Luxury We Can’t Afford

Editor, News-Register:

On behalf of all the financially challenged residents of the City of Wheeling, I would like to thank all of those voters that opposed the public safety building levy. Thanks to the WV Constitution that required 60 percent to pass the bond levy, it failed.

For those of you that voted for the levy, I offer these comments for your consideration on future levies in Wheeling, Ohio County, and West Virginia. Before you vote to pass a levy that maybe you can afford, think of those that are struggling to make ends meet on a day-to-day basis.

The silent majority of Wheeling citizens are not interested in monuments that cost millions of dollars. In a lot of cases this silent majority is forced to live/survive on the few dollars they receive in retirement or Social Security checks. Subsequent to having my initial PSB Levy opposition letter published, I have been approached by a significant number of Wheeling residents thanking me for speaking out.

I have no doubt that a new PSB would be an asset to our community and to the city firefighters and policemen. However, it’s a luxury that we can’t afford. My recommendation to City Council is to look for better management of the space they currently have. Is there a possibility that the “emergency operations center” in the basement can be used by the police department, since it is not in full time use? Can the municipal courtroom be turned over to the police department and court activities take place in the newly remodeled council chambers? Another space that sits empty the majority of the time.

These are just a couple of suggestions, I’m sure the city administration, if properly motivated, can find other ways of helping the public safety departments lessen the cramped conditions that were alluded to during the city’s public relations campaign to pass the levy. Which by the way, the mayor and council never did say who funded their campaign ads. Hopefully they didn’t use taxpayers’ dollars.

Let’s remember that we are not a large city and never will be. That’s OK, that’s what makes Wheeling unique and attractive.

Hope springs eternal!

J. Jacobs

Wheeling

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