The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Northwood Councilman Dave Gallaher will be forming a committee to review the city’s charter. Among the possible amendments: cutting the number of council members from seven to three.

Gallaher came up with the idea at a council meeting this month as a way to save money.

“We’re cutting off the legs of this city, and if we want to save money, it’s very simple,” Gallaher said to council. “Put it to the people and ask them what they think.  The devil’s in the details. We’ll have to work on this a little bit. But there isn’t a department in this city that hasn’t been cut. I’m suggesting that we put it on the ballot and let the people decide how many people they need to represent them.”

A council member’s annual salary is $7,000.

The city has made painful budget cuts and layoffs in the last two years due to a shrinking tax base caused by the economic recession.

Councilman Ed Schimmel said reducing the number on council to three would “be really cutting it close as far as having a quorum.”

“If you said five, I’d probably be fine with that,” said Schimmel.

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Demolition of the Lake High School building could begin this week after the school board and the district’s insurer reached an agreement the building should be completely razed.

Tim Krugh, board president, Thursday said the board and Traveler’s Insurance Co. concluded negotiations that morning with the company agreeing to the full coverage limit of $19.1 million for the building.

Traveler’s had taken the position that about half of the building - mostly classroom and office space in the west end  - was salvageable and could be repaired.

“It took a little longer than we would have liked but the outcome was good,” Krugh said. “The settlement allows us to move forward in earnest with the rebuilding process.”

Negotiations between the parties stretched over three months since the June 5 tornado swept through the area.

Jim Witt, district superintendent, said preliminary work on designing a new building has begun and the board and administration are committed to having a new building open for students by the start of the 2011-12 school year.

Total damage to the building, including contents, could reach $25 million, Krugh said. In all, the district incurred losses of about $30 million, including damage to other buildings.

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The Oregon school board will slash $2 million from the district’s operating budget for the 2011-12 school year if an emergency operating levy on the November ballot fails, according to a position statement the board is considering.

Superintendent Mike Zalar said Wednesday he expected the board to approve the statement at its meeting the next day. The statement outlines what cuts will be enacted if voters don’t approve the levy.

With $2 million less for operations, a total 20 teaching and support staff positions will be eliminated.

The district will also apply for a waiver from the state to reduce the kindergarten program from all-day everyday to all-day every other day.

Zalar said a plan to close one elementary school and/or reconfigure the district would immediately be implemented and the Career and Tech program offerings would be eliminated.

The position statement also says the board will:
• Increase athletic participation fees.

• Eliminate or significantly reduce bus service for all high school students, including parochial.

• Reduce cleaning services in buildings effective January, 2011.

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Jockey Ed Schimmel rode the Miracle League’s “Speedy” to a come-from-behind first place photo finish in the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce Charity Derby Horse Race Wednesday night at Oak Shade Grove.

k-stickhorse1a
Laurie Durrant and Tia Meyer of Bay
Park Community Hospital with their
horse "Wot's Up Doc."

About 75 people arrived for the stick horse stakes race, which accompanied the chamber’s annual steak roast.

Along with hundreds of dollars raised through raffles and a silent auction for three other charities designated by the chamber, six horses were auction for a total of nearly $1,000. The three horses with the top auction value were entered into the derby.

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k-grubsud1a k-grubsudbrownVERT
John Solfalvi, Curtice, checks out some
of the bikes at the 14th annual Grub 'n
Suds, Elmore.
Becky Brown, of the motorcycle group Women in
the Wind, displays some of her merchandise.
(Photos by Ken Grosjean)

Poll module

Christmas spending

Are spending more, less or the same amount this year for Christmas?
619593049 [{"id":"27","title":"More","votes":"0","pct":0,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"28","title":"Less","votes":"1","pct":50,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"29","title":"The same","votes":"1","pct":50,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/12-christmas-spending No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...