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March 13, 2011
Salem News

Harsh words for County Republican Party chairman

To the editor:

In a recent letter to the editor from Mr. David Johnson, he posed the question "where in the private sector can employees be entitled to a gold plated health care plan with a zero employee deductible and a paltry 7 percent employee contribution to premium?" He went on to ask about other misrepresented "grandiose" perks that public employees earn. Where can you get such glamorous treatment? As chairman of the Republican Party, Mr. Johnson ought to know. You get them by being a Wall Street banker, where even the most criminal amounts of poor judgment are rewarded by a $700 billion bail out. You get it by being an executive at GM, where producing 20 years worth of poorly engineered cars that the American public doesn't want, then begging your pet senator for taxpayer money to keep making more. You get those perks by stealing from the middle class and the poor. You foreclose on homes that people are scrimping to pay for because your other corporate friends moved every last paying job from Ohio to Mexico, China, or India, because workers have no rights there. Then you mount some "high minded" quest here in this country to remove collective bargaining for public employees, because the best way to level the economic playing field is to push them down. As the chairman for the Republican Party in a county that is in fast decay from the closing of all of its industry, you must not realize the audience you are addressing in this forum. Have you looked around lately? Have you seen the lines of people at the One Stop center looking for jobs that just aren't here? Have you talked to the people at the food pantries and the Way Station? The NEA, FOP, and the IAFF didn't put those people there, American Standard, Eljer Plumbing, and Summitville Tile did. Surely you remember that time in January of 2009 when David Johnson told his employees through a bullhorn that to pull though this crisis he had to "cut to the bone." Was that a T- Bone or a Porterhouse he cut to? Maybe the reason government is in such financial dire straits can be traced to the man who sold the Summitville Tile plant to the Columbiana County Port Authority. He sold it to them so that the county taxpayers, not him, would be responsible for the multi-million dollar asbestos cleanup at the site. But he still runs his business from the site, renting it back from the county for a paltry $350 a month. That's less than half of what I pay for my home. It seems David Johnson is all in favor of big government when it's cleaning up his asbestos or rearranging his loans with the port authority, but not so much when a teacher wants a manageable class size or a cop wants body armor.



Resident upset with heavy truck traffic speeding on 172

To the editor:

I just read about the coal truck accident on state Route 172, while I hope the driver was OK, I also hope he thinks about slowing down. I live 200 yards from where the accident occurred and ever since they closed U.S. Route 30 to heavy truck traffic, trucks have been flying up and down the road at a steady pace. Day and night the sounds of jake brakes fill the air along with the sound of the someone giving it some more pedal to get ready for the next hill. I have a small child and even before this accident she was not allowed to go into our front yard and for good reason as it proved yesterday. Are these truck driver's aware there is a school 300 hundred yards away from where he lost control? Either they do and just don't care or they are just too busy trying to get where they are going so they can unload and get paid. Why else would you speed from point A to point B? What can I do? Nothing ... or hope the road condition gets worse but I don't see that happening as its past being patched already. Maybe these guys should sit down and watch Pet Cemetery.



Salem News readers thank carriers for jobs well done

To the editor:

We want to thank all the employees of the local newspaper and all the carriers who did their jobs during the hard winter weather. We especially want to thank our Salem News carrier who never missed a day and always had our paper wrapped and on our porch near our front door. Thank you so much! Also, a big thank you to our city street crews who worked a so hard in terrible cold, snow and ice and kept our streets and alleys in as good shape as possible. And to all workers who had to be out to keep us all safe and comfortable-thank you!



Unions are needed but have to be in line with reality

To the editor:

In regard to the mess in Columbus I would like to let those people know that all though I am a union man I still paid my health and welfare and paid into my own retirement without any help from the public. The days are gone when the government can afford to have those kind of contracts. I don't think you should give collective bargaining but those people need to pay their own retirement and health or at least part of it. Sick days should be used for just that and not be stored up . Five days a year is all you should have. We didn't have any, you didn't work you got no pay and they should not be carried over from year to year. If you don't use them you lose them. The next thing is there should be no strike by public employees. You are serving the public you receive your pay from taxes. I know you say you pay tax also, well yes you do, but a whole lot more private sector people pay more. Unions are good and needed or we would be working for $8 per hour today. I am all for the union and this is not intended to break you, just bring you in line with reality.



Unfair blame being placed as source of national debt

To the editor:

Why does our governor and Congress single out the school teachers and the fire department and all the unions for the national debt? It's the same congress that rules by seniority that's how they get on power committees and speaker of the house. How about when the tax payers billed out the big bank and stock corporation then after the tax payers helped they gave their self a big bonus.Where was our blind fold justice then. If we gave Congress a fishing license they would keep the little fish and let the big ones go.



