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Letters To The Editor

Thank You To The Supporters Of American Legion Event
To the Editor:
The American Legion Post 320 would like to thank the Appliance Center, Brondes, Charlie’s, Tireman, Expresso’s, Jed’s, Fricker’s, Timbers, LongHorn Steakhouse, Applebee’s, BW3, Star Diner, JD’s Drive Thru, D & R, Maumee Eagles, El Salto, Max & Erma’s, Barry Bagels, Holiday Inn, Village Idiot, Buster’s, Brandywine, Heather Downs Country Club, Cinco de Mayo, Bunker Bar, Mar’s Centre Court Lounge, Walbridge Diner, Frish’s, Ralphie’s and The Mirror for the donations for the Legion Feather Party.
Thanks also to all who came and supported the event for our veterans.
American Legion Post 320
Feather Party Organizers

Sharing Good City Budget News As Quarter Ends With Surplus
Everyone likes good news! Our city of Maumee financial statements are complete for the first three quarters of 2017 and they bring very good news. We finished September with a year-to-date surplus of $679,985 in our Operations Fund and $1,036,872 in our Capital Fund. (Two-thirds of each tax dollar received goes to Operations and the remaining one-third to Capital.) Why is this such good news? Every year since 2005, our Operations Fund has had a year-end deficit. In the period of the mid-2000s, our Operation Fund realized consistent single-year deficits of well over $1 million and those deficits reached as high as $2.1 million. The trend of change began in 2014; by 2015, the year-end deficit was $319,440 and in 2016, $226,832. With the loss of The Andersons corporate headquarters and retail store we had projected a 2017 Operations Fund deficit of $767,471, so a surplus is truly very good news. How was this achieved? First, it was not through any increase in taxes! Instead, in 2013 we began an annual process of reviewing every single expense of our city that is controlled by the mayor and council. We initiated a computer program that required pre-approval of every expense incurred throughout the year, and we created an audit team to review year-end results. We eliminated much unnecessary spending without reducing services. We also implemented a monthly review of overtime by division and by every employee. We have realized three straight years of decline in overtime paid, and through September our overtime payments have been reduced 40 percent compared to 2014. As expected, our revenues are down substantially this year compared to last year. However, our expenses have realized a far more significant reduction. For the first three quarters of this year, operations controlled by the mayor and council realized a surplus of $1,189,086. The year-to-date expenses paid by the city for the municipal court exceeded the revenue paid by the court to the city by $509,101. This resulted in a net $679,985 Operations surplus year to date. Are we expecting to finish 2017 with such a high surplus in our Operations Fund for the year? No. Timing of payroll, purchase of rock salt, receipt of EMS payments from the county and other significant expenditures will impact our final quarter. Nevertheless, instead of a $767,471 deficit in 2017, we are now projected to break even and possibly have a surplus for the first time since 2005! These results are a reflection of the commitment of our city council, administration and employees to paying attention to details and being responsible with how your tax dollars are spent. We cannot relax. We must continue to watch with the same scrutiny how every dollar is spent. Recently announced major economic development plans for Maumee should by 2019 result in our financial situation having completely turned around, enabling us to operate on a balanced budget with potential surplus to protect us from any downturns in our state or national economy in the future. While turning deficit spending in excess of $2 million a year to a surplus is remarkable, we realize that operating a safe, clean city within the tax dollars received is what you expect from us. And, speaking of good news: Yes, the Maumee High School football team did beat that school from across the river and the Ding Dong Bell is home where it belongs! That achievement, like our financial results, resulted from commitment and teamwork. Both, in different ways, are accomplishments for which we can be thankful. Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
Richard H. Carr
Maumee Mayor

Area Generosity Makes A Difference To Students In Guatemala
To the Editor:
What would it be like to live in a very small one-room home with dirt floors and no bathrooms? What would it be like if parents could not help children with homework because the parents are not able to read? And what would it be like if the school that children attend could not afford paper or pencils for students to use? The Maumee City Schools recently joined with area residents in a project to educate students here on the poverty in our world, and to provide much-needed school supplies to students in Guatemala. This effort was an overwhelming success. New pencils, boxes of crayons, hundreds of bottles of glue, rulers, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, scissors and many other supplies filled numerous boxes at Gateway, Fairfield Elementary, Fort Miami Elementary and Wayne Trail Elementary in Maumee. These supplies were personally distributed by Maumee-area residents to students in Guatemala City, Mazatenango and the remote Mayan Indian village of Paquila in Guatemala this July. Thanks to the students in the Maumee City Schools and their families, we are providing children in Guatemala with an opportunity to learn. Our students have demonstrated that together we can make a difference in our world!
July 2017 Guatemala Mission Team

There’s No Place Like Home When You’re Maumee Proud
To the Editor:
I’m Maumee Proud. I grew up here and have returned here three times in my lifetime. I am most grateful that my family moved here when I was 1.5 years old. As an adult, I’ve lived in two other states, in at least five municipalities or zip codes, and wherever I was at the time, there was no place like home. I’m proud of our community and how we come together with examples like Mama C’s. I am also grateful our neighbors were able to march peacefully this summer for a cause they believe in and could exercise their freedom of speech. I’m grateful for the churches. Almost all have food pantries and have been providing for the needs of many, spiritually and in other ways, for years. I am Maumee Proud of the many youth activities our family participates in. It is always a pleasure greeting other families, whether we are at a high school football game, dropping a child off at school or meeting up in one of the many church-sponsored events. I am most proud about how we look after each other. Our church pantries are tied into individuals throughout our town. Most people wouldn’t know that from time to time, residents are given a voucher for a tank of gas, have their electric or gas bill covered for a month or that someone like a school resource officer would be delivering a load of free groceries to a family in need, because they are one of the many angels of stealth we have in this small city, where I am Maumee Proud. Yes, we have issues, like many other places, but we have much more to be grateful and proud about.
Brad Reynolds

