To the editor: The Lake Township Trustees expressed their concerns regarding what they called misconceptions about the proposed red light at Millbury and Woodville roads and the lowering of the speed limit to 35 mph. They have created some misconceptions of their own.
The warranting system for signals does not account for people avoiding the intersection or near misses. This is true, but it also does not account for the temporary increase in traffic due to the closure of SR 795 and the I-280 junction or how much traffic will now choose rural roads to avoid the slower, more congested Woodville Road. Ayers, Walbridge, and Pemberville roads all have 55 mph sections, large ditches, and various two and four-way stops, some of which are more obstructed than the Woodville-Millbury intersection. These roads cross the township and still have nearby access to I-280 via Walbridge Rd.
The trustees note that 49 recorded accidents have occurred along the township’s stretch of Woodville Road in the last five years. How many of these accidents have less to do with the speed and more to do with winter? How many of these accidents would be avoided if the township and the state resumed proper salting of Woodville and the adjoining roads?
Why can't the trustees wait and see if the state's improvements alleviate the problem? The intersection is now better defined and compensates for the angular connection with Woodville, which the trustees brought up as one argument for a light.
If the trustees lower the speed limit on Woodville, a problem that is small and confined will become widespread as traffic diverts. Then what? Will the trustees lower those speed limits as well to compensate for their first bad decision?
Not business friendly
To the editor: Trying to get into business in Oregon is very difficult. Trust me, if you have not tried it, you do not realize the hoops they make you jump through. And some do not make it – they go somewhere else.
The city should be asking, “What can we do to help?”
If businesses were given a little help and everything built on Navarre Avenue didn't have to be brick, a lot more businesses would be here and the schools would not have to be putting the burden all on the property owners.
This administration makes it very difficult to build a building and start into business in Oregon. My dad used to tell me when I was little that a person with space on Navarre Avenue could sell anything, I believe he was right, but the city needs to get out of the way and let it happen.
Let’s get a Rudy’s Hot Dog and a Kohl’s department store, and let’s get The Andersons over here where they belong. And what about a fancy restaurant? We need business people in office, and we need an end to these school levies.
To the editor: As I understand it, there is an agreement on the table for emergency passage regarding the Envirosafe landfill.
Now the city of Oregon and Ohio EPA are concerned about the height, but will now settle for 14 feet less and everything below there is just fine.
You wasted taxpayers’ money going to Environmental Review Appeals Commission, paying the big-time lawyers all that money. You have to be kidding. The dollar sign is looking good to all three of them.
How can Ohio EPA allow them this height expansion and have said it’s ok to go 74 feet higher, then turn around and say, oh, it’s OK now? This doesn’t make any sense. But then, when it comes to money, people do crazy things. That Johlin property that the city is talking about would have never become a cell.
For one, this dumpsite is not taking in as much K061 as they have planned, and there would be no way that this company could afford to expand. So why would the city make any deals with a dumpsite that is going to go under? Could it be the election is coming up and now this mayor and some of her little puppets are running scared that they won’t get elected? Residents in the city should take a real long look at the timing for all of this.
The mayor wants it passed as an emergency. I wonder why. If they were planning this as far back as April and now finally have decided that she had better do something to show residents she now cares about them.
Marge, you are a little too late.
Voters, remember all those in favor of this. Read the agreement. You will see why this all came about. This should have been given to the public to look at.
To the editor: I was confused when reading Rod Graffis’ letter. Why was he trying to stop the health care hemorrhage when he has never paid back the $20,000 the Ohio Auditor says he owes.
Anyone knows you do not get reimbursed for health care payments your employer has made in your name. The employer has written that expense off as a legitimate expense. How can Mr. Graffis defy the Ohio Auditor and ignore the order to repay the township? And then he is worried about the township budget? Give the taxpayers of Jerusalem Township a break. Does he actually believe we are that ignorant?
Also, the trustees do not merit health benefits one and a half times their salary. Three hundred dollars toward their benefits would be more than adequate considering their duties and time invested.
Retired Jerusalem Township Trustee
Alive and kicking
To the editor: As South Toledo begins to feel the pain of almost losing its lone connection for family fun at the YMCA, in some ways, it was the same feeling Storm and Goaldigger hockey fans felt losing the Sports Arena (to special downtown interest groups).
