To the editor: A family medical emergency has caused me to be out of state in these final days before the November 8th General Election. But it has not stopped me from catching up with local news through the internet. And it seems that Mickey Weaver is still at itwith her distortions, half-truths and wrongheadedness.
First, she attempted to distort what really happened with the Salem city pension plan. Fact of the matter is that Salem was one of only 8 percent of Ohio communities with a zero contribution to its city retirement plan. Weaver bragged that over the next three years, Salem employees would now kick in the state required 10 percent contribution. Of course she left out the fact that city employees would get a 10 percent raise to cover the cost of this contribution. So there was no net "concession" here and Ms. Weaver knows it.
Next, Ms. Weaver claimed that the city employees had taken "concessions" on their new health care plan by agreeing to increase their contribution to the plan to a whopping 11 percent of premium (versus national average of 31 percent). Well this was half-true. Ms. Weaver neglected to point out, however, that city health care premiums would be artificially reduced while the individual deductions were increased to $6,000 - with all but $200 to be absorbed by the taxpayers. The net bottom line city employee contribution to their health care plan will be virtually the same amount as it was prior to this year's negotiations. Once again, there were no "concessions" here either and Ms. Weaver knows this.
Twice caught in her deceptions, Ms. Weaver now resorts to that infamous "confidential memo" sent to Salem Republican officials that had run on a platform of "fiscal responsibility". In her eyes, it is "bullying" to hold officials accountable for their actions. How dare anybody question the reckless expenditure of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars annuallywhile asking the taxpayers to pick up the tab in the form of multi-million tax hikes.
Well folks this is what the upcoming Salem city election is all about. Contrary to what Ms. Weaver would have you believe, it is not about privatizing the police department. Nor is it about forming a new fire district. My beef is not now nor has it ever been with the rank file in these departments. This election is, however, about MANAGING these and other city departments in a fiscally prudent manner.
Mickey Weaver would be right at home keeping Jerry Wolford at the helm, and if not him Scott Cranmer. If this happens, rest assured there will be no reforms, no sound management, and no performance auditsonly the promise of yet more calls for multi-million dollar tax increases. Is this what you want?
DAVID W. JOHNSON,