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OUR READERS WRITE...

September 8, 2013
Salem News

Presentation to Salem Council submitted as a letter to editor

To the editor:

Tonight, I come before the city council of Salem, Ohio, to make a plea to our city leaders, council members and the concerned members of our community.

We have had the recent good fortune to have a former member of Salem, Ohio, return to his hometown. His name is Scott Cahill. He has a vision for Salem, and has created a plan for its renewal. Mr. Cahill's plan is not a pipedream; he has an outstanding resume that includes comparable programs in other American cities. He has created a plan for the improvement of Salem's downtown area. And Mr. Cahill's very qualified wife Lisa has met success with writing and obtaining grants.

But the Cahills cannot make the changes alone; they need our help. It is now up to us to help implement that plan if we wish to improve the conditions here. A community can only be as good and as attractive as we would like it to be. Each individual must be willing to help bring about the changes we want to see.

Many years ago our great nation suffered an unspeakable depression which affected everyone who was living at the time. However, through local leadership, innovation and determination, the businessmen and women of Salem, Ohio, made this an attractive and successful community. They sacrificed their time, energy and money to establish businesses in Salem, and in time we soon began to grow and develop into a place where families and businesses wanted to come. They met challenges head on, and they also met great success.

Salem, Ohio, has many assets to offer. We have a beautiful community center, lovely city parks, an impressive community theater, and an outstanding and much used library, the Charles E. Burchfield Homestead Museum, the Salem Storybook Museum, the Dale Shaffer Research Library, a modern and expanding community hospital with skilled doctors and qualified staff. Our streets are filled with architecturally impressive homes and public buildings. The many churches themselves are historic landmarks.

We have highly rated public and private schools in our town. And we have a variety of hardworking and innovative clubs and organizations. And the Salem Alumni Association is one of the finest in the nation. Plus the Salem Community Foundation is exceptional.

The Salem wing of the Butler Institute of American Art has suffered greatly and needs to be reestablished in its rightful place in our community.

When our community grows and prospers, we all benefit from it. The downtown area of Salem is in need of revitalization. We need to listen to and follow the Cahill plan. It will work. It needs our support. One thing the building owners of the downtown might consider is to offer new businesses "rent free space" for one year. The businesses would, of course, be responsible to pay utilities.

It is important, at this time, to recognize and salute the members of the Salem Beautification Committee for their vision, their diligence and work in creating beauty in the downtown area. They are an excellent example of people working together for a common good.

Last year, one of our established businesses in town, Hunt Engineering, did an impressive overhaul of its parking lot on Pershing Street. This year they are doing a comparable job on East State Street. We are indebted to them for their vision in, again, making our town more visibly attractive.

And a special salute to the Salem Preservation Society and the Salem Board of Education for their joint efforts in securing funds to restore the beautiful wall, fence and ticket booth at Reilly Stadium. This is still one more attractive asset to the community.

Perhaps the community members, if asked, would donate monies for the improvement of the downtown area. These monies would be put aside in a separate fund to be drawn as needed for the renovation of these buildings. If every citizen of Salem - or household - would donate $50 or $ 100 annually, just think of the remarkable work that could be done. And, again, we would all benefit as a town.

We have had extensive and expensive studies done in the past to show where new development is needed in town. As Mr. Cahill has pointed out, that if a downtown fails, so does the entire community. It is my sincere hope that the leaders of Salem, will do just that: lead us. Join the Cahills in helping restore, rejuvenate, and save the downtown area of Salem. Let's not sit back and wait any longer. Salem, Ohio, is a wonderful community. Let us all work together and make it a successful and viable town once again.

ELIZABETH THATCHER,

Salem

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Presenting material from The Hannah Report

To the editor:

Since 2012 many people all over Columbiana County and some from Carroll and Stark counties have called me or told me in person how much they appreciated my letters in your paper. I believe I owe them this one. It is from The Hanna Report.

- Increases the state tax rate by one quarter percent from 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent. This contrasts to the original one-half percent reduction to 5.0 percent under the governor's proposal to expand the sales tax base to include most services.

- Eliminates the 10 percent and 2.5 percent property tax rollbacks on new levies, replacement levies, and any additional millage that is part: of a renewal levy. "The elimination of the rollbacks means that the state will stop providing the reimbursements and homeowners will pay more on school and other local government levies of these types than they have previously. The 10 percent rollback has been in place since the state income tax was enacted in 1971 and the 2.5 percent rollback has been in place since 1979."

