Liberty Township

Voters' opinions, not fiscal officer's, should guide township

To the Editor:

Liberty Township Fiscal Officer Mark Gerber needs to accept what the majority of voters decided on the November fire levy rather than continue attacking everyone who disagrees.

I can find nothing in Ohio code or township information that even suggests the fiscal officer is to impose their opinion on what the township is to fund from tax dollars. This is reserved for township trustees and then the voter. The primary function of the office is to keep the checkbook.

Gerber is entitled to his opinion, but it has no more weight or vote than does the opinion and vote of each of the 7,802 Liberty Township residents who voted "no" on the November fire levy. Gerber is abusing his office if and when he uses his title as the fiscal officer to campaign for or against any expenditures.

Many people, including me, on multiple occasions told township officials they were asking for too much, but they emphatically would not consider anything less than a 42 percent increase. That's what the voters rejected. If Gerber wants to attack those who have the most blame for the November levy failure, he, along with Trustees Curt Sybert and Mary Carducci, just need to look in the mirror.

Continually, he attacks Melanie Leneghan and occasionally me, suggesting that we orchestrated a huge anti-levy crusade. Calling a handful of people who were so outraged by the increase that they decided to take few hours and spend less than $350 to shine a light on the 42 percent increase a crusade is par for how Gerber will stretch the truth. He continues to say that information put out alerting taxpayers of the 42 percent increase "was filled with wrong information." This is coming from a man who repeatedly said that the levy was not a 42 percent increase.

When challenged, he will concede that, well, the math is a 42 percent increase, and will then give some unrelated comparisons to distract your attention from the $2,450,000 increase he asked for. This is the same man who continually brags how he was able to get the firefighters to contribute toward their own retirement and healthcare coverage (like the rest of us). What he does not tell you, but finally conceded in the Feb. 19 township meeting, is that the township taxpayers are completely underwriting the entire amount of all of their contributions. It is costing the firefighters nothing. He continually skews partial facts to advance his political agenda.

Their refusal to write an evenhanded ballot is far more attributable to failure of the November ballot than everything else combined. This is just another example of government's lack of any concern as your taxes increase. Let's move on.

Mike Gemperline
Treasurer, Friends of Liberty Township

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