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Letters to the editor - UPDATED July 16
Thank you for the help
We commend the members of the Madison Township road crew. When the storm hit June 29, the winds caused several tree limbs to fall on our street, blocking it. Several houses down from ours, a large tree came down, taking out power lines along with it, leaving our neighborhood without electricity.
Shortly thereafter, a police car came by followed soon after by the road crew. They cut the larger tree limbs to provide access to our street and placed them in the grass. They said they would be back on Monday to remove the limbs and sure enough, the crew came and removed all the limbs. To put into context why we were so impressed, we were told there are only six people who make up the road crew and one is on medical leave. What a fantastic job these hard working individuals did! They had to repeat this work on several streets and we know they had to be exhausted.
We also want to thank our Madison Township Police Department for accessing the damage in our neighborhood and being diligent in ensuring we were safe from vandals. It was comforting to see that, although some streets were impassible by car, we saw officers on bikes when not in their cruisers.
Additionally, the Madison Township Fire Department was quick to react when several of our neighbors saw smoke coming out of a tree after smoke was seen coming from a large branch that had come in contact with a live wire.
We are all fortunate to have these fine professionals watching over us. Unfortunately, these people who are tasked with protecting us are too often taken for granted. Why not write them a note, stop and say "thank you," bake them cookies, or whatever you feel you would like to do to say, "Job well done and we thank you."
We also express our gratitude to the various electric companies and their crews who restored our power. Although we all would have liked to have had our electricity restored immediately, the reality was with so many neighborhoods affected at one time, only so many could be brought back online at a time.
To all who gave countless hours in keeping us safe, clearing our neighborhoods, and restoring our power, we are grateful for your diligence and service.
Linda and Orv Potts
Ask questions about the future of Groveport
There are many issues that have been overlooked for years the city of Groveport. I think the city has gone backwards in the last 10 to 15 years and the city government has done nothing to move us forward.
There are scars around this town that we have had to look at for years now that have not been taken care of, such as the big bump and dip on Hendron Road, for example.
We have the water issues again and I wish someone could tell me what it is that we lose by obtaining water from someone else. We should have done this 15 years ago and really got into the water business. As it is, now a few council members are making the rest of our older downtown residents carry on their backs the cost of a few wanting to say they know what is best. Many people are not on Groveport water and these residents do not seem to have lost anything at all. I think this water decision by a few is going to ruin the lives of many in years to come. We do not have a clue what the costs of even breaking even will cost residents.
I hope the residents of Groveport take a hard look at what is about to happen to them and start asking questions about the future of our city and what things are going to cost us in the future.
Why should Groveport pay for township police?
In reviewing my property taxes, I pulled my tax distribution and found that 17 percent goes to Madison Township while only 2 percent goes to the city of Groveport.
Most of the 17 percent goes to the Madison Township Fire Department. Nearly 5 percent ($190.66) of my total tax goes to the Madison Township Police Department. Why do residents of Groveport pay this amount to a department that does not patrol our city?
The Ohio Revised Code (Title 5, Section 503.07, provides an option which could relieve Groveport residents of this unnecessary tax. The money could be used to buy gasoline, medicine or to pay that high utility bill from the current heat wave.
I request that our elected city officials take action on this tax break for the residents of Groveport.
Give students the tools to succeed
The Groveport Madison School Board of Education placed a levy on the ballot to replace the current $7.7 million levy that will expire in December 2012. This levy is not a tax increase, your taxes will remain the same.
Cutting $8 million from our schools will devastate our schools, negatively impact our entire community, and move us closer to state minimum standards. Do we want to raise our children to accept minimums in life not to mention perform only the minimum? We need to give our children all the tools to succeed.
As a parent of a student that attends Groveport Madison High School, these cuts will have a negative impact on my daughter's future. To be accepted into college and to compete with students in other school districts to not only be accepted, but also receive scholarships, a student must not only have good grades, they also must have completed higher level classes. Colleges want to see if a student can juggle several different extracurricular activities along with keeping up with their studies. With the cuts to textbooks, technology, classroom materials, foreign languages, not to mention the elimination of 130 plus teachers and staff and extracurricular programs, let me ask you, how does she compete? She doesn't.
