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OUR READERS WRITE...

September 6, 2009
Salem News

Chief of police

addresses citizens

To the editor:

To the citizens of Salem:

First of all, I apologize for being so long-winded, but I feel it is important that the citizens of Salem know what is at stake.

There is no good time to ask for a tax increase. Certainly not when many people are struggling to keep any job they can find just to make ends meet. Nobody enjoys having to ask for a tax increase either, but that is the situation the city of Salem finds itself in.

With a brief exception in 2008, the city income tax has remained flat since 1999. That is a decade of inflation and cost increases without an increase in income for the city. Being a local government entity, the Salem Police Department has always worked under a strict budget. Unlike private business, when times are good we do not have the luxury of blowing extra money.

The public always demands frugal use of their taxes, as they should. With the continuous reductions of purchasing power, we have tightened our belts every year. It is becoming very difficult to find more ways to cut back without reducing services to the community we are committed to. Many people seem to understand that. A few in important positions seem to think this just began in 2008 or 2009.

There will be a lot of rhetoric about the half- percent tax increase between now and November. I just want you to know what effect it will have on the Salem Police Department as it has been explained to me.

First of all I am annoyed when I hear public officials say, "There have been no layoffs; where's the emergency?" We have not laid anyone off yet in the police department. Instead we have been responsible budget managers and have reduced our manpower through attrition, having left three positions unfilled following retirements or resignations. The net effect is we have met a 15 percent reduction in our patrol force without the city incurring the expense of paying their share of unemployment benefits.

The Salem Police Department is now at the point that any officer laid off will require an officer to be brought back from a special duty assignment to fill the regular shifts adequately and maintain the safety of our citizens. Our first priority is to answer the public calls for service we receive all day, every day. These positions have to be filled.

Our special duty assignments are two detectives primarily assigned to drug enforcement, and one detective assigned to all other major department investigations. Our officer assigned to the Youngstown Area Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force works out of the Youngstown DEA office and works primarily large scale cases to try to stop the drugs before getting to the Salem area, as well as busting the dealers and users once they are here.

This is the assignment that brings money into the police department. This money is used for training, equipment and repairs that we could not otherwise afford. It may not, by federal rules, be used for regular personnel costs.

Our other drug enforcement officer is assigned to the Columbiana County Drug Task Force (CCDTF). They work cases right here in Salem and Columbiana County. They work with, and are supported by the DEA Task Force, taking on the local drug trade that directly impacts our standard of living in our neighborhoods. The DEA has limited personnel and strict guidelines for the cases they can work. When needed, they supply equipment and other assets to assist the local CCDTF in their duties.

Having an officer on the Columbiana County Drug Task Force allows the local police departments to work together on cases that affect all of our communities, and also provides an experienced squad to work together when the case is ready for a raid or arrest. Being the second largest city in the county, Salem has a corresponding place in county drug trafficking. The CCDTF are the front line fighting that battle every day.

What this all has to do with the tax increase is this. If the tax passes that money will go to infrastructure improvements as promised. It will not fund the police department, and we will not to be able to replace our unfilled positions. Hopefully we will not be required to lay-off any personnel, requiring us to call a drug enforcement officer back to uniform duty.

If the tax does not pass, I have been told to expect a change in where the money the city has left will be spent. With little operating money left, the city may feel is has to spend a larger percentage of the money on the needed infrastructure maintenance and improvement.

That will mean less money for personnel, and will result in more people in Salem losing their jobs when we to have to finally lay off personnel. As chief of police, I hope it is remembered that I have already lost three officers by trying to keep within a shrinking budget. That is three less persons trying to protect Salem and keep it a place where you can go for an evening stroll, feeling safe within your neighborhood.

CHIEF BOB FLOOR,

Salem

Recommends dining at

the Masonic Temple

To the editor:

I have had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Masonic Temple's dinners. I have been to a soup and sandwich night, a strawberry festival, and a steak fry. The food is all homemade and very delicious!

For a nice evening meal try the Masonic Temple-you won't be disappointed.

DEBBIE LAMBERT,

Salem

Thanks to those aiding

the beauty of downtown

To the editor:

As Salem Beautification Committee co-chairmen, we would like to acknowledge local businesses and community members whose contributions made it possible to plant flowers in all the planters downtown, to mulch all the islands, including Liberty and McCulloch Parks, and to purchase other materials.

Special recognition and thanks to Salem's Home Depot, Marc's, Salem Retail and Business Association, Colian's Stone Pit, Chappell & Zimmerman, Jeff Stewart, Jennifer Arnold, and Elizabeth Thatcher.

The award-winning yard sign is a gift to Salem Beautification from Karen Sebo. And the stone marker dedicated to the Hansell Family located in front of the Alumni Association Office was donated by Don and Nora Rock of Logue Monument. Without the generous donations from these businesses and individuals, our mission of beautifying the downtown would not have been possible.

Thank you to our members who have maintained the flower planters, spruced-up the downtown before special events, picked up litter and trash carelessly left or dropped by those who just don't give a darn about our town; also to Steve Faber and the community service workers, and to Steve Andres and his crew.

