Debt pain will grow
To the editor: Dear Sen. Rob Portman:
Thank you for voting Oct. 16, for the continuing resolution and the increase in the debt limit.
What you did was very brave. You gave into the Democrats. You increased our children’s debt. You got to keep your waiver from ObamaCare. You gave $2 billion to Kentucky for a new dam.
What did you get for Ohio? More pain. Did you even read the bill?
You didn’t even get a budget to work with. All you got was a promise to talk and we all know what political promises are worth.
Problem not addressed
To the editor: I want all parents of Lake School District to be aware that, in my opinion, the elementary has a major problem with head lice. When the principal tells my granddaughter that she would have to send a letter out every week because of the problem, it’s time for the administration to get it under control.
Of course, if we had a school nurse, maybe this problem would have been addressed by now. I also know the health department was called and was informed they could not come into the district unless they were requested by the administration. Since the administration and the principal do not want to address this problem, who is taking care of it?
I also want parents to know it’s not one class but at least three classes.
Please check your children and do not send them to school if they have lice, because it will only spread. To the administration: it’s time you do a head check in each classroom send those children home and let their parents know they cannot return until the lice is gone. Then fumigate those classrooms.
This school district had the same problem last year.
Bond = better schools
To the editor: I am writing in support of the Rossford Exempted Village (EV) School District’s bond issue on the Nov. 5 ballot because the district desperately needs new school facilities.
The 4.6-mill bond issue will raise $32.2 million for the construction of two elementary buildings to replace existing schools and will cost the owner of $100,000 home approximately $161 a year.
Two years ago, a volunteer community Master Plan Steering Committee was formed and there were many opportunities to involve residents in public forums and surveys. The plan included two phases.
Phase 1 includes the construction of two new elementary schools to accommodate the PK-5 student population. The existing aged facilities need improvement to help reinforce student success. Sub-standard items include:
• Offices that are remote from the main entry
• Inaccessible areas for the physically challenged
• Antiquated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems
• Undersized learning spaces that are not flexible
The proposed new schools will:
• Enhance safe and secure environments for students, staff and visitors with clearly defined “welcome centers”
• Provide total accessibility for all that are physically challenged
• Include energy efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems
• Provide flexible learning spaces to reinforce outstanding program offerings
• Provide operational savings
Since learning can be hindered by facilities that are in disrepair, I urge residents of the Rossford district to support high-quality schools and vote yes.
Ohio School Boards Association
Questioning Latta’s vote
To the editor: Congressman Bob Latta says he is proud of his vote to shut down our government and decided to vote against re-opening it.
Latta is delusional when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, known to us all, as the Republicans call it, as ObamaCare. Was this not approved by Congress in 2010 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court?
Latta and the clowns in congress put our country in a hostage situation, thinking it would make our president look bad. They are not addressing problems and voters don’t much care for the policies the GOP espouses.
Get over it, Congressman Latta and start earning your wages and start working for us.
Also, did members of congress receive their pay and health care during the time they held the county hostage?
Latta is so afraid the Tea Party won’t like him he has neglected our country.
It will be our turn come November 2014.
Support senior center
To the editor: As a past board member of the James Hancock Oregon Senior Center, I feel compelled to assist in getting correct information regarding the levy to the voters.
The levy is for services for seniors, not for a new building.
Over the years, many ideas have been discussed; plans have even been drawn for a new building. One of the biggest problems with a new building would be operational costs. If you double the size of the facility, offer more services, programs, nutrition options, and activities you must also increase operating expenses.
Current funding is dependant upon local, state, federal grant funding and fundraisers. The City of Oregon is very generous in providing the current building, utilities and many other necessities. The proposed levy would provide a continuous, dependable funding source for services and programs for the next five years.
Show your support for our parents and grandparents on Nov. 5.
New school needed
To the editor: The Ohio School Boards Association encourages residents to vote for Northwood Local School District’s ballot issue on Nov. 5.
The ballot issue — a 4.9-mill property tax combined with a 0.25 percent earned income tax — will allow the district to construct a safe, new facility to provide 21st century learning spaces for all students.
The building project was developed with input from community forums and a committee of 61 Northwood residents to meet the district’s needs. It includes demolishing all or part of existing school buildings and constructing a 130,000-square-foot facility. The building will include state-of-the-art science and computer labs, as well as the technology students need to be career and college ready.
