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Letters to the editor
Don't deny students opportunities
If the Reynoldsburg School levy does not pass, our course offerings will be cut to the state minimum. The first classes to go will be such electives as the computer-based classes, the upper level courses and the advanced foreign languages.
In researching this issue, I spoke to several high school guidance counselors, including Mrs. Jere Corven with Reynoldsburg High School. What these counselors told me was clear: Such cuts will prove fatal for many of our students' academic careers.
If our students are going to compete for college spots, they will need these classes. Otherwise, these college seats will be given to those students who have had the opportunities our Reynoldsburg graduates were denied.
Also, most people think such extracurricular activities as band, clubs, sports and so on are just "unnecessary." However, whether or not a student participated in extracurricular activities is a major factor in determining admission.
In other words, such cuts will greatly handicap our children's chances of getting into a good college.
Of course, since not everyone goes onto college, our schools are responsible for directly preparing these students to make a living after they graduate. According to Mrs. Corven, whenever Reynoldsburg counselors must make decisions to help students prepare for their career after high school, they strive do what is best for the student. If this levy fails, the counselors will no longer be able to do this. They will be forced to do the bare minimum and pass these young people out into society unprepared to compete in the job market.
I have been in the employment field for over 25 years. I will tell you quite frankly, if you do not have a marketable skill or an education, you are basically "food" for the employment market. Once Reynoldsburg gets this type of reputation, it will hang over our children's education, our community and our property values for years to come.
For more information, just go to www.reyn.org.
Levy is too much in these times
First, I'd like to say, I believe it's very important for children to get the best education possible. I've read and listened to everything being said, and I'm well aware of the challenges being faced for the upcoming school year. However, I have some issues regarding the new levy that you are asking us to approve.
There was a Board of Education meeting on Feb. 9 with an audience of more than 800 people. They were asked how many mils can the district reasonably ask of its residents. At the Feb. 17 school board meeting, it was decided to put the 15.6 mil levy on the next ballot.
There are 20,119 households in the Reynoldsburg area. The number of people who attended the board of education meeting is a very small percentage of the population.
These residents may be willing to spend the amount being requested, but what about everyone else?
Last year a 6.9-mil levy, which would have cost $211.00 per year, was rejected. Now a 15.6-mil levy, costing $477.75 per year for every $100,000 worth of property valuation, is being put on the May ballot. If the 6.9-mil levy was rejected, what makes you think the 15.6-mil levy will pass? By using threats?
Do you not realize that we are in troubling times and unemployment is approximately 6 percent and people are losing their homes? You're asking us to give more and not be selfish, when people are already struggling to exist day by day?
In November of 2008, a Reynoldsburg City Bond of 4.4 mil - $12.76 per month (Permanent Improvements) was passed. In addition a Franklin Co. MRDD levy of 3.5 mil - $10.15 per month was passed. The total increase per month is $24.36 or $292.32 per year. These increases along with the upcoming levy will cost approximately $67.17 per month or $770.00 per year.
Please don't take me wrong. I'm willing to pay my "share" to help children get an education that they deserve. I don't have children and I feel that I'm being demanded to pay the equivalent, of my neighbors, who have one or multiple children. I feel that when a levy is being requested, it should also take into consideration the amount of children per home.
In closing, I can't afford to pay the additional "demands," with a risk of unemployment and possible foreclosure of my home. Therefore, I refuse to vote "yes" on the upcoming levy.
Robert A. Schrader
Citizens' support needed for grants
On May 5, Fairfield County voters will be asked to renew the 1/2 mil road, bridge and culvert levy. This levy can only be used exclusively for road, bridge and culvert work. It is used for bridge repairs and replacements on Fairfield County and Township roads and in municipalities and villages with the county engineer's responsibility. There are 341 bridges, 362 miles of roadway and 2,776 road culverts that the Fairfield County Engineer's Office is responsible for.
The 1/2 mil levy would be renewed under its current terms and, importantly, require no increased taxes with its renewal. The cost to a $100,000 homeowner would be $12.92 per year, a small cost for such an important need.