If this levy does not pass busing for the high school will be eliminated beginning Jan. 1, 2013. Think about this, school starts at 7:30 a.m., in the winter months it's dark at 7:30 a.m. Do we want our children walking down Hamilton Road with no sidewalks in the dark? I am concerned about their safety.
I urge you to vote for the levy on Aug. 7. We must protect our schools from these $8 million in devastating cuts to keep our community strong.
Keep our community strong
We have lived in the Groveport Madison community since 2003. Since 2009, our district has cut more than $5 million from its budget. Groveport Madison Schools have also moved from a state designation of academic watch to an "excellent" rating on the state report card.
On Aug. 7, the district is asking you to vote for a renewal levy that will not raise your taxes. If the levy does not pass, the district will have to cut an additional $8 million. These cuts would be in the areas of busing, athletics, physical education, art, textbooks and technology.
Please help keep our community strong by voting for this important issue.
Zac and April Casperson
Levy won't raise taxes
I applaud Andy and Maria McGraw's accurate presentation of the case for passage of the Groveport Madison school levy in their letter to the Southeast Messenger on June 24. More information about the levy can be found at voteforgmls.com.
I propose to lay to rest any misunderstandings remaining in the minds of those who read Dennis Anderson's letter concerning the levy in the June 10 Southeast Messenger.
Mr. Anderson, a retired homeowner, argued against the levy. Like Mr. Anderson I am also a retired homeowner residing in the Groveport Madison school district. Unlike Mr. Anderson, I staunchly support the proposed levy.
Mr. Anderson rests his case against the school funding levy on a faulty premise. Funding of extracurricular functions accounts for a fraction of the levy proposal. Mr. Anderson failed to mention the proposed levy is a replacement and won't cost any more than property owners are already paying.
Groveport Madison instituted pay-to-participate fees, yet Mr. Anderson indicts parents for "misdirecting their energies toward getting a levy passed when they should be actively thinking of collective fund raiser activities for the kids." Mr. Anderson is poorly informed on the issues leading to Groveport Madison's $8 million shortfall as well as the ongoing efforts coaches, boosters and students pour into generating funds for extracurricular activities through events such as car washes, bingo, sales, coupon cards, t-shirts, greeting cards, and concessions.
Mr. Anderson's argument that times are financially tough for homeowners and taxpayers is no less true of parents of K-12 students than of retirees. He states Ohio would accrue benefits if the state would switch to a school district system like Florida's claiming it would save money. I checked the facts. Florida ranks 50th in per capita spending for grades K-12. They're in last place, falling far short of a standard for a role model.
Mr. Anderson decries the "mindset of taxation of property owners, when...students, parents and administration should be pressuring the state legislature to create a...new form of funding public schools as mandated four times by the Ohio Supreme Court."
When the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the state's method of funding public schools was in violation of the Ohio Constitution, it didn't intend to absolve the taxpayers from the responsibility of funding public schools, quite the opposite. The Ohio Supreme Court stated a thorough system means each school district would have enough money to operate. An efficient system means every school district has an ample number of teachers, sound buildings and equipment sufficient for all students to be afforded an educational opportunity.
A "yes" vote on the Groveport Madison school levy on Aug. 7 moves Groveport Madison one step closer to that goal!
Support Groveport Madison schools
I am writing to ask for your support of the Aug. 7 levy for Groveport Madison Schools. We need your support!
The levy is a substitute of an existing operating levy set to expire at the end of the year. This is not a tax increase. Passing of this levy will protect our district from devastating cuts. Without the passage of the levy, there will be cuts to programs including art, physical education, library services, and foreign languages and cuts to textbooks and technology. Defeat of this levy will eliminate busing at the high school starting January 2013 and all athletic and extracurricular activities.
We have a great school district, great kids, and an incredibly hard working staff. We need to keep our district moving forward. Please remember that this is not an increase in your taxes.
Home and Garden tour a success
We just want to express our gratitude to all involved for making the Groveport Home and Garden Tour such a success.
