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October 28, 2009
Salem News

Council member reacts to mayor

To the editor:

It's obvious the mayor will do whatever it takes to get me off Salem City Council.

The mayor stated: "Mr. Schory and I are playing "petty politics." On Sunday, two days before the May Democrat primary, he managed to get negative comments about me in the paper.

Today, a week before the November general election, the Salem News published his "Letter to the Editor making statements about Mr. Schory and myself. He accused Mr. Schory and I of having personal agendas and negative support for the city's efforts (meaning the administration) by voting "no" on an income tax increase and taking control of the After Party. The only agenda I have is to do what I promised and that is listen to the people and speak for them on city council.

His printed comments as a mayor candidate in 2007, stated he had a 12-point economic plan that won't raise taxes. Perhaps we should talk about political promises and not "petty politics." I don't recall Mayor DeJane getting involved in council elections. Mayor Wolford should worry about the future of our community instead of taking time to write letters about Clyde Brown and Mr. Schory.

He stated Mr. Schory and I denied Ms. O'Leary the courtesy of voting, knowing the situation of her surgery. I didn't know about her pending surgery until after the meeting. If I had been aware, I would have still voted "no." The Municipal Events ordinance is just a new title for the one council failed to pass previously.

The mayor stated Salem will be facing serious issues in 2010. Our city and our labor force has been losing jobs, homes and family security since the first employer moved out of town. The problem is the administration hasn't a firm plan in place to obtain or retain jobs. His answer is to ask the people for an income tax increase and entertain them while we wait and see what happens.

CLYDE BROWN,

Salem

Words from Columbiana councilman

To the editor:

As a city councilman I have been faced with many tough decisions over the last four years. But none as difficult as the current storm water problem that faces our city and how to resolve it fairly.

I myself have drainage problems at my residence but it is not nearly as bad as many of the citizens that attended our meeting on Oct. 20. Many of these citizens have attended meetings in the past with the same issue, flooding of their property and homes.

They spoke of losses to personal property and that many of the insurance companies that we pay large premiums to will not cover all the damages. How going out for dinner becomes stressful during even small rains for fear of coming home to a flooded house. While this is an issue for a small portion of our town we as council must decide how to help that portion while not penalizing the families in the so called newer part of town such as Firestone Farms and other newer developments that were built to stricter codes to address these storm water problem.

We have talked about bringing this issue to ballot and letting everyone in town decide if we as a community should make this decision. Not many people at the meeting were in favor of this. My question to them is this: when did we become a dictatorship and lose our ability to stay a democracy? We are looking at a problem that affects a small portion of our city. Now before you start to send me hate mail know this, I am in favor of fixing this problem.

We all should be able to put our heads down at night and not be afraid of waking up to a flooded house. This problem affects every home owner indirectly even if your home does not flood. Property values can be affected, city population can decrease which means less tax revenues coming in that could cause city services to suffer or be cut if need be.

So no matter where you live you will pay in one form or another with or without this utility surcharge. If this did go to ballot I would cast a "yes" vote once I knew how much and for how long I would be paying this surcharge. What's wrong with putting a $2-$3 a month charge on now and getting the plans done and start this process? I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is guessing at the costs and starting to charge home owners $8-$9 a month. Remember we also have a new water treatment plant to built in the next two to three years and water rates are going to increase as well. If they increase 10 to 15 percent now we are taking about possibly $15- $20 extra monthly that you are required to pay and these costs will only get higher as we go grow.

As a councilman I have to look at what's best for everyone in town and not just for certain areas. Can we spend less on other things in town? Council and the city manager must look at that as well. Maybe we do less paving next year and our Capital Improvement Fund can fund some of the cost to get the planning done. This problem has existed in this town for over 50 years. We can't fix it over night by blindly adding a surcharge to everyone's utility bill and hope that we get grant money from the USDA. Steps must be put in place to fix this problem that as I have said affects everyone in this city. But all I ask is that we start with small steps, not giant ones.

JAMES C. KING,

Columbiana

Unhappy with many of today's youth

To the editor:

Many of our young people have become materialistic monsters and largely because of television programs and peer pressure and to some extent our education system they have lost sight of what constitutes the moral foundation of a civilized society.

There is little appreciation for the sacrifices of our founding fathers and our veterans. Our freedom is taken for granted and murdering thugs such as Che Guevara are revered as martyrs. High school girls spend exorbitant sums on prom dresses. Tennis shoes cost over $100 a pair. Kids throw tantrums at Walmart until the parent buys a toy. Summer jobs such as picking apples and tomatoes go begging because they are too lazy to get up and go to work.

When I was around 12 years old my dad was building a coal tipple in a remote part of Tuscarawas County. It was late summer and I helped out by bringing the workers bolts, water and welding rods. Two of the people my dad hired were a father and son team. They were very poor and lived a mile away in a shack that sat in the middle of a black slate dump. There were three girls and two boys in the family. They had no electricity or indoor plumbing. One day Darryl, the boy, came to work and bragged that they had just bought a Jersey cow. Everybody went up to look at her that night and all pitched in to help build a small shelter from sawmill slabs and corrugated roofing. One of the girls laughed excitedly and said, "Now we can have butter and milk and cottage cheese." We had to go inside and look at the radio they had just purchased which was hooked up to a 6-volt battery.

One evening as quitting time rolled around Darryl made an announcement to the crew. "You're all invited up for supper tonight. We picked a bushel of peppers from the garden last night and dug some potatoes and Pop went to the store and bought 10 pounds of hamburg. We're having stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes with gravy, homemade bread and butter with strawberry jam and fresh buttermilk." He was so excited he could hardly contain himself. When we all went to the house the girls had a white sheet spread across the supper table and a vase of marigolds in the middle. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the evening as we all listed to W WVA Wheeling West Virginia on the radio after the meal. All the kids in that family became either school teachers or nurses. I wonder how many kids today would get excited over a stuffed pepper supper with homemade bread and butter.

LLOYD BERRESFORD,

Hanoverton

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