Upon review of the campaign materials supporting Issue 54, as a City Councilman in Elyria, I feel it is my duty to respond. My letter to the editor concerning this issue is as follows:
Issue 54 asks the residents to approve a change to the City Charter to allow the City to put a request for a change to our income taxes on the primary ballot. Currently, the Charter Amendment of 2007 limits the City to only being able to put a tax on the ballot once per year, as interpreted by the previous law director.
I have reviewed the campaign materials being issued at the direction of the new administration and am extremely disappointed that Mayor Brinda does not feel that she can trust the voters to understand this request. Instead, this issue is being framed as somehow “restoring your right to vote.” Elyria residents already have the right to vote based on the 2007 Charter Amendment change. Elyria residents reaffirmed the right to vote in the 2009 primary when you rejected Issue 23, which was Mayor Grace’s attempt to modify this section of the Charter to allow income tax issues during primary and special elections.
Mayor Brinda asked to make the exact same change to the Charter that Mayor Grace requested in 2009. However, City Council limited the change so that it now would allow an income tax issue to ALSO be requested during a primary election. This is the reason that the change garnered unanimous support to put it on the ballot.
Shame on you, Mayor Brinda. You criticized the previous administration for its misleading tactics, yet that is exactly how you are proceeding. Be direct and honest with the residents and tell them why you want this. Don’t try to put some new spin on the matter and expect the residents to trust you in the future when you put your requests for a tax increase on the next primary ballot.