The family gardens were absolutely beautiful and reflected the love their owners have for the hobby of gardening. The tours through and around The Cox home and the Thomson home were magnificent. Thank you so much for a wonderful Sunday afternoon.
Larry and Jean Ann Hilbert
Par-Tay helps fight cancer
The Zumba(r) Fitness Par-Tay at Relay For Life Canal Winchester/Groveport on June 8 at Canal Winchester High School Stadium was a success! The weather was perfect and the crowd was enthusiastic. We hope every enjoyed the Zumba(r) moves presented by Colleene, Ali, Audria and Sondra.
This great addition to Relay for Life Canal Winchester/Groveport raised $1245.48 for Team Sara's Survivors.
Controlling our own water controls our fate
On June 25, Groveport City Council will take a final vote regarding our water supply.
We can either build a new water plant of our own or join Columbus. Regardless of the choice, our water rates will go up. We are already aware of the problems that our neighbors in Blacklick Estates have in dealing with a water supplier that does not listen to their pleas concerning rates.
Our nation struggles with oil prices that are not within its control. We do not want Columbus to control our "lifeline" without having any future say about rates, service, etc. since we have no representation in Columbus and no voice in their council decisions.
I also don't believe that Groveport would be a priority to Columbus when it comes to repairing and replacing old water lines. We would merely be a "small fish" in the big sea of Columbus.
Controlling our own water controls our fate. Please join me in letting our council members know that we don't want Columbus water at any cost.
Make your voice heard on Groveport water issue
On June 25 at 6:30 p.m. Groveport City Council will vote on an important topic. That topic is water and what to do with it and who to get it from.
Now that the EPA is forcing our hands to finally do something, we have a difficult decision to make. My view is simple. Why should we place the burden of this on our residents because of our inaction involving water? I believe that a 90 percent increase of water rates by 2017 is the wrong thing to do.
The economy is still sluggish and we debate things over and over about money and the economy and how it is going to impact our residents. This will have a huge impact on them and ripple effect.
I propose to treat this as a capital project and finance it over a 20 year period ($100,000/year) and not pass the burden on to our residents and then adjust rates if needed to maintain the system.
All of Groveport is on Columbus sewer and a portion of the households and industrial parks are already on Columbus water and they all pay an extra 15 percent surcharge that goes directly into the water fund as revenue. If it wasn't for these funds our water fund would be in serious trouble. Why is it ok for some but not the rest? Groveport has grown and prospered because of Columbus sewer and water. So why now do we want to restrict our growth? The proposed rates do not include any increases for maintenance, repair, emergencies, or capital projects they are for the loan amount only. In these economic times how can I justify spending $3.1 million versus $1.6 million? We enjoy many amenities (rec center, Aquatic Center, and a golf course to name a few) not afforded to other towns our size because of our ability to collect income taxes on businesses that call Groveport home because of our contract with Columbus for water.
My hope is that the people will use their heads and not their hearts when making this decision. Make your voice heard and attend the council meeting on June 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.
Edward G. Dildine
Groveport Council member
Cops & Kids Day
On June 9, the Groveport Police Department hosted its annual Cops &Kids Day at Groveport Park.
With officers from more than a dozen local public safety agencies participating, we interacted with kids and allowed them to look at and explore our vehicles. This event is not only enjoyable for the officers, firemen, and rangers, but also helps show that we, as public servants, are approachable and seek to develop valuable relationships with those we serve.
This event would not be possible without the support and generosity of several businesses and individuals including; Accent Stripping, the Anderson's, Arby's, Bob Evans, Buckeye Glass, Big Lots, Buffalo Wild Wings, Build-A-Bear, Burbacher Photography, Cardinal Health, Cyclist Connection, Flyers Pizza, Fifth Third Bank, Frisch's, 1st Service Credit Union, Great Clips, Groveport Cake Décor, Groveport Subway, Kurtz Bros., Little Italy, Meijer, O' Charley's, Red Lobster, Starbucks, Resch's Bakery, Rick Wagner Insurance, 7 Up, Smith's Farm Market, Sonic, Target, Tim Horton's, United McGill, Waffle House, Wal-Mart, Waxman, Frank at Sonic Sounds Entertainment, Groveport parks and recreation and public works departments, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Caltrider, Donna Thoman, Matt Deskins, and Shawn Cleary. Thanks to all who supported and participated.
