Treasurer candidate offers thoughts on tax collecting

To the editor:

I decided to run for the office of Salem city treasurer not merely to seek public office for its own sake, but to actually propose meaningful reforms that would make the city government operate more efficiently while at the same providing the taxpayers with enhanced service. How might this be accomplished?

Well, the most significant such reform on the horizon for the city of Salem involves the manner in which we collect the city’s income taxes. The specific reform that I have in mind would simultaneously save taxpayer funds while enhancing service to the city’s taxpayers by converting our tax collection process over to Ohio’s Regional Income Tax Agency, an agency known as RITA.

Based upon the preliminary findings that have been secured by the mayor’s office and by cost calculations confirmed by the city auditor, these savings could be as high as $50,000 per year. And, the enhanced service to Salem’s taxpayer would simply be the opportunity to file city income taxes electronically, something that we cannot do today.

This concept is nothing new as RITA was first incorporated in Ohio back in 1971. It is an agency authorized by the state of Ohio to administer the income tax collection of Ohio municipalities which have engaged its services and for which a given city would pay a nominal fee. There are currently over 250 such municipalities that have engaged the services of RITA in 68 counties across Ohio, two of which are right here in Columbiana County.

At a time when so may seem to be clamoring for more efficiency in the city’s operations, even proposing that we adopt a charter form of government for achieving this purpose, I am asking the voters of the city consider one reform that could be enacted now, for an immediate and a long term financial and operational benefit to the city government and to the taxpayers of the city.

This particular reform would have an immediate positive impact on the city’s finances. Frankly, it is probably the single most significant reform that could be adopted at city hall. But it cannot and will not happen if the treasurer of the city does not take the lead in proposing it. This is what I would do on day one as the next city treasurer.

BOB HILTBRAND,

Salem

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Downtown Dining Experience was a success

To the editor:

We offer our sincere appreciation to all of those who participated in a very successful inaugural Downtown Dining Experience on Tuesday evening, Sept. 26. It was a great evening of food and fellowship for more than 200 people who enjoyed delectable dishes and tasty treats from Lib’s Cafe and Market, BB Rooners, Ricky’s English Pub, Rancho Viejo, Ezio’s Italian Restaurant, Mike’s Penn Avenue Grille, Coaches, Salem Giant Eagle featured by Troll’s Jewelry, and Boneshaker’s at the Timberlanes Complex. We also thank Troll’s Jewelry for once again donating a spectacular diamond necklace for our evening’s event.

The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to continue its long history of sponsoring a fundraiser in support of the United Way Services of Northern Columbiana County. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community, and we are grateful for the deep trust in our local United Way to improve lives across the area. The Salem chamber works to promote the quality of life within our community. Together, we win.

We recognize and give special acknowledgment to the Downtown Dining Experience Committee Co-chairmen, Janet Keene, Susan Frenger and Jim Wenderoth. We thank our other committee members Nancy McCoy, Joyce Wolfgang and David Hughes for their dedicated efforts.

Twenty agencies will benefit from the Downtown Dining Experience. They provided the beautiful and unique gift baskets that were placed throughout the venues. Our thanks to the agencies for providing the baskets, and for all the volunteers who worked so hard to make the evening enjoyable.

Once again, we were shown first hand why it is great to be part of this remarkable and generous community.

AUDREY C. NULL

Executive director, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

GEORGE W.S. HAYS

Executive director, United Way Services of Northern Columbiana County

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Reader stands proudly alongside all who do

To the editor:

I stand with Donald Trump and many others on the flag and Star Spangled Banner issue.

What has happened in this country when it is OK not to respect our flag and the men and women who died for it, and still do?

The Star Spangled Banner is our country and if you can’t respect it and tell all who hear it that this is America, all of you idiots out there need to go find someplace else to live.

How many young men and women in school today were never taught anything about our flag and what it stands for? They grew up with no respect for anyone or anything.

My father and three uncles were in World War II and two brothers in Vietnam. I was taught early in life what the flag stands for and to always stand for the Star Spangled Banner.

We have the right to protest and have different ideas and that’s OK because men and women died for that right and you can find some other way to protest other than to disrespect our flag and our country.

If you don’t have anything better to do with your time, take a turn at war and we’ll see how smart you are then. We have veterans today not getting medical help and are not shown any respect for what they did for our country. I’ve been at Valley Forge some time ago and saw how these men were brought home. No legs, all broken up. They weren’t complaining, just suffering.

I also believe it is in bad taste and disrespectful to wear the flag as a decoration in our clothing. I realize this is a money-making project. If you are going to sell the flag your customers need to know how to take care of it. To me that flag is sacred. You don’t spit on it, burn it or whatever stupid idea you come up with.

You big shot millionaires should make a trip to Arlington National Cemetery and of other graves of men and women who died to make us safe. You will see flags on their graves at certain times of the year.

This country is special. As long as we have men and women who love and respect it. Special is what it will always be.

For what we get in return, if you can’t stand for the Star Spangled Banner and salute our American flag, you have serious problems.

I am an American. I love my flag and my country and always will until I die. Stand up for this country. It’s the least thing you can possibly do.

All of you millionaire athletes who have no respect for the Star Spangled Banner and this flag need to wake up and realize how stupid you are. You disgust me and all the people who know how to separate real life from the fantasy world you live in. It isn’t just you athletes, it’s anyone who can’t sing the Star Spangled Banner and salute the American flag and respect this country and all it stands for.

KATHERINE A. PAXSON,

Leetonia

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