There's a very important issue on our November ballot - Issue 4. Issue 4 is a proposed 1/4% tax
on income for working people in Akron that will fund Akron's Fire/EMS, police, and road repairs.
As citizens of Akron, we have done all we can to survive economic challenges and achieve progress for our families and our community. But, we have to do more than survive, we need to thrive. Now is the time to invest back into the safety and stability of all our neighborhoods and put Akron first. Issue 4 will do just that. It will provide the funding our community needs to support public safety and public infrastructure that serves all of us.
Mayor Horrigan and City Council agreed it was time to place the proposed 1/4 % income tax increase on the November ballot. If passed, Issue 4 will provide revenue to pay for vital services for the citizens of Akron, by funding safety equipment for our fire/EMS and police and paving three times as many roads every single year.
The Mayor and Council made the right decision to take this to the voters. Akron residents should remember that substantial cuts in tax support from Washington and Columbus--more than 15 million dollars each year-- has meant that the City has had to do more with less. The City has cut staff significantly, but if they cut any more, our neighborhood services will start to suffer.
City of Akron employees agree that the City needs to fill the gap in current funding in order to operate properly. Zackery Riley, a twenty-year employee in the City's street cleaning division (who hasn't missed a single day of work in more than 8 years) says he supports Issue 4. "As an employee, I see all the ways the City has cut costs to make ends meet, but it's not enough. Every single day, my coworkers and I drive our streets, working hard to keep our City clean. But, we need additional funding so we can pave and maintain our streets the right way."
Mr. Riley approaches Issue 4 from a very unique perspective. "My family is Akron through and through!" he said. "I work in public service, but I also have two sons that work for the City: my son Zackery is an Akron firefighter/medic and my other son Trumaine is an Akron police officer. I see the equipment they use and the buildings and vehicles they work in, and it's not sustainable. They need the proper tools to do their jobs--like body cameras for Police officers, and new stations for the Fire Department that aren't in danger of collapsing." If the residents of Akron fail to support Issue 4, major safety and service needs will suffer fromlack of funding. Akron truly needs these funds if we are to maintain our quality of life, compete for new residents and jobs, and help our neighborhoods and small businesses grow."I have a grandson, and I know that Issue 4 isn't just about us, it's about him and our next generation," Mr. Riley added. "They deserve to live in a city that provides our neighborhoods what they need. Issue 4 is the right issue, at the right time, for all of Akron."Now is the time to give Akron what it needs so we can begin to invest back in our city, together. Vote YES for Akron's Fire/EMS, Police and Streets to keep ALL of Akron safe and strong.