As your mayor, I feel that it is important to personally communicate with the citizens of Salem from time to time on important issues to the city and to provide information why certain decisions have been made in city government.
Through this process, I hope that false rumors, misunderstandings and outright lies can be averted concerning these decisions. This does not mean that everyone is not entitled to an opinion or constructive comments on any issue. Everyone has that right and should exercise it. But opinions should be based on truth and facts, not fiction or lies.
One subject that seems to have been misunderstood from the beginning is the city's plans for a future new industrial park North of Salem. Although the newspapers and other media have covered this subject very well, a lot of false rumors and misinformation still exists in the community about this issue. I would like to give a point by point factual statement on the issue and where the project stands at this time to help answer people's questions.
1. The area being annexed in Perry Township,Columbiana County consists of about 50 acres. The area being annexed in Green Township,Mahoning County also consists of about 50 acres.
2.ALL property owners involved in the annexation were asked if they wanted to be included in the annexation, and ALL agreed by signing the annexation petition process, not only once, but TWICE.
The annexation petition contains 100 percent favorable signatures for annexation.
NO ONE was included in the annexation petition who did not want to be annexed when initially asked.
3.A court challenge to the annexation petition was defeated in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court June 8, 2010 (Case 2010CV384) upholding the legal right of the annexation to proceed, as approved unanimously by Salem City Council and the Columbiana County Commissioners.
4. NOT ONE PENNY of city funds was spent on processing the annexation.
5. The annexation of this land does NOT obligate the City of Salem to purchase ANY land. By annexing the land into Salem, grants will be available for future development, either public or private, of some of the land for job sites for Salem's future.
6.The city has NO plans to buy the Quaker City Raceway and operate it.This annexation does NOT include the Raceway.
We are ONLY interested in the property for FUTURE industrial expansion for Salem's in years to come.
7. The land in Perry Township is platted ONLY for upscale homes by the owners of the land, some for sale at this time.
8. THERE ARE NO PLANS TO ANNEX ANY OTHER PROPERTIES IN THE AREA, NOW OR IN THE FUTURE.
I hope that this will clear up a lot of the rumors and fiction going around Salem about this issue. I believe that Salem's ECONOMIC FUTURE in years to come will depend on decisions that we make NOW for our industrial base expansion.
Part of the land that is being annexed will provide Salem with the area that is needed to attract new industry to our community.Without planning for the future NOW, Salem will continue to suffer from a declining industrial and job market.
These plans NOW will give Salem a much better chance in the FUTURE to have land to offer new industrial companies to come to Salem and help us remain the great city that we live in and enjoy, and to provide the city services that we appreciate and deserve. If this issue is on the ballot, I hope that you will cast your vote based on these truths and not fiction and fear.