To the editor: On May 4, voters in the Woodmore School District are voting on a 2.9-mill levy to offset a $450,000 deficit in the upcoming budget.
About 80 percent of a school’s budget in Ohio goes to salaries and administrative costs. The average Woodmore teacher’s salary is $51,900 plus the following stipends and benefits paid for by the taxpayer:
• $7,200 contributed to retirement fund annually;
• $468.90 to $1,027.20 monthly paid premium for health insurance;
• Fifteen days annual sick leave that can accrue up to 290 days.
• Two days personal leave annually.
The pay package for the average taxpayer has nowhere near the benefits that a teacher receives for working approximately 180 days a year.
Look at unemployment in three counties that support Woodmore schools:
• Ottawa – 19.3 percent;
• Sandusky – 13.3 percent;
• Wood – 11.8 percent.
Woodmore teachers did not have a pay raise last year and they say they need one this year. Just having a job would satisfy voters who are unemployed. I do not recall any school employee being laid off.
The monies spent for this 2.9-mill levy could pay for a senior citizen’s medication, electric bill, food, heat or some other necessity. I believe the teachers of the Woodmore district should forego a pay raise for at least another year. Maybe if the economy and employment improve, the voters will see things differently next year.
Terry Lee Dembrowski
To the editor: Kudos from our family to the judge who wouldn’t let (Robin) Vess suppress evidence after being caught with animals in such a dire situation.
We were all in tears watching this unfold on the TV news and in newspapers, trying to understand how anyone could sleep at night knowing there were starving animals contained on their property. There were reports the horses chewed on boards, and a few escaped. They were starving.
And now Vess wants to turn blame and try the people who rescued them before more died? She could have sent out an S.O.S. to the community, etc. for some kind of help.
And an attorney who takes on a case like this should be “appointed.” I can’t imagine “stepping up to the plate” like this willingly and letting his name be plastered in the news otherwise. If so, he’s one that gives them all a bad name. He’s disappointed? He felt he was right? Shame on him and Vess for trying to find a scapegoat. Some will do anything for money and have no scruples at all.
We are very fortunate to have people like (Humane Society Officer Nancy) Silva and we are rooting for them as they take on tasks like these. I would have been in shock and sleepless for weeks had I seen anything like that firsthand.
Thank you for a job well done. I’m glad and proud I donate to such a great organization.
To the editor: Spring is here. This is the time of year that many folks prepare for their yard sales. With so many people laid off and not finding employment, yard sales help these folks to make some dollars to make ends meet. Many, many Oregon citizens become involved in this venture, either buying or selling used goods.
I have heard that some of our honorable leaders have thoughts of taxing these items a second time. This is outright wrong. We have already paid sales tax on these items and just to suggest we pay again is almost immoral. It’s time to oust people in office who think this way.
Now to the real yard sale “pain in the neck” – our city council has passed a local ordinance that states that the host of a yard sale cannot post sale signs at the corners of well-traveled streets. The reason given to me – “It makes the city look trashy.” Funny, isn’t it, that when these same officials are running for office, they saturate the entire city with their election signs. What’s wrong with this picture?
This ordinance must be changed. Those of us who cherish yard sales should be allowed to place signs on corners, but we should also promise to remove the same signs the day after the sale. The cities around us allow their citizens to do so – Northwood, Genoa, Elmore, Toledo, Walbridge, etc.
We ask council to reverse this law or invite us to find a better solution. Hopefully, we will be heard by these people who ask us to place their election signs in our yards.
Also, don’t you think trying to earn a few dollars by having a yard sale is so much better than filing for government welfare and food stamps?
Add the numbers
To the editor: We need to shed a little light on the Genoa schools earned income tax issue that will be on the May ballot.
It is nice to see the district looking out for those of us who own property and/or may be on a fixed income. It is also great to see the schools want to reduce fees, both school fees and pay-to-participate fees.
We have been told, and information has been printed, that if you own a home valued at about $100,000, you may see a decrease of about $75 a year in property taxes. This will be replaced with a one percent earned income tax.
Here are the numbers not being touted by the school district: If your family has $50,000 in earned income, a tax of one percent of that is $500, a far cry and not a very fair trade for the $75 your property tax was reduced. Those two wage-earner families lucky enough to make more than $50,000 a year will not be happy. This affects everyone who lives in the Genoa School District, regardless of age or place of work.
I wonder, will this tax affect Superintendent Dennis Mock and/or any of the other school administrators other than the board members?
These young families and/or families with children in school should add the numbers carefully, as they may not be as great as you think and will only get worse as your wages increase.
In the future, school officials should lay all the information out, good and bad, not just what is deemed beneficial by you.
By the way, I have raised two children in this school system and absolutely support this school and the children in it, but I cannot support this tax.
To the editor: On or before May 4, voters in Ottawa County will have an opportunity to decide on Issue 6, the Ottawa County Senior Levy renewal.
Issue 6 is a .3-mill tax levy renewal, which means no new taxes. The term of the levy request is five years. I am asking you to vote yes in support of Issue 6. A large part of the funds from this levy renewal will continue to support the home-delivered meals to the homebound residents within Ottawa County.
In many cases this is their only source for a hot meal during the day. Having assisted in the delivery of those meals, I can personally attest that the residents being served are very appreciative of this service. Presently, almost a thousand meals a week are delivered.
In addition to the home-delivered meals, the funds are used to assist in-home care services for personal hygiene, Alzheimer’s respite and daycare services, the 60 + clinics throughout Ottawa County, and to support of the senior centers and dining sites, among other purposes.
These funds may only be used for Senior Service programs, and again the levy is a renewal. As an Ottawa County Commissioner, son of a senior parent, and a taxpayer in Ottawa County, I ask for your support of Issue 6, so that the outstanding senior program that we have may continue to serve our residents.
Ottawa County Commissioner
Don’t be wooed
To the editor: What a one percent earned income tax means to working families in Ottawa County:
An “average family” that makes $80,000 a year will pay $800 a year ($66.06/month) more to the Genoa School System if the one percent earned income tax is passed.
Our personal home has depreciated with the economy to a value of $129,180. The total annual property tax we pay is $2,401.97. Of that amount, $1,183.55 goes directly to the Genoa Area Local School District - 49.27 percent of our property tax.
The April/May edition of Comet Communicator boasted that if the market value of your home was $100,000, you would see an annual savings on your property tax of $75.64, but they fail to mention that you would end up losing $800/year out of your paycheck.
I encourage all property owners to go on-line to the Ottawa County Treasurer’s Office and find out exactly where their tax dollars are going and how they are distributed in the community. Click on “tax search” in the top red tool bar; enter your address, parcel or owner information and click “start search” (using your parcel ID number works best); on the next page click on “details;” on the next page click on “view your official tax bill;” the next page will give you a printable version of your tax bill that shows your current tax values, distribution, appraised value of your property, assessments, etc.
One other area that has not been mentioned yet either is the fact that this 1 percent earned income tax will also affect our kids in the community under the age of 18 who are not yet old enough to vote, but will be required to pay the new tax if it passes at the ballot box.
Amazingly, the Comet Communicator also stated in response to the question “What are the options for the school district to balance the budget?” only two options are named:
(1) 5.1 mills of property tax or
(2) 1% “earned income” tax. What about getting on a better budget like the families have had to do? Get back to funding the three Rs and cut the pork. By the way, who’s funding the “community picnic” April 22? I don't think our Ottawa County voters will be wooed by hot dogs and potato chips in order to agree to give up $800 a year more out of their paychecks.