Letters to the Editor – October 25, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Levy Only Option
Well run schools help develop a sense of identity and community, a place to practice compassion and citizenship.
In a school with enough resource, we can provide all who enter. And yes, of course, we teach and learn the state curriculum, but in a humane and caring environment where we learn how to care for each other as we learn about the world, near and far.
In vibrant schools, we learn to bring out our gifts and talents for the future in meaningful ways.
To matter in the world, to be relevant, we need to empower our students, your students, your neighbors, your children with a high quality education. Not a cheap education, but the right education.
It is the responsibility, no, the obligation of the adults in a community to nurture the next generation. Current tax law limits how we fund our schools through levies. Until we make a better law for school income, the levy is our only option.
To vote yes for a school levy is to vote yes to a lively, growing community, is to vote for the future.
Vote yes Nov. 6 for your local school levy.
Deborah Urban Steytler
Teacher, Chardon Schools
The Real Conservative
Forrest Burt claims he is a fiscal conservative, but as far as I can tell, Burt is a tax and spender. Here are the facts:
1. Burt gave his bailiff a 49 percent pay raise. I'm not sure what sheâ s doing to deserve such a huge pay hike, but I know that it's being paid for with our tax dollars.
2. Burt's bailiff now makes more than Sheriff McClelland. Really, it's true. Look it up for yourself; it's public record. How can a glorified secretary, no matter how much Judge Burt likes her, be entitled to make more than our countyâ s top law enforcement officer. No matter how you look at it, it's outrageous.
3. Six years ago, Judge Burt submitted an official letter saying that he was going to retire when his term was over. Again, check for yourself; it's on public record at the board of elections. Well, the last time I checked, he's still there on the bench. You know why? Because he's double-dipping. Yes, I know lots of people who work for the county double-dip, but we expect our judges to behave better than that.
Now, compare it with what Matasar says he is going to do when he's elected judge:
1. He is going to stop wasting taxpayer money on ridiculous raises, starting with rolling back the $30,000 raise Burt gave his Bailiff when nobody was looking.
2. He is going to examine the court's entire budget to see if there are other areas where money isn't being used efficiently.
3. He has pledged to never double-dip if we elect him.
When you look at what they really stand for, it's clear that Matasar is the real conservative in this race for judge. Burt looks like just another fat-cat politician to me, and Matasar looks like someone who's going to be a fiscal hawk for us in that courthouse.
Those are our tax dollars being spent; let's make sure we have a judge who isn't going to waste them.
Use of â Re-Electâ
After reading a recent editorial in another newspaper on the use of the word â re-electâ in campaign literature, hundreds of Geauga County voters and residents have asked me for clarification on my opponentâ s use of this word in the Geauga County Commissioner race.
The commissionerâ s seat we are both seeking is the remainder of retired Geauga County Commissioner William Youngâ s term of office. Neither of us has ever held his elected office. Therefore, both candidates currently do not hold title to that office.
The voters want to clear this up. The only way to do this is to file a complaint with the Ohio Election Commission in Columbus. So I did that on Oct. 22.
The Ohio Revised Code states:
(B) No person, during the course of any campaign for nomination or election to public office or office of a political party, by means of campaign materials, including sample ballots, an advertisement on radio or television or in a newspaper or periodical, or public speech, press release, or otherwise, shall knowingly and with intent to affect the outcome of such campaign do any of the following:
(1) Use of the title of an office not currently held by a candidate in a manner that implies that the candidate does currently hold that office or use of the term â re-electâ when the candidate has never been elected at a primary, general, or special election to the office for which he or she is a candidate.
Once Columbus responds to my complaint, we will know clearly whether or not my opponent is improperly using the word â re-electâ in her campaign literature.
See, Experience, Enjoy
There is a lot of talk about whether taxes will go up or down if the Geauga Park District levy passes.
Taxpayers will pay less overall because the 1995 levy expires, but the amount directly associated with this levy will go up because rates will be recalculated at today's assessment. Of course taxes will be reduced even more if the levy does not pass, but if this levy passes, the overall tax bill will indeed be lower compared to the current bill as a result of these changes.
However, this discussion skirts the real issue: Calculate how many dollars in property taxes you will pay each year for this levy. Is that amount worth the benefits you and your community receive from the parks in Geauga County? If so, then vote for this levy; if not, then invest your money elsewhere.
