WHY THE CITY OF ELYRIA NEEDS A ¼ PERCENT TEMPORARY TAX INCREASE
Dear Elyrians and Elyria Stakeholders,
As active members of the Elyria community and those who are invested in the City’s current and future success, I am writing to ask you to become informed about a very important issue. The temporary, 4.5 year, one quarter percent (1/4%) income tax increase being proposed by the City Administration and Elyria City Council in the fall 2014 election will generate an estimated $3.2 million annually and will be directed largely to safety services to KEEP ELYRIA SAFE. The Issue, yet to receive a number from the Lorain County Board of Elections, is necessary if we want Elyria to:
- Maintain 65 front-line firefighters – just enough to meet national safety standards and state auditor recommendations;
- Sustain a police force of 93, including eight new sworn officers to improve neighborhood safety and address speeding and traffic concerns;
- Provide a small recruitment incentive stipend to Auxiliary Police to enhance safety (at present they get paid nothing);
- Fund safety-related equipment, vehicles and capital repairs and emergency road and bridge repairs;
- Support Police Department crime prevention initiatives including training programs and materials, and surveillance cameras for downtown;
- Support a Reverse 911 System.
Since taking office almost three years ago, my administration and I have been working with Elyria City Council and caring citizens like you to better position Elyria for a brighter future. At the top of the agenda has been finding ways to provide high quality city services at a time when revenue continues to decline. The repeal of the Estate Tax, a decline in the Local Government Fund from the State of Ohio, and the expiration stimulus funds the City has been relying on to fund firefighter and police officer positions – are all reasons for the revenue decline. Combined, these reductions represent about $4.45 million annually in the City’s General Fund.
To address this shortfall and keep the City moving forward, we have taken the following proactive steps:
- Requested a Voluntary Performance Audit by the State Auditor of every department in the City;
- Made workplace adjustments that have resulted in over $2 million in savings so far (In both General Fund and Enterprise Funds);
- Passed a five-year income tax RENEWAL to help stabilize core services.
- Developed the City’s first Economic Development Plan to retain, expand and attract businesses and grow our tax base. The Plan is already partially funded with federal, state and other grants.
The next step in the financial stabilization process is to pass a small, temporary income tax increase to partially offset the lost stimulus funding ($2.45 million annually) for the fire and police departments and the lost state funding ($2 million annually) that was helping to pay for important safety service-related programs, equipment and repairs. Without passage of this small, temporary increase, the City of Elyria will be forced to reduce the equivalent of 32 positions – a necessary move to balance the budget that will impact personnel in every department across the City and have a drastic, negative impact on quality of life services to our citizens.
BOTH the recently passed temporary ½ percent income tax renewal and this proposed temporary income tax increase will expire at the same time in June of 2019. This will allow the citizens of Elyria, City Council and the City administration to assess the needs of the City at that time and re-calibrate the funding sources based on ever-changing state and federal revenue streams and the state of the local economy.
Right now things can go one of two ways for Elyria: good or bad. Passage of this issue will help keep the positive momentum going and KEEP ELYRIA SAFE and moving in the right direction. To that end, we hope you will become informed about the need for this issue and share this important information with others.
If you would like to learn more or get involved with the Elyrians First Committee promoting the campaign, please visit them at facebook.com/elyriansfirst. Or you can call, (440) 371-2285. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Holly C. Brinda
2014 State of the City of Elyria Address
Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda gave her 2014 State of the City Address to a standing room only packed house at the Wesleyan Village in Elyria at Noon on February 11, 2014. Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation. Please view the video of Mayor Brinda’s presentation belowth. For more information call the Mayor’s Office at (440) 326-1402.
Previous State of the City Addresses can be found here.
City of Elyria Performance Audit
The City of Elyria commissioned a voluntary performance audit by the Ohio Auditor of State. The results and the City of Elyria response are posted below. Please visit MAYOR BRINDA’S BLOG for more information, or call the Mayor’s office at (440) 326-1402.
The City of Elyria Response is listed under “Client Response” beginning on page 91 in the above document. If you wish to read **ONLY** the City of Elyria Response, you may do so by clicking below:
Welcome to the City of Elyria’s website, a window to Ohio’s community of opportunity.
Alive with enthusiasm and rich in diversityand imagination, as residents of Ohio’s 14th largest city we take great pride in our can-do pioneering spirit, history of innovation, natural beauty, commitment to volunteerism, and welcoming door to all people.
Founded at the fork of the scenic Black River in 1817 by Heman Ely, Elyria is a city of “firsts” and has all the right ingredients to put Elyrians first again. To name just a few, you are looking into the home of the Easter Seal Society; the first chartered high school west of the Allegheny Mountains; the sewing machine; the modern, padded bicycle seat; the rubber heel; the term “hamburger”; the colored golf ball; Heisman trophy winner Vic Janowicz; and author Sherwood Anderson.
Armed with a vision and a plan, our 55,000 residents continue to be committed to making the best use of our time, talents and many community assets. Today Elyria is the world headquarters of companies like Ridge Tool, Invacare Corporation, EMC Corporation, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Diamond Products. In 2012, EMH Elyria Medical Center was named an America’s100 Best Hospital by HealthGrades, one of the nation’s leading providers of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Lorain County Community College is a leader in lifelong learning and a catalyst for business innovation and training in Ohio. The grand opening of Elyria’s new $70 million public high school speaks to the value our community places on education, rounding out the myriad of public, parochial, private and charter school choices in the community.
Our world-class companies; high quality, affordable health care, and education systems are complimented by historic and modern, eclectic housing choices; a scenic parks system complete with waterfalls, nature trails and recreation centers in each quadrant of the city; and an expansive and active faith-based community. Nonprofit organizations work closely with the City and other public organizations to provide responsive services to our residents. A testimony to our community working together are this summer’s Reach and Rise Discovery Camps offered to Elyria children and youth free of charge thanks to the collective support and collaboration of many public, private and non-profit organizations.
Only seven miles from Lake Erie, and 26 miles from Cleveland, Elyria boasts of providing easy access to all the wonderful amenities that Northeast Ohio has to offer. We hope you’ll join us!
Coming Soon: Elyria’s New E-Government Center Website
Welcome to the City of Elyria, Ohio’s temporary website. Please excuse our website dust. Our new E-Government Website is under construction and will soon allow you to access services 24 hours per day, seven days per week. If you are in need of information not currently posted on the website, please contact the Mayor’s Office at (440) 326-1402. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding.
Please contact Mayor Brinda’s Office for information regarding the following:
- Economic Development/Business Retention,
Expansion, Attraction Services
- Volunteer Opportunities: Summer Reach &
Rise Discovery Camps, Community Gardens, Finwood Holiday Display
This video of Cascade Park was created for our city by Dr. Mark Jessie, Elyria High School Music Director.