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



Dear MIS-informed, the vote no, is a vote against the direction the board is going and a vote FOR the students and the school. VOTE YES Ahner and Franklin!!!


If you're hoping to see change in the horrible leadership of Perkins schools, then vote for Franklin and Ahner. Uher and Chapman both condone the unethical millage move, which is enough for me to vote for Franklin and Ahner


Mr. Franklin: If you read this, please let us know where to get your signs. Same for you Mr. Ahner.


Name a time and place and I will get you one.

Tell it how it is.

Jay, would you please also paint your house one uniform color? The three shades of green just clash a bit. Or maybe if you signs were green I could relate a little better.


Three shades of green is the color I get when I think of this school district continually being run the way it is. Need to vote Mr. Franklin in!



I am not a supporter of Mr. Franklin for the school board, but cheap shots/personal attacks such as this are not necessary. Let's please keep focused on the issues.

I know a number of those against the levy and for Mr. Franklin and Michael Ahner have gone the route of personal attacks. As a levy supporter, and a supporter of Terry Chapman and Rick Uher, I urge all of us to keep it clean.


As it stands right now, the Pope being on the BOE wouldn't make a difference. In my lifetime, I have never seen it this bad in Perkins Township, bherrle. Public opinion of this administration, district grades and overall confidence only seems to be getting worse in the public eye! It has to tell you something....even beyond the polls.


We need to change the direction that this BOE is going in and VOTE NO AGAIN! once we get some REAL BOE members with REAL COMMON SENSE, then and only then will the Perkins Taxpayers listen to additional millage! We have operated for the last 12 years with "no new money" according to the Gunnerbots, so as Ahner stated move the inside millage back and let's slowly ask for small increases as actually needed (no water fountains or bell towers). NOT ALL IN ONE YEAR! As REALLY needed!


If you like the way the BOE has been running Perkins schools (I don't), then vote for Gunner's puppets, Terry "Mr. Ego" Chapman and Mr. Uher, if not, vote for Mr. Franklin and Mr. Ahner! Simple as that really.


Haven't seen any Chapman or Uher signs yet. Sure have seen a lot of VOTE NO signs though!


The question begs to be asked...How can you be running for school board and yet not support the levy? If you truly feel that you can do a better job managing the finances of the district, wouldn't you want more money to work with? The actions seem to contradict one another. If there was more money, couldn't you do a better job?


Ahner and Franklin do support a reasonable levy, just not the bloated building levy of Gunner and his robots.


There will be more money once the inside millage is moved back and THEN the voters will approve a 2 mill levy. Vote Franklin! Vote Ahner!


Being a good steward of the people's money doesn't mean to ask for more when you can do it for less.


Hopefully the new board sends Gunner packing too.

Stop It

Are those kids still being taught with raw sewage running under the classrooms from broken pipelines?? Don't they know that that could cause typhoid?


Did all these "issues" with the buildings suddenly pop up AFTER the stadium was built? I don't think so, which only confirms my opinion that the BOE and Gunner are inept. Either they are so dumb that they didn't notice these problems, or they just ignored fixing them until, according to Gunner, nothing less than abandoning the whole building, and starting over will do. Either way, somebody FAILED at doing their job! And, PLEASE, don't try to come back with the "why don't you run for school board if you have the solution". When I'm traveling, I may not know the right way to get to my destination, but I sure know when I'm going in the WRONG direction! The fact is this.................the people of Perkins township have ZERO faith in this BOE or superintendent. At least the ones' with an ounce of intelligence, anyway. We don't trust them, we don't appreciate the way they are trying to manipulate us, and if you'd open your eyes for a split second, you'd realize the entire "new school" levy (because that IS what it is) has been an epic FAIL. Instead of continuing to WASTE tax payer dollars pushing a doomed levy, why doesn't the BOE use those efforts to find a solution to FIXING THE CURRENT BUILDINGS! You know, continuing to push for building an entire new school when the public doesn't want it, can't afford it, and is against it, is just arrogance. The longer this goes on, the angrier the people are becoming. A wise man knows when he's lost. Gunner and the BOE need to wise up. This battle has already been won by the voters. Why doesn't someone inform the BOE and Gunner they LOST, because they just don't seem to understand that. Put the operating funds BACK where they belong, use them to start fixing some of those problems that are "putting our students in danger daily" (like we believe that), send Gunner packing, and then the voters might just start listening to a new levy proposal. Exactly what Ahner and Franklin are suggesting! I'm voting for them.


What are Mr. Franklin's qualifications? During the introductions, all he said was that he was in the Coast Guard and lived in Perkins for, I believe, 8 years. He spent the rest of his time voicing his disagreement with the current administration. Does he have any children that attend/attended Perkins schools?


I actually have one of his flyers, from the the homecoming parade. He has 3 children, one graduated from Perkins and he has a high school student and a middle school student.


Well, one IMPORTANT qualification I noticed he had was COMMON SENSE! Pretty good qualification, IMHO.


I intended to watch the debate with an open mind but when Uher started off with the "Big Lie", that the schools have operated for a generation with "No new money" I was done with him. I am so tired of this lie. They act like the school system operates with the same amount of money as twenty years ago while the overall budget has increased some 2 or 3 percent per year, countless grants have been obtained and then a huge chunk of money has come in by fleshing out each and every class with people from the other side of Perkins Ave who can not afford to live in Perkins and do not deserve to send their kids here. The Pro-Levy crowd seems to think that it is all about spending. Look at how much more Sandusky spends per pupil than why would we still be better?


Uher is spewing the same garbage Gunner is telling him. Uher is a BAD choice. Arrogant!


Nice article in today's paper about Sandusky's superintendent buying a house in Sandusky and moving there. What a novel idea.


Yeah, I saw that. It must be nice to have a superintendent that actually wants to live in his district!


Vote Franklin & Ahner!

Benjamin Franklin

I am a longtime resident of Perkins, I have never commented on here before, and up to this point, I have been consistently against the levy attempts in Perkins during these past 3 years. A significant portion of my opinion has been formed by information passed to me word of mouth, mostly by others against the levy, and also by reading the articles and blogs on the Register.

During these past few days, I have watched a number of you quickly endorse Jay Franklin and Michael Ahner. I have not decided who I will vote for yet, but have to admit I was somewhat turned off by both Franklin and Ahner as far as the debate was concerned. Jay Franklin's personal attacks and negativity did not endear me to him. Michael Ahner's youth, inexperience, and inability to answer several questions were concerning. I was surprised that a number of you jumped right on their bandwagon within 24 hours of the debate.

So, I decided to do a little research on my own. What I found really makes me question the judgement of those I have been listening to over the past several years. I am starting to learn more about the facility issues. What I am learning concerns me . I am learning more about how the district manages it's finances, and what I am finding does not match up with what I have been being told and have seen from others against the levies.

Most shocking, is what I found out about one of the candidates being supported by many of you on this blog. I searched various things on the internet, including social media accounts. I did not find anything concerning about Jay Franklin, Rick Uher, or Terry Chapman. Michael Ahner is another story.

Michael's Twitter account included several concerning and insulting comments. His account has since been blocked from public view. Among them were:

MICHAEL AHNER @michaelahner 28 Mar
Just walked by some old people taking about a workout video px90..... more like dementia x90

MICHAEL AHNER @michaelahner 20 Feb
so pissed that dork obama is speaking at our commencement ceremony. Like couldn't we get a different black muslim kenyan president to speak?

MICHAEL AHNER @michaelahner20 Feb
At least we didn't get michelle though. That would have been unacceptable.

It is very concerning that a number of you would jump to support someone who makes public statements like this. It has me revisiting everything I think I know about the current issues, because it really makes me question your judgement, and your motives, for voting no, and your selection of board candidates.


...or we could continue to support the current administration that condones the blatant disregard for the condition (dementia) of our American war heroes at the OVH for a mere seventeen votes. Oh, and I have facebook screen shots to go with your twitter posts, of students complaining that they were told to do it against their wishes for the votes, they said it didn't feel right, the vets thought it was a presidential election, they thought the kids were there to sing, etc... Like I said before, it doesn't matter who gets in right now because Gunner would still have the majority vote, 3-2. One at a time if that is what it takes!


Gunner needs to be fired.


That is totally unacceptable, too immature. Grow up Ahner! Until then a big NO vote for him...Or really, he might just fit in with the rest of them....