Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Grove City Council Meets over Taxes, Energy Costs

Grove City Borough Council met on Monday night to discuss two hot subjects: taxation and rising energy costs.

Council member Beth Cooney was absent. Primary winners Michael Coulter and Patrick Chapman were in attendance.

On energy costs, borough manager Vance Oakes informed the Council that current PA regulations are putting the brakes on Grove City's investment into a couple new energy facilities in Ohio. These plants would allow Grove City to receive energy at considerably lower costs for the next several decades.

Apparently, the state doesn't think that a borough can't be an investor in these projects. We need to be an owner. Let me check my wallet for the $2 billion needed to build a coal-fired electrical plant....

Luckily, we are exploring other options. Earlier this year, Council signed a five-year energy deal with current provider AMP-Ohio in an effort to keep rates stable. Without the investments though, we will have to buy energy on the open market, which means sharp increases. Thanks for the bureaucracy, Pennsylvania!


------------------

On the matter of taxation, the Council determined to look into raising the Emergency Municiple Services Tax (formally the Occuational Privilege Tax...ahhh, socialism). On the surface, the reaction to such a change is to shout "No tax hikes!"

And I agree. Which is why I voted against looking into the tax.

Let's hold our horses for one minute, though. What if that tax were raised to the full $52 per year for those who work inside our borough? And what if property taxes were raised a corresponding amount? Intrigued?

Grove City borough was totally in the black for 2007, with no deficit spending (taking money from reserves). We're trying to do that again for 2008.

Personally, I hate the EMS tax, especially since I remember its roots as the OP tax. I remember my first job - as a produce worker at BiLo - and feeling furious about paying for the privilege to work and pay bills. Socialism is alive and well, Der Kommissar!

That said, I hate property taxes even more. Our nation is based upon freedoms - and one freedom is the right of property ownership. However, if you don't send the greedy bureaucrats in Harrisburg your property taxes, you will lose your land. Who really owns it?

Add in the disasterous tax hikes from Bob Post, Jane Rath, and the rest of the Grove City School Board, and you have citizens literally losing their property from being over taxed. The School Board doesn't care - they pass big hikes every year and fully expect you have plenty of money to pay for it. If people lose their land, well, that's just part of the process.

This is a topic that weighs heavily on the Borough Council. We see an opportunity to drastically cut the property taxes under our watch (our current rate is 4.5 mils...the School Board's rate is up to 50-something at this point). If the School Board is going to continue to punish you, maybe we can help a little.

This is just in the exploratory phase. No action is being taken. We're just discussing the pros and cons. And it's all open to the public, as it always has been. You are always welcome to any regular meeting or committee meeting or worksession. We'd love your input!

Mercer County Commissioner Debate Wrap-up

The Herald (Sharon, PA) has a wrap-up of last night's debate.

According to the article, there weren't any bombshells dropped. The only interesting part is that the democratic candidates (Brian Beader and Kenneth Ammann) seem to differ on issues, such as taxation and the recent bank building purchase made by the county.

Oddly, Ammann said he didn't have enough info to make a decision about the purchase. Ummm...you are running for commissioner - and this issue has been in the news a good bit lately. The election is not far away. You might want to consider learning about current topics in the next week!

Sadly, the article had a very small section on taxation. It would have been nice to read about what they thought about our current situation - especially the economic plundering done by former commissioners a handful of years ago. The way the article is written, it sounds like Ammann wants to cut taxes and no one else does. Huh? A little in-depth reporting would have solved that confusion.

Transcripts, anyone?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mercer County Commissioner Candidates Debate Tonight

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Forum of the Shenango Campus of Pennsylvania State University. Republicans Lewis McEwen and John Lechner and Democrats Kenneth Ammann and Brian Beader, the only incumbent in the race, will field questions from a panel and the audience.

The debate will be broadcast on WPIC 790 AM.


It sounds like a rip-roaring good time...and I'll be there! Well, not really. I'll be at PSU Shenango teaching young skulls full of mush while the debate rages on...

PSU Shenango is also hosting a comedian at the same time.

Given the choice of a political debate or a comedian, which do you think students will go to see? And students wonder why I laugh when they say they want to be treated like adults...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Courageous Jordan Jack Passes Away

Jordan Thomas Jack, 4, passed away, succombing to an extremely rare genetic disorder, Griscelli syndrome. Only 60 cases have ever been reported worldwide. Jordan had been fighting the disease for a couple years.

Here is an article that gives some background into Jordan's story.

Jordan is survived by his parents, Jason and Monica Jack, and his sister Madalynn, all of Grove City.

Godspeed, Jordan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hillary's Empty Resume

There has been a hanging political curveball out there for a very long time and Rudy Giuliani finally stepped up and hit a home run.

Why does anyone think Hillary Clinton should be president? What does she even know about the job, other than riding the coattails of her husband? Granted, we know that she's very capable of abusing the government (FBI files, anyone?). But think about her resume...it is empty.

Anyway, Rudy was on Hannity and Colmes last night and swung the bat:
"...honestly and most respectfully, I don't know Hillary's experience. She's never run a city; she's never run a state; she's never run a business; she's never met a payroll; she's never been responsible for the safety and security of millions of people, much less even hundreds of people. So I'm trying to figure out where the experience is here.

It would seem to me that, in a time of difficult problems and war, we don't want on-the-job training, you know, for an executive. The reality is that these areas in which — maybe there are some areas in which she has experience, but the areas of having the responsibility of the safety and security of millions of people on your shoulders is not something Hillary has ever had any experience with."

There you have it. No experience. No wonder she wants Bush to yank the troops before the next president takes office - she's totally unprepared to handle problems that face the world. Heck - she can't even handle her own household.

And she wants to be the one to develop a national healthcare plan?

And she wants to be the one to determine how much profits a business should earn?

If she's the winner, we're screwed. And you thought Jimmy Carter was bad...

Mercer County DA Candidates Square Off

The League of Women Voters of Mercer County, WPIC-AM, and The Herald sponsored a District Attorney debate last night between Republican James Goodwin and Democrat Robert Kochems.

The debate showed the clear differences between the two men: one favors plea agreements and rehabilitation, and the other favors strict prosecution and harsh penalties.

Want to guess which favors what?

It's no surprise why Goodwin chose to go after Kochems on the percieved soft-on-crime status of the DA's office. Retiring DA James Epstein has had Mercer County residents scratching their heads over ludicrous plea bargains offered to criminals - violent criminals at that.

In Grove City, Epstein was quick to pull the death penalty off the table for Scott Dunn, who savagely murdered his wife Brandi. By the time the trial was set to start, Dunn and Epstein came up with an excedingly generous deal that could see Dunn walk in 26 years. And this could be reduced by 13 more years pending a sentencing appeal.

Goodwin was also quick to point out the squandering of tax dollars by the DA's office, noting that they need to do more with less. Goodwin noted the lack of efficiency and case backlog that currently hampers prosecutions and paves the way for plea bargains.

Kochems denied that a backlog exists and was quick to defend the actions of Epstein, which isn't a surprise - Epstein has endorsed Kochems.

Have you been outraged over the plea bargains given to violent predators in Mercer County? Your choice is clear in November.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Grove City Borough Council Meeting Tonight

It's the third Monday of the month, so it's time for another meeting.

7:00 at the borough building...come and see your elected officials in action. All open, no secrets.

Get to know the issues. Feel free to ask questions.

See you there!

New Blog for the Staff Sergeant Shawn A. Graham Veterans Memorial Bridge

There is now a blog for the Graham Veterans Bridge where people can find out the most recent information about construction, the Memorial Walk, and the upcoming dedication ceremony.

Address: http://grahambridge.blogspot.com

It's a non-political site, geared toward information collection and disemination.

I'll continue to keep up with the looney Tin Foil Hat Society and their hypocrisy on this blog.

Friday, October 05, 2007

VA Butler Healthcare Hosting "Welcome Home" Celebration for War on Terror Vets

Definitely a good story here, folks...

According to InsideButlerCounty.com the VA will be hosting this event on Saturday, October 20. A wide variety of services will be available, as well as music, giveaways, food, and kids' activities for veterans' families.

Make an opening in your schedule to stop by and say "thanks" to our heroes!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Phil English: Bush Should Tell the Terrorists Our Plans

Congressman Phil English (PA-3), known for incorrectly reading the tea leaves, has jumped on the "I'm against the war, too...please don't vote me out of office" bandwagon.

English has always been a RINO, but in this instance, he's fully jumped into liberal territory. He has introduced House Resolution 3087, which "requires the Administration to report to Congress within 60 days on the status of its planning for redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq, and then update Congress every 90 days." (Hat tip to InsideButlerCounty.com.)

Thankfully, the President has the authority (granted by the Constitution and approved by this Congress) to wage war. He doesn't need to tell Congress his blueprint for removing troops.

If Bush laid out a timeline, given their unquenchable desire for fame, Congressmen and women would then run to the nearest reporter and detail everything. Oops...now the terrorists have our plans and our troops and allies are in danger.

That's brilliant...

Hypocracy alert: The next time you hear a liberal demanding withdrawal from Iraq, ask when we're going to leave the Balkans. In an election year promise, Clinton said all of the troops would be home by Christmas 1996. He won re-election and our troops are still there...policing a real civil war, not a media-fabricated one.