2013-11-16 / Editorials & Letters

Writer is disgusted with council members

Editor:

First, I must say that I am very happy to see that Baltimore voters gave more votes to Mike Hamilton than to any of the incumbents seeking another term. When a person with no previous council experience receives more votes that the incumbents, maybe the voters are sending a message. It is too bad that there were not more “new” people to select from. I just hope that Councilman Hamilton is not sent to the “Just Vote Yes For Everything Training Academy”, as the rest of them have.

In 2004, Village Council decided that we needed a Village Administrator to be able to prepare for the “Growth of Baltimore”, and they hired a Village Administrator and paid out $669,040.03 in wages and benefits during the period of 2004 thru 2012. If that was not enough, they also hired a “Service Superintendent” in 2004. In 2008 that position was “terminated”, but not before Baltimore had spent $199,773.95 in wages and benefits. The problem with the “Service Superintendant” position is that as the supervisor of the water/sewer departments, some state licenses were mandated, and the necessary license/licenses were not obtained, and the position was then eliminated. In the private sector, if a license or licenses were necessary, those would most likely be mandatory prior to hire, but apparently, not in Baltimore. I am not sure of the “hire date” for the Chief of Police position, but in 2011, that position was paid $74,929.06 in wages and benefits. I failed to ask for additional information about the Chief of Police position in my “Freedom Of Information” request. We also now have a Village Engineer, that we have never had in the history of Baltimore.

As all this growth in spending was happening, street maintenance or resurfacing was mostly “non-existent”. It is somewhat obvious that the growth of government was more important than maintaining our streets.

In 2004 the debt of Baltimore was $734,718. After the Ohio EPA mandated a new sewer plant and stated that “either you will build it or we will build it, but you will pay for it”, so in 2007 the debt of Baltimore had increased to $ 5,402,024.In 2011, when our first Village Administrator decided to leave Baltimore and head for “greener pastures”, the Village Administrator, with the total cooperation of the six village council members, increased the debt that had climbed to $8,705,557, as of 12/31/2011. That number means that every man, woman and child in Baltimore owes approximately $ 3,500 as “their share” of the debt....not including the interest on that amount.

Think about that when you hit “chuckholes in the alleys and look at the “cracks” in the streets. “Our” council members were more interested in “growing government” than taking care of “us” and our streets. One can only hope that we “may” have elected, at least, one “NO” vote. Council must remember that they are spending their tax dollars, as well as ours.

Baltimore survived from 1825 to 2004 without all of spending, ordinances and regulations, and most of Baltimore citizens liked it that way, and is why they chose to live here. 2004 appears to be the year that a “disaster” descended upon Baltimore. One small example of the greed for money involves a small number of people that actually live outside the Baltimore Village. Those homeowners went to village council and requested and paid for water lines, installation, and water services to there homes. Due to the spending of this village council, we are apparently, short of money. What is council going to do about this ????? Those property owners will either enter into an agreement to be annexed into Baltimore, or their water costs will be significantly increased. Either they will be required to be subject to Baltimore Income Tax, or inflated water costs. It appears that their must be some payroll increases for all of the “never before” village positions that are coming up, and they have spent to the point that they need some newer sources of revenue. We just re-elected three “proven spenders”, and we now have five “spenders”, and one newly elected council member, who, in my opinion, has little chance to “slow” the spending, even if he wants to. The “cost of living” in Baltimore has increased due to decisions made by this council, and it does not appear that there are any changes forthcoming that will address this problem, at least not with the “spending five” running this village.

Charles R. Lamb
Baltimore

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