Continue educational progress in Girard
The citizens of Girard have a critical decision to make on Tuesday: namely, the renewal of the current operating levy. The passage of this levy is absolutely essential to the successful operation of the Girard City Schools. Now is the time to put aside past differences and pull together for the benefit of our children. Passage of this levy will allow us to continue educating our children to meet the challenges facing them in the 21st century. The renewal operating levy will generate $534,000 and will cost the taxpayers no additional money.
Our school system was recently recognized for nearly tripling the state-set standards for improvement on proficiency scores. This has been the joint effort of highly qualified teachers, diligent-working students, and a caring community of parents and friends. We respectfully request your support in a most concrete manner by providing us with the funds necessary to continue our success. The members of the Girard Education Association join me in asking you, the citizens of Girard, to vote "yes" for the Girard City Schools renewal operating levy on May 7 for our children.
JULIA A. MEDICUS
X The writer is president of the Girard Education Association.
Current budget enough for Milton Twp. police
With respect to an April 29 letter regarding the Milton Township police levy, I feel we do have a good police department. The few times I have called they responded promptly. But I must agree with Mr. Loy Metzler (the trustee who voted against the levy being placed on the ballot).
At this time, with all the back-up police protection available, I do not think that the police department needs a total of $250,000-plus to maintain a police department for the size of Milton Township.
We have recently passed a 10-mill levy for the schools. We are now being asked again to support yet another 10-mill levy for the schools. We have passed a fire levy of 2 mills as well.
It was not Mr. Loy Metzler's intention to dissolve the police department. He merely thought that they have a budget to maintain and that they should stay within the $166,000 and additional money collected from fines.
MRS. SUE LEMMON
Republicans have gained much under Smith
In Bill Wade's letter to the editor Sunday, he complains about the Republican Party's forsaking its & quot;obligation to field candidates in the recent election for Youngstown mayor and president of council and for ramming through a new set of by-laws. & quot; If Mr. Wade wants to find a scapegoat for weak Republican representation in Youngstown, I suggest he look in the mirror. As one of the most senior Republican leaders in Youngstown, Bill Wade is very much a part of the Republican Party. What did he do to recruit Republican candidates in his own backyard?
As for the party by-laws, they have been under review for nearly three years with a commitment to have them ready in time for the May primary election. No doubt the Hanni challenge prompted the revision to require party officers to have voted in the last two Republican primaries. This change, and other revisions, were adopted unanimously.
Finally, the action to not require five signatures to run for committeeman was aimed at helping recruit committeemen in areas like Youngstown where in some precincts, you can't find five Republicans. As a result, we have more candidates running for Republican committee positions than at any time in anyone's memory.
No doubt, Hanni's challenge is the proverbial dark cloud with a silver lining. Hanni is the dark cloud, but the enthusiasm, energy and excitement that has been generated to stop his challenge is the silver lining. Clarence Smith has done much to strengthen our party in the past four years. The party is strongly represented on school boards, among township trustees and clerks, and in city and village governments. Perhaps, and most important, there is a newfound appreciation in for the integrity of our courts because of appointed and elected judges. There is still much work to be done, but the way to get that work done is not through the politics of the past represented by Mark Hanni.
MARK E. MUNROE
Seniors don't need center
There are many reasons to vote against the Boardman Park bond issue for a recreation center
If taxpayers in Boardman Township read the information sent out on the new recreation center, I think they will find that the levy is only the beginning. After the levy is passed, we will only be able to use it if we buy a membership. The average home is $100,000, so the taxes would be $63 and the membership added to that. This is a very expensive walk when seniors can walk in the mall for zero dollars.
Why do we need this complex since a new YMCA is being built one mile down the road?
State inaction means voters must support levy
The voters in the state of Ohio are blessed when it comes to school levies. We are a self-determination state, one of the few states where the voter decides on school funding. Consequently, what our schools will be able to afford to offer our students is a local decision. Our vote does count.
Schools in Ohio cannot run in the red. If the money collected does not cover expenses, then cuts must be made to bring the budget in line. If that cannot be achieved, the state will step in and place a school system into the hands of an appointed commission. Then, the state would lend money to our school system to run after they have recommended cuts and would require us to pay back the loan with interest.
In the mid-1970s, House Bill 920 went into effect, setting a total dollar amount that can be collected on a passed levy. HB 920 does not allow for inflation or for new property being built in the district. The same amount of money is still collected, but the millage goes down. So while the levy passed in 1994 was set at 6.9 mills, it has been reduced to 5.3 mills in 2002.
Our schools must provide an equal education for all. Problems with school funding in Ohio still exist. The state places the burden on the shoulders of those paying property taxes. Schools have no choice -- they must turn to local residents for additional funding. As a local community we must decide what educational programs we want and will support for our children. I believe it is time to pass this operating levy for Canfield schools so that they may continue the services we are all proud of.
A 'yes' vote on LifeLines provides necessary help
This Tuesday, Trumbull County residents will be asked to vote on Issue 1, the Trumbull LifeLines levy. This levy seeks to ensure continued and sufficient funding for the 23 local LifeLines agencies that provide specialized services to assist individuals coping with very difficult life problems such as mental illness and substance abuse.
As someone who ministers daily to persons with such problems, but without the professional expertise of psychologists and social workers, I want to encourage readers to vote "yes" on this important issue.
The LifeLines agencies and the services they provide are vital to our work. People facing the desperation of emotional illness or trapped by addiction often search for assistance and solutions within their faith community, and rightly so. But sometimes addressing their problems effectively requires skills beyond our competency and resources beyond the financial capability of those who seek our help.
At such times, the services of LifeLines are invaluable. LifeLines enables those of us seeking to offer home and encouragement in these very desperate situations to turn to professionals who have the resources and skills to provide much needed direction and care.
I believe that having such a resource available in our community is well worth the cost. Perhaps it is difficult to appreciate the benefit until someone we know needs the kind of help LifeLines agencies provide. When that happens, we are quick to discover that the value far outweighs the expense.
Voting for the levy on May 7 gives us the chance to reach out to the most desperate and needy in our community and offer a helpful and hopeful hand. And who knows? Perhaps among the desperate and needy persons will be someone we love.
The Rev. DON KING
X Father King is the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish