Letter: Criticism easy; action’s what counts

I support Dave Berger for mayor. I read with interest the criticism by his opponent and supporters. A guest column Saturday in The Lima News suggested Mayor Berger was wrong for “searching for every government dollar for the past 28 years” while acknowledging that since the 1980s, cities across the country like Lima suffered job losses through no fault of their own.

Berger did not create those government programs, politicians at the state and federal level did in response to the outcry from the voters who lost those jobs. To not have searched for those dollars would have been negligent and borderline dereliction of duty and only have had those resources spent in other cities. The same applies to the state funding to rebuild the city schools and various other improvements to roads, bridges, sidewalks, water, sewers, and especially safety services — all made affordable to the city of Lima’s limited resources.

What would Lima look like had none of that been done?

The column suggests local policy makers had a choice between embracing the government or the private sector as cities tried to recover. Mayor Berger did both by spearheading task forces with support of labor and manufacturing leaders. May we all be reminded that those preserved and new jobs greatly benefitted not only Lima but the surrounding areas.

Berger’s opponent complains of deteriorated housing, but criticizes attempts to hold negligent landlords accountable or outside developer’s efforts to redevelop the National Bank building.

They complain of an attempted tax increase with no suggestion of how to pay for more police and fire protection.

Criticism and campaign promises are easy. Successful leadership is far more difficult.

John A. Venturella, Lima

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