In the last four years, the Fairfield County Engineer's Office has averaged $1.85 million per year in state and federal grants that require "local matching funds." The 1/2 mil levy funds have provided the "local matching funds" for these grants, so without these funds, most grant funds would be lost and, combined with levy funds, a loss of up to $3 million in revenue to perform needed road and bridge work in Fairfield County is possible.
Both grant and levy funds are required to maintain our county infrastructure. Therefore, voters are encouraged to vote "yes" on May 5 to the 1/2 mil road, bridge and culvert renewal levy so that Fairfield County can continue a great road, bridge and culvert program.
Let's keep our bridges open, our roads as smooth and pothole free as possible while increasing safety and efficiency for our families, our school buses and our fire, ambulance and police response services, while minimizing the drive times of our daily commutes within Fairfield County. Vote yes on Issue 1.
Burd has legislative experience
On May 5, voters will make important election decisions in the Republican race for Reynoldsburg City Council-at-Large. I want to take an opportunity to recommend a person I think would make an outstanding councilman - Nathan Burd.
Having known Nathan Burd for more than eight years, I can say that he is one of the most qualified and experienced candidates to run for city council.
After graduating from Ohio State in 2000 with a B.A. degree, Nathan served until 2004 at the Statehouse as an aide to ex-State Representative and current U.S. Congressman Pat Tiberi and former State Representative Larry Wolpert.
It was at the Ohio House of Representatives that I first met Nathan when he was a colleague of mine. During his time at the Statehouse, he became an expert in crafting positive legislation and helping people solve problems.
Like the state legislature, city council is a legislative body and that experience will help Nathan hit the ground running for the people of Reynoldsburg. Few candidates for office ever have the energy or the strong credentials of Nathan Burd.
Nathan Burd is also an endorsed Republican candidate for the primary election.
On May 5, I urge Reynoldsburg Republicans to support a candidate for Reynoldsburg City Council-at-Large who clearly has shown his strong dedication to our community.
Please vote for Nathan Burd in the May 5 Republican Primary for City Council. Check out www.NathanBurd.com for more information.
Safe roads, bridges important
Issue 1, the renewal of the Road, Bridge and Culvert Levy is very important. As a resident of Fairfield County and a mother, I am aware of the importance of safe roads and bridges for our local and school traffic to travel on.
The levy is a renewal, which means that there will be no tax increase. It only costs $12.92 per $100,000 valuation. What a small price to pay to keep our roads and bridges safe for our families.
Plus, if the levy is renewed, Fairfield County will receive matching funds from the government so our dollar will stretch even further.
Please join me in voting for Issue 1 and help keep our roads and bridges maintained for our families' safety and security.
Future of parks in hands of voters
The future of our Metro Parks is in the hands of Franklin County voters on May 5.
Once every 10 years, Metro Parks asks the Franklin County voters to renew financing so we can provide a quality outdoor experience to families and seniors, to school children, and to visitors.
Voter approval of Issue 1 on May 5 will provide operating funds to support and expand Metro Parks through 2019. For decades, Metro Parks has kept faith with Franklin County voters by offering continuous improvement and excellence in the Metro Parks experience: conservation of parkland, free youth education and senior activities, and protection of our natural resources. The levy rate is among the lowest in the state and by far offers the best value for the dollar.
Metro Parks has kept its promises to Franklin County voters while maintaining free admission to all parks every day of the year. Issue 1 will make Metro Parks even better by adding three new parks where none now exist, by increasing free school and senior programs, and by expanding protection of the Big Darby Creek. You can find more details about the Issue 1 campaign at www.Vote4MetroParks.com. At the Web site, you can also volunteer in support of the levy campaign.
Voter support is critical to help keep Metro Parks great. Metro Parks relies on Franklin County property tax funding for a large portion of its operations and maintenance budget.
Cast a vote of confidence in Metro Parks on May 5 by voting for Issue 1 on the Franklin County ballot.