I am going to vote for the levy not because taxes will go up or down, but because I really enjoy the parks in Geauga County and I believe they are valuable assets. Of all the things my property taxes pay for, the park district is one of the few in which I can actually see, experience and enjoy the benefits. In my opinion it is one of the best value vs. dollar ratios on my tax bill.
In regards to reports that the Geauga Park District is â flush with cash,â from what I understand all funds are allocated to either current or future scheduled projects. The park district has a long-term project plan that drives those allocations. Imagine that: An organization that receives tax dollars, plans for the future and sticks to that plan. Are we so used to deficits in this country that when we come across an organization that actually plans and lives within its means we cry foul?
Effective Public Servant
Having known Jim Dvorak and his family for a long time, I can whole heartedly endorse him for Geauga County Commissioner.
He and his family spent many years being actively involved in 4-H and the Geauga County Fair, sports and many other projects of benefit to county residents.
Volunteerism led him into public office as a Burton Township Trustee, where he has proven to be a hardworking, dedicated and effective public servant.
Geauga County would be well served to vote for Jim Dvorak on Nov. 6 and elect him to the office of Geauga County Commissioner.
It is very apparent that we are in a state of moral decay in America.
With the ongoing effort to redefine marriage and the increased push for Christians to accept and pay for things such as abortion and contraception, may I suggest that this is no time to be silent? The future of our children and our grandchildren is at stake this November. Do not be deceived faith community. This election is about more than the need for an economic turnaround and it's about more than losing government entitlements.
This nation is in direct rebellion to the Creator and we should not be surprised if we get exactly what we deserve here in America should we continue to mock the Word of God. Believers you have an opportunity to have your voice heard. You have the opportunity to intercede in prayer; and when you cast your vote in November, cast it aligned to your moral convictions.
May God Bless America and may He get us turned around to be the people we were created to be.
Serve and Protect
Sharon Gingrich has done an outstanding job as the Geauga County Recorder, and she deserves another term.
Her opponent claims the recorderâ s job is unnecessary and has stated that she wants to eventually eliminate it. That would be unfortunate, because Sharon has utilized her position to both serve and protect the residents of Geauga County.
Sharon is a co-founder of the â Good Deeds Program,â which helps property owners make sure their deeds are correct, thus preventing problems after they pass away for their surviving family members and other heirs.
She also was involved in filing a class-action lawsuit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, which had exacerbated the foreclosure crisis by illegally bypassing recordersâ offices throughout Ohio and assigning mortgages nationally within its own track system.
We need more public servants like Sharon. She looks out for the interests of her constituents, and we would be fortunate to continue to have the benefit of her skills, intelligence and efficiency during the next four years.
Many Say It
As the former Geauga County Recorder, I know firsthand that Joanne Wirtz-Ryan's plan to eliminate the figurehead recorder will save Geaugaâ s taxpayers thousands of dollars.
A recent study by the County Commissioner's Association of Ohio concluded that consolidation of county offices is long overdue and is a needed first step to end wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.
I agree, there is simply no need for yet another office holder that makes over $62,000 a year and supervises only four employees.
Join me in voting for smaller more cost effective government. Many say it, but Joanne's Wirtz-Ryan's plan will do just that.
The Ohio School Boards Association strongly encourages residents of the Ledgemont Local School District to vote for the emergency operating levy on Nov. 6.
The five-year, 3.4-mill levy will cost homeowners $105 annually per $100,000 of property valuation.
While the economic downturn has been hard on many people in Ohio, it is important to remember it has been especially hard on our schools. Ledgemont and schools across Ohio have seen their funding cut and revenues decline, which has made it challenging to maintain the high-quality education residents have come to expect.
Ledgemont had an income tax that expired in December 2008. It took six attempts before a replacement tax was passed in May 2010. Consequently, the district lost $2 million in revenue, causing it to run out of funds in 2010 and be placed into fiscal emergency status by the state. As a result, $2.2 million was advanced to Ledgemont and a fiscal commission was established to oversee the districtâ s finances.
In order for Ledgemont to pay back
its loan, the district made cuts wherever possible in school year 2011-12 and more reductions this school year in the amount of $600,000. Despite all these challenges, the district has kept its focus on whatâ s important: helping students succeed.
Ledgemont High School, rated â excellentâ three of the last four years, continues to graduate outstanding students who are ready for college and careers. Ledgemont was able to expand advanced placement offerings at the school this year and is working district-wide to transform instruction for new Common Core standards.
