Don't blight Juniata

Why does the Juniata Village Board feel that it needs more of your money? The members soon forget they were elected to be “trustees,” not “spendees.” If the village board goes ahead with its plan to have the entire village of Juniata labeled “blighted and substandard,” then that is what it will become! Property values will fall, assessed values will go down and the village will receive less property tax money, not more. Even with the plan to assess the property with a new TIF tax, the village could receive less property tax revenue, while lowering everyone’s property values. And the village board will spend thousands on attorneys.

Time to look at ways to save money, not spend it. Why did the village need a new pickup for an employee to drive? The village invested thousands of tax dollars in mowing equipment, employees and insurance, but the current board has decided it is no longer responsible for mowing the village street right-of-ways. Meanwhile, the village employees can ride around in a “new” pickup to report back to the board how the village street right-of-ways look like crap and need to be mowed — by the taxpayers!

I have a plan to raise more property tax revenue. The board member who owns the brick and stucco buildings on Main Street should replace them with new buildings so that people driving through could believe that Juniata is not still living in the 1900s. The board member who has so many lots for sale should build four or five spec houses and have them ready for people to move into.

If the village board moves ahead with this dumb idea of declaring the village “blighted,” I will be one of the first residents to sign a recall petition to have all five board members removed from office!

Thomas D. Johnson

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