We deserve it!

Vote “yes!” for tax levy May 7

By Joe Ratermann - Contributing columnist

Together, we can save lives, diminish property loss and improve our streets in the city of Sidney. We deserve it! We can do this by voting “yes!” for the levy at the Tuesday, May 7 election.

If we work and vote together as a community, we will be able to build a third emergency response station (fire and rescue) and continue road construction for the low cost of only $17.50 for the average taxpayer per calendar year. The levy only impacts earned income — our pensions, social security, disability and retirement pay are NOT taxed! And, 53 percent of the tax revenues will be coming from those whom work in Sidney, use our services, drive on our streets, but live elsewhere.

If we fail to pass the proposed 0.3 levy, our response time for emergencies will fail to improve the safety and security of our family and friends; and our roads will quickly fall back into the state of disrepair — the potholes, the ruts, the car shaking drives — that we unfortunately, increasingly experienced three to eight years ago.

The revenue collected by the city of Sidney for these projects may only be used for the new fire house and streets. There is no “bait and switch.” We will only use this money for its intended purpose — those things that we, our family and our friends all use and benefit from. If we are unwilling to vote yes to pay the cost of what is simply two “extra-value-meals” a year, each and every one of us will get what we deserve: inadequate emergency response times which could negatively impact a friend, neighbor or loved one’s health or even life; slow response times to save our property from fire; and crappy roads.

I am, however, confident that the citizens of Sidney are savvy enough to see through some of the supercilious arguments of the few whom are against the levy; e.g. “we don’t need a third fire station.” Quite simply, a plan, years in the making, taking into consideration our city’s immediate needs while still allowing for future growth at an incredibly economical cost has been fully researched, analyzed, consulted and prepared by experts both within and from outside the community. Implementation needs only one final step necessary to make our entire community better and safer – your approval by voting yes for the levy on May 7.

I am certain that the citizens of Sidney will not be swayed by the emotional exclamation: “I’m mad that both the third fire (emergency response) station and the roads are on the same ballot.” Quite simply, Sidney needs both. To address the needs separately increases costs; and the full benefits of both are unrealized until both are passed. Additionally, by addressing both simultaneously we are being economical, saving time and enjoying synergistic value. Emergency responders and good roads together – with your approval by voting yes for the levy on May 7 — makes our city safer, saves money, makes our city more aesthetically pleasing and makes our homes and property more valuable.

Additionally, I find the argument that “0.15 for roads is not enough” to be specious. First, after careful study, our city’s managers and directors determined that the levy would be enough to cover the roads. I trust their judgment. If our trust in their judgment is misplaced, and there is not enough revenue – we still have most of it covered. Imagine that we went to a picnic and some family members said we needed eight apple pies for dessert and others seven said would be enough. Some family members said to bring eight apple pies for dessert to ensure that there was enough for everyone; and but we only had planned for seven apple pies. I believe that it is highly improbable that a member of our family would say: “if you did not bring all eight dessert pies, go home! and take the seven apple pies home as well!’ I like apple pie and I am convinced that the people of Sidney do as well. So, instead of all of us going without dessert, let’s all eat some apple pie together by voting yes of the levy on May 7.

In conclusion, I love Sidney, Ohio and want only what is best for our community. I am probably the most fiscally conservative council member on the City Council, yet I am fully committed to this “safe city” levy. I am deeply committed because I believe that every person in our town deserves to have proper emergency services and good roads to drive on. I am excited that so many people whom will be voting yes, are doing so because they also care about their loved ones, their family and their fellow citizens. They care about the delivery of emergency services. They care about driving on good roads. Thus, I encourage you to also vote yes on May 7 for the levy to give us the type of town that we all deserve.

Vote “yes!” for tax levy May 7

By Joe Ratermann

Contributing columnist

The writer is a member of Sidney City Council.

The writer is a member of Sidney City Council.