Read the rules
The mom who says she and her son were mistreated by the Berlin-Milan Middle school football program is wrong. By the mom's own admission she didn't pay attention to what the rule book said.
She said no one told her her son was ineligible until after he had a uniform and trained with the team for weeks. The summer voluntary conditioning program is not subject to eligibility requirements. He practiced one day and he was told at the end of practice he was ineligible.
Participation in extra-curricular activities is not a right, and eligibility criteria apply to all extra-curricular activities.
What kind of example is this mother setting for her son? How about making your son study and meet the criteria. What is it that this mom and her son want? Money reimbursed? A couple of people tried. She made it sound like they were trying to bribe her because the district is trying to pass a levy. Publicity? Accomplished -- not the publicity I would want for my son.
If voters don't vote for the levy because of this incident, shame on them. I have more faith the voters in our district will educate themselves on all the facts and issues and vote the way that is best for their families.
Col. (Ret) Diane M. Moyer
Protect safety services
Every wage-earning resident of the city of Sandusky has a stake in the continued future of the service delivery being provided not only by our safety forces, but by every other city department.
If you've ever needed any of the services provided by Sandusky police or fire departments, you can understand why it is crucial this increase be approved.
I realize that times are tough for a lot of people, but it is truly essential that these services remain intact, without interruption. Their services aren't fully understood nor appreciated until you need them. And I can assure you, once service cuts occur, it is unlikely that they'll return.
Just look at the six firefighter positions eliminated in 2005. A downtrend of the economy should not be the incentive to ruin what has taken decades to achieve. We should be proud of what we have available to us at our fingertips by voting YES on Issue 5 on Nov. 3. A failure of Issue 5 will likely result in the loss of six more firefighter positions, which according to the city manager, will permanently close Fire Station 3. We will also lose additional police officers, and deeper cuts across the board will be made accordingly. It is clearly a matter of dollars and cents, or should I say, sense!
Gary R. Guendelsberger
Look at board, too
Many taxpayers rightly are angry at Todd Helms.
However, Helms could not have taken more than $130,000 of taxpayer dollars (the booster funds are a separate issue) without approval of the Clyde-Green Springs Board of Education.
Without board approval of credit card expenditures, Todd Helms could not have treated several men to a weekend at The Blackwell Hotel for the state basketball finals for six years! In 2008 the board approved nearly $4,000 for school officials Gregg Elchert, Mike Cramer and Bud Rutherford and coaches from Clyde, Huron and Evergreen high schools to stay at the hotel while attending the games. While the men told State Assistant Auditor Paul Grahl of Fremont (and a native of Clyde) they reimbursed Helms, district records indicate vouchers marked "to be reimbursed" never were. No one in the district checked on the reimbursements.
The Blackwell accounted for about $18,000 of the money the former superintendent is accused of taking.
Over several years the Board approved payments to non-existent corporations for purchase of items not needed and which never arrived. Neither the district treasurer nor anyone on the Board ever questioned the expenditures or the corporations until one accidentally appeared without necessary initials.
In September, the board revised policies on credit cards and reimbursements -- among others. In recent months and in response to the auditor's report, the board changed or implemented other safeguards that, according to the auditor, should have been in place several years ago.
The Erie County Chamber of Commerce has announced its positions on a number of issues that will appear on Nov. 3 ballots throughout the county.
The Chamber urges voters to support the school leies that will be on their respective ballots. The Chamber believes that our schools must remain strong, because they are an important aspect of any successful economic development effort.
The Chamber also supports the 0.3 mill, 5-year replacement levy for the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties.
Regarding the statewide issues:
Supports Issue 1 -- a constitutional amendment allowing the State of Ohio to issue $200 million in bonds for payments to veterans of three Middle East wars. Such payments have been a practice of the State of Ohio since World War II, and are very supportive of our veterans;
Supports Issue 2 -- a constitutional amendment to create a Livestock Care Standards Board;
Opposes Issue 3 -- a constitutional amendment to allow the placement of one casino each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo, effectively shutting any other location in Ohio out of the possibility of having a casino, if a locality wished to have one.
John Moldovan, Director
Erie County Chamber of Commerce
Koonce knows, cares
Dr. Richard Koonce is one of the most intelligent individuals I have ever met, but he never uses his intellect as a reason to look down on others. His job as a professor has prepared him to understand the needs of children and teenagers alike. He is an inspiration to both young and old because he is a hometown example of what can be accomplished through hard work and perseverance.
Koonce is always trying to encourage children to excel in school, and he challenges them to be critical thinkers at all times. Most importantly, he tells them to never place limitations on what they can achieve. He has such a heart for children in this community that when the district faces difficult challenges, he will always do what is ultimately best for them.
I also have noticed Koonce takes pride in being the voice of concerned parents. He will work tirelessly to get answers to questions that often go unanswered. His innovative way of thinking about solving problems will strengthen the Sandusky Board of Education.
It's time for positive change in our school system, and I believe that Richard S. Koonce is the best candidate to bring that to the Sandusky City School Board.
Too many taxes
It appears that every school system needs a new school because there are federal monies available to fund projects, but they have put a demand on it to tax the taxpayers to receive the money from the federal government. A lot of folks have taken concessions, loss of pay and loss of a living wage. Many people can't afford more tax.
You pay property tax, you pay a school income tax possibly, and you pay school levies and issues millage just for the public education system.
We have a high percentage of children who pass the equivalency test. Bellevue is asking for a 4.9 mill levy for 38 years. How many other issues and levies are on your property taxes that have passed the last 30 or so years?