Northwood’s school buildings are more than 50 years old and are at the point where patching and repairing them is no longer cost effective. Consolidating operations into a new, centralized building will allow the district to streamline operations in a facility that is much more efficient and economical.
The project will allow the district, which has not asked for new taxpayer dollars since 2008, to continue to make strides to control costs and demonstrate fiscal responsibility. After years of waiting, Northwood is now eligible for more than $11 million in state funding for the construction project. The district is asking residents to contribute and help make this new facility a reality.
Communities are only as strong as their schools; this new school building will serve students for many years to come. By voting for this ballot issue, you are helping Northwood maintain excellence and ensuring a bright future for children in your community. It is a wise and much-needed investment in your schools and community.
Deputy Executive Director
Ohio School Boards Association
Levies pay the bills
To the editor: A renewal of the Benton-Carroll-Salem school levy is an easy way to keep money available for emergencies.
Years ago, the board I served on implemented the 1.2-mill levy to make sure we had funds to replace a roof, doors, lights, parking lots and much more. It has always been a big help.
The 3.9-mill levy helps with books and paying bills, etc.
These two levies have maintained the school system through the year and are still needed.
Levy hires paramedics
To the editor: For those of us in Harris Township, we have a very important levy request on the ballot.
The township trustees are requesting a 4.5-mill, 5-year Emergency Medical Service levy that will, if passed, cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $157.50 a year.
The levy’s purpose is to staff the fire station with one paramedic and one EMT during the day and one paramedic at night along with the use of volunteers. In essence, this levy will provide a 24/7 full-time paramedic to our community, which we currently don’t have. We often have to use mutual aid for this purpose.
As there is one person at the station during the day when a call comes in now, the squad can’t respond until a second person arrives. If that second person doesn’t arrive then mutual aid is called in to cover the call.
To date this has already happened eight times in 2013, resulting in delayed response times.
In addition to the hiring of the full-time paramedic, this levy will also provide for the purchase and upgrade of equipment.
Nobody likes additional taxes but I feel this is a levy we really can’t afford to turn down. If a person is experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, symptoms indicative of stroke etc., seconds become hours. Response time is critical.
Please support the Harris-Elmore levy on Nov. 5.
More study warranted
To the editor: I am writing to voice my opposition to the proposed levy for the construction of a new facility for the Northwood Local School District.
The administration is asking the voters to approve a new 4.9-mill property tax levy and additional 0.25 percent earned income tax over 37 years. These new taxes are for the construction of a new $33 million school to house grades Pre-K through 12 because they’re able to obtain 35 percent funding from the state. This leaves the taxpaying citizens of Northwood on the hook for $21.5 million to be financed over 37 years. Part of the argument for this tax is that the income tax does not affect retirees on pensions and Social Security. Even though that may be true, they will still feel the pinch of the 4.9-mill levy.
While there may be a need for better facilities, I believe not all options have been considered and those that were explored were not studied in sufficient detail. I have read through the literature on the committee’s website and did not find very great detail as to the renovation options that were considered. It was stated at their Oct. 16th meeting that the renovation cost was about 70 percent of that for a new building. According to my math, $15 million is considerably less than $21.5 million. I for one would like to see more options considered before asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for such a large expense.
For those with no children or grandchildren in the Northwood school system, I've heard the argument that this will rejuvenate the local economy; I ask, “How?” Perhaps local restaurants, convenience stores, and gas stations will see some additional revenue during construction, but once completed, the taxpayers will continue paying for this for nearly 4 decades to come with no additional revenue from the new facility. If I’m incorrect here, I would like to see some hard numbers to show us how the taxpayers will benefit.
Although it might not be a popular option, when asked about merging with other school districts at the October meeting, the superintendent stated that it was not even considered. With enrollment in Northwood declining and projected to continue to do so, wouldn't it be prudent to at least explore all options?
With a still struggling economy and many citizens feeling the financial burdens of shrinking purchasing power and ever-increasing taxes, until all options are thoroughly explored and real consideration is given to the burden these increases place on the taxpaying residents of Northwood, I cannot support this levy
Education has changed
To the editor: I am writing in support of the upcoming levy for the Northwood Local School District. As the granddaughter of a 1944 Northwood graduate, the daughter of a 1969 Northwood graduate and a 1994 Northwood graduate myself, I will proudly vote yes on Nov. 5.