Chair, Board of Park Commissioners
Executive Director, Metro Parks
J. Jeffrey McNealey
Chair, Friends of Metro Parks
Bravo! event a success
The theme of this year's BRAVO!, the annual event supporting The Bexley Education Foundation, was "joining with neighbors to celebrate our giving community" - and what an appropriate theme it was! We are pleased to announce that BRAVO!, held this year at the Grand Valley Dale Ballroom, was attended by more than 650 of those giving neighbors. The event raised more than $95,000, which will be used to fund the Bexley Education Foundation's grants program.
Each year, the Foundation funds requests for classroom and district-wide grants to support projects that range from author visits to audio books; lab equipment to fitness equipment; furnishings for a college counseling center to online reference materials and much, much more. Last year, the Foundation authorized a $367,050 three-year grant to purchase a SMART Board Internet-connected interactive whiteboard for every classroom in Bexley!
These grants would not be possible without the funds raised at BRAVO! - and without our sponsors, donors and volunteers, BRAVO! would not be possible. In the tradition of Bexley Education Foundation chairs, I would like to express some heartfelt thanks - or "BRAVO!'s," as we like to say.
BRAVO! to the many residents and businesses who signed on as BRAVO! sponsors at the Diamond, Gold, Silver and Bronze level. BRAVO! to Pat and Kate Giller and the Carlin family, who donated a week in their Montana chalet as a raffle prize, and to Marlene and David Miller on behalf of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, who donated a restaurant dinner for 10.
BRAVO! to the generous restaurants who provided all of the delightful food for which our event is known: Aladdin's Eatery, Bakery Gingham, Bexley Coffee Shop, Bexley Pizza Plus, Bexley's Monk, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, The Burgundy Room, Cameron Mitchell Catering Company, Caryn's Cuisine, City Barbeque, Flavors Eatery, G. Michael's Bistro, Johnson's Real Ice Cream, Katzinger's Delicatessen, Merry Milk Maid, Raising Cane's, Rosendales, The Rusty Bucket, Smith & Wollensky, The Top Steak House and Wing's Restaurant.
BRAVO! to the many individuals and companies who donated more than 130 exciting items for our silent auction. BRAVO! to the Bexley students who, with the help of art teachers, classroom teachers and parents, made beautiful art objects for the auction.
BRAVO! to the individuals and businesses whose in-kind donations played a special role in making the event a success: Chris and Victoria Giller, who donated the printing for our flyers; Pier 1 Imports, who provided the parting gifts; student volunteers from Bexley City Schools and Ohio State University; and Sorrells-Smith Graphic Design, who designed the invitation and publicity materials.
And finally, BRAVO! and a sincere thanks to the committee whose hard work and planning made this event possible, starting with our dedicated co-chairs Anna Luehmann and Kerrie Ryan. Our 2009 committee members were Tanja Agriesti, Heidi Anderson, Pam Bredemeier, Beth Brinkman, Heather Brown, Megan Brown, Sarah Clubb, Karen Cohn, Staci Collier, Dian Dawley, Andrea Easley, Eileen Epstein, Lynnette Evans, Amy Fingerhut, Wendy Fisher, Katie Fulton, Wendy Giambrone, Amy Glasser, Julie Block Glassman, Suzanne Goldsmith-Hirsch, Tamara Gosnell, Lynn Gyurcsik, Michelle Hall, Julie Heilman, Christine Hoyer, Nichole Johnson , Jennifer Lee, Shauna Lehman, Karen Shore Meyer, Charlene Morgan, Tina Muscarella, Alison Nakasako, Kathy Pitstick, Laura Powers , Kim Rankin, Laura Robertson-Boyd, Mary Roddy, Susan Rupp, Bev Sapienza, Beth Sauer, Jeri Schmidt, Katrina Scoggins, Kozy Scott, Kim Shorr, Erin Simpson, Linda Sinoway, Linda Smith, Amy Stevens, Kyla Touris, Amy Wagenbrenner, Denise Wiliams, Kate Wilson, Liz Yaffe and Carolynn Ziance.
BRAVO! to Bexley - you are, indeed, a giving community.
Linda Kass, Chair
The Bexley Educational Foundation
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