Poland Village Council addressed concerns about the village’s finances and the upcoming election during a brief meeting the evening of Nov. 1.
Clerk/treasurer Linda Srnec spoke of the options open to council if efforts to repeal the stormwater utility ordinance are successful. She suggested that a new street levy might even be necessary to maintain some current services, such as fall leaf pick-up, and stressed that these services must be paid for if they are to continue.
Councilman Bill Dunnavant expressed skepticism, saying that a new levy would broaden the scope of where that money could be spent on other road-related issues in the village. By contrast, he said the utility provides framework with a narrow focus on how the allocated funds can be spent — on stormwater issues only.
Councilman Bob Limmer criticized opponents of the stormwater utility, the Committee to Defeat SWUP, for a lack of transparency.
“They have not disclosed who they are, and I’d like to know why,” he said.
Limmer also accused the committee of violating Ohio Revised Code campaign finance laws, which require that a chairperson or treasurer be named in campaign materials. As an example, he produced a mailing recently sent out by the committee that lacked names or any contact information, other than a mailing address.
The Town Crier attempted to contact a representative of the Committee to Defeat SWUP, but was unsuccessful.
Council also bemoaned the end of Ohio’s estate tax beginning in 2013 and how the loss of such an important revenue stream would affect operations. Limmer in particular spoke of not wanting the village to remain in the black and not become like “other political entities around here that have to borrow money to get through the first quarter” of a new year.
In a similar vein, Councilman David Raspanti said that the general fund supply and street fund supply line items were both running short, requiring a transfer of of money from the general fund to cover the costs of both before year’s end. Towards that end, council passed an amendment to an appropriations ordinance, which transferred an overage in the hospitalization line item to cover the shortfall in the supply line items.
Mayor Tim Sicafuse said that he had still received no formal notification from the Mahoning County Board of Elections about the voting locations for the Nov. 8 election, but was aware that precincts were down from four to three. Dunnavant recalled how Precinct 1’s polling location had moved from North Elementary School to Byzantine Catholic Central to Paul C. Bunn Elementary School in recent years. Raspanti decried the confusion, saying, “When people are not told about changes in their voting locations, I have a real problem with that.”
The Town Crier subsequently contacted the County Board of Elections for clarification. A representative replied that voters in Precincts 1 and 2 should go to Poland United Methodist Church on Boardman-Poland Road, and Precinct 3 voters should go to Holy Family on Center Road.
In other business:
- Councilman Joe Mazur made a proposal for designated named gift opportunities at Poland Municipal Forest. He said the measure would allow the Poland Forest Foundation to solicit funds to maintain the property. The motion passed unanimously.
- Councilwoman Christine Yash urged the 18-year-olds amongst the government students from Poland Seminary High School attending the meeting to vote on Nov. 8.