Common Sense: Responsible Plan For the Willoughby Police Department
By Willoughby Resident’s Opinion
The City of Willoughby is attempting to burden the residents with yet another irresponsible tax levy. They claim to need a new police department building. In spite of what they tell you, the existing building is fully functional and built like a fortress. However with seemingly legitimate claims of needing more space for records and updating the jail to current state standards they have taken the giant leap of purchasing another old building from a friend of Mayor Fiala for over 2.5 million dollars without a taxpayer vote. They now want to obligate the taxpayers in perpetuity for what amounts to a clubhouse instead of a serious endeavor. While the Ohio Attorney General and Ohio Auditor hopefully investigate and verify the propriety of the Meister building purchase, here’s the solution to the police department problem:
The city owns 8-1/2 acres right next door to the police station and much of the adjoining portion is vacant except for a skate park. Did I mention it’s right next door? They didn’t tell you that did they? No need to move a mile down the road. An updated jail facility should be constructed on the city land next to the police station to the new state standards and connected to the police station by a hallway. Alternatively, the jail can be added to the back or side of the police station and the employee/visitor parking lot can be relocated to the skate park.
Another problem that isn’t a problem is that the building needs repairs. Reader, when something breaks in your house do you just pick up and move? Of course you don’t. When the furnace breaks, you fix it. When the roof leaks, you fix it. Oh, the station needs windows? Did you move when you decided you needed new windows? You know the answer. You didn’t. You fixed it! The police department wants to move. You didn’t and they shouldn’t. Fix it.
Finally, the problem of needing more space for records and evidence. There’s a perfect solution. With the new jail addition there will be thousands of cubic feet of newfound space. Where? Every vacated jail cell is now an evidence room or a records room. No need to waste money on a new facility; evidence and records can now be stored in an extremely secure area of the building. Out with the beds and in with the file cabinets. Then you shut the door and…..lock it. Problem solved. See how easy this is? And you are respecting the residents by being good stewards of their tax dollars.
Well, what about the skate park? When the city sells the Meister Media building (probably at a HUGE loss, commercial real estate is tanking…..why did Fiala’s friend get such a large amount in an obvious declining market?), $100,000.00 or so can be used to build a new skate park and the rest will pay for the jail. The city will collect nothing from us, the jail will be complete, the records safe and warm, and we’ll all live happily ever after with money in our pockets to spend in Downtown Willoughby.
Don’t fall for this charade. When you call the police, they’ll come. Vote “NO” for safety and keep your hard earned money.
LFC Comments by Brian Massie, Citizen Journalist
From the Lake County Board of Election’s website:
Willoughby City – 2.5 Mills Additional Levy – safety services – collecting $1,886,000 annually – amounting to $88 for each $100,000 – CONTINUOUS PERIOD – commencing in 2023, first due in 2024. (emphasis added by LFC)
A continuous period of time means FOREVER. We are against ALL continuous levies (or CPT levies which means for a continuing period of time). The political subdivision does not have to be accountable for their actions when they know that the taxpayers will always have to pay the tax. All levies should be for a fixed period of time, with 5 years as the maximum.
The political subdivision must be held accountable for their actions, and continuous levies give them carte blanche. – complete freedom to act as they wish! Taxpayers have had enough, and are being taxed out of their homes that they have worked all their lives to achieve.
Remember your Housing Affordability Threshold – [Annual cost for utilities, mortgage and property taxes / annual income] If your H.A.T. reaches 30%, then you have reached the threshold that says you will have difficulty paying for your other needs and wants. If your H.A.T. is 25% and you live in a home valued at $250,000, you will need to earn an additional $880 per year in order to not move closer to the 30% threshold. [$88 / .25 x 2.5 = $880.00]
JUST SAY NO TO CONTINUOUS LEVIES!