A synopsis of previous Lima News editorials concerning Tuesday’s General Election:
Cheney vs Berger
This race has been the heated battle that everyone expected.
Lima voters are looking at incumbent Mayor David Berger’s 28 years in office and asking if a change is warranted.
Berger speaks proudly of his seven terms. He talks about taking over a city suffering from Rust Belt economics and transforming it to what he calls the best economy in 40 years. “That didn’t just happen. There was no magic bullet. It took lots of hard work … teaming together,” Berger says.
Challenger Keith Cheney has been running a get tough on crime campaign, vowing to hire more officers and shake up the police department. As for Berger’s claims of a good economy, Cheney points out Lima’s poverty rate has jumped from 21 percent in 1990 to 32 percent in 2016 — “hardly a good economy. … That’s one in three people living in poverty. All we’ve done the past 28 years is import poverty, not imported prosperity.”
0.25 percent income tax
The Allen County Regional Transit Authority is expecting a budget shortfall of more than $1 million, since 30 percent of its grant funding is now gone. Its answer is to seek a 10-year income tax increase that would amount to 25 cents on every $100 of purchases or $62.50 on a new $25,000 vehicle.
What is troublesome is the RTA’s lack of accountability. By the RTA’s own admission, the tax increase would raise about $3 million more than the RTA needs. It offers no explanation on how it will use that extra money.
The RTA also has not fully explored other funding sources, such as seeking donations from those companies or small businesses that benefit the most from its services.
STATE ISSUE 2
Prescription drug costs
Issue 2 requires all state departments, agencies and entities to pay no more for prescription drugs than the price paid by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
The problem is nearly two-thirds of Ohioans will watch from the sidelines when the discounts are handed out. This includes those with private insurance, employer-provided insurance and seniors who rely on Medicare.
The “vote yes” crowd argues that any time you can save the taxpayer any money, it is a good thing. The “vote no” contingent fears those savings will simply be passed on to the majority of Ohioans. That’s resulted in a diverse group of health-care agencies, labor unions and chambers of commerce pushing for a “no vote.” They fear the consequences that will result from Issue 2 are worse than the solution.
STATE ISSUE 1
“Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights”
State Issue 1 addsto the Ohio Constitution a “Bill of Rights” for crime victims. Among the things it ensures is that crime victims:
• Receive timely notice on public proceedings.
• Be heard in public proceedings on release, plea, sentences or parole.
• Are granted the right to refuse discovery requests, except under the order of a judge.
• Receive full and timely restitution from a convicted person.
Opponents of Issue 1 argue that amending the constitution is the wrong way to ensure reform. They say it’s a matter for the state legislature, pointing out that building the reforms into the the Constitution makes it harder to adjust over time. Those in favor say that’s the point: to ensure a victim’s rights aren’t continually changing.
LIMA CITY COUNCIL
• 1st Ward: This is a question of style between two men who each have served a four-year term on council. Ray Magnus is a a watchdog who asks tough questions and is not afraid to confront someone. Incumbent Todd Gordon brings a more calm approach to council, saying the non-confrontational style better serves the 1st Ward.
• 3rd Ward: This race boils down to a question of advocacy: Do residents prefer Jesse Lowe — who has fiercely defend their wishes the past eight years — or is it time to bring in Carla Thompson, who is less about fighting and more about creating unity?
• 5th Ward: Incumbent Teresa Adams doesn’t get caught up in turf wars, arrives at meetings well prepared and listens before speaking. At day’s end, she’s a plain-talking councilor who doesn’t mince words. She is being challenged by Jamie Dixon, an energetic first-timer to politics.
• 7th Ward: Jon Neeper criticizes incumbent Ann Miles for her 100 percent voting record of Mayor Berger’s proposals. He says he won’t be a rubber stamp. Miles counters that you can disagree behind closed doors without humiliating someone in public. She adds a councilor accomplishes more when treating people respectfully.