By voting for this levy, you are helping Ledgemont maintain financial stability, preserve current programs and ensure a bright future for children in your community. That's why on Nov. 6, OSBA urges residents to vote FOR the districtâ s emergency levy. It is a wise and much-needed investment in your community.
Deputy Executive Director, OSBA
Your article in the Maple Leaf of Oct. 11 was about how Provider Services, who bought the Heather Hill Campus in 2011 and is planning on spending $8 million to renovate the Corrine Dolan Alzheimer's Center.
I don't know how they can justifiy spending that amount of money, when just recently they have raised the residents monthy payment at the Liberty as well as cut the aides wages by 20 percent and cut hours. I know several of these aides and they live from paycheck to paycheck like a lot of us.
However, none of the nursing staff, office staff or kitchen help got their salary cut. I don't think any of the salaries got cut at the main building either, just the Liberty, where they happen to be moving some of the residents from the Dolan Center. They are giving them more people to take care of and lowering their pay. Does this make sense to anyone?
In that article, Mr. Ward stated the care of the residents in the Liberty House is excellent because of the girls there â ” the aides and the nurses, but then they go and cut the aides hourly rate by 20 percent. How long do they think they can keep help there, doing this? Most of the girls will have to look for something to do on there days off, or just find another job that pays more then what they are getting now.
Toward the end of the article, Mr. Ward said the Dolan is a nice building, but Provider Services just want to make more money than they already are making. It would be nice if some of these corporations would care as much about their employees as they do their want for more money.
With an attittude like that, to me it seems that they are more interested in the money factor then they are the people living there or the employees.
Job Well Done
Iâ d like to give a huge note of recognition and gratitude to the League of Women Voters of Geauga County and the Political Action Committee of Kenston (PACK).
These two groups once again joined forces to sponsor and coordinate our recent Candidatesâ Night at Kenston High School. It was an opportunity for residents to come and hear most of our local candidates as this campaign season winds down and Election Day draws near.
The high school students, under the direction of social studies teacher Mrs. Anissa Smith, pooled their efforts to assist and keep the event running smoothly, and the eveningâ s moderator, Charles Hesse, kept the program interactive and informative.
In a year of all-too-negative campaigning, the refreshing guidelines for this event held all speakers in check as they spoke in positive terms of what they could each offer.
This was a terrific opportunity for all residents to be better informed as we head to the polls soon to make our voices heard. Thank you to the League and the PACK for another job well done.
Roof over Childrenâ s Heads
As a small business owner that lives and works in Geauga County, I would suggest that on Tuesday, Nov. 6 we get out the vote. Iâ m not talking politics, rather we as residents of West G need to put politics aside when we see the oval next to Issue 26, and we need to vote for the levy.
Regardless of your political views, regardless of your feeling of taxation, put everything aside at that moment and vote to put a roof over our childrenâ s heads. Aside from the fact that the bond issue that passed in 1994 being removed early will effectively lower your taxes, even if you vote yes to this levy. Voting yes for Issue 26 is just the right thing to do.
I remember voting for that bond issue the year my first son was born in 1994, 18 years later he became a freshman as The Ohio State University. He and his brother have received a first-class education by a dedicated hardworking group of teachers at West G, elementary, middle and high schools.
Look, since 1994 my business has doubled in size; we now employ 65 people locally here in Chesterland, on top of that in 2010 I started a student work program with West G High School, employing eight students part time. All eight of these students went off to college recently and, let me tell you, all eight were the smartest, well-educated, honest, trustworthy teenagers you would ever want to meet. Their parents and teachers should be so proud.
This year, I will take on another eight juniors, teaching them how a small business can be run and prosper. I know most of the students will never become full-time employees of mine â ” that wasnâ t the point. The point was to teach them how a small business can thrive and grow in this economy, how a small business can be run and how manufacturing in America is making a comeback because of the education our sons and daughters are receiving at schools across the country similar to West G.
But to do this the students need a roof over their heads, they deserve it.
Stuart Watson, Pres.
Truline Industries Inc.
Front Row Seat
Kathy and I have lived in Geauga County since 1975. Weâ ve had a front row seat to watch the Geauga Park District grow and flourish.
The park district has provided wonderful outdoor facilities for so many residents over those years. Our children have wonderful memories of outdoor events utilizing the Geauga Park District. What a wonderful legacy for our children and for their kids as well.
In a era when too many youth and adults spend too much time in front of computer or TV screens, the Geauga Park District represents great opportunities to reconnect with the out of doors and nature.
I encourage you to vote yes for the Geauga Parkâ s levy, the gem in our back yard.
As concerned citizens we must ask ourselves: Is education important for our community?
The facts are not always widely known.
Chardon Schools has cut costs, keeping expenses stable over the past years despite the inflationary environment (diesel fuel has increased from an average $2.70 in 2006 to $3.95 for 2012). Cutting programs has kept us in the black and avoided a state takeover.
The district has delivered Excellent school ratings for 12 years in a row; 98 percent of high school attendees graduate.
In the meantime, not only has the state cut back funds, it has increased unfunded regulations and mandates:
Online testing: computer purchases and outsource grading.
- Special needs children education (more than 10 percent of the budget, or $2 million is for 60 children)
- Teacher Ease for communicating with parents is no longer supported by the state (replacing with Infinite Campus)
- Others: teacher evaluations, third-grade reading guarantee, change in core curriculum (new books?)
The tax dollars of past levies stay stagnant no matter how the cost of your property fluctuates. This new levy will cost $15 a month per $100,000 of property's value.
You need to be informed of the cuts that have already occurred (no HS technology classes, diminished arts and music) and the catastrophic cuts that will come if this levy does not pass.
Learn what our children gain if it passes. Please check www.citizens4
chardonschools.com or come to the levy information night at Maple School on Nov. 1.
Sir, on Oct. 18, I received a sales flier from Great Lakes Outdoor Supply which apparently is owned by Ralph Spidalieri, a current candidate for Geauga County Commissioner.
It was mailed to postal customer, so many received it.
The heading is, "Spidalieri's Great Lakes Outdoor Supply Election Season Sale - Sale Ends Midnight November 6th."
So, in one heading he has placed his name first, the fact that its an Election Sale and conveniently saying the sale ends on Nov. 6.
Is it a coincidence that it was received 18 days before the election? I doubt it.
I am very concerned about this upcoming election between Forrest Burt and Scott Matasar.
What concerns me is that the media around Geauga County seem to be playing favorites and are not reporting news about Matasar because they fear Judge Burt would remember and retaliate if he is reelected.
Matasar has held three press conferences and nothing has come of them. A reporter from one of the newspapers showed up at the first press conference only. No media has shown up since that first conference even though they were told about it.
Matasar has reported facts and no one is listening. Just because a judge has been on the bench for 18 years, it does not make him a good judge. He just hasnâ t had any opposition until now â ” heâ s become complacent and too comfortable.
An election should be about two sides and Matasarâ s side is not getting fair coverage because of the media. This election should be about truth and not about favoritism in reporting. Shame on all the media who have rejected Matasar.
They say Matasar doesnâ t have the experience. He certainly does in justice. Judge Grendell didnâ t have the probate/juvenile experience when he became judge, but he has eased into it very well.
There seems to be waste, manipulation, misconduct and abuse of power going on in parts of the courthouse. For example, isn't it funny how the courthouse has run without a court administrator for 143 years and all of a sudden we need one and have to pay more than double to an individual who is not a â bargainâ for the money or qualified for that position. A â certificateâ does not make an administrator.
I would like to think that elections should be about truth not cover-ups. Unfortunately, that is not how the courthouse seems to be running today.
You can check out Scott Matasar's press conferences, by going to You Tube and typing in Scott Matasar. In doing so, not only will you be able to see Matasar's press conferences, but there is also a video of a senior citizen woman saying she was abused by Judge Burt.
Elect Scott Matasar for Geauga County Court of Common Pleas
@:Editorâ s Note: Mrs. Horeshâ s initial letter stated Judge Burt â leanedâ on the reporter who covered the initial press conference and discouraged him from attending subsequent Matasar press conferences. The Maple Leaf reporter was the person who attended the initial press conference and when informed Judge Burt did not contact this newspaper or that reporter about the press conferences or discourage any coverage, Mrs. Horesh said that is what she was told when she was asked to write a letter. She agreed to correct this misstatement of fact.
My husband and I went to the Geauga Panhellenic Century Home tour a few weeks ago. We debated whether to go since it was a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon, but now are so happy we attended this wonderful event for the first time.
We were fortunate it was featuring homes in the Chardon area where we live and delighted to see some of the homes we walk by regularly.
The event was well organized and had a nice variety of homes. The volunteers were so friendly and informative, telling the history of each home.
I want to thank all the home owners for opening up their homes; it was such fun to see how each house was decorated. Every home also had flower arrangement from various florists which added a nice touch.
Thank you again to the volunteers for this group and to the Chardon home owners. This will be a regular event on our schedule for now on.
Right Thing to Do
As I look at my children, the first word that comes to mind is, â Future.â Will they be successful? Will they stumble on lifeâ s path?
As a parent, it is my job to give them as many opportunities as possible to ensure that they become good citizens in our community. Since most of their day is spent in school, I am voting in favor of the levy for the following reasons.
1. I want my children, and all children of Chardon, to have the best possible education. Our family moved here two years ago because of the schools. The failure of the levy in our previous school district was the reason we chose to move to Chardon. It will also be the reason families will leave our community if Issue 21 fails.
2. I am voting for the levy because schools have been burdened with unfunded mandates by our government. The demands keep increasing without any additional funding to support the schools in adhering to the new requirements. Coupled with inflation, school systems are struggling to make ends meet.
3. It will cost many families with school-age children more to vote down the levy than to pass it. Itâ s true. If you have two or three children who participate in sports, band or other activities in the middle or high school, the additional costs associated with â pay to participate/playâ will quickly add up to more than your increase in taxes.
Also, resulting in the loss of critical elective and college credit courses, some families may feel forced to transfer their children to private school; a cost that far exceeds the approval of Issue 21.
4. It is the right thing to do. I am proud to say that I have always voted for school levies. Whether or not you have children, are a senior citizen or have children attending private school, voting yes is the right thing to do and an obligation owed to future generations.
It is investing in our future. It is a small price to pay to support the individuals that will be running this country one day.
Show the children of Chardon that you support them. Show them the value of community.
Vote â YESâ FOR ISSUE 21.
Tired of Musical Chairs
While most of the attention this campaign season is focused on the presidential election, please donâ t forget the importance of local races for state representative. These are the people we send to Columbus to represent our interests, and their actions directly affect our lives.
People in our district have had to suffer through the Republican Partyâ s game of musical chairs for the past several years as one after another of their brethren leave for greener pastures and leave us at the mercy of the partyâ s political appointees.
This year, we have a chance to elect a representative who will actually represent us.
Tom Warren is a level-headed, moderate guy whose personal and professional backgrounds make him the best choice to represent our interests in Columbus.
Tom is a former federal prosecutor who focused on public corruption and consumer fraud for nine years, successfully convicting a corrupt judge, busting a human trafficking ring and prosecuting telemarketers who defrauded the elderly. His commitment to looking out for ordinary people is proven.
Iâ ve gotten to know Tom during the past several months and am relieved to know voters in our district have the opportunity to elect a smart, caring, capable person to represent us in Columbus.
Tom received the endorsements of the Plain Dealer and Chagrin Valley Times, as well. So, if you are tired of the extreme rhetoric that passes for leadership these days, please vote for Tom Warren for State Representative. Tom will bring common sense back to the statehouse.
Lori A. Oâ Neill
Davis is Just Bitter
James Davis is a retired attorney who is bitter about a past court case where he was beaten by Colleen Mary Oâ Toole. For that reason he is going out of his way to undermine a great lawyer and judge by writing a nasty, vindictive letter.
I want to set the record straight. Colleen Oâ Toole chose not to participate in the bar association surveys on judges because the system is a broken biased system of evaluation. She offered to work with the bar on making reasonable changes to the system but was ignored.
The bar association is a special interest group that works for its own interests. Lawyers support judges who work with them, not judges who serve the people and law first. Oâ Toole believes that this needs to change and chose not to participate in a poll she could not win and did not want to be affiliated with.
Mr. Davis was also whining about a name tag and a robe that are the basis of the complaints against Ms. Oâ Toole. This is being appealed and will be overturned based on first amendment rights.
It speaks volumes about Ms. Oâ Tooleâ s opponent, however, and the pettiness behind these complaints.
Oâ Toole is a hard working small business owner who stands up for what is right. She is fighting to repair a broken system and will be a judge we can be proud of and a judge who will represent citizens and not special interests.
Please show the bar association and bitter men like James Davis that we want a judge who truly believes in â Justice for All.â Vote for Colleen Mary Oâ Toole for 11th District Court of Appeals.
