Who is the former legislator daring to call ignorant?
A former Ohio legislator stated in a letter to the editor that citizens of Youngstown voting no on a recent school levy was from “ignorance, pure and simple” is, well, ignorant.
It runs in my mind I have read many newspaper articles and editorials about him in the late ’60s and even on into the ’80s. I also believe that this particular legislator sallied forth in the great halls of Ohio’s capital, Columbus, for multiple terms as a representative of those same folks in Youngstown he now calls names. Were they also ignorant every time they placed an X beside his name? He must be now in his eighties. If so, do his retirement packages perhaps add up to much more than the average retiree in Youngstown?
The truth is that voting on anything in Ohio doesn’t mean much anymore. A case in point is what took place a while back in the rural Jackson-Milton School District, where I have lived 71 years, minus four years served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Voters in Jackson-Milton turned down several new school construction levies in the past, due to lowering enrollment, the cutting of important language, computer, FFA classes and big time double dipping, among many other things.
Then the school administration and board contacted an attorney, who explained how they could override or bypass the voters all together by using a process thought up and enacted by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, and known as a “lease purchase agreement.”
As a former Marine who felt he’d joined the corps to protect all citizens’ voting rights, I became upset, sending letters to every Ohio representative I could think of, including Governor Ted Strickland, Congressman Charlie Wilson, Sens. George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown. I also asked for and received a meeting with our area of Ohio senator, John Boccieri. Sen. Boccieri not only met for lunch with my wife and I, he set many on his staff to work finding out exactly what, where and when this change in voting took place. You can request a copy of the results by contacting the senator’s office: firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-466-8286. None of the other elected ‘gentleman’ listed above answered or acknowledged my letters. Although I did receive a reply from a “constitutional scholar” named Steve Mount, who runs the web site: www.usconstitution.net. He replied that the U.S. Constitution holds no remedy for Ohio voters. He stated that the state of Ohio can give all school districts the ability to pass budgets, pay debts and build new schools simply by decree, if they so wish.
Now that this bypass-the-voters genie is out of the bottle, Ohio voters can expect many more school districts to follow. Perhaps this is one reason our elected Ohio legislators who gather and huddle in Columbus on our dollars, have opted not to follow the Ohio Supreme Court decision and recommendation made seven years ago in finding some other way to fund Ohio schools.
Get it in writing
Canfield Township trustees and citizens should pay attention to what happened in Salem as per the recent Sunday front page. Should the WalMart people continue for a zoning change for a new “monster” unit off 224, we must insure that there are written enforceable requirements relative to promised buffer zones and controlled traffic light exits.
The area residents in general and those on Raccoon Road in particular are entitled to protection from the traffic and delivery aggravations. Clear and enforceable traffic and environmental protection must be part of any WalMart submission at any level of review or consideration.
DANIEL VICTOR BIENKO