To the Editor:
I would like to encourage Liberty Township and Powell residents to vote Feb. 5 and vote in favor of the Liberty Township fire levy. Unlike the failed levy last November, this levy is not a tax increase but rather it will collect the same amount of tax over the next six years as it did in the past six years. The difference is we will have a tax break in 2013 and will pay what we normally would have paid over six years over five years instead; however, the coverage will be for six years.
I understand there are many upset with the township's leadership for waiting until the last hour and trying to force a tax increase levy on the voters last November and prematurely laying off four firefighters without waiting for the February results. I, too, was disappointed because I agree with Trustee Melanie Leneghan that layoffs were not necessary but rather a hiring freeze could have accomplished the desired results. This is especially true because even if the last November levy would have passed, the collection would not have occurred until February 2013 anyway.
However, a "no" vote and even a no-show could not only dismantle the fire department but also contribute to demoralizing our firefighters and EMS service personnel, who have been unnecessarily placed in the middle of this debate. Our firefighters and EMS have served our community over the years with diligence and honor and deserve our support.
While I may not have supported a tax increase, I have always advocated for their decent pay and adequate safety apparatus, and this levy Feb. 5 will accomplish that without taxing more than what is necessary.
Please put politics aside and vote "yes" Feb. 5.