@:Editorâ s Note: David Klemm is Colleen Mary Oâ Tooleâ s ex-brother-in-law. Mr. Klemm refers to a decision earlier this month in which a three-member disciplinary panel of the Board of Commissioners on Grievnces and Discipline of the Supereme Court of Ohio found Oâ Toole misrepresented herself on campaign literature in the 11th District Court of Appeals race. She was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay the complainant James Davis $2,500 and his attorneyâ s fees. Oâ Toole was an appellate court judge from 2005 to 2011, but lost in the 2010 Republican primary to Lake County Common Peas Court Judge Eugene Lucci.
My Natural Habitat
Thank goodness for public parks. I am especially grateful for Cleveland Metroparks' Emerald Necklace and all the jewels of the Geauga and Lake County park systems.
In Geauga, the new Lodge at Bass Lake Preserve and the Nature Center at West Woods are handsome structures worthy of their settings. Each will be an enduring legacy for future generations.
Our parks and facilities give testament to the high value our culture holds for nature's sustaining beauty. The latest addition to Geauga Park system is our Dark Sky Park, a place where we may become reconnected with the inspiring and humbling mystery of moon, planets and stars.
To those who may say, â We have enough parks! Why do we need so many parks?â I have a suggestion: Take a moment to consider creation, or nature. Whether your point of view is faith or science, it seems clear that the natural and proper habitat for human beings is the unbuilt environment â ” forests, meadows, mountains, plains.
When planning a zoo, designers give careful consideration to the 'natural habitat' for each resident animal to assure the best physical and mental health of each creature. Science continues to show us through research that humans are healthiest, happiest and most productive when we are living, working and learning in environments that are green and natural.
Today is a rare and beautiful fall day in Northeast Ohio and I plan to take an afternoon walk in Chapin Forest, one of Lake Metroparks' jewels. From the high point in the park, a hiker can look to the west and see the skyline of downtown Cleveland with an interesting optical illusion â ” somehow the lay of the land offers a vista that seems to present an unbroken line of forest all the way to where the skyscrapers rise up.
A naturalist once told me that Northeast Ohio grows mixed hardwood forests better than any other place on the planet. As a resident of Northeast Ohio, that's my natural habitat. I thank goodness for our park systems, for preserving places that look and feel like home.
Kathleen O. Webb
Our Town, Our Schools
On Election Day, we have an opportunity to continue the tradition of Excellence in Education for future generations of Chardon students. A YES vote for Issue 21 will mean that all of our students will continue to benefit from the Excellent programs offered in our Chardon Schools.
As one of your elected representatives to the Chardon Board of Education, I am mindful of the sacrifices we have all had to make so that future graduates of Chardon will be able to compete with other students from around the state, the country and the world.
Board members who served the district before me did an excellent job of keeping our costs reasonable and affordable. I have pledged to honor that tradition.
The district is in need of additional funds just to maintain the high performing system that has taken many years to assemble. Without additional funds, the board will have no other options except to begin eliminating programs that will affect students at every grade level.
Educating children is a service industry that can't be measured by some figure on a balance sheet. The products of our investment are graduates who are well prepared to succeed after high school.
Chardon isn't just some place on a map; it is OUR place. This is OUR TOWN, these are OUR SCHOOLS, and it is our responsibility to make sure we continue to provide the best education that we can reasonably afford. Please join me by voting YES for Issue 21 on Nov. 6.
Chardon Schools BOE
In 2009, our son graduated from Chardon High School. He attends Cleveland State University and was well prepared for his college computer courses. All business classes, including computer classes, no longer exist at CHS, victims of an earlier round of cuts.
The current five-year forecast for the district shows a growing deficit and $800,000 more in cuts to staff and programs will be necessary if additional revenue is not approved. We risk dismantling our school district to state minimums if we do not reverse this trend. Chardon will receive over $2.6 million less revenue this year than in 2006 due to state cuts and elimination of the tangible personal property tax.
The school district has been a good steward of the money it receives. It has enacted many savings. Freezes in compensation, increased employee health care contributions, an energy conservation program and reductions in the supply and material budget are examples.
Along with the inflationary cost increases we all experience, the district continues to face unfunded federal and state mandates. Examples include school meal nutrition, disability services, teacher/administration evaluation changes, student management infor-mation system, curriculum changes and online state testing by 2014.
As our daughter enters the middle school, we are concerned for her educational future. State minimum requirements will not provide the quality education that she needs to succeed in the future.
