I share with my fellow Munroe Falls City Councilmembers the importance of Issue 5. Issue 5 is a police levy and identical in nature to the police levy we attempted to pass in 2014.
I believe the police department needs an assured funding stream without total reliance on the General Fund. When passed, it will shift about $300,000 of police funding from the General Fund to a separate Police Levy Fund, like the current EMS and Fire Levies. It will not automatically increase the police budget 30 percent from the current $1 million to $1.3 million.
It will allow for much needed pay increases and hopefully a full-time officer on each shift 24/7. We need our full-time officers and sergeants to start working weekend shifts. If they do agree to a contract change, I will encourage Council to approve funding to hire two full-time officers.
The department has other needs as well. The city is a year behind in replacing one patrol car and will need to replace a second car by early 2018. A recent situation has drawn attention to evidence requirements, liability concerns as well as officer protection making inside surveillance video essential. Please join me in supporting Issue 5 on May 2.
Issue 4 is an income tax increase that I cannot support. As former Mayor Brad Sisak pointed out last week, 85 percent of our working residents work and pay taxes in other cities. Think about it 8 out of 10 residents pay nothing or very little to support the services they receive. That leaves the other 2 out of 10 people plus a handful of people coming to work in Munroe Falls to bear the burden. I don't think it is equitable. I have offered possible alternatives. I am voting "no" on Issue 4.
Mike Barnes, Munroe Falls city councilmember