If Issue 24 Is About Police and Fire Why Doesn’t The Ballot Say That?

In a previous post (Issue 24 – Request For Questions) I asked for resident questions about the upcoming Issue 24 on this November’s ballot. I will be posting the questions I received with the answers. Please send questions to me at gregbellantwinsburg@gmail.com or send them via the contact form.

Twinsburg Police and Fire

Question

(I’ve gotten this question probably more than any other, asked in several different ways)

If Issue 24 is all about police and fire, why doesn’t the ballot language mention police and fire? Why am I seeing signs on both sides of the issue that mention police and fire?

Answer

First I’ll address the ballot language itself. Here’s what is states:

Shall Section 6.01 of the Charter of the City of Twinsburg be amended to place a further restriction on the 10-Mill limitation set forth in Section 2, Article XII of the Ohio Constitution by limiting City Council’s ability to generate revenue for all purposes of the municipality from the current 7 mills to 2 mills?

Is it correct that there is no mention of police and fire, pensions, capitol purchases, etc. However, when you understand what is really being proposed those things will ultimately be affected. The actual change in the language of our Charter was created by the originators of the petition.

I’m reprinting Assistant Chief Bosso’s response to this question because I think he does a great job of explaining what is at stake as well as his position on the issue.

Issue 24 has EVERYTHING to do with Police and Fire. The framers of this issue knew this from the very beginning but refuse to admit the truth. The completed Performance Audit from last year called for action and it has been a topic at many council meetings since, but I’m sure that they just “forgot” to mention the facts while they were collecting those signatures. I mean, they’re at every council meeting! Don’t take my word, go to the city website and check-out the performance audit and all of the minutes. Taking capital money away from safety forces surely would make the public react differently at the polls.

A NO vote on Issue 24 means that our current Charter language, which has existed for 48 years, will be preserved. A NO vote will also confirm the authorized millage for 2021 that has been approved to properly fund our Police and Fire Pensions and Safety Force Capital. The impact to residents will be $6.29 per month per $100,000 of home value.

Supporters of Issue 24 have tried to shame my Brothers and Sister in Blue and Red for coming out in opposition to Issue 24. We’ve been called “pawns, uneducated and uninformed” and even worse; some are using the fact that they attended, or even helped to plan the candlelight vigil that was held to honor our fallen hero, further threatening our police and fire departments with “long lasting impact on how we are viewed.” Just today a longtime critic of the city administration had the nerve to assume that some funds for the Vote NO on 24 signs came out of the scholarship fund set up for Josh. The answer is a simple NO and as a trustee of this fund, it angered me, but did not surprise me. The lengths that they would go through to try to sway voters is just insane!

I’m sorry, but you can’t be supportive of our public safety personnel and then come out with selfish statements and phrases of condemnation just because the employees and city unions support the initiatives that our finance director, mayor and council have come up with to help ease some of the financial burden. I call that hypocritical and pathetic!

Some of the proponents of Issue 24 have more than likely never sat in one collective bargaining session in their lives. Do you really think that the safety forces would support something that they did not believe in? Do you really think that the city would get away with backing out on a agreement that set aside much needed capital for the safety services?

Twinsburg is an amazing community, and it is where I raised my son and continue to reside. Our city is in the bottom 30 of Summit County communities when it comes to property taxes and municipal inside millage and look at what you are getting in return. Free trash pick-up, an excellent service department that makes your leaves and branches go away at no charge, amazing and well-kept playgrounds, parks, and trail system, as well as some of the lowest sewer rates in the county and the entire state! Even with all of these amenities, a NO vote on 24 will still result in our city having some of the lowest property taxes in Summit County.

Just by having Issue 24 on the ballot, our municipal rating has taken a negative hit. If this issue passes, it’ll even be worse.

Supporters keep saying it’s about the right to vote. Well, you did vote. You voted for councilors who sometimes must make tough decisions for the good of the community. These same councilors are following the charter that has been around for 48 years and is reviewed every five years by a committee of residents. Now some people want to change the rules and pull the carpet from underneath them for doing the right thing, and mostly because they have an axe to grind. This money is not going to the golf course or the clubhouse. It’s not going towards another roundabout or anything frivolous. It’s going towards police and fire pensions as well as public safety capital projects.

We LOVE serving our community and we’ve also been good stewards of your money. We have never asked for something that we wanted over something that we needed. That capital money could go a long way in supporting equipment and vehicle replacements in all our safety services. Police, fire, and dispatch equipment aren’t cheap and doesn’t last forever, neither do vehicles and protective clothing. A “Yes” vote certainly does impact police and fire, despite what the supporters are telling you!

PLEASE VOTE NO ON ISSUE 24. You WILL be Supporting Police and Fire!

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