Sgt. Josh Short
Groveport Police Department
Support the Groveport Madison school levy
There is a levy on the ballot for Groveport Madison schools that will be a monumental point in the history of the school district.
This levy is not a tax increase and it protects our schools. Without its passage, Groveport Madison will make an additional $8 million in cuts which will include over 100 teachers losing their jobs, cuts to library, special education services, gym and art programs, and the elimination of high school busing. These services are essential to the education of a well-rounded student and the future of Groveport Madison.
Teachers and administrators have already taken salary freezes and increased their share of health care costs. This along with other cuts that are already in place offset the millions in state funding cuts and decreases in property tax collections that the district has experienced recently.
The need is very real and there isn't an opportunity to procrastinate. We need quality schools to keep our community strong, please join me in voting for Groveport Madison Local Schools' Aug. 7 levy. It is not a tax increase and it is what our community needs to do to protect our schools.
Andy and Maria McGraw
Of levies and fees
I read with much interest, in the May 27 edition of the Southeast Messenger, articles concerning the "pay-to-participate" issues in the Canal Winchester and Groveport Madison school districts.
Several issues concerning these fees stand out as worthy of not only the school district administrators, but also of the families of students' consideration, as well as other local readers.
It's 2012, and times are financially tough for many homeowners and taxpayers. The extracurricular activities are not mandated by state law, no different than the high school busing issue, which I believe was written in 1921. That law could probably be amended to include high school busing. Hello?
I don't begrudge anyone for thinking they can have a free ride like my brother did before he graduated in 1958, and lettered four years in track, was in drama, and was on the yearbook committee, but like I said, this is 2012!
Times "they are a changin.'" As a retired homeowner in the school district, will someone tell me why I should have to continue to support kids I never heard of, when all they want to do is beat a drum in band, or shoot hoops?
Think for a moment, too, about all the taxpayer dollars that could be saved if Ohio would change all of the more than 600 school districts to a similar plan like the state of Florida, which has one school district in each of its 67 counties. Think about it.
On the other hand, if a Groveport Madison student knocks on my door, offering to sell me a candy bar, or something, as a fund raiser activity for his or her extracurricular activity, I'll gladly buy some.
Now then, where are the parents priorities, such as boosters?
Why are they misdirecting their energies toward getting a levy passed when they should be actively thinking of collective fund raiser activities for the kids!
I am a proud recipient of a "Top 30" award from the 2007 Groveport Madison Soccer Association Car Show, and would be glad to participate in other similar activities to help raise funds that support other student fund raising ventures, if only the school district and parents of students would get away from the ludicrous mindset of taxation of property owners, when in fact, the students, parents, and administration should be pressuring the state legislature to create a totally new form of funding public schools, as mandated four times by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Think about it.
Dennis L. Anderson
There's no place like home
"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard!" said Dorothy, in "The Wizard of Oz," when she realized all she had been looking for was at home.
There is a sense this realization was her awakening as she became conscious to the fact that everything she ever needed, or ever desired, could be found at home. How true this was for our family as we recently celebrated our daughter's wedding.
Heidi and Ryan were engaged in December, 2010 and the plans began. We searched for flower shops, hair salons and the list went on. At the end of the day, we realized we didn't need to look any further than our own backyard for everything we needed. We moved to Groveport in 1988 and have seen it grow in so many ways, but one thing that has remained is the sense of community and family.
The Flower Boutique in Groveport arranged all the flowers for the big day. It was beautiful! Everyone was completely blown away by the flower arrangements. Chris Lewis and her staff went above and beyond anything we could ever have imagined to create the most beautiful flowers we have ever seen. She guided us through the entire process and her professionalism and ideas were second to none. I know they put countless hours in and could feel how special they wanted everything to be for us. It was such a special day and the beauty of the flowers added to it all!