Message for United Local Board of Education

To the editor:

Dear (United Local)?School Board Member, I am opposed to your school levy that you are asking for a vote on in May of this year. You are saying that it will only cost about $10 on a $100,000 home. In your newsletter dated February-March you wrote, the older school parts will be turned into a community center, providing space for a senior center, possible satellite medical facilities, meeting rooms, fitness and exercise programs and even head start and preschool classrooms. Who is paying for this community center, senior center, satellite medical facilities, meeting rooms, fitness and exercise programs? Or is this the next levy you are going to ask us to pay for, or is it part of this great deal that we have to take now in May. If the building is good enough to use for all these above activities, why can't you use it as a school? This is what United Local Schools are, isn't it ? Yes or no? A school system which already gets property taxes and a school district tax, maybe we should just turn all the money we make over to you. You need it more than we do. Have you no idea on what impact this will have on the people throughout this area? Are you not reading the newspapers, do you ever watch the news on T.V. or hear the news on the radio? Do you know anyone who has been laid off, or has lost their job, and trying to hold on to their home? Do you know anyone who is taking pay cuts? Do you know anyone who is paying more for their medical and medicines or can't afford it? (Your teachers). Do you know fuel has doubled and food is close by doing the same? Do you know any single parents who are making minimum wage and trying to raise a family on what they are making? Do you know that manufacturing jobs have left this area? Do you know that that people on fixed incomes are not getting raises? Do you know that people are visiting Community Food Banks trying to feed their family? Do you know that our federal taxes we pay has doubled? I could go on and on about the above mentioned things and the list would cover page after page. Do you care? As you say this new school will only cost $10 a month to taxpayers on a property of $100,000. Who can afford this at this time with our economy hi the dump as it is. Do you know that people on fixed incomes are trying to hold onto their homes that they have worked all their lives to have? Do you know that if these taxes raised on these properties these people may not be able to keep they homes on a fixed income, and you have priced them out of their homes, with everything else hi the economy going up at the same time. Do you care? Do you know that if this passes these taxes on the landlords who own rentals throughout the area, will be passed on to the family's that are renting these properties. Have you ever tried to raise a family on minimum wage, or a few dollars above minimum wage. This so called $10 a month will be passed on to all these people who can't afford it, most can't afford medicines, medical, food, clothing, car for work, etc. Do you care? This $ 10 a month may build a shiny new school, that you can brag about, but it will be placed on the backs of the people who can't afford it. While you are trying to get your faces on the Wall of Fame in the school hall, it should be placed on the Walls of Shame, for trying to pass a levy at this time with our economy the way it is and will be for many years to come. Shame, Shame, Shame on you. If you do care about any of the above, this is not the way to show it. I really think this education board is out of touch with the real world, and real people. Click your heals and come back from Oz. Do you really need a new school? I would rather give that $10 to the people who need it. A copy has been sent to each of your board members and editors of local papers.



An example of honesty prevailing in our community

To the editor:

Despite the prevailing instability and general hard times, honesty still prevails in Salem.

On Tuesday evening, March 1, I inadvertently left my purse in a cart in the Walmart parking lot. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from the store saying that the purse had been turned in and that the contents were intact. I don't know the identity of the woman who turned it in, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her kindness and honesty. Maybe there still is hope for the future. It's so nice to see a story that has a happy ending in these troubled times that we live in. Taking care of others is a great way to forget about our own problems and difficulties!



We have gone full circle on collective bargaining

To the editor:

Oh, how I marvel at all of the Democrat bellyaching about the proposed budget cuts in state government and the impending reforms to Ohio's collective bargaining laws. Both are long over due. Let's not forget, it wasn't until 1983 that Democrat Governor Dick Celeste enacted Ohio's collective bargaining laws. So this has not been some sort of constitutional right that should be allowed to persist without any review for an eternity. Years ago, most will concede that public employees were not paid all that much. But they made up for it with more lax work rules and increasingly better fringe benefits and often a job for life. Well now we have gone full circle: public employees all over the nation are being paid more than their counterparts in the private sector. And their health care and pension benefits have become generous beyond belief as well as being just plain unaffordable. Of course, we know why the Democrats are really squealing - they know that public employee unions represent the lion's share of their campaign contributions. That's what keeps them in power and incidentally entitles them to the same lucrative fringe benefits as public unions, for life. What a cozy arrangement: the unions provide millions of dollars in campaign contributions which are indirectly extracted from taxpayers to support Democrats who are then in a position to favorably "bargain," again at taxpayer expense, with the very union's that helped elect them. It is like government "of, by and for" the public employee unions.

This is precisely why Chris Christie was elected governor of New Jersey, Scott Walker governor of Wisconsin, Mitch Daniels governor of Indiana and John Kasich governor of Ohio. They were elected to do what they are doing. It was President Obama that stated: "elections have consequences." Well finally I can find something upon which to agree with him.


East Liverpool



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