Why is UH mayor urging new tax if $2.2 million 'surplus monies' are real?

Mayor Infeld wants to impose a $1.8 million tax increase on the taxpayers of University Heights. But at the same time, she says we have $2.2 million in “surplus monies.” What?

The question is obvious. If we have surplus monies, why do we need a tax increase? Did Mayor Infeld generate the “surplus monies” by cutting basic municipal services the citizens expect?

Forget we elected Susan Infeld mayor on her campaign promise—“It is imperative that the city government delivers additional services to residents at no additional cost.”

Forget the new $1.8 million bond tax hike Infeld is urging—for the most expensive little neighborhood park, per capita, in Ohio. 

Forget the mayor has no budget for the extra new police and fire expenditures we will spend when Wiley Middle School converts to the interim high school.

Forget the private property Infeld rushed into buying from Fuchs Mizrachi with “surplus monies,” at a price tag of more than $800,000—so far—for a neighborhood park.

If voters pass the new tax for Mayor Infeld’s park, a family of four will have to cough up about an additional $880 in taxes. While census estimates show increasing population for Ohio, UH population has been steadily declining since the Mayor took office. There will be fewer shoulders to bear the tax burden. 

It appears the mayor’s sources of “surplus monies” come from cuts in basic municipal services:

  • Police Department – Infeld cut this department from 30 police, who respond to calls and patrol our streets to keep them safe, to only 25 since she took office. “Surplus monies” or cuts to our services?
  • Fire Department – Infeld cut this department from 29 down to 25 since she took office. “Surplus monies” or cuts to our services?
  • Emergency Medical Service – Infeld cut the EMS team from three responders to two. Both Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights say three are needed. And this spring, for some reason, it appears that one of our two ambulances started responding at noticeably higher frequency on EMS runs to noncontiguous East Cleveland, putting one ambulance further afield than is our custom. “Surplus monies” or cuts to our services?
  • Streets and curbs - Ours are in need of repair and replacement since Infeld took office. “Surplus monies” or cuts to our services?
  • Rusted out garbage trucks - The UH city seal on rusted trucks? “Surplus monies” or cuts to our services?
  • Tennis courts and swimming pool - The mayor’s continued neglect of Purvis Park tennis courts make them unusable by adult players. The swimming pool is aging. A rainy-day fund has yet to be established. City Hall’skicking the can down the road” philosophy of deferred maintenance is costly. “Surplus monies” or cuts to our services?

Why, if we have all these “surplus monies,” do we have to pass a new bond issue tax for a very expensive little neighborhood park while the mayor cuts basic services we pay to receive?

There are no “surplus monies” in University Heights.

There are only cuts in municipal services to one of the highest taxed cities in Ohio.

Anita Kazarian

Anita Kazarian is president of Noah’s Landing, LLC, and a 31-year resident of University Heights. Contact her at anitakazarian@gmail.com.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:36 PM, 08.28.2014