Past, present, future of city of Sidney


First, let me discuss about our current “Income Tax Levy.” This income tax levy is based solely on earned income. What is earned income? Earned income is any taxable money received as compensation from your employer or sales less expenses generated from a business you own. Examples of earned income include hourly wages, salaries, tips and business sales. Earned income should not be confused with unearned income such as interest and dividends from investments, pensions, Social Security payments, alimony, and child support. If you are retired, or on disability and have no sales generated from your business, you will not pay any City Income Tax. City Income Tax is paid where you work and not where you live. So, any person working in Sidney and lives outside the city limits will pay Sidney City Income Tax.

The last three articles in the newspaper explained the improvements to our streets, parks, walking trails and our downtown improvements etc. The articles mention the much need of our police and fire protection. As my wife and I have mentioned many times how safe we feel going for a walk, eating in our restaurants and shopping and how safe we feel with our police and fire protection. So I am going to talk about my past and present memories of this great city.

I would like to take you back in time in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when my parents and I would go downtown Sidney on the weekends and then take you to where we are now. I could not wait for the weekend to come, because my parents would take us downtown Sidney to shop and go to Saturday morning matinee at the Sidney Theatre. I remember my dad driving around the court square more than several times and getting frustrated not finding a parking space available. I would spend the day downtown going into many of my favorite stores, G.C. Murphy’s 5 & 10, Uhlmans, The Famous and many more stores. Today I go downtown on a Friday night and see all the parking space filled and I do not mind driving around the court square many time because I see the downtown prospering, sort of like it was back in the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s. A great feeling to have, our downtown life is coming back.

One day back a few years ago, some of my grandchildren were staying overnight and the next morning I ask them what they would like to do today and they said they would like to go to the park and play on the playground equipment and I asked them if they would like to visit every park in Sidney. It was a definite yes, so we visited every park and I am talking between 18-20 playgrounds in Sidney. If you do not already know, we have a playground park within ½ mile of every residential home in Sidney. Around noon we stopped at the Sidney Root Beer stand and got some chili dogs, French fries, chicken sandwiches and a gallon of root beer and drove over to the Geib Pavilion in Tawawa Park and ate. My grandchildren played on the new playground equipment that was built for the children of all abilities. This was definitely their favorite of the entire playgrounds we took them to. We also showed them the big four bridge and big rock in Tawawa Park. Why am I telling you all of this, because Sidney has a lot of great places to go and visit? This happens because of you, our citizens providing these opportunities for our generation and many generations to come and enjoy themselves in this great city. So if you want to enjoy all the memories and spending time with your children and grandchildren like my wife and I did in this great city, then now is the time to vote for this “City of Sidney Income Tax Levy.

I heard nothing but great remarks about how beautiful our downtown is shaping up with downtown enhancements like three archways, our improvements to the gateways to downtown and the wall and at Christmas time with Christmas lights, lighting the path on Route 47 at 4th Avenue to Walnut Street to the downtown. I heard great comments about our repaved street, curb and gutter throughout the whole city.

Presently we have a lot going on in Sidney, from the development on Russell and St Marys Road, along interstate 75. We have development going on along Vandemark Road. The renovation of the Ohio Building and the demolition of the Wagner Building are currently on going. The city has just installed new pickle ball courts at Custenborder Field, one the most popular sports today.

In the near future, the city plans on adding new pickle ball courts with lighting for evening play, adding to our current trails at Tawawa Park and the Canal Feeder Trail, adding Frisbee golf, and an amphitheater for the performing arts at the Julia Lamb Park and will be adding a splash pad at Deam Park and many more projects in the near future that we can all enjoy.

I was on City Council for eight years and I can tell you that this city has one of the best city manager’s to help this city move forward. We have a great

Finance director and staff, an outstanding mayor and six other great council members who are great stewardship of city monies. This group of people closely monitors the city’s finances.

All of the above items I mentioned is great but a quote from Milton Friedman sum it all up. “There are no free lunches in this world that means that it is not possible to get something that is desired, need or want without having to pay for it in some way. A quote from Gabriela Barnard, “Nothing in the world is free…. Just remember everything comes with a price.

We’ve made some tremendous strides in the past couple of years, and we need to have the financial resources to continue moving in a forward direction. My wife, Nancy, and I have lived in Sidney for 50+-years and we are very proud to be a part of this great city, so come and join my wife and me as we go to the voting polls to vote for this much needed City Income Tax. I know you will not regret voting for this City Income Tax Levy. Please, without your help we cannot keep our city moving in a forward direction.

The writer is a former member of Sidney City Council and has resided in Sidney for more than 50 years.

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