VIDEO: Perkins school board debate

UPDATED: Candidates debate residency, finances
Sandusky Register Staff
Oct 6, 2013

Only one of four people vying for seats on the Perkins school board believes a superintendent should have to live in the district.


   Four Perkins Schools candidates seeking two open seats — Michael Ahner, Terry Chapman, J Franklin and Richard Uher — weighed in on the often hot-button issue during a Register-sponsored debate Thursday evening at Chet and Matt’s Pizza.

See photos from the debate HERE


   About 50 people attended the event in the restaurant’s banquet hall.


   To connect with a community, Franklin said a district’s top leader, including Perkins School superintendent Jim Gunner, who lives near Toledo, must reside in his or her district. Ahner, Chapman and Uher said it shouldn’t be required, although it’s preferred because it sends a strong, positive message to taxpayers.


   “It’s the job you do, not where you live that makes the difference,” Uher said. “If you can’t get the right candidate (in Perkins Township) and they’re not willing to move, you bring the best superintendent in to do the job regardless of where they live.”


   Other inquires from the crowd targeted the district’s fiscal future. Candidates discussed tax levies and a dwindling budget, as all the district’s reserve funds will be spent by the end of the current school year.    While the candidates all agreed a tax levy is inevitable, they disagreed on how much money the district should seek from taxpayers, especially given the board’s 2011 decision to move “inside millage” — funding used for day-to-day operations — into a separate account for building improvements.


   The polarizing decision has effectively segmented the Perkins community, and it was reflected in the four candidates as well.


   Ahner and Franklin proposed returning the 5.2 mills of funds back into the operating budget and then asking taxpayers for a smaller levy, possibly 2 mills, to get by in the short term. A future levy or bond issue would be required to fund building projects.


   “The first thing we need to do is reverse the inside millage move that wasn’t voted on,” Franklin said. “It wasn’t illegal but it was unethical.”


   Uher and Chapman said keeping the funds in their current location is the most feasible, cost-effective longterm option.


   The district is proposing a 10-year, 6.73-mill levy on the November ballot — its third levy attempt this year


   — which both candidates said they support. The new funds would replenish the depleted operating fund while also supporting new building projects without an additional levy or bond issue.


   “Moving the millage back is just a temporary fix,” Chapman said. “The move was not unethical. We as a district and a board have to manage our operational budget and our facilities, and we chose to move the millage to protect our facilities.”


   The four candidates are seeking a four-year term on the Perkins school board. The election is Nov. 5.

Watch the debate in the player provided below



Vote NO and say NO to Bennett!


Bennett dropped out.


Seriously? That's great news! Vote for any new person running!


Except for Uher. Stay away from Uher.


What's wrong with Bennett?


Bennet endorses Uher and Chapman and didn't want to take their votes. They're all Gunnerbots.


Vote NO, NO , NO !!!

Perkins Resident

Says event started but I have a blank screen. I guess I won't be watching.


Ahner & Franklin!


Franklin & Ahner!

Stay away from Uher and Chapman!


Franklin for Superintendent!


Franklin and Anher. Uher seems arrogant and seems to be a Gunnerbot. Franklin and Ahner are the clear choices.


Chapman is a no brainer no vote. Get him off the board ASAP.


Currently 112 are watching in addition to those actually at Chet & Matt's.


Franklin or Ahner are my choices.


Uher would be my last choice. I would even vote for Chapman over that guy.


In my opinion, Chapman seems arrogant, unhappy, unfriendly - not the type of person I want in charge of the schools. 9 yrs is enough, time to go. Franklin - I can't figure out if he's for the levy or not, he can't even figure out which way to pass a microphone. Ahner is too inexperienced and doesn't seem to answer questions intelligently. Uher was the only one, in my opinion, that answered questions well and seems like he has a clue what needs to change. My vote is with him.


In my opinion, Uher is a Gunner disciple. We have enough of them on the board now. Franklin is the clear choice.


As a colleague of Rick Uher at Tower,I can tell you that he is indeed as arrogant in person as he presents himself here...He will have his OWN agenda for the district and that will be all he will fight for. Not once did I hear him mention that it takes the community and the Board of Education as a whole to make the district a success. I did hear that he obtained an Engineering degree,that must make him the best choice in a economic roll to bring a once proud community together to support their elected members of the board. Does this type of mentality remind you of anyone in DC? You can take this post for what is, but I am warning you about this choice... Please do research on all candidates before making a decision


Uher is definitely arrogant and impressed with himself. Chapman isn't much better. The 3 plus million loan from Citizens Bank for architectural fees demonstrates the attitude of "my way or the highway"!



Were we watching the same debate? I heard Mr. Uher speak several times of engaging the community. He spoke of re-arranging the BOE meeting agenda to allow public comment before voting on issues. He spoke of getting connected with parents who did not vote, and parents who are not registered to vote, as examples.

He spoke of his degree I believe in his opening remarks introducing himself, and later in direct response to a public question regarding how each candidates work and life experience would serve them as board members. If you are going to compare Mr. Uher's education and profession, related to a school board seat, to that of our current POTUS and his experience prior to being elected POTUS, then in my opinion, you are beyond comparing apples to oranges.

I thought he came across as confident, not arrogant. There is a difference.


Sounds to me if you like the way the district is being run and you like Gunner, then vote for Uher or Chapman. If you want change then vote for Franklin or Ahner.


I agree. Will be voting for Franklin. Probably Ahner to, although he is a little wet behind the ears still. He's young. Maybe he can run a computer and borrow some money from some other district for us.


clear choice here, Franklin and Ahner have heard the community and want to move the inside millage back whaere it belongs.

Perkins Resident

Can someone please tell me where I can get a Franklin and Ahner sign to put in my yard?


Look in the phonebook and give him a call, its the only Franklin that lives on Campbell St.


Franklin for School Board! Ahner too!


Franklin and Ahner!

Vote Informed

Oh yes, I'll definitely vote for someone who has a vote no sign in their yard. It shows that he has the best intensions for our school district. Doesn't have my vote!!


Sore loser.