Bellefontaine Examiner

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Support Stokes Township trustees

I have been a Stokes Township Trustee for the past 16 years, but will be retiring at the end of the year. During this span of time there have been many improvements made and several projects completed, of which I’m very proud to have been a part of. Drainage issues have been a large problem for us, but most of these issues have been addressed and solved. Contracting with the sheriff’s department to patrol the township has worked out very well. Installing an emergency siren at the Indian Lake Campgrounds is another safety feature. We have been fiscally responsible with township funds and are financially sound.

Having served with Dennis Wischmeyer for over four years and Robert Lehman for one year, I’m confident that they will continue to make sound decisions. Both of these gentlemen are self-employed and have the time to address problems that many times happen on very short notice. They will be full-time trustees. Both have their CDL license and are able to help with snow removal. Neither of these gentlemen have a personal vendetta as their reason for running. They also have had very good attendance records at our regular monthly meetings.

On November 5th, please support Dennis Wischmeyer and Robert Lehman for Stokes Township Trustee.

Thank you.

Lanny Davis
Lewistown

Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013

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Public outcry over fountain theft citation is justified

This letter is in response to Nate Smith’s recent article “The other, other side of the coin,” and Chief Brandon Standley’s comments in the recent Examiner article concerning Ms. Romine’s recent theft charge. From reading both articles, it is clear to me that the chief and Nate have both entirely missed the reason why the public finds the “summons” Ms. Romine received repugnant. Ms. Romine is developmentally disabled and destitute. It’s not that the public doesn’t think it was criminal behavior to steal from the fountain, nor does the public believe lying to police is acceptable from the average citizen. But the point is Ms. Romine is not “average.” By definition alone, Ms. Romine is “below” average.

The public expects law enforcement to uphold the law. However, they also can use discretion. What this means is that they are not required to arrest or cite every violation of the law they happen to witness. A fact, for which, anyone who has received a “warning” instead of a “traffic citation” are very grateful. Public expectation is that law enforcement will exercise this discretion wisely. We also expect that they are trained in sensitivity and have the ability to recognize unusual situations, including someone’s less than average ability to make sound judgments, which might in turn lead them to steal or lie. After checking her record and conversing with her for a few minutes, they should have been able to glean enough information to respond to the situation without issuing a summons. The correct and compassionate response, regardless of her deception (which was probably driven by hunger), would have been to give her a warning and help her in any way they reasonably could. If she did it again, the summons would have been appropriate.

Nate Smith comments, “At no point was she ever arrested in this case, no one ever threatened to take her to jail.” That is completely false. Petty theft is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree and carries with it a potential jail sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The threat is real. Apparently, even Ms. Romine knew that. Most first time petty theft offenders receive a sentence of three days in jail and a $550 fine in Bellefontaine Municipal Court.

Nate Smith further comments, “Ms. Romine is not wrong to try and parlay this saga into years’ worth of economic security.” Mr. Smith, are you suggesting that she has the sophistication it requires to raise the public outcry her “summons” has caused and to further turn that into a moneymaking event? When did $14,000 become “years’ worth of economic security.”

Expression of authority not tempered with compassion is the reason why there has been a public outcry. Besides, what do they use the money in the fountain for anyway?

Natalie J. Bahan
Bahan Law, LLC,
Bellefontaine

Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013

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Ben Logan should stop digging

On November 5th, you, as residents of the Benjamin Logan School District are being asked to approve a new emergency levy. I urge you to please read the following before you decide.

Back in May of this year the school put a levy on the ballot and it did not pass. The school, I am sure, was not expecting it to fail, however it did. Now the school district has chosen to come to voters again with a levy that will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $11.66 per month. This is not an overly burdensome amount of money. Until you look at the fact that most people in the district don’t receive pay raises every year and adding more to their tax bill would make them have to tighten their belts while allowing the school district to keep expanding theirs.

On Friday, the 25th of October I received “The Ben Logan Journal” in the mail. This is the first time that the school district has sent anything to the residents of the school district to let them know that they want more money. Yes they have had school board meetings and have discussed putting the levy on the ballot but to wait until 11 days before election day to inform the average voter seems wrong. In the Journal the school states what will happen if the levy fails. Student teacher ratios, extra and co-curricular activities and student intervention programs will be negatively impacted. But my question is how will they be negatively impacted? What is the student/teacher ratio now and what will it be if the levy fails and would it still be within state guidelines.

Extra and co-curricular activities are not so important that you have to pay a teacher to do it. If a teacher wants to coach a school team then they should volunteer their time and not expect the school to pay them extra to do it. This goes for the school board as well (each member is paid about $6,000 to sit on the board). Do it because you want to help the school, not because you want to make extra money. Let the parents of children that want to do extracurricular’s pay for their child to participate. It is not fair for the whole to subsidize a program that only benefits a few.

In the Journal they list new employees. One thing that struck me was that they have a new dean of students at the middle school. Why does middle school need a dean of students? Why can’t the vice principal do this job? This is just one example of Ben Logan over hiring. There are many more. The school states they have cut $1,500,000 over the last three years and they cannot cut more. In a recent school board meeting the treasurer said that the school would be $500,000 in the hole at the end of the school year. At the same meeting the superintendent stated that she wanted the board to approve them getting a loan to install air conditioning. This makes no sense. Such an outlay of money for maybe two weeks in the fall and two weeks in the spring cannot be justified. The thing you do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.

This school district needs to learn that you have to make hard choices when it comes to money and you have to live within your means. I urge you to vote your conscience on election day and send a message to Ben Logan Schools that, yes you are doing a great job, but you have to stop digging before asking for more money from voters that cannot afford it.

Andrew Johnson
West Mansfield

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Ben Logan children need voter support

The residents of Benjamin Logan Local School District have the future of its students in their hands on Tuesday, November 5th. Voter support is needed to continue offering the current educational programs and to protect the investment in students.

The 4.0-mill levy is needed due to a loss of revenue, not due to overspending. Almost two million dollars has been reduced from the budget to postpone going to the voters as long as possible. The district has eliminated teaching positions, personnel, administrative positions, student programs, field trips, textbook purchases and many other areas that directly and indirectly impact the education of our children. We are running a very lean operation and are doing “a lot with a little.” But we have come to a point where further reductions will greatly change what Benjamin Logan offers our students.

The district has not seen new levy operating revenue since 1999. With the passage of this levy and through continued careful spending, purchasing and cost conscious programming our goal is to make funding last another 10 years.

We are committed to maintaining a quality education in the Benjamin Logan Local Schools but public education is being challenged like never before. We simply cannot afford to get further and further behind. The cost of catching up is too great — not only financially, but educationally. The only “fair” tax is one that makes a stronger school system and helps our children become better prepared for tomorrow. They need your support.

Vote “yes” for the Benjamin Logan Schools on November 5th.

Lori Lytle
Superintendent
Benjamin Logan Local Schools

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Eichenauer right for WL-Salem board

As we quickly approach Election Day, I would like to ask the West Liberty-Salem school community to join me in supporting Kent Eichenauer for reelection to the WL-S school board. We are extremely fortunate to have an excellent school that strives to provide a quality education for each and everyone of the students it serves. One way to ensure that we maintain a high level of achievement for our school is to support and vote for board members that are dedicated to maintaining academic excellence for all students, represent the values of our district and are committed to being good stewards of the district’s resources. Kent has proven himself to be a dedicated board member who represents all of the members of our community and is not limited to focusing on narrow issues and concerns. Kent is committed to our community and the students of our community and has exhibited this commitment through hard work on behalf of the board, respectful representation and involvement in the school and its activities. As a board member for the past eight years, Kent has exhibited strong leadership in his ability to listen, question, work with colleagues and make thoughtful decisions based on the needs and best interest of our school community.

As a resident of the West Liberty-Salem school district and community, I am proud of our school and am pleased to support a proven leