Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Letters to Editor
October 17, 2013 by John Karlovec | No Comments

Letters from the community

Thank you Chester for the response and correspondence regarding the activity of a small group of citizens that create chaos with their…

Observer is Fake

Thank you Chester for the response and correspondence regarding the activity of a small group of citizens that create chaos with their actions at meetings and publish their fake newspaper called the Observer.

Please keep the correspondence coming.

Overwhelmingly, the community does not support the antics of this group.

Just last week they wrote that I should attend all the trustee meetings. They also state the former fiscal officer attended all meetings. The record reflects she missed seven regular meetings in just her last eight months of office.

Observer staff members attended those meetings, but reported the exact opposite. What does that tell you as to the credibility/character of these people and their Observer?

They fail to mention that the Aug. 22 meeting was the first regular meeting I missed since taking office 19 months ago (Ive missed three in total).

They also fail to report that I stated that the reason I would only be coming as the law requires was due to their constant disruptions and the em-barrassment they continually bring to this community and those meetings.

I asked Trustee Ken Radtke, who has proclaimed his friendship with this group, if this group felt that their ideals represented the ideals of Chester residents.

Kens response was that he didnt think that this group considered the views of the community. They had their objectives and werent concerned with the communitys wishes.

There was not one communication supporting the actions of the former fiscal officer either.

Residents also ask the Observer to publish some contact information such as email or phone so people can opt out or give direct feedback on articles. Please add this to future editions and put a byline on the articles so we know who gathered your information/

misinformation.

The people want to know why in the last four elections, not one of you has had the courage to put your own name on a ballot and run for election. If you dont have courage then what does that make you?

Michael Stark

Chester Township Fiscal Officer

Support Your Roads

As head of the Russell Township Road Department, I would like to ask Russell residents for your support of the road levy on Nov. 5.

The 1.10-mill levy will generate an estimated $277,310 per year and will cost the owner of a single family home with a market value of $100,000 app-roximately $37.90 per year.

This levy would replace money this department used to receive from the General Fund for operations, which we will no longer receive because of state cuts.

My goal has, and always will be, to put as much money as I can into the road infrastructure and to keep our equipment up to date and in good shape.

In order to accomplish this, I always look at ways to save on costs.

Examples include staffing levels are the same as when I took over as department head 12 years ago; we are still in the same facility that was purchased from a trucking company in 1979; purchasing salt and equipment through the State of Ohio, resulting in thousands of dollars in savings; doing most mechanical work in-house, so not paying high shop rates by hiring this work out; doing crack sealing in-house after the purchase of a used crack sealing machine in 2004, resulting in thousands of dollars in savings plus better quality work; construction of a small salt storage unit by Road Department personnel, resulting in thousands of dollars in savings; use of recycled concrete instead of virgin stone; Ohio public works grants secured to resurface Music Street, Pekin Road and Hemlock Point Road, resulting in thousands of dollars saved; secured sign grant replaced most speed and stop signs in the Township.

The majority of the township roads are now paved and in good shape, and it will be very important to maintain them.

Gene T. Layne

Russell Township Road

Superintendent

Support the Mission

The mission of the Chardon Schools is to produce educated, responsible citizens equipped with the skills necessary for success in an ever-changing, highly diverse, technological world through a committed partnership with staff, parents and community.

So what does it take to fulfill this mission? It takes a full complement of classes, access to a variety of experiences outside of the classroom, highly qualified teachers who care, parents who support the learning process and the full support of the community.

So how does Chardon measure up?

Classes: Chardon has always provided the core classes (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading) but other essential classes to fulfill the mission have been eliminated as the financial situation has worsened.

Not only do we need these classes reinstated, we need to add classes essential to prepare our students for the current and future world (look up 21st Century Student Outcomes).

Our students arent getting all that they need.

Experiences outside the classroom: Proven by research, extra-curricular activities help students develop skills that cannot be learned inside the classroom. Chardon administration and staff have supported this by offering and staffing a wide variety of activities. The community has also supported this need through leading activities and volunteering their time and talents.

But, access to these experiences is now being limited due to high participation fees. Every sport, club and activity now costs $450 to $100 to join. Many students are being forced to select only one activity or none at all.

Highly qualified teachers: We have a great group of teachers who are highly educated (77.6 percent have masters) and give their all to teach and guide the students.

But, our teachers havent had a raise in five years and their salaries are below the state average and below many neighboring districts. We wont be able to keep these teachers or attract the best of the best new teachers.

Parent and community support: Individually, parents support the learning of their own children. Collectively, they volunteer countless hours supporting their childrens school and interests.

Parents and the community also must support the schools financially. While expenses outside of the control administrators continue to go up, the community has not provided additional funds to support it since 2006 and the state has reduced its funding by $2.8 million. The district has reduced staff, programs, personnel and services to stay solvent.

So how does Chardon measure up in your mind? In mine, its time for this community to pass the levy on Nov. 5 so we can do a better job living up to the mission and the promise of educating our youth. Join me in voting YES on ISSUE 31.

CoCo Griffis

Chardon Township

Primer for Auburn Voters

Let’s primarily study the re-elections of trustees John Eberly and Mike Troyan. Two experienced leaders combining over 30 years of dedicated service.

Well start with issues, because there aren’t any. A survey for Auburn residents came back with overwhelming approval ratings on how the township was run. Their consensus was, Keep on doing exactly what was being done.

Lets make it simpler, using A, B and C.

A is for Adam Hall and Auburn Community Park. Adam Hall is a jewel where fallen community heroes are remembered; new babies are welcomed, joyous couples are wed, anniversaries are celebrated and funds are often raised for community needs.

Its a gathering place created not for making money, but to provide a reasonably priced facility for residents. Ive personally witnessed the joy Adam Hall brings, at almost every affair for seven years.

It has served our community above and beyond expectations. From an overgrown, weed-infested lot with crumbling buildings needing replaced, it has become a lovely hall for all.

Auburn Community Park holds 67 acres of green space to enjoy. Soon children will play games there, while folks stroll and savor their beautiful township park.

Both locations came from our current trustees efforts.

B – is for Books that tally money used to run the township smoothly. In spite of criticism, Sue Plavcan did a stellar job handling finances for the township. Though a few citizens tried to paint the books red, she kept the books in the black.

As in any business, occasionally an error might occur, which needs a financial director to correct it. Hence the name accountant to account for each dollar spent.

Sue Plavcan deserves the credit of all of Auburn’s residents.

C – is for communication also known as transparency. There are a few who feel the current trustees dont communicate and arent transparent enough with all the business they handle daily.

But the bi-weekly meetings are not overwhelmed with residents demanding answers. The minutes of each meeting and public records are available to any who wish to read them.

Plus there are a few unduly concerned residents attending each meeting, to video tape the proceedings for posting on a worldwide web for anyone to read. But they dont offer ways to refute /comment back when they critic the minutes with their interpretations.

Meanwhile, they offer windows to each meeting while faulting the trustees for a huge lack of transparency.

Auburn has a website allowing comments and suggestion, and runs a column in the newspapers. So there is adequate communication. The only real issue that remains is, Do we really need change? Should we elect new trustees who hold little or no true experience running Auburn or keep whats tried and true, John Eberly and Mike Troyan whove already done so much for you.

Be sure to vote for the facts; don’t vote on what might be done by folks who have not yet done it.

Its as simple as A, B, and C. Vote Troyan and Eberly.

Matthew F. Blowers III

Adam Hall Rep

Make the Investment

Eight years ago this September, my wife and I chose Chardon as the community where we wanted to live and raise our children. We chose this community largely because of the excellent reputation and performance of the school district.

I now have three children working their way through this wonderful school system. I can personally attest to the quality of the education they are receiving and the dedication of the teachers and staff. I can also attest to the cuts and sacrifices that are being made due to the shortage of funding.

This November, Chardon school district residents will vote on Issue 31, a 5.9-mil continuous operating levy to make up for the funding shortage. Nobody wants to pay more taxes, but a school levy cant be viewed as just another increase in taxes.

A school levy is quite different. When viewed in its proper context, a school levy is an investment in our schools, community and students. Nothing that happens in a community occurs in solitude. It impacts the whole of the community.

Investing in our childrens future is arguably the most important investment we will ever make and the quality of the school district has a direct and profound impact on the community as a whole. Just take a look at the housing and real estate values in communities with poor school districts. Thats just one quick example. There is an abundance of evidence outlining the positive returns of investing in your school and the data is not hard to find.

This school district is worth the investment. This community is worth the investment. Our children are most certainly worth the investment. Lets make the investment.

Michael & Michelle McGreevy

Munson Township

YES for My Grandchildren

A few years ago Forbes Magazine rated Geauga County as the fifth-best county in the U.S. for raising a family. Good schools, healthcare, and recreational opportunities, parks.

Lets keep our community high with pride. Dont let the neighborhoods take a downhill slide. Vote YES for the Chardon Schools levy in November. Im voting YES for my grandchildren.

We can be proud of our students. All of Chardon Schools science teams, especially the Envirothon team, have done exceedingly well in state and national competitions. Give them the opportunity to keep winning in the future. Vote YES on the Chardon Schools levy.

In Ohio, public schools are supported by the public. They dont receive endowment funds for operating costs like private schools can do. Public schools can receive money and set up an endowment fund for scholarships only. Ohio schools are funded by property taxes. Some schools also have an income tax.

Unfortunately, schools have share pieces of the property tax pie with other local government agencies, county and township. The state (and some counties) is funded by the sales tax on non-food items.

Contrary to what is advertised on TV, the Ohio Lottery does not give their profits to local schools. It goes in the state budget. The state budget uses a formula to distribute funds to local school districts. These funds have been reduced in the past few years, while un-funded mandated programs have increased, creating havoc in school budgets.

The Chardon Schools Board of Education has made many cuts in the programs offered and the number of teachers and staff they are not administrative top-heavy.

So many elective programs in the middle school and high school have been cut (eliminated). That many students have to go to the study hall two or three class periods per day. This is a waste of the students time. They could read a book after completing their homework.

But reading a novel doesnt further the students education in science and math, only literature. They need science and math to enter college. You need a college education or specific career education to get a good job that you like to do and earn enough money for a decent standard of living.

India and China are graduating 10 times more engineers and scientists from college than the U.S.

Good schools maintain property values. Poor schools lower property values.

Neil Reeder

Chardon

EDITORS NOTE: The final deadline for election letters is 5 p.m. Oct. 25, for publication in the Oct. 31 edition. Letters published on Oct. 31 will be limited to candidate and issue endorsements, except as permitted below.

The final deadline for letters critical of candidates is 5 p.m. Oct. 18, for publication in the Oct. 24 edition.

Letters from candidates in response to letters specifically critical of them will be accepted until 5 p.m. Oct. 25, for publ-ication in the Oct. 31 edition.

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