When it came time to pick a place for Heidi to have her hair done, there really was no question. Cavin Beatty at the Village Hair Shoppe in Groveport was the only choice. He had done her hair for countless dances and special occasions over the years and it was always fabulous! While she got her hair done the day of the wedding, Lori Motts shampooed and styled the bride's brother Erik's hair at no charge! Heidi's hair was picture perfect and so was Erik's.
As for all the food we needed we didn't have to go very far. Feeding 12 people every night, we were at Kroger and Norm's Market on a daily basis. If it was take out we wanted we had Little Italy, Flyers, Great Wall and Los Mariachis! The rehearsal dinner was held at Shade on the Canal in Canal Winchester. Good food, company and service!
I can't say enough about our Groveport United Methodist Church family. They are so generous and giving. Knowing we had six extra people staying with us for two weeks, people dropped off food at the house, offered room and board for family members and best of all prayed really hard that I wouldn't have a total meltdown through all the chaos!
We were fortunate to have our family from Denmark for 12 days to celebrate the wedding with us. We didn't have much free time to do any sightseeing so we decided to find things local for them to enjoy. Mott's Military Museum was the first place on our list and they loved it. The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. How fortunate we are to have this wonderful place right here in Groveport.
On their last full day with us before they returned to Denmark, we decided to go to Heritage Park for a picnic and some fishing. We spent the entire afternoon there and it was wonderful. All agreed it was the best day we'd had, other than the day of the wedding.
Our Danish family was impressed with the community of Groveport and the general feeling of "family" they felt surrounding us the week leading up to the wedding. It was clear to them that this place we call home truly loves and cares for its own.
So I guess the message I'm trying to get across is that if you are planning an event or just looking for something to do for the day, "There's no place like home!"
More questions for CW schools
I am writing this in response to the article, "Setting the record straight about Canal Winchester teacher's pay" in the April 1 Southeast Messenger.
Yes, I have my opinions, but try to stay to the facts and figures about a subject. In the above mentioned letter, most that was talked about were things that there are no records kept or figures to really say what is involved.
•Supplies. Does this involve all teachers? What supplies are required? Does this involve supplies that are required or ones a teacher wants for their class? What is the average dollar amount spent?
•Time. Do all teachers come in early or stay late? In a day there are two to three periods that a teacher is not in a class, how is this time used? Teachers are paid for their lunch time. If all teachers were working more hours on a regular basis, the unions would make sure they were being paid for these hours.
•Benefits. District officials state for family coverage teachers pay a higher percentage then surrounding districts. They are not considering this is still less then the average most of the work force pays for health insurance. Single teachers only pay 7 percent of the cost of their help insurance. The teachers have a better retirement and benefit package than most of the work force that pays more for their benefits.
•Raises. It has only been in the last couple years that teachers gave up their cost of living raises. For many years, with the cost of living and step increases, there were two automatic raises a year. The step increase alone averaged 2.5 percent. How many other people out here in the last few years got 2.5 percent a year raise? If a teacher meets an educational goal, then there is another raise in salary. If you take cost of living, step increase and educational step you can easy get to 10 percent increase.
•Reduction in salary. If you have kept up with rest of the state and national news for the last few years, there have been many companies that have asked their employees to take reduction in pay to keep others employed. I find it strange the district acts insulted when we ask for it to take a reduction in pay. District officials think nothing of asking for a levy that will cost a home owner $75 to $100 dollars a month. Is that not a reduction our pay? Especially when the teachers make more in salary with better benefits then the average person they are asking for more money.
In any profession you have some employees who work extra hours or take work home. You also have some employees who seek more education to improve their understanding of their profession.
Everybody says thank you and appreciates these people, but not to say all deserve more.
I would be happy to sit down and talk about any of these issues with the school board, in fact I have tried in the past.
|On June 14, 2012 jane said:
amen amen amen amen. plus how many subs do the teachers use a year. there are always subs in my childrens classes. it appears the teachers NEVER work all their days.
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