Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the letter Carole E. Lyle wrote on Oct. 19, 2013.

First of all, Mrs. Lyle is correct in stating that an ordinance was passed on March 15, 2011 to establish the positions of paid EMT’s in the Village of Bridgeport. However, what she failed to tell you was that the ordinance passed by six council members and signed by the Mayor DID NOT have the names of Dave Smith and Ben Lenz when read to council and passed by council. The so called “Present Vote” you refer to means yes, I am here, and yes, I vote yes. Unless you vote no, or if a conflict of interest then you abstain. The solicitor and the Mayor do not monitor the fire department payroll. This is done by the fire chief, the fiscal officer and LATELY the President of Council Dave Smith. Dave Smith has always prided himself in knowing the Village Law and the Ohio Revised Code. He has made numerous comments to me at council meeting that he knows the laws. When the public document (the ordinance) was questioned the past fiscal officer walked out without notice. Is this when Dave Smith and Ben Lenz turned themselves into the Ohio Ethics Commission? I guess they DID know the law but assumed they wouldn’t get caught.

Secondly, Mrs. Lyle you mentioned the Village employing relatives of the Mayor. Again … What you failed to state was Misty Smith, wife of Dave Smith, received two or three checks from the village. The Debini family, sister-in-law and brother-in-law of Dave Smith receive checks from the village and the list can go on and on. Really, do I care or who cares, if they are doing the job. The issue is about Dave Smith and Ben Lenz knowing the law and still receiving the compensation. A “Finding for Recovery” will be issued by the State Auditor’s office and the money will be paid back, regardless of how you feel, I feel or anyone else feels.

Thirdly, Mrs. Lyle you state the Mayor has the “Power.” I think somewhere along the line you forgot that the power lies with the council. Smith, Lenz, Husarik and yourself always vote as a block regardless of the issue. The Mayor does NOT vote, only if a tie. With your four votes the village has lost $60,000. in grant money which caused Ohio, Bench and High Street not to be paved. With your four votes, you have allowed a fiscal officer to work 10 hours per week but get paid for 24 hours per week. With your four votes, you hired an engineer paying him $4,000 and then voted against the grant. What a waste of money! In the “POWER” of Smith, Lenz, Husarik, and Lyle, the village is in complete chaos. They have created investigations, loss of employees, loss of grant money, audit discrepancies, penalty payments for Ohio Police and Fire Pensions and OPERS pensions.

Lastly, Mrs. Lyle, the real problem is Smith and Lenz just got caught with their finger in the pie! The four of you have spent ALL of your time blaming the Mayor and other candidates for your wrong doing that you have simply lost your focus and vision for the Village of Bridgeport. I also will not walk away, I will fight for what I believe in – “THE TRUTH”. If it takes more investigations and legal counsel, as a citizen, I will press charges for illegal activity. Smith, Lenz, Husarik and Lyle SHOULD BE and WILL BE held accountable for illegal activity as council members.

Shirleann Murad