Maumee Operating At A Deficit Despite Cost-Cutting Measures
To the Editor:
Many residents have asked how the city is doing with the loss of The Andersons’ corporate headquarters at the end of last year and the retail store in 2017.
The financial statements for our city for the first six months of this year are complete, and the answer as to how we are doing financially is important to our residents and business owners.
The first six months of this year, the city of Maumee operated at a deficit of $339,000. While we are well-insulated from such losses as we maintain healthy balances in our savings accounts, no city nor individual nor business can sustain deficit spending forever before you deplete your savings.
For the period of January 1 through June 30, 2017, all operations of the city of Maumee, excepting the Maumee Municipal Court, were completed at $37,000 less than the income received during that period. Those operations controlled by the administration and council resulted in a surplus.
However, for the first six months of this year, the Maumee Municipal Court’s deficit was $376,000. The mayor and council have no control over the court’s spending, which was confirmed when Judge Byers sued the mayor and council and was successful in obtaining an opinion that as we were not in a financial emergency, we had no power over the court’s spending.
I think it is a shame that we would have to wait until we are in an emergency to address the deficit spending of the court. The city of Maumee has made major reductions to spending and vastly improved managing our funds in the last four years, which has enabled us to operate our services at a surplus where before, the deficit was over a million dollars a year.
In addition to eliminating unnecessary contract expenses, we also have concentrated on managing overtime expense. For the first six months of this year, overtime was down over $22,000 from the same period last year and over $93,000 for the same period in 2015. We will have some major economic development announcements in the next month resulting from our efforts over the last 18 months, which will allow us to continue to improve financially.
Richard H. Carr
Maumee Mayor

Whitehouse Was The Right Choice For An Appreciative Couple
To the Editor:
Moving to Whitehouse was the best move we ever made. Aware of our disabilities, Whitehouse Police Chief Mark McDonough and Deputy Chief Todd Kitzler arranged to have the snow cleared from our driveway this winter. They also arranged for Boy Scout Troop 97 to come and weed our garden and lay the mulch around our house in May. Thanks to leaders Clif Vaughan and Mike Haines and their Scouts, Henry Haines, Jack Haines and Geordi Pizzifred, for their hard work. We have found Whitehouse and its caring people to give new meaning to the quote, “It Takes a Village.” Indeed it does.
Jan and Paul Rachow

Whitehouse, Waterville Quiet Despite Proposed Nexus Compressor Station
To the Editor:
It’s been quiet in Waterville and Whitehouse lately. Economic development has been good for homebuilders and the real estate industry in general. Soon, very soon, a decision will be made at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over the Nexus pipeline. The outcome could have devastating consequences to the general area if its permit is issued – giving a first industrial natural gas compressor station to Waterville. Anthony Wayne Superintendent Jim Fritz has publicly voiced his concerns of the toxic plume generated affecting five of the district’s six schools that are within a 3-mile radius downwind. Nexus representatives have told me of plans for a second pipeline (another compressor station) that would double emissions from the Moosman Drive compressor site. Just something to consider when looking to move to the growing area.
Paul Wohlfarth
Ottawa Lake, Mich.

First Responders Earn Deep Gratitude From Rescued Rollover Accident Driver
To the Editor:
I wish to extend my most heartfelt gratitude to the Maumee Fire Department, paramedics, police officers and everyone who helped rescue me from my vehicle after my rollover accident on West Broadway. It was the most terrifying thing that I have ever been through.
Words cannot express how thankful I am for providing me the most compassionate, kind and proficient emergency care. As soon as they arrived, I instantly felt protected and safe. They reassured me over and over, “You are going to be alright.” The firemen and police officers made me feel comfortable and calm as they explained step by step the process of cutting me out of the SUV. I was trapped for close to an hour and there was always someone right by my side while the other firefighters were sawing the roof off. I am so grateful to all of them for saving me.
My family and I thank the Maumee fire and police departments from the bottom of our hearts for taking such good care of me and the other driver.
Katie Hazard

American Legion Grateful For Donations
To the Editor:
The Feather Party hosted by members of American Legion Post 320 was a great success.
We appreciate all of the support for the event, especially from the following businesses that donated so generously to it: Brandywine Country Club, Appliance Center, The Andersons, Charlie’s Dodge, Tireman, D&R Outdoor Power Equipment, Jd’s Drive-Thru, Dale’s, The Village Idiot, Buster Brown’s Big Dog Lounge, The Cigar Affair, El Salto’s, Timbers Bowling, Marco’s Pizza, Expresso Car Wash, Loma Linda’s, Casa Barron, Mar’s Center Court, Holiday Inn, Subway, Brondes, Barry Bagels, Longhorn Saloon, Fricker’s, OmniSource, Frisch’s Big Boy, Teri Lynn Salon, Maumee Eagles, Amazing Dollar, Bunker Bar, 7-Eleven Walbridge and The Skillet.
American Legion Post 320