Below is a letter from Josh Nativio to the Tribune which appeared in the paper yesterday. Per an earlier post, the dissenting votes were cast by Councilmen John Brown, Eddie Colbert and Dan Sferra.
Warren council priorities are wrong
So let me get this straight. Seven members of Warren city council were happy with moving $233,000 of enterprise funds to the office of Community Development to maintain handing out $120,000 for 20 non-profit groups? Wow!
Council with mostly the same people had no problem moving Warren’s 911 dispatch to Trumbull County. Council, of mostly the same people, also had no problem agreeing to not fill retired upper ranks of the Warren Police Department and soon the Warren Fire Department.
There had been solid arguments against the 911 dispatch move that it could make working and living in Warren more dangerous. Every citizen who might need an emergency service would be at risk of getting a dispatcher who did not know the city. Dispatching at the county created a chance your emergency call from High Street, Warren, could have sent police to High Street, Howland. Still, that didn’t stop this body from going through and pushing those jobs out of the city.
And now when it comes to de-funding Community Development and losing three or four city jobs, council says, “No! We have to fund these non-profit groups!”
See what the priorities are for some council people? Cutting jobs from the city that might put any resident or person in the city at danger is OK. Cut jobs that oversee programs that cut a large amount of small checks that can be leveraged politically with resident groups? Cannot have that!
And contrary to statements during the budget debate, not funding CD with this extra money would not have shut down that department nor lost the city’s HUD grant.
This HUD grant money does not need to go to non-profits. It could fund sidewalk and road repairs in low-to-moderate income areas of the city. Since this is most of the city, these improvements would benefit all who travel in Warren. I would rather see some potholes fixed or a sidewalk repaired than have my tax money go to a group with a narrow recipient pool. The good of the many outweigh the needs of the few, especially with diminishing resources.
I know I’m not alone in this thought. The people of Warren need to start voicing these uncomfortable opinions. It is your money.
Once upon a time politicians gave out turkeys to the poor for votes and support. It is pathetic that an $800 check to a non-profit group seems to be the modern day equivalent for some. Warren cannot be run like a “Fortune 500 company,” but it can stop being run like a soup kitchen.