Ferry Tax

Dear Editor,

I could not agree more with parts of the editorial in the local newspaper on Sunday, March 16. with all of the financial cuts the City of Martins Ferry has endured over the past four to five years from state which impacted the General Fund, however, it only makes sense to look at all angles of the money situation. Martins Ferry is top heavy when it comes to money in management.

With that being said, lets crunch some figures. Raising the City Income Tax .25 percent, will possibly bring in $120,000. to help the financial problem. Does the Mayor and City Council have to put this burden on the citizen’s back? Lets get back to “top heavy.” The Development Director, “Grant Writer” position $56,749.64 per year. In two years only a pittance of money has been benefited from grants. In the first year, the Development Director, “Grant Writer,” LOST a $120,000 grant that the city has had for some 20 years. Joe Bencur is probably turning over in his grave with this move. The Development Director “Grant Writer” position should be looked at, cut the wage package and DO development work. Professional Grant Writers should be hired to write grants. Their salary is written into the grant(s) they write which does not effect the city finances. The Code Administrator at $45,527.45 per year has done a fair job, but most of the work getting funding is done by an outside source. This position was for years a part time position. It should be redefined as a part time position. The Safety Director position at $12,213.75 per year should be rolled over and put back into the hands of the Service Director. Recently a position that has been dormant for several years, because it was not needed, has been filled. That being the Street/Service Superintendent at $42,549.45 per year. All three of the last positions should be in the hands of the Service Director. With a small increase in his pay the Service Director could handle all three of the positions easily. The figures I have given are salary plus benefits. Please don’t think that is the take home pay. When people look at wages, the full package is not generally looked at.

Now lets get to the bottom line. $.25 percent on the backs of the citizens brings in $120,000. Eliminating and adjusting management positions at a savings of $157,040.38. It is not hard to see where money can be saved. Leave money in the pockets of the citizens of Martins Ferry and still have the money needed to run the city. It’s not rocket science, just common sense.

I know I will probably get a lot of negatives from this letter, but before City Council makes their final decision, they should look at the obvious. Just remember this information is public knowledge. All one has to do is call the Auditor’s Office. They will give you the public information you request.

Phil Wallace

Martins Ferry