Podcast: Parks and Municipal Upgrades/Police Overtime

1 Comment on "Podcast: Parks and Municipal Upgrades/Police Overtime"

  1. Francis Ramsden | April 5, 2016 at 6:54 am | Reply

    Who is this female host? I’m confused as to if this is an “entertainment” podcast or a “news” podcast. If its in fact the latter, is it too much to ask to get some articulate questions asked to Jonathan? There were some great points raised in this interview, but they were laughed off with zero detailed questions asked as follow ups.

    As someone who has recently moved into Ellwood City, perhaps I can provide some outside perspective. Ellwood City seems to have a problem with local spending. A brief google search of the borough’s history and one can find tax increase after tax increase in recent years. Combine this with the fact, that when council members are voted out….they are replaced by former council members. The recipe adds up to stagnation, not only of economic growth but of ideas.

    The spending is absurd. You cannot continue to raise property taxes in an area where the average household income is only $38k. Story after story discusses how Ellwood City spending continues to increase which is why taxes have been raised. Here’s a novel idea…..if spending is increasing, how about we cut spending?

    Yes, it will hard. Yes, you will cut funding for projects that you would love to get fixed up, but frankly, Ellwood City has plenty of issues that need attention before nearly $300k of funding for parks. $12k of which was reported in this podcast going to a Bocce Court. Ellwoodcity.org originally reported the borough was looking at spending “in excess of $100k”. It turned out to be nearly a 200% increase of $100k. The fact that the state would match our contribution is irrelevant. That is not how a budget or spending projects should be calculated.

    The police department and its budget is apparently another monster of a problem. I’m one of the biggest pro-police advocates you will ever meet, this issue has nothing to do with the actual law enforcement officers, but the management in charge of them, utter incompetence. According to my research, the police chief’s position was dissolved into the Mayor’s duties. Should the mayor not be leading the charge on this as well as accepting the blame? To have over $2 million(or close to it) going to the department in a borough that only generates $4-$5 million in revenues is unsustainable. This makes the lavish spending for Bocce courts look even more foolish does it not?

    The council better wise up quickly. The downtown area is majority vacant/rundown. Nearby areas such as Cranberry and Zelienople are expanding. There is no guarantee that expansion wave will reach Ellwood City, simply because of proximity. If the course is not reversed quickly, the borough will miss out on the expansion wave. You are not going to attract businesses and professionals to move here, with increasing property taxes and a destitute local community. And no…..spending $300k on park construction, $150k for 3D printers, $2 million on the police (almost $200k of which is overtime), over $400k for “administration fees”, over $1 million for public works, and over $500k listed as “other financing” is going to make it happen.

    Spending $$$ does not necessarily = improvement

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