Written by By Pres Staff Writer
May 14, 2010
To the editor: On Tuesday, May 4, voters in the Toledo Public and Springfield school districts voted down levies to generate school funding. Property tax levies have become increasingly difficult to pass in recent years, causing schools to make severe cuts.
Ohio and many other states have challenged using property taxes as the main source of funding for public schools. On March 24, 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court declared Ohio’s system of funding schools through property taxes unconstitutional. Our lawmakers sat idly by. In 2007, a group called Getting It Right for Ohio’s Future attempted to put an initiative on the November ballot to establish public education as a fundamental right, which would put the responsibility of funding on the state, rather than property owners. Again, our lawmakers sat idly by.
It’s time for community members to stop bickering among each other, and instead hold our state lawmakers responsible for finding a solution that will effectively fund the schools. Community members need to work together to demand that state lawmakers find a solution that will effectively fund the schools by supporting a ballot initiative and voting lawmakers who sit idly by out of office.
To the editor: My “journey for justice” through Lucas County Common Pleas, Toledo Municipal and Lucas County Domestic Court began way back in July of 2005 when I was the unfortunate victim of domestic violence. Of course, this wasn’t the first occurrence in my home but I vowed it would be the last. I followed procedure as instructed, filed for a temporary protection order, a civil protection order and divorce.
Being a novice to our court system I honestly did not know what to expect, however what unfolded during the three-year battle was literally a nightmare. First of all, I had at least two court dates per week, generally in family court or criminal. Every time I would have a court date for domestic violence, I would have to pull my witnesses from their lives and employment to accompany me. Each and every time, the court would continue the hearing to another date. The reasoning for this per the judge “once the divorce is final these things seem to go away.”
A victim is also assigned an “advocate” who offers no assistance or voice but merely stands by the side of the abused, (sometimes) period. While this was being postponed time and time again the CPO had no bearing, it was violated numerous times. I had to withdraw from college due to fear and of course the rigorous court schedule that was consuming my life.
Finally, the divorce became finalized after three years, then back to criminal court for a domestic violence hearing, the accused was found guilty and was instructed to return back to court months down the road for sentencing I was told I did not have to attend that particular hearing.
The end result was no jail time, no fine. Only court costs were assessed.
What a kick in the teeth for a victim who lived through a nightmare not only in my home with children but in our so called court system the one supposedly created to bring protection and “justice” to victims.