properly fund that department, and we now rely on three ( I think ) “paid” officers and a lot of “reserve” officers. The “enhancement” was the “dream” of Mayor Kalish and Village Administrator Hall, but the village council also succumbed to the “dream”, and look at what we have now. I am not saying that the officers that we have are not doing their job, because they are.

The problem lies with the village administration that had “stars in their eyes”, but shortly found out that they could not afford to fund their “dream” police department. When you spend money like sailors on their first liberty after a 120 day deployment, sooner or later, the money runs out. That is exactly what happened with the police department, and the village response was to try to get the taxpayers come forward with more money, not once, but twice.

This mayor and council have their agenda, and they do not seem to want to listen to the taxpayers, at least until we tell them NO on two occasions. By the way, if the citizens who are on fixed or limited income feel that the village administration felt sympathy for their financial situation by making the levy apply to “earned income”, why was that route not taken the first time it was on the ballot ?......The answer is that they wanted all the money that they could get in order to pay their “bloated” payroll.

My hope is that we can survive until we can get some “realists”, and not “dreamers” in the village administration. Spending in Washington is bad enough, and we do not need the same in Baltimore.

Charles R. Lamb
Baltimore

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