Kudos to the retailers and businesses who see beyond the inside of their buildings and maintain the exterior of their storefronts ... with clean windows, swept sidewalks and emptied cigarette containers. Every other store owner should follow the example set by these retailers.

Remember, every home, every rental, and every business, should be an example of planting pride ... city wide. Each of us has a responsibility to our town to make it as neat, as clean and as attractive as possible.

ELAINE ROUSSEAU,

KAREN CARTER,

Salem

Privileged to be part

of SHS Hall of Fame

To the editor:

I recently had the honor of being inducted, along with my father Wayne Russell, into the 2009 Class of the Salem High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

First, I would like to publicly thank Michael Lesch, Jean Esposito, Mark Equizi and the rest of the committee for the great job they do.

I also want the Salem community to know that the event they put on is a first class event of which Salem can be very proud. I have a public job and attend many formal receptions, openings, and recognitions from small to very large.

The SHS Hall of Fame Dinner can stand up against any of them, even those with much bigger budgets. The event was very well organized, the food and service was excellent, and the setting in the beautiful Salem Community Center greatly added to the overall experience.

Given all that is going on in our society today, one small event and one building will not solve any of our problems. But, one class event and one beautiful community center can certainly tell the world that Salem cares, and always does its best.

Again, thank you for the honor. It was a privilege to be part of this event.

DAN RUSSELL,

Flint, MI

SHS Class of 1971

Special Olympians give

out a special thanks

To the editor:

On behalf of the 130+ Special Olympic athletes in Columbiana County, I would like to thank the teams that participated in this year's event at Beaver Creek Meadows Golf Course on Aug. 22.

The scramble was won by the team of Art Ferrara, Greg Gazella, Mike Trombetta and Doug Garis. Second place went to Greg Archer, Scott Harding, Kelly Keller and Mike Manuel. Third place went to Michael Moore, Scott Owens, Steve Talbot and Brent Hambleton. Thanks to all 33 teams that spent the day with us.

We would also like to thank all of our sponsors. Corporate sponsors: F&AM Perry Lodge #185, Grae-Con Construction and Mason Color Works. Hole sponsors: P. Michael Moore DDS, Haltec Corp., Morris Financial Group, Winona Ruritan Club, Stark Memorial, East Palestine Moose #467, Dental Health Group, Chester Hoist, Custom Images, Salem AMVETS Post 45, Wendy's of Calcutta, St. Jude K of C #10183, United Little Eagles Booster Club, Washingtonville VFW #5532, Lisbon VFW #4111, Quaker City Castings, Salem Italian Club, C&C Garage, Lisbon Eagles, Salem Elks #305, Columbiana County Board of DD and Robyn Lovoi.

We would also like to thank specialty shot sponsors: Neiheisel Electric, Roberts Funeral Home, Atty. Randall Rummell, Atty. Barbara Plummer, Dawson Funeral Home, Consumers National Bank, Carl Gaston DDS, Bev and Butch Cunningham, Morrow Electric, Carpenters Local #171 and Salem Giant Eagle.

Patron sponsors: Maple Cotton Funeral Home, K of C Crossroads Council 13371, Leetonia Ruritan Club, and Calcutta Giant Eagle.

We would also like to thank Carl Ellenberger, Donnie Sobotka, Wonder Bread, Carol's Catering, Insta Copy, Campbell Signs, Columbiana Sparkle, Kendrick's Corner, Beaver Creek Meadows and Tim Horton's.

A very special thanks goes to Dan Chaffee and the guys at Stadium GM for sponsoring the hole in one. Nobody won it, perhaps next year.

Columbiana County Special Olympics is an all volunteer organization. Our athletes rely on the generous support of the fine people of this county. They participate in bowling, swimming, golf, softball, track, basketball, and powerlifting.

SUSAN A. MOYER,

Special Olympics coordinator

Italian Festival a success

thanks to all the support

To the editor:

Many thanks to all who supported the recent Italian Festival. An event of such large magnitude could not be possible without the support of many businesses who made monetary contributions.

The various city departments provided necessary services and personnel. Many thanks to the Parks Department, Service and Safety Department, and the police who maintained a constant presence.

The festival, sponsored by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and its Retail and Business Association, provides great leadership through the efforts of Executive Director Audrey Cleveland Null, Association President Joe Radin, and the tireless efforts of Tammy Peppel, chamber administrative assistant.

The volunteers on the festival planning committee have met and worked since January. Every committee member worked long and hard. As a committee member, I am proud to be associated with such dedicated and wonderful people. I am honored to have been appointed as the master of ceremonies. It gave me a chance to meet many of the people who attended and thanks to Rita O'Leary and Joe Radin for helping out with the announcing when a certain old Italian guy needed a break.

Our thanks to all who contributed in any way and those who attended. We look forward to seeing you next year and invite anyone who would like to join our committee to please do so.

Thanks to the Salem News and Mary Ann Greier for great coverage!

DR. MICHAEL J. TRAINA,

For the Italian

Festival Committee,

Salem

 
 

 

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