Mansfield mayor: Levy is critical – Please elaborate…Critical to what?.

Hey Mr Mayor,

2/3 of the American economy is based on SALES!, so far…you have NOT sold me on the idea that RAISING THE INCOME TAX will save anyone except those with professional courtesy and immunity who have lived high on the hog long enough.

I know people who work for the City who pay NOTHING for Healthcare, and take weeks at a time off thanks to comp time.  How do I know this?, they brag about it!.

Now it’s the voters turn to dish out some humble pie! – VOTE NO, when the going gets tough, the tough get going – SUCK IT UP!

Quite frankly TIRED of hearing you will have to cut safety forces, the Sheriff of our fair County said “Crime will Soar” if we didn’t pass his tax. Guess what?, it passed and crime is still soaring!.

How about this?, Use your OWN business growth system! – Abolish the Unions, and start using the same temp agencies you have provided for Corporate America!.

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No one likes additional taxes, myself included. Unfortunately with the City of Mansfield being placed in fiscal emergency by the State of Ohio two years ago, I faced immediate challenges. We instantly began investigating ways to save money while still providing our citizens with the best possible service.

The city has cut positions and services since 2009. We currently have 19 fewer firefighters, 23 fewer police officers and the total overall workforce has been reduced by 24 percent. Since 2008, wages have been frozen and salary reductions were mandatory for those employees under the mayor’s control. All bargaining unit employees have experienced wage freezes and departments have been consolidated. Health coverage was revamped, resulting in a net savings of $460,000 and the employees’ share of health care costs have increased. New general liability insurance coverage resulted in premium savings of more than $65,000. Pension pick-up for FOP employees was eliminated. Collaborative efforts with AFSCME, the Friends of the Parks and other community groups ensured the city’s 32 parks were maintained after the parks and recreation department was cut to two employees. I pledged and kept the promise that neither the SSD or I would drive a city vehicle or use a city cell phone.

As a result of these actions, as projected by the state auditor, the city will still have a carry-over deficit of $1,114,000 at the end of 2012. Beginning in 2013, the city will be impacted by a loss of $700,000 per year from the State of Ohio in local government funds, forecasted $500,000 decrease in inheritance tax revenue with the complete elimination of such revenue in 2014, forecasted increase of $1 million per year in jail costs and an increase of $250,000 to $300,000 in healthcare costs.

Passage of the levy will allow residents to maintain their current level of services. It will raise the working citizen’s tax rate from 1.75 percent to 2 percent, but will not affect retired residents. The levy would last four years and would bring the city one step closer to getting out of fiscal emergency.

Your yes vote for the Mansfield levy is vital.

Tim Theaker

Mayor, City of Mansfield

 

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