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Norton charter amendment not fiscally responsible, says reader

8/22/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

In reading your article regarding the defeat of Norton charter amendment Issue No. 1 (“Norton charter amendment voted down,” Aug. 8, 2013), I felt compelled to respond to Mr. [Dennis] Pierson’s comments regarding the defeat.

Mr. Pierson felt, and I quote, “I believe the main reason [for the outcome] is a lot of folks were confused in voting. It was confusing for elderly members of the community.”

I don’t know what age he feels constitutes elderly, but I have had conversations with a few of the elderly citizens in my neighborhood, and they seemed to understand the amendment just fine. Mr. Pierson’s comments are a slap in the face to many of our citizens! [In the article] Mr. Pierson [said] that Citizens4Norton members might put the issue on the ballot again after fine-tuning the language.

Let me see, it cost the city approximately $10,000 for the special election on Aug. 6 and it was defeated, and now they want to spend more tax dollars to put it on again?

Mr. [Rick] Rodgers stated at a Council meeting about a month or so ago, let’s put it to a vote of the people, and we did and it was defeated, but that apparently means nothing to Citizens4Norton. They constantly accuse Norton City Council and the administration of “wasting” tax dollars unnecessarily, yet that is exactly what Mr. Pierson is talking about doing.

In reality, the amendment was not fiscally responsible for either the city or its citizens. Capping utility bills is a nice idea, but, unfortunately, not realistic. The city would still have to pay the balance of the billing to Barberton or whoever handles the utility bills, and that would still be paid by the people!

Hello, taxes paid by the people of Norton is what funds the city and pays the bills.

Hopefully, this foolishness will stop soon as we need to move forward as a community and begin to grow as a city. We can no longer afford to be a bedroom community without putting the cost on property owners. We need to allow businesses to flourish and help grow Norton, not continue to stunt it.

Karen Harley, Norton


Editor’s note: According to Norton Administrator Richard Ryland, the city has yet to receive the total cost of the August Special Election from the Summit County Board of Elections. He said the cost is estimated at $10,400.

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