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Letter: Vote 'Yes' on Issue 11 for New Police Station

Send your letters to the editor via email to editor Matt Fredmonsky at Matt.Fredmonsky@Patch.com

Kent Environmental Council (KEC) supports the passage of Issue 11 on Nov. 6, and urges Kent citizens to do the same. Issue 11 asks voters to make an investment in their safety services by approving a 0.25 percent income tax levy that would generate about $1.3 million annually. This revenue will go to capital improvements only, not operating expenses or maintenance.

Built in 1924, the 88-year-old building has had several additions and repairs made as the need for city services grew. KEC members who toured the building on Sept. 29 saw where a section of roof had collapsed in 2010, leading to an expensive repair. They also saw an aging building that is not compliant with many state-mandated standards and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Electrical and fire safety conditions are noncompliant, and HVAC and plumbing facilities are inadequate.

In the time that this building has existed, great improvements have been made in building methods and materials. Buildings today are far more efficient, use less energy, are less likely to be "sick buildings," and are generally a lower impact on the environment than buildings such as the current safety building. Especially those buildings built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards have a very low impact on the environment and meet high levels of efficiency.

The estimated cost to bring the building up to those standards is $12 million. The estimated cost to build a new facility in the same vicinity using green building standards and lowering operating costs is $14 million. The complete package, which includes land acquisition, site preparation and demolition of the old structure is $18 million.

Kent city income tax is paid only on earned income — salaries, wages, commissions, and the like. The increase would not affect those living on fixed income, such as retirees.

For all of these reasons, Kent Environmental Council recommends a "Yes" vote on Kent Issue 11, for a new safety services building to be built to LEED standards.

Lisa Regula Meyer
KEC Executive Chair
Kent, Ohio

Logan October 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM
It is absolutely rediculous that anyone would vote yes on an increased tax to help police that don't even help citizens of Kent. For example, this weekend while walking to my home, being a responsible person, a few police officers stopped me from walking to my own home. Even when explaining that I lived there they would not let me through. I then was forced to walk through peoples back yards to get home to sleep since KENT POLICE would not let me walk on the sidewalk. I wasn't even drunk and outrageous. I was sober and following the law, and still no help from police whatsoever.
Chris (Kit) Myers October 29, 2012 at 01:35 PM
What street? What time? You walked through back yards? Where? Get more specific; much more specific.
Logan October 29, 2012 at 01:57 PM
This was on University Dr. It was about 1:30 A.M. I do not know exactly where on the street because I was making sure to stay on grass and not get in people's flowerbeds. I also had to deal with mud to stay away from fences as well. All of this to get to my own house where I pay rent to sleep. Its absolutely rediculous.
Teresa K. October 29, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Logan: I'm sorry about your situation, was it Saturday night? Kent cops do a great job, in my opinion. Perhaps they heard about the robbery and were checking people out that were on foot? Why in the world would the police NOT want you on the sidewalk?? I dont get that. You're saying that the cops were making you trespass ?
Logan October 29, 2012 at 02:46 PM
It was on Saturday night, and I do thank the cops for keeping many people safe. However there is always another side to it...I have never, nor will IL ever disobey an officer. If a cop tells me I can't walk down the street to go home where I clearly told them I lived, I took that as I need to find another way home. I honestly didn't know any other way to do so. Again, I am not denying that many of them do their jobs appropriately, but especially at a time that they are in need of money, I don't see a point when a sober resident of Kent is not allowed on the sidewalk to walk home. Even neighbors of mine had the same issues...and to clarify...the cops never told me to tresspass...they said, "You cannot go down this street." This is even after I told the police you can walk me home and I will show you that I live there.
Brian Micheals October 29, 2012 at 02:51 PM
How about some specifics, building size, design, location and cost. I do not usuallly willing support increased taxes for such a vague project. This increase is forever...building cost are not.
Artie October 29, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Back on topic....... I will not vote for Issue 11, NOT because we don't need a new police station, but because the way the issue is written. Why is it a PERMANENT tax? For capital improvements? Once the building is built and payed for, the city will continue the tax for what? Improvements on the new court house, maybe a new fire station, improvements to the new parking deck? NO! If you want/need a new police station, then raise money for that and that alone. We have seen no architectural plans and really nothing on what the structural needs are other than we need money and the citizens of Kent can pay for it. Anybody possibly look into getting grant money; government money to assist with the expense?
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! October 29, 2012 at 03:26 PM
This should not be an income tax that never ends. And it seems pushy and pompous to expect the citizens of Kent to shell out more money for vague plans that leave more questions than answers. Why exactly isn't the building compliant with current codes? Especially in this city with it's silly proposed property maintenance code. How much revenue could be raised if officers sat at every school zone M-F and stopped those speeding through school zones? Or that "No Left Turn" on the bridge that was rarely enforced?
Tina Puckett October 29, 2012 at 04:03 PM
And as someone pointed out in the past, it will not only be the citizens of Kent that will support this tax but every city employee from any other vicinity as well, apparently permanently with no credit in their own municipalities if the income tax rate is lower. Many already pay a higher income tax to Kent than to the municipalities where they reside and have already traded off to work in the city.
Chris (Kit) Myers October 29, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I agree. Suddenly, mere weeks before election day, we need a new police station. Mr. Jeeper, you mention vague plans. Are there even ANY plans? I have seen none. I don't understand why anyone would vote for this cloudy tax issue or support it in any way. Unfortunately, when the words "public safety" are used, people's brains slip out of gear, and that includes our elitist city council members, not to mention the editorial staff of the Record-Courier. I guess you have some idea how I am going to vote.
Chris (Kit) Myers October 29, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Go talk to the police chief, Logan, and see what she has to say.
Bethany Tipton Snyder October 29, 2012 at 04:39 PM
The Akron Beacon Journal did a great article on this issue a few weeks ago and really explained it in a way that no other news outlet has done yet. http://www.ohio.com/news/local/four-area-communities-seek-income-tax-increases-1.338269
Matt Fredmonsky October 29, 2012 at 05:00 PM
You can see proposed architectural renderings of the new building and where it would stand, along with information about Issue 11, here: http://kent.patch.com/articles/kent-police-release-images-data-on-proposed-new-facility#photo-11444572
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! October 29, 2012 at 05:24 PM
"Currently there are not sufficient funds in existent city revenues to construct a new police facility." No grant or federal aid available. They turned down the idea of a levy because it would affect people on fixed incomes. Well, hate to break it to you, but most of us are currently on fixed incomes, like it or not. You don't have to be retired or on unemployment to feel the pinch. We already have a high enough income tax. How much money was wasted on several years worth of studies to evaluate the building since 1995? And the plans are so vague, it's ridiculous!!!
Logan October 29, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I just checked out the renderings of the new station if allowed, and I do believe that there are stores that would be tore down! Where will they be moved to? Of course they are mom and pop shops, and not chain stores so the city liek always will want to get rid of them and put them out of business! I hope that those stores wouldn't cave in!
Reds fan October 29, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Will a new police station stop crime or help the public? Why do we need to spend money we don't have right now? More tax and spending. More debt just like Washington. Our 4 votes will be NO
John Bard October 29, 2012 at 06:40 PM
First let me say that I think Kent needs and has needed one since 1960's, Kent has built 3 fire stations since the current police station was built, it also should noted that a police building has been in the annual budget for most of the last 25-30 years with council doing nothing. there is a rendering of what it "COULD" look like that has been shown over the last several months Issue 11 is not so much as a safety issue as it is a greed issue. The city has promised to spend the projected .25 on safety issues police and fire. Yet the city probably already spends more than .25 in this area, therefore this is a .25 increase that they can take from one hand to the other. Then spend as they wish without voter approval. Want a new police station use the concrete from the parking deck Kent not PARTA is building. Use land the city purchased for the courthouse but swapped for the old courthouse, I think the $750,000.00 used to finance the hotel for an individual could be used for the furniture in the new police station. The city of Kent doesn't follow it's own budget and does whatever it wants with the taxpayers dollars. Jimmy DiMora's legacy is alive and well and resides in Kent Ohio.
Ted M November 01, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Just last year, the cops all got new cars. Its the silly Impalla caprice. Dont they need a building rpaired first? Take how they are handeling situations and put in a citizens situation. I go out and buy new cars for myself and my family, just because. The cars we have been driving were still in very good shape. I went out and sent all of the available credit cards I had. I made all thse purchases knowing that my house would need some work. I have no money left to spend because I spent it all on foolish items. So does that make it ok for me to go to the city and ask for a grant, free, to fix my house? I do have a job, I could have to get an extra one to help pay, BUT NO, LETS FORCE IT ON THE PEOPLE. Brimfield is rated in the top 10% of all cops. They busted their butts do do everything that the chief needed to get done. The whole town loves their PD. The ew duilding didnt cost any resident any money. THIS IS ALL TRUE TOO. What has kpd done.......................any awards.....any residents that liked the cops here now might have to pay even more.................AND FOR WHAT, somebody please give me an answer
Ted M November 02, 2012 at 02:10 AM
so every criminal can be jailed in a nice up to date jail, sorta like the Ritz, but without bars. And air conditioning for the jail is absolutely needed.......not on my dime.

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