- Modifies the homestead property tax exemption for senior citizens so that homeowners who turn 65 beginning in 2014 will only receive the exemption if their Ohio adjusted gross income is less than $30,000. "The homestead exemption was first enacted in 1971 to provide low and middle income senior citizens with tax relief, but was modified in 2007 so that all homeowners 65 or older qualified regardless of income. No homeowner currently qualifying for the exemption will lose it as a result of this provision."

FY14 GRF Rev. Change

(in millions)

Sales Tax Base Expansion $280.2

Sales Tax Rate Change $25.1

Net Sales Tax Modifications $305.3

Elimination of 10% & 2.5% Rollbacks $--

Means Testing of Homestead Exemption $--

Net Property Tax Changes $--

FY15 GRF Rev. Change

(in millions)

Sales Tax Base Expansion $397.00

Sales Tax Rate Change $25.1

Net Sales Tax Modifications $422.1

Elimination of 10% & 2.5% Rollbacks $35.0

Means Testing of Homestead Exempt. $6.9

Net Property Tax Changes $44.1

From what I have been finding out, I am sure we need many changes in Washington, D.C., Columbus, Ohio, and even some in Lisbon, Ohio. Also the postal service.

BILL GRAY,

Lisbon

A call to Americans to take up the sword of the pen!

To the editor:

The United States of America is calling each voting citizen to arms! The sword of the pen needs to be picked up and used to communicate with our elected representatives in Washington.

What, you have never written to your elected officials!? Wait no longer! We live in an age in which " chatting with others is at our fingertips. Ways to let your elected representatives know your concerns, needs, and recommendations is as close as your favorite social media.

Information on issues impacting our life and liberty have never been easier to access. An informed and communicating citizenry will never become an enslaved people. A well researched source to use to find out the truth regarding the critical issues facing our nation is American Policy Roundtable. Org.

Your country desperately needs you - to pen.

CYNTHIA COPPERSMITH,

Columbiana

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Presenting a take on how Labor Day should be celebrated

To the editor:

Labor Day! What a great holiday! I remember the celebrations of yore! Big burly men like my father got a day off to celebrate the strength and contributions made by the working folks of this great country. Sometimes whole factories sponsored their workers for a free picnic and a day of recreation at Idora Park or Geauga Lake.

Sometimes the ole' man invited some friends and relatives over and strapped on an apron while grilling burgers and dogs as the children ran around playing, the right wing idiot brother-in-law ranted about politics, and Aunt Mary got sloppy drunk and fell down the stairs in her oversized sun dress. But I digress. Towns all across America had parades in honor of those who kept us moving forward.

But like Dylan said, "Times, they are a changing." I propose transforming the holiday to meet the current social conditions of our nation. We should change the name from "Labor Day" to "Entitlement Day" to reflect the new reality. Instead of honoring firemen, teachers, factory workers, and construction workers, we can honor the 8.8 million people who are receiving government disability, the 48 million receiving food stamps, the 5.6 million on unemployment compensation, the 2.5 million in jail, and the 4.3 million on welfare.

I can imagine the parade now. We could call up all our addicted friends and on SSI using our free government issued Obama phones and tell them to grab a chair on Main Street.

Look! Here comes the first exhibit! It's a group of unwed mothers riding in the Planned Parenthood float. Quick Joey, wave to them while they throw you free contraceptives. Next up is the Veterans of Addiction float. Poor fellows had to scrape up some money for float decorations from the $2,500 a month they receive for screwing up their own brains. The judges sure will have a hard time picking the best exhibit this year between the counseling center, Job and Family Services, the probation department, the county jail, the daughters of deadbeat dads, the Family Recovery Center, and the Social Security Administration.

Honk honk, beep beep, aah uugg haaaa. Yep, it's the clowns as our final exhibit. Not the ones from Aut Mori Grotto, I'm talking about the politicians who pander votes that hurt the working people for whom this day was made. Ah, but why complain. Guess I should just sit back and watch another episode of "freeloaders behaving badly" and enjoy my hamburger helper.

MICHAEL BROWN,

Salem

 
 

 

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