I was recently asked by a new resident, “When will Sagamore Hills become a city?” This question is repeated, on average, every five years. Sagamore Hills Township has no intention of becoming a city. The main advantage of a township is: No Township Income Tax. This advantage becomes a liability when residents want city amenities. Sagamore Hills does not have a pool or leaf levy. (These types of amenities are usually paid for by city income tax.) There are at least five townships in Ohio that have over 50,000 residents. They have no interest in becoming cities because savings are that significant. As an example, a landscaping company charges less for leaf removal than a 1-mill leaf levy.
I was also questioned about the stories of the police arrests in the Sagamore Voice trustee corner.
The information is what is available to the media. We only write about cases that are in the justice system. No township trustee is involved in or has knowledge of any ongoing investigation. The police department is funded by 6 mills. As elected officials, we feel it is important to let you know how almost half your tax dollars are being spent.
I meet with Police Chief and Township Administrator David Hayes every two weeks to check budgeting matters. The Sagamore Hills Police Department is also part of a union, and any issues with the union that are important are reviewed. Township trustees do not micromanage any department in the township. Hayes handles the day-to-day operations of the police department. Service Director Bill Cuprak has the same responsibilities with the service department. Budget oversight is trustee Paul Schweikert’s task. Trustee John Zaccardelli handles the zoning and park budgets.
As elected officials, we discuss township revenue/expenditures quite often. The police levy is ten years old. We said that we would make this 1-mill levy last ten years. We are now trying to stretch this levy three to four more years before we will ask for another levy. We do not want to surprise residents when asking for support.
A sample of police statistical data for the month of July: The department handled 582 calls for service, completed 1,250 community policing checks, handed out 1,053 “Patrolled Your Area Cards,” and did 26 house checks. The investigative section received 28 cases, all were closed, and three were closed by arrest.
The new tractor Sagamore Hills purchased for roadside mowing will not be delivered until January. As previously reported, the old tractor stopped running after 35 years. Sagamore Hills received $7,200 for it at auction, bringing the cost of the new tractor down to $112,000.
I spent a day with trustee Schweikert reviewing summer road projects. He shared with me a fact I was unaware of, but may be of interest to all. The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. The straight sections are usable for airstrips in time of war or other emergencies. We were pleased with all the completed work. ∞