Citizens must keep eye on levyPublished 10:31am Friday, November 8, 2013
After a narrow loss in last year’s election, Ironton’s recreation levy was passed for five more years after more than half of voting residents voted in favor of the half mill levy on Tuesday.
Only 1,585 Ironton residents voiced their opinion on the levy by voting — 997 for and 588 against — and it seems some must have had a change of heart after the levy failed by 112 votes last year.
Having said that, if the city is going to continue to take the taxpayers’ money to fund the recreation department, city leaders should take a hard look at each dollar that is spent and ensure the money is used wisely.
There has been some question in the past as to how the approximately $85,000 a year the levy brings in is spent.
Some of that money goes to pay the salary and benefits of Recreation Director Brett Thomas and the wages of a seasonal part-time employee.
The money is also used to maintain the cities six parks and Thomas’ work with the youth basketball league.
Exactly how much is spent in each area remains unclear, which is something that could and should be more transparent.
We would like to see an effort made to make use of Judge O. Clark Collins’ community service workers who could cut park grass for free.
Other youth sports teams in the county run without public tax dollars. Could Ironton’s youth program do the same?
The passing of the Ironton rec levy should be — and is —a good thing for the children of our community.
It will now be up to city residents who use these parks and services to speak up and let leaders know if their tax money is being used in a manner fit for their children, or if the status quo is no longer good enough.