EDITORIAL: Taxpayers need info on rec levy
Jan 13, 2013 (The Ironton Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The old saying is that, "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again." That certainly seems to be the case in Lawrence County when it comes to property tax levies.
Ironton officials are moving forward with a plan to place the recreation levy on the November ballot, despite the fact it was voted down last year -- although with a margin of just more than 100 votes.
As we said then, and repeat now, the city's approach to the recreation levy must change or the results will likely -- and probably should -- stay the same.
First, city leaders must create a better plan to communicate with citizens. Last year virtually nothing was done to educate the public.
Then, they need to clearly define exactly how every dollar of the approximate $65,000 that the levy would generate each year would be spent.
No more generalities and broad statements. How much goes towards the recreation director's salary How does he spend his time each season How much is used simply to pay for cutting the grass at the city's parks, which are almost unusable in places How much goes toward youth sports programs that could likely sustain themselves How many people are actually benefitting from the programs offered What plans are in place to provide more diverse offerings and improve the city's parks
The answers to these questions will go a long way toward helping voters make up their minds and helping city leaders get feedback about what citizens really want.
For many people, the levy is a relatively small expense, but it joins a variety of other fees and services that continue to be placed on citizens.
The right plan and the right communication of it will be vital.
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