2013-05-25 / Editorials & Letters

‘We can’t stop it or slow it’

Editor:

Over the last two plus years, I had had the privilege of having several letters published in The Beacon. For that privilege, I thank Charles Prince. I have addressed village spending and how it affects our citizens. At the end of 2011, Baltimore’s debt was $ 8,705,557 or nearly $ 3,000 for each man, woman and child in Baltimore.

What did we get out of all the monies spent ? Did we get any streets paved ? No, but we did get “parking spaces” painted on some streets. Unfortunately if you drive a full size pickup, the space is too small and either the front or rear bumper extends into the next parking space.

We also got a highly paid Village Administrator,who along with an “AYE” voting council, spent, and spent, and spent. We have water and sewer in Walnut Township, and as a result, we will likely lose our largest water consumer that we had, since they are trying to build their own water plant. I would not be surprised if our water bills increase as rapidly as our sewer bills already have, since that lost revenue from Thurston will have to be replaced. Council has authorized up to $ 90,000 for legal services as a result of the sewer water extension into Walnut Township, and they also want another $5 tax added to your auto license plate fee. As I said before...these spenders need to be removed from office, because they will not be changing until voters tell them “Bye, Bye”

We got a street department that is unable to patch “potholes,”a police department that was expanded by the will of the “spenders”. i.e. the village mayor, council and Village Administrator Hall. Then when the found out that what “they” built, “they” could not afford, “they” came to the voters to ask for more tax monies, not once, but twice. Voters “spoke” with their vote and both tax issues were soundly defeated.

When the Ohio Legislature passed legislation in the Ohio Administrative Code, there was a clause that the village could mandate that if your village changed from Mayor, Council and Board of Public Affairs, to Mayor, Council and Village Administrator, a Village could require the Village Administrator to reside in the community that they “serve”. I am not a legal expert with enough knowledge to locate the particular case or cases, but “someone” who was happy to take “tax generated” monies from a community, but not happy enough to live there, filed a lawsuit, and won.

Baltimore has had four village administrators – two were part time and two have been full time, but only one has actually “lived” with the result of their actions. Village Administrator Hall took a large amount of tax dollars out of our community, and with the continued, total cooperation of our village council, Village Administrator Brown is on schedule to do the same, but the debt increase incurring on his watch has been minimal, when compared to Village Administrator Hall. Oh, the price WE pay, for the progress that the Village Administrator position has brought to Baltimore.

It was not too long ago that village officials were concerned about the number of rental properties in Baltimore. Where is the same concern relating to “renters,” as well as “homeowners” having difficulty paying the water/sewer bills. Where is the concern for the property owner who uses not one drop of water, and contributes no waste to the sewer system, but still MUST pay a “minimum” water/sewer bill.

Mayor Kalish has stated many times that “growth is coming to Baltimore, and we must be ready”. It seems I have heard that same comment for the last 40 years, but have yet to see it. Where is that growth? Are we going to prosper with 30 new low income homes ? How about the two businesses that are coming to Baltimore due to the sewer/water expansion into Walnut Township.

This sounds a lot like the 125 jobs that were coming to the vegetable processing plant in the old “box shop”. We are still waiting on that one. If those two “new” businesses are “committed” to coming here, why has there not been a formal announcement ? I will believe it when I see people working and being paid, and not before. We believed it the first time, but it never came. Will it be different this time ?

Did you know that in a March 2013 meeting, one council member voiced “concerns” about the raises that were being discussed for certain village employees. I guess this council member wished to appear to be “watching the taxpayer dollars.” But when it was time to vote, the raises were granted with not a single “NAY” vote. You can “talk the talk”, but cannot “walk the walk.”. So much for being “concerned”

It’s easy to get information on our debt, but it seems that I am the only person in Baltimore that is upset, as well as concerned about how this debt will be passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Where is the anger ? I appear to be the only person in Baltimore upset enough about the spending, and spending and spending...to put the “pen to the paper” and complain. I have been before council, and I do not feel they “liked” what was said to them. There is concern and anger about the spending in Washington, but nothing is said about the same problem, on a lesser scale, in Baltimore. If voters do not stop them, the day will come that it will be lesser expensive to live elsewhere.

I consider myself a “lone wolf.” because no one else has taken advantage of their ability to express their displeasure with the “financial problems” created for our citizens under the “myth” concerning the growth of Baltimore. I ask that the Mayor and Village Council....show me the numbers !!!

Charles R. Lamb
Baltimore

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