Follow the money
To the editor: In her letter in the April 14 issue, “Courting a billionaire,” Joann Schiavone writes of “more clowns from the party” going to Sin City to ask for money.
It was unclear if she was suggesting that the “clowns” belonged to just the Republican party or if she is including the “clowns” (her words) from the Democratic party in her comments.
If she was not including the “other” party, I would suggest she Google “George Soros” and follow the money.
Issue 1 support urged
To the editor: On May 6, residents of Ottawa County will have the opportunity to vote yes on Issue 1 to support and continue a vital program to repair, maintain and upgrade the roads, bridges, water and sewer infrastructure so important to the Ottawa County economy.
Since its inception in 1987, the State Capital Improvements Program administered at the local level has provided more than $30.6 million to Ottawa County communities, which, through matching funds and grants, has yielded infrastructure repairs and improvements in excess of $184 million. Every community, be it county, township, city and village, has received funding for their constituencies’ needs.
Local officials evaluate and score the projects submitted on a county basis and pass the best projects to the district level. With the pool of funds available at the district level, the best projects receive grants and lands to the betterment of the local partners. This is truly an example of how government best operates – local people providing local direction for needed local infrastructure.
I strongly urge you, the beneficiaries of this extremely successful program, to vote yes on Issue 1 on May 6 to continue funding for our local needs. As we are all aware, local government serves local needs.
David Brunkhorst PE, RS
Ottawa County Engineer
To the editor: Recent letters questioned conservative candidates efforts to raise funds. If you want to talk about money raised to support candidates consider the last two presidential elections and President Obama receiving millions of dollars from Wall Street.
Have you noticed all the fundraising trips President Obama is taking on your dime around the country?
Environmental groups are spending money on candidates and the Koch brothers are spending money as well – primarily on those who support the construction of the Keystone pipeline project, which will create jobs.
As for Caterpillar, Inc. and Switzerland; we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Lower it and eliminate the tax loopholes.
Many companies have left the U.S. for inexpensive labor. Who signed the North American Free Trade Act and helped normalize relations with Vietnam where many jobs have gone? Bill Clinton.
As a country we need to come together with solutions to create jobs and fund our local governments. That is what we should focus on.
Other options needed
To the editor: On May 6, the administration of Northwood Schools will be trying once again to put the tax-paying citizens of Northwood on the hook for $21.5 million for a new school And we still haven’t seen any new information on “all the options” that were considered.
It’s worth mentioning again that this 4.9 mil levy will last 37 years and the 1/4 percent earned income tax increase will never go away – that’s right, it’s permanent. I for one don’t believe that a community can tax itself into prosperity, and I’m opposed to trying to do so.
I would ask the voters to consider this; how many students in Northwood are there through open enrollment? What happens if that number drops? Of course, that money follows those students and their parents don’t feel the pinch from the levy or income tax.
I’ve heard arguments from the pro-levy side that a new school will make the community more attractive to potential residents. I believe that most potential homebuyers check out the property taxes and income tax rates when looking to move and Northwood’s property taxes are already extremely high. It’s not only homeowners who will feel the burden of this property tax, but renters will also experience it when the landlords have to increase rents to cover it.
We hear about how the state will fund $11.5 million and we only have to pay the other 65 percent. It’s my understanding that Rossford and Oregon have declined this state money. Could it be that there are “strings” attached to it?
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 would like to see more options considered before asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for such a large expense. If we consider the existing facilities past their useful life due to their age, by expanding that reasoning the new building will need to be replaced not long after it’s paid off. It’s the quality of the instructors and not the age of the facilities that benefits the students.
The superintendent has stated that merging with other school districts was not even considered; while not a popular option, why should the taxpayers and homeowners of Northwood be asked to foot this onerous bill when not all options were considered and not all questions have been answered.
I urge the voters of Northwood to let the administration know we want to see more fiscal responsibility by voting “no” on the proposed school levy this May 6.
To the editor: The argument for the school levy in Northwood seems obvious; we have school buildings that are 50 and 75 years old with antiquated plumbing and wiring systems. There may also be asbestos in the structures.
The State of Ohio is giving us 35 percent of the funds. Not only will the new school be a nicer environment but it will also be safer and more technologically advanced.
Although there is no guarantee, I would think that if the citizens of Northwood would invest in the future of our children and our community, it would attract new homeowners and new business owners to invest as well. Plus our property values may go up, certainly not down and if you want to sell your home it may not take as long.
The arguments against the levy have been that people on fixed retirement incomes cannot afford the increase in income tax. In fact, their income will not be affected. The cost for a family with a $100,000 home and $50,000 income is about $300 per year. Not unaffordable.
If we do not pass the levy in May we will have to figure out how to renovate the schools. Is that really how we want our money spent when we can have brand new state-of-the-art educational facilities?
Let’s put Northwood on the map again – vote yes on May 6.
To the editor: I have personally attempted to contact our Oregon school superintendent, Mr. (Lonny) Rivera by emailing the letter below, to no avail. I feel this message is important enough to share with the community.
Dear Mr. Rivera: I just got home a few minutes ago from the National Honor Society’s induction and installation ceremony at Clay High School. I was especially proud to be there, as my granddaughter, Allison Susor, is the current president and presided over the ceremony.
The students were well represented by Clay High School Principal James Jurski and various teachers who spoke highly of each and every student. I am very proud of the students and their accomplishments, both academically and socially.
It was also a pleasure to see at least one of our school board members, Heather Miller, in attendance. On a night to honor our brightest and best academic students in Clay High School, I am embarrassed by the absence of not only our school board members but also our superintendent and administrative team.
I feel it would have been such a bonus not only to the students, but the parents and families of those scholars as a show of support from the school administration.
We obviously do not hold the academic standards of our students with such high esteem, it appears.
To the editor: I encourage Northwood voters to vote against the Northwood School Levy.
This levy is for replacement of the existing buildings with a single, all-grades building. My objection to this levy is twofold. One, the levy is composed of a millage request for 37 years and a ¼ percent income tax.
The fact that the income tax portion is a permanent income tax was not clearly presented to the citizens. In an effort to appease the senior citizens, the tax is not on retirement income. However, if the senior needs to or has chosen to continue to work, that earned income will be taxed. This income tax does not give consideration for the working elderly and it effectively raises the income tax in Northwood to 1.75 percent.
One of the benefits of living in Northwood has been the lower income tax. This action on the part of the school leadership begins to erode one the benefits of living in Northwood.
My second objection is, buildings are not disposable. One of the buildings to be destroyed is only 50 years old. Does this mean that at the end of the 37 years, we will only get 12 years of useful life from the new building?
Buildings do not a good education guarantee and it doesn't make sense to tear down buildings simply because the state is offering a small portion of the building expense. In Northwood, this represents about one third of the total cost, and yet we must comply with building standards set by the State, even though the taxpayers would be the majority investor.
In addition, I am opposed to a combined elementary and high school building. I have other concerns as well about the number of students in our system. Over the years, the number of students who actually live in Northwood, and whose parents pay taxes in Northwood, has declined. This decline is being offset by open enrollment students whose parents do not share in the financial responsibility for maintaining our school system.
For all these reasons, I encourage the voters in Northwood to vote no against the school levy.