Electing New Leaders

Editor, News-Register:

Reality check!

Talking about hedging your bets. The administration is now saying that, “Oh, well, we’re not settled on the 19th St. property.” That’s after they received some flak about the outrageous cost ($500,000-plus) they said they were going to pay for a piece of property assessed at $40,000-plus.

This is just another example of council’s expertise in the property development business (like Main Street properties and others) — buy high and sell low or give away along with some taxpayer money to help a private entity develop it. It’s also another example of their skills in “money management.”

Now let’s go back in time to the mayor and council’s issuing a “Memorandum of Understanding” to Alecto a couple of years ago. I’m not one to say I told you so, but I told you so. Prior to the vote on the MOU I did a presentation in front of council explaining why I was opposed to council passing the MOU. Needless to say, they totally ignored my presentation, refused to answer any questions, and also refused my request to table the matter until further review and discussions could be held on the merits of the MOU.

The same recently happened when it came down to enacting a “user fee.” I had several people ask me if I was going to the council meeting the night the “user fee” was on the agenda for a vote. I said I would not be attending because I knew it wouldn’t matter if I attended and spoke out against the fee. The decision had already been made and the people’s voices would fall on deaf ears. I must have ESP, since that is exactly what happened.

Getting back to Alecto, the bottom has fallen out and the city of Wheeling is left holding the bag; my guess to the tune of close to a million dollars with all taxes, fees, and unpaid utility bills. It is my understanding that Alecto’s parent company is well funded, so there shouldn’t be any hesitation to file liens, or initiate lawsuits to recover the taxpayers’ money. But more important is the loss of a critical health care facility in Wheeling and all of the jobs associated with that loss. You can see how concerned the mayor and city council were not only to the loss of the facility and jobs, but also to the loss in revenue to the city. They went ahead and passed the “user fee” to build a new public safety building.

It doesn’t matter that the patient (Wheeling) is on life support, and suffers from a number of maladies, i.e., bad roads and sinkholes, antiquated sanitary and storm sewers, ancient water lines, and a structurally deficient bridge on Washington Avenue. Our current city leadership does what every irresponsible steward of taxpayers’ dollars does; they what to increase taxes and build a monument to their administration. Pack your bags incumbents, enough is enough. The election of a new mayor and council will provide the opportunity to rescind the “user fee,” right-size government, and begin to travel the path of sanity and logic in guiding Wheeling to a brighter future. Hope springs eternal!

J. Jacobs

Wheeling

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