While I remain as a thorn in the side of those who destroyed East Toledo’s hockey heritage, I will take every opportunity to point out just who ruined East Toledo’s family fun. A big thanks to Lucas County Commissioners Tina Skeldon-Wozniak, Pete Gerken and that other backstabber State Rep. Peter Ujvagi for showing what support from this side of the river has meant to them.
I would like to get them in for a lie detector. I bet they would be crying foul.
In spite of my concerns and the injustice done to this side of the river over the relocation of the arena downtown, I would also like to point out that more than 24,000 votes from the 2001 election are still missing. Outside of being ignored by state and local officials to investigate, few Storm and Goaldigger fans have shown any interest in voicing their opinion. Sometimes I wonder why I have stuck my neck out defending what I believe was a deliberate attack on our Constitutional voting rights. Those missing votes represent the hold downtown special interests have over weak politicians like Skeldon-Wozniak, Gerken and that other non-caring politician, Ujvagi.
So, just to test the waters of who really cares, I am asking concerned East Toledoans and hockey fans to support my efforts to make East Toledo more than a laughing stock of the downtown greed. By contacting me with your concerns about the loss of the arena and votes, perhaps we could have a rally to send a message that East Toledo is still alive and kicking.
To the editor: I find it very humorous that Mr. Graffis took the time to write a long-winded letter about Mr. Kiss and Mrs. Van Nest.
How an individual who knowingly received $20,000 in wrongful reimbursement money has the nerve to write anything negative about anyone is simply hilarious.
Here is a guy who has absolutely no business experience at all, has followed the worst trustee in our township's history like a puppy dog, Joe Gray, and has not made a decision on his own in three and a half years.
These two men don’t have the credentials to run a lemonade stand let alone a township. People with any sense will surely see through this desperate attempt to try to make themselves look good. Well, it is too late for that. They have already done too much damage themselves.
It’s going to be enjoyable to watch these two soon-to-be-ex-trustees self-destruct on their way to the November election.
Please pay close attention to the mentality of these two public officials as the clock slowly ticks to the end of their tenure. We will see if they choose to go out with some class or their usual classless ignorant intellect.
A ridiculous campaign
To the editor: I felt it was necessary to respond to the ridiculous campaign letter that Jerusalem Township Trustee Ron Graffis wrote in last week’s edition of The Press.
I found it comical that he only told readers the information he wanted them to hear. He forgot to tell you that before the decision to cut medical insurance was made, he was illegally receiving payment for his medical insurance from the township. He must have missed the article in the Blade where his employer and a union rep. both stated that he does not pay his insurance “out of pocket” and that his employer pays for it. He also failed to mention that according to the Auditor of the State of Ohio, he received more than $20,000 of your tax dollars wrongfully and to date has not paid it back to the township.
For more than three years, until the present fiscal officer took office, Mr. Graffis, not only had his insurance paid for by his employer, but was also being reimbursed by the township for that insurance.
Of course, Mr. Graffis will have some reason that his employer and the Auditor of the State don’t know what they are talking about, yet he does. This has been a recurring theme with him.
Mr. Graffis’ only motive in canceling the insurance was to try and penalize me and my family. By doing this they also hurt our employees and their families. This act left our employees with no health insurance at all. Mr. Graffis stated that he did extensive research to provide insurance at a lower cost. Don’t you think he should have done the research before canceling the insurance and leaving our employees uninsured for several months? He also states that the only one he heard “squawking about the health care was Mr. Kiss” but also stated that I “never offered any alternative solutions”. If Mr. Graffis would have stopped to listen to my ‘squawking’ maybe they would have heard some alternatives. You can’t have it both ways Mr. Graffis, either I was ‘squawking’ or I was not saying anything.
When Graffis no longer needed the insurance or could not be paid extra for it, he felt no need to keep it. The health care insurance for the township is not new coverage… it is the same coverage that has been in effect for over 8 years, At no time prior to the March 2009 meeting was health care coverage ever mentioned to me by either of the two trustees When brought up at that meeting, it was asked of me to voluntarily give up my portion of the insurance I did say “No, absolutely not.”