We are in a recession and there is a lack of jobs. In order to bring jobs into an area, you need low taxes, not high taxes.
Clyde-Green Springs is asking for 5.9 mill levy for schools; Port Clinton is asking for a 3.6 mill levy for schools; Huron is asking for a whopping 8.9 mill renewal for schools; Monroeville a 1.5 percent income tax; Berlin-Milan a 1 percent income tax.
Some local governments over-charge on water and sewer rates and then transfer the excess to the general fund to offset any negatives in supplementing education and other activities.
High road with Bulan
Remember the old saying, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"? Well, I think that goes hand-in-hand with "don't try and make the other guy look bad just to lift yourself up." And this is exactly what I see going on with Vermilion mayoral election.
Eileen Bulan's opponent's campaign is using every possible technique possible to make Bulan look bad, from word-of-mouth, to printed literature, to encouraging legal action again! (This was tried unsuccessfully before, twice, at city expense.
Bulan, on the other hand, is taking the high road, focusing on what she can do for every Vermilion citizen and staying out of what I call "counter-productive mud slinging" that gives politics a bad name. When I returned to Vermilion two years ago, I found my hometown torn and divided by an administration whose learning curve was straight up. We do not need four more years of on-the-job training, dissension and in-fighting -- we need a mayor who knows the job, knows how to work successfully, with a positive attitude, with everybody and has the respect of her peers, county wide and statewide.
Mark R. Williams
On course with Coleman
If you like the improvements made to Perkins township over the past four years (i.e. vast improvements to level of professionalism within township services, new police chief, zoning changes for economic development from NASA runway, road upgrades, new ball diamond at Strickfaden Park, community tennis courts behind high school) vote for Tim Coleman for Perkins township trustee on Nov. 3.
Dedicated Polar Bears
My children, ages 6 and 9, attend Margaretta Elementary School. Their teachers are dedicated to making sure my children are receiving the best education possible. Mrs. Blevins, my sons fourth-grade homeroom and language arts teacher, called our home the first week of school, to "introduce" herself to us, and to let us know she would always be available if we had any concerns. I have e-mailed her countless times. I always receive a reply within hours. Mrs. Bohn, his math teacher, has also received e-mails, to which she has replied with "tips" on how to keep my son on track. This usually happens at night, when they are home with their families.
The levy needs to pass, so all the children can continue to receive the best education possible. It would be a shame, if the levy fails, that some of these wonderful, dedicated teachers, might lose their jobs. The district has made many cuts already. The teachers, and administrators, have agreed to a pay "freeze," Townsend and Bogart Schools have become "one," bus routes have been consolidated, just to name a few.
Times are tough, but, these children are our future, and they deserve the best education possible!
Please vote for the Margaretta School Levy, and show the children of the district that all of us care about their futures!
Jodi S. Gilliam
In the Oct. 11 Register the headline says "Cavs boss: Casino slam dunk." The Sandusky Register certainly markets a pro-active agenda for gambling and that's a shame. OPn March 29, your editors said "Enough talk, roll the dice." this is not a clear-cut stamp for social reform. Gambling Anonymous is an organization whose purpose is to rebuild lives destroyed by gambling.
Since gambling has a negative effect, it disguises their intent and call it "gaming". It becomes apparent that a culture focused on greed and exploitation of human weakness in variably reaps a social "whirlwind." The Mansfield News Journal on Oct. 24, 1990, said casinos would:
n Make gambling more attractive
n Lead to more compulsive gambling
n Create more economic hardship for families
n Other Ohioans would have to bearthe social cost (today 7.9 million adolescents are problem gamblers)
I believe this is still true today and I want to encourage the people of Ohio to vote against having gambling casinos. For information contact Gamblers Anonymous at 213-386-8789 or gamblersanonymous.org
Keep Sandusky unique
I have witnessed many changes in the 13 years I have attended Sandusky City Schools. The uniform policy caused quite a stir, but in the end the policy was a positive change. My class was also disappointed to learn that we would not be attending Mills in sixth grade. However, this turned into a positive experience because we had another year of memories at our elementary school. When my family moved out of the district my freshman year of high school, I remained a Blue Streak because I knew in my heart that Sandusky offered the best education for me.
Sandusky High School offers six AP classes -- three of which I have taken -- and a plethora of vocational classes. I have friends who will graduate high school with their Nurses's Aide license when they head off to college! I have taken two different foreign language classes at SHS. We have three phenomenal music programs--choir, band, and orchesta. My new home school did not offer an orchestra program.
I ask that the community of Sandusky remembers what makes our school district unique as they head to the polls on Nov. 3. Vote for Issue 18.
SHS Senior/NHS Historian
Koonce cares about youth
If I could vote in the election I would vote for a school board member who is highly educated,. Richard Koonce has a Ph.D. in communication studies from BGSU. I'd vote for a board member who listens to the issues and concerns of the community and becomes a leading advocate for the community. Koonce has been a part of organizations and partnerships such as Men of Action and the Nehemiah Partners, and has hosted various open forum discussion opportunities for the residents of the Sandusky community.
Koonce is not only highly educated, he is constantly promoting and advocating the importance and value of an education to the students in an outside of the Sandusky school system. Koonce provides annual college tours for Sandusky youth. Koonce continues to mentor and create alternative educational opportunities for those youth who had various difficulties inside of the traditional school system.
If Koonce has done all this while just being a local resident ... what do you think he will do once he is in office? He will bring about positive change, but maybe more importantly is that I feel that as a Sandusky Board member he can also rally the entire community into doing the same.
El Da'Sheon Nix