Liberty Township

Guzzo: Letter got facts wrong on 2012 fire levy, bike paths

To the Editor:

While people are entitled to their opinions, I take exception to those who purposely mislead and misstate facts in an effort to sway an election.

In the Oct. 17 letter to the editor by Jim Hurt, he stated inaccurate information and made misleading statements. Mr. Hurt claims I, as a private citizen and not as an elected official at the time, opposed the 2012 Liberty Township fire levy and told voters they could turn it down without sacrificing service. This is incorrect. I did not actively campaign against the 2012 fire levy and my citizen comments at the public meetings were against the township leadership for forcing the community to accept a 42 percent increase or vote against the fire department. I also stated that the 2012 fire levy's approximate 42 percent increase (from $6 million to $8.4 million annually) was unsustainable. I made it clear that if the fire levy failed, a new levy would have to be placed on the ballot in February 2013 and would require enough millage to recover the loss 2012 tax revenue because the prior fire levy had actually expired in 2011 and taxes are collected in the arrears. When the 2012 levy failed I, as a private citizen, crafted and presented the successful February millage to save our fire and EMS department and recover the loss 2012 tax revenues without raising taxes. I strongly support a quality and sustainable fire and EMS department and will work to make sure we retain a quality and stable department while keeping our taxes low.

Mr. Hurt also claims, while I was a trustee, I blocked a bike path, causing it to be delayed for two years and costing several thousands of dollars more to complete. His statements are misleading. I only blocked an illegal no-bid contract, but I was the one who initiated the installation of bike paths, and despite not receiving initial support, I kept the issue alive until finally receiving a second vote to properly proceed with the project.

Finally, regarding the CEDA, the township and the city were already "embroiled" over whether a proposed Target was "pedestrian scale" and citizens' right to seek and receive assistance from their representative with the initiative process to regulate the size of retail commercial buildings is the freedom our soldiers fought for. And as a former trustee, the city of Powell never had a stronger partner in working toward common ground and shared values.

Peggy Guzzo