However, the statement that Mr. Graffis would voluntarily give up his insurance is a misrepresentation of the facts. At that time Mr. Graffis’ employer was paying his insurance as they had been since his employment with them.
So for Mr. Graffis to state that he voluntarily gave up anything is misleading. You can not give up what you don’t have. If it truly is about the budget and not about the election as Mr. Graffis says, why hasn’t he paid back the money he owes to the township for double-dipping on his insurance?
I don’t believe Mr. Graffis is acting competently, either fiscally or morally. Yes, I find it extremely comical that Mr. Graffis is trying to convince you that he is concerned about being fiscally competent. Is it because you are up for re-election? I think it is very clear what is going on here.
I urge everyone to go to the auditor’s Web site at www.auditor.state.oh.us and in the Google Custom Search box in the upper right hand corner type in “Graffis” and see what you find.
Jerusalem Township Trustee
To the editor: The Woodmore Board of Education and administration would like to thank the Woodmore communities for supporting our much-needed levy.
It is not easy to continue to go to the property owners over and over to support the schools. Unfortunately, we have no other choice. We continue to make cuts. Unfunded mandates, rising costs and revenue losses to our district have caused our deficit. We are not unique. Ohio schools are suffering. It is a shame that the future of our students’ education has to depend on the vote of our already-overburdened property owners.
Woodmore is very fortunate to have communities with the foresight to support education.
Our students are our future. Strom communities support strong schools.
Thanks to all of you for giving the extra to fund an excellent education for our students
Superintendent, Woodmore Local School District
Not buying it
To the editor: The Press found it necessary to give Julie Van Nest a chance to respond to Rodney Graffis’ letter, which she did with excuse after excuse.
Let’s assume that our former fiscal officer, Don Murray, did not attend the meetings when he was in office. There certainly were many hostile moments in those meetings with Joe Kiss, the Nissen group, etc. These people would have raised holy you know what if he had stopped attending meetings. They would have said he was hiding something, not doing is job and this would have been front-page news for weeks in the paper. It is clear that this paper is “in the tank” for Mr. Kiss and Mrs. Van Nest. Perhaps that is to be expected, since Mr. Kiss was a former freelance reporter for this paper and Mrs. Van Nest was his running mate.
Mrs. Van Nest can give all the excuses she wants or can, but the fact remains, she isn’t doing her job. Further, she has delegated some of her responsibilities to her unnamed volunteer assistant.
Mrs. Van Nest is like a child who is doing poorly in school and when the parents find out, her excuse is that the teacher picks on her, the teacher doesn’t like her, she did her homework but the teacher didn’t like it. “I did everything right, but the teacher just has it in for me.”
Some parents would buy that story, but most would not. Some of our citizens in Jerusalem Township may buy her story, but most shouldn’t.
Lois J. Murray
Editor’s note: Mr. Kiss compiled the “Man on the Street” column questions for The Press prior to being elected as a trustee.
To the editor: I read the letter Rod Graffis wrote and I guess I have a different view of these meetings. I remember the citizens of Jerusalem Township questioning Mr. Graffis about taking the township’s money for insurance when he got it from where he worked and didn’t have to pay for it.
Mr. Graffis, if you’re trying to save the township money, why don’t you pay back the money you received from the township for insurance? If you really wanted to do the best for Jerusalem Township, why would you ask for the payment in the first place?
You say trustee Joe Kiss was squawking about health care. What about all the trustees who had health care before? What is wrong with having health care? Most employers have it. It was voted on long before Mr. Kiss was elected as trustee.
So when Mr. Gray and Mr. Graffis made the motion to drop all health care, it also included the employees. How responsible was that? What if one of them was seriously injured? Can you imagine the cost to the township for the medical bills without insurance? I have watched Mr. Gray and Mr. Graffis completely ignore Mr. Kiss after he was elected. Because they didn’t like him. How childish. They badger Mrs. Van Nest at the meetings. No wonder she doesn’t attend more than she has to.
I have heard the citizens of this township called “cave people” (citizens against virtually everything) by someone.