Responds to issue of raising rental unit fees
To the editor:
I would like to address the issue of the city of Salem increasing the rental unit fees that were discussed at a rules and ordinances committee meeting recently. I was not at the meeting, but from the news coverage of the meeting; it appears that those present and pushing for an additional housing inspector, were doing so for issues that do not fall under the inspector's authority.
According to ordinance 1309.04 the housing inspector is to check for safety and health issues, for the protection of the tenants and the public. Housing inspections are limited to rental properties and do not cover owner occupied properties. The intent of the ordinance is not for beautification purposes. Inspectors check smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, make sure electrical and plumbing is functioning properly, railing to steps and general structural soundness of the building. I fail to see where adding the expense of an additional inspector, will do anything to improve the beautification of the city, as this is not a beautification ordinance.
I also question the need for repeated annual inspections for the things that the inspector is to check for, which would mean a second inspector may not be needed at all. Wouldn't it make more sense to inspect once, then on an as needed basis, ie complaints from tenants? Do we really need to send an inspector around every year to make sure smoke detectors have working batteries and fire extinguishers have been recharged? Shouldn't we expect tenants to take some responsibility for their own safety? According to the article, it has been over two years since we have had more than one inspector, prior to June of 2000 we did not have any housing inspectors, so why the need for a second one now?
Perhaps there are some that thinks we need an ordinance requiring that property owners as a whole, are forced to clean up their property and not have debris laying around, but I don't think this ordinance was intended for that purpose, and if it was, it should not be financed on the backs of landlords and tenants.
It is not just rental units that are guilty of poor housekeeping habits. Placing the burden of an increased fee on rental property owners for an additional inspector, that is really not going to add any benefit to the city's beautification problem, is not a wise move. What happens when landlord's expenses increase? They eventually are forced to pass those expense on to the tenants in the form of increased rental fees.
Not all, but as a general rule, folks that rent are on the lower end of the income scale and they rent because they cannot afford to own their home. Putting this added burden on them is not doing them any favors. Increased fees are just increased taxes, which will be passed on via price increases. Increased cost of government, no matter how small, means increased demands for funds. Those funds must come from increased taxes or increased user fees, which are just another name for taxes. All user fees or taxes do, is fan the flames of inflation and it is those at the lower end of the economic scale that inflation harms the most. This is a perfect example of how our government as a whole has grown to the point that we cannot afford it any longer and this government growth is brought about just a little bit at a time.
A little addition here a little tax or fee increase there. Who ends up paying? We the people with either direct taxation or increased cost of products or services that we have to pay which are a direct result of the increased tax. Please think twice city council before you add more expense and taxes to the residents of Salem, no matter how small they may seem. The ones that will end up paying this increase are the ones that can least afford it.
Communities right to ask for share of revenue
To the editor:
Several municipalities and townships have recently requested that the county commissioners share the proceeds of revenue from casino gambling. They do this not out of greed, but out of necessity.
Our governor and legislature have made deep and painful cuts to local communities that are now taking their toll. These are funds that were previously used to provide police and fire protection, road repair and snow and ice removal. Basic services that we have taken for granted for many generations are at risk of disappearing. Coupled with the devastating cuts to our schools, we can most certainly expect an onslaught of new real estate tax levies.
Support of our local communities by the state has a long history in Ohio.
Back in 1934, towns all over this state were suffering. At the same time, the state was attempting to pass a statewide sales tax. Unable to meet the basic obligations to their citizens, local governments reached a compromise with the state. In return for passing the sales tax, the state would help local communities by offsetting the costs of providing public services.
Then Governor George White, in signing Ohio's sales tax into law stated, "our schools and local governments will be saved from bankruptcy and chaos in the year 1935." Until now, every previous governor and legislature has honored their promise to our communities. This legislature, however, has passed the buck onto us. I believe it is irresponsible leadership to divert revenue intended for local communities without corresponding reductions in the sales tax.
I don't expect the commissioners will share their gambling revenue, but I certainly can't fault our community leaders for asking. They only want to serve their constituents in a responsible manner. At a time when we should be encouraging job growth and courting new businesses to make this county their home, we are left praying for a mild winter, lest our roads crumble even further.
Seriously? Does Obama deserve your support?
To the editor:
If the national polls are to be believed, President Obama has a slight lead in the presidential race. Seriously?
He is on pace to spend 1 billion dollars on his campaign to retain power.
Have you noticed that all of his ads attack Mitt Romney? There is no mention of Obama's accomplishments.
His accomplishments thus far added 5 trillion dollars to the deficit, sustained high unemployment, fostered a contentious Congress that gets nothing done and forced upon us a colossal bureaucratic nightmare called Obamacare.
He does not want to talk about his miserable 3 years. His tactic is to divert attention with vague attacks on Mitt Romney.
Do you think Obama deserves our vote ?
We should all use some 'Common Sense'
To the editor:
No other time in my voting lifetime have I felt more compelled to share some "common sense" than in this 2012 presidential election. Now more than ever it is imperative that we as a nation dust off our history books, clear our computer caches, and begin researching what the framers of our Constitution and others penned as the inspiration and foundation of our great nation.
In the era of our founding fathers, common sense was a necessity. Things we take for granted today like antibiotics, utilities, and other life sustaining items were not available at the time. If you didn't possess common sense in the prevention of physical harm, things like minor cuts and broken bones could prove deadly. Not preparing for winter, lacking hunting skills or poor crop management could spell the same misfortune. Neighbors, friends and countrymen depended on shared common sense for mere survival.
The political founders and politicians of the day coveted common sense. They took great lengths to not only write with great care, but also spoke in such a way so as to leave no doubt about their positions. People from all walks of life took time to reflect on political positions. They were not rushed like we are today. Time, content and debate were demanded, not like the 30-second emotional appeals we hear today.
In January of 1776, a journalist by the name of Thomas Paine anonymously issued a pamphlet entitled "Common Sense" to urge independence from England. It influenced John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and countless other patriots to pursue liberty and freedom. John Adams, although critical of Paine on occasion, was quoted as saying "Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vein."
Paine wrote in a way that was understandable to the common man, not with lofty words as was prevalent at the time, but with common sense and straightforwardness. Here is an excerpt from "Common Sense":
"Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others."
One must remember that Thomas Paine, as well as those who drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence, did so under penalty of death from England. It was serious writing. We honor their fortitude by taking the time to read their works, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights and other founding documents to help shape our decision about this election. Let's all use "Common Sense" in 2012.
Says commissioners overlooked qualifications
To the editor:
To all Columbiana County residents:
Gregg Carver submitted an application and resume based upon his qualifications for the position of the Emergency Management Agency director of Columbiana County. The interview committee established a rating criteria based upon a scoring system (available by submission of a public records request). Once the interview process was completed, Gregg was scored as the top applicant and recommended to the Columbiana County commissioners along with two others by the interview committee.
It was his belief and understanding that by applying for the Emergency Management Agency director of Columbiana County as advertised by the Columbiana County commissioners that the questions of race, gender, age, or political affiliation would not affect the hiring process regardless of who applied. According to the advertisement and the job application, Columbiana County, Ohio is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
As residents of Columbiana County, we should demand bold leadership and vision from our county officials to support the men and women of our safety forces, and especially our county E.M.A. Mr. Carver had the ample qualifications to perform the director duties for our county and it is a shame that those qualifications were overlooked by our county commissioners.