On Nov. 6, please support Issue 21. Chardon needs a school district that can educate young people to compete in a global environment.
Chardon Schools BOE
Matt Lynch has no shame, exploiting his first wifeâ s tragic passing two decades ago to excuse his own continuous and consistent failure to pay his taxes over the past 15 years.
His first wife passed in 1993, but Lynch has amassed over $40,000 in personal income tax liens since 1998. He had liens in 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2005, more than a decade later.
And Lynch canâ t blame his failure to pay his property taxes on time this year on his wifeâ s passing 20 years ago. At some point, a person of character and integrity takes personal responsibility for his own actions.
This is not a partisan issue. Independent evaluations, and even prominent Republicans, agree that Lynch is too irresponsible to be trusted with public office. Tim Grendell himself looked at Lynch's record last year and said it â reflects a lack of fiscal responsibility and judgment.â
And, an independent review by his peers in the Geauga County Bar Association rated Lynch as the least qualified candidate for judge when he ran for that position just last year.
Matt Lynch is not worthy of the support of the voters of Geauga County. For that reason, I am voting for Tom Warren as state representative.
Best Kept Secret
I want to let you know about one of the best kept secrets in Geauga County. We have a dedicated group of volunteers that comprise the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services. Along with our professional staff, led by Jim Adams, we provide oversight and have purview for the financial funds (federal, state and county) that are distributed to the contract agencies servicing Geauga County residents for mental health and recovery services.
The mental health budgets from state and federal programs have been severely cut, approximately 40 percent, the last several years. This really hurts those people in treatment or desperately needing treatment. In other words, we are dealing not just with budgets, but people's lives.
As an example, it may only cost $2,000 or $3,000 dollars per year for a successful treatment plan that allows patients to remain in the mainstream, where they hold jobs, pay taxes and contribute to society. However, the cost multiplies if they are forced to drop out of treatment, perhaps ending in incarceration, which can cost so much more; or they lose their jobs or sadly sometimes even their lives (or hurt others), when in desperation they resort to drastic measures.
That is why we have Issue 29 (renewal) and Issue 30 (a new initiative) on the ballot. These are both essential to protect emotionally needy people receiving treatment, counseling, housing, hope and more.
We on the board are your friends, neighbors and residents in Geauga County. We have a mix of backgrounds and represent many professions-physicians, psychiatrist, clinicians, social workers, manufacturing, marketing, educators and legal counselors, and a few board members who have received treatment and returned to fruitful new lives.
We believe we have provided the necessary due diligence in our efforts as volunteer board members, but now need your help. Please vote YES on Issues 29 and 30.
Remember, as many as one out five people in Geauga County will benefit from these levies. They could well be a family member, co-worker, neighbor or a friend just like all of us, who volunteer to help make lives better each day.
Victor Y. Matthews
Support Issues 29 and 30
With the recent cuts to the Geauga Mental Health and Recovery Services Board voting for Issues 29 and 30 is more important than ever.
The Geauga Mental Health and Recovery Services Board contributes funds to agencies throughout the county; non-profit agencies that provide services to more people than ever due the economy and other issues. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio is one of the agencies that receive such support.
Our agency provides positive role models and mentors to children in need. With more single parent families than ever our services are in greater demand; yet budget cuts have made it almost impossible to meet that demand.
Big Brothers Big Sisters programs have proven to be effective. Studies have show that children who have a mentor are 46 percent less likely to start using drugs, 27 percent less likely to start using alcohol and 33 percent less likely to be involved in violence.
The Washington Institute on Public Policy has concluded that for every dollar invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters there is a $3.28 savings to the taxpayer. Ultimately this is not only good for the child but good for the communities in which they live.
Geauga County has experienced funding cuts from the state over the last several years. This funding is vital to providing supports to the citizens of Geauga County who are experiencing Behavior Health Issues because of loss of job and other traumas. Voting for Issues 29 and 30 will prevent additional cuts to our mental health services and help us keep kids off drugs, champion victims of domestic violence and support those struggling with mental illness.
Please vote yes on Issues 29 and 30.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of
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Park Levey : 11/1/2012
Issue 28 is a huge tax increase. The park district not only has a budget surplus annually, but they reported an unencumbered balance of $14,151,165.46 for 2013 to the Geauga County Auditor. This is a verifiable fact, a fact Jim Patterson would not share with the public because he knows if the residents were aware of this, they might not support such a large tax increase.
Why More Money