Believe me when I say that I understand the connection and sentimental value that our school buildings hold for many community members, but we need to consider the educational demands of the 21st century and how our buildings are handling those demands.
As a high school guidance counselor, I see that education today is delivered in an entirely new manner, with new tools, new techniques and new technology methods that no longer fit the conventions of our school buildings. In this rapidly changing educational environment, we as Northwood voters have the power to support our children and make them the future leaders of this great community.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to initiate that support by creating an environment where our students and teachers are able to take advantage of the latest and greatest equipment available? Wouldn't it be wonderful to provide the children of Northwood with the opportunity to experience all of the benefits associated with a brand new, state of the art facility?
As a product of Northwood schools, a resident of this beautiful community and a parent of two amazing Northwood students I would say that the answers to those questions are yes.
New doesn’t mean better
To the editor: It’s a little disturbing that a comparison is being drawn between Lake and Northwood schools. After all, Northwood’s buildings are simply showing their age, whereas Lake’s buildings were obliterated by a devastating tornado.
This makes the notion that it’s Northwood’s “turn” seem a bit obscure. It’s our turn for what? Our turn to over-invest in real estate? Our turn to spend money servicing a “partnership” with the state? I’ll pass.
Here’s one example of real estate mal-investment: In 2002, when the new Mud Hens stadium opened in downtown Toledo, many investors opened lofts and restaurants up and down the nearby streets. The thought was that having a brand new stadium will attract commerce to the city, and that the expansion is warranted by this perception of higher economic output. A decade later and downtown Toledo is even more of a ghost town now than it was then.
The problem is in the mistaken belief that simply having new buildings – school or recreational – will cause people to flock to the area.
Another concern is Northwood’s “partnership” with the state. The partnership forces the district to conform to the state’s rules, which means that too much of the $33 million will go to serving regulatory agents and there will be less for the actual building and community to benefit from.
The building and road construction projects, like the ones that are a part of the faux economic recovery, do little to truly fix the economy because they generally don’t lead to an increase in output. The same is true for paying regulatory agents who probably can’t point to Northwood Ohio on a map.
Students from other countries, many of whom come from poor backgrounds, come to the U.S. to take high school classes, only to find out that the material for a 12th grade honors course in the US contains material that they learned in the grade school of their home country. If they can do well without brand new buildings, then why can’t we?
To the editor: I am submitting this letter to offer my support for the bond levy for Northwood Local Schools. I am the parent of a kindergartener who also attended preschool at Olney Elementary School in Northwood. It is a small sample size, sure, but neither my wife nor I have anything but praise for the experiences our son has had so far. Every day he comes home excited about learning and raving about his teachers.
My mother, Rebecca Heimlich, is the retired former superintendent of Lakota Local Schools in Kansas, O. For those that are not familiar with Lakota, they recently built a brand new state of the art K-12 facility in Sandusky County.
Having a unique perspective on what it took to fund and build the building in Lakota, I saw first-hand the effects that a new building can have on an entire community. Prior to building the new school, Lakota was losing 183 students who were open enrolling to other surrounding systems from within Lakota’s territory boundaries.
This year, that number is drastically reduced to just 32 students. Also, other communities surrounding Lakota have seen an uptick in students open enrolling to Lakota Local Schools, largely because of the new facility.
In Northwood, we are not currently facing the type of issue Lakota was prior to construction, but if we choose not to fund this building initiative, I believe we will in the future. On the other hand, if we move forward with the project, we could greatly benefit from open enrollment into our schools for many years to come. Children who choose to become Northwood students bring large amounts of funding from the state level on a yearly basis.
The goodwill and positive daily impact is still being felt in Lakota. There are multiple stories I could relay about people who have made comments over the past three years since the building was opened. Teachers in the system have said they feel much more competent and flat out better at educating children as a result of the opportunities available to them because of the new technology. Other community members have said they were completely opposed to the project because of the impact it had on their disposable incomes, but now, seeing the finished product, they would gladly have paid double
The costs associated have been emphasized through many conversations leading up to this all-important vote. Several people I have talked to were contemplating moving their children to other school systems in surrounding areas.
How many people are there in Northwood thinking the same thing? How many kids who should be future graduates of Northwood Local Schools might not be? How much money could we leave on the table from the state government? And how many stories of great things made possible by a new facility in Northwood are in danger of never being told?
In Northwood, we have an opportunity to do something special for our children and our community in November.