To the editor:
I went to Tuesday's Steubenville Council meeting and I am truly sad at what happened.
First, they talked about a lot of ordinances they are going to pass. That's great, but, they talked about cell phones for city employees, and those who get reimbursed. The only people who should have cell phones that tax dollars pay for are department heads, and those who spend most of the time in the field.
Then they spoke of giving a 3 percent raise to the city manager. The man makes $90,000 a year, and there are only around 19,000 people in this city. I am calling for everyone to speak out against this.
I addressed council about our kids, and how there are no real things here for them to do. The one man said "We got the pool open," which is great for summer, then they talked about the MLK center, which is sports related. Most of the kids don't use the center. I am talking about a place for kids that offers art, science, music and maybe even a scarred straight program. I told them I lived on Maryland Avenue and one night when my 8-year-old grandchild was visiting, at 3 a.m. shots were fired, and I had to grab my grandchild and hide under the sofa in the hallway.
We have big money coming in, which could provide great tax revenue from the natural gas, fracking industry, but the people who are moving here don't want to live in Steubenville because of all the problems violence. It is time for all of us to take a stand, we need a center for the kids to address the children that aren't in sports. They tried to shoot me down, but I kept on going. There is only one woman on the council and the rest are good old boys who just don't want to hear it, but they need to realize we are already losing money. They also talked about a video system to record council meetings. We do not need this, and using a deregulated electric company, we as private residents tried that, but you still have to pay a fee for the use of American Electric Power lines. There are no other companies that have the lines that run to the city, or anywhere else, and it will show on the bill a specific fee for that.
My point of this is, take the 3 percent raise, and I found grants, up to $18 million available to use to help build a science, music and arts center. I am tired of council members putting off what is necessary for us to grow. They have an implementation committee and I will attend those meetings, but what good are a town square and bike trails if we don't catch our kids by the sixth grade and change the way they think. I hope maybe one or more of our city council will read what the real people in this town want.