Article Comment 

Voice of the people: Raymond Gross




Disappointed in mayor, city's response to problems 


We moved to the friendly city of Columbus at our present location in November of 1999. Since then we have paid over $20,000 in property taxes on an old house built in 1952 that we have also paid dearly to modify and maintain. After being faithful tax paying registered voters in Ward 5 for all these years, we can hardly see where our representation in city government help equals our investment in taxes. Digressing, I'd like to hear someone fighting to give us older folks a tax break, like "zero property taxes on personal dwellings after age 70." 


We have seen a few pay raises for the mayor/council since '99 but the one reported on in The Dispatch for our present mayor takes the cake. Wow! Ten thousand dollars, really? I remember when we first moved to Columbus. We knew the mayor as a wise, well-liked and respected councilman of Ward 1. Although we are in Ward 5 we payed close attention to his input at all the council meetings. We respected his judgement and could always count on him to take a stand for what was in the best interest for all citizens of Columbus, not for only himself.  


Back then we would never believed he would have voted for a $10,000 pay raise for any mayor, even if the mayor was own daddy. Nor would he have voted for a four-day workweek. I've heard him say that the four-day work week saves money but yet he voted today to spend 10,000 more dollars every year only on himself. That just doesn't hold water in my book.  


Neither of the two decisions are in the best interest of the majority of our population. Needless to say , that majority is very disappointed and feel so let down.  


We feel let down too and frustrated as well in all the times we call the Action Line for help from Public Works or one of the other departments and get nothing but a recording saying, "Sorry , I'm away from my desk." Especially when we call on a Friday. One example, our street was half way blocked by fallen trees for about a month, couldn't get any help. Finally, one Saturday a policeman was driving by who evidently got sick and tired of it and called 911, who called a man on stand-by, who then responded with a large front end loader and cleared the street in a very short time.  


My hat's off to the operator, Mr. Black, who acted in a very professional manner. (That was the weekend all the head sheds were at a "conference" down on the Coast.) I think Mr. Black has more PR sense than most of the uppity ups who have their own air conditioned office downtown.  


I was told on another occasion by one of them that a large dead tree leaning out over the road, that would have easily killed people had it fallen at the exact time they were driving by, was my problem. An obvious attitude of " who cares if it falls, it's your problem." After telling me "it's your problem he jumps in his car and drives away, never to be heard from again. So, rather than try "fighting city hall" I went ahead and paid someone $300 to cut it down. Now, common sense tells me that a couple hours spent having the tree cutting crew in Public Works remove the dead tree would have been worth many years worth in PR. Not to mention possibly saving a life or two. 


We're not only disappointed in the Mayor, but others as well, to include the councilmen who voted for the shocking raise in pay raise. By the way, I'm glad our Ward 5 councilman voted no just like I wanted him to do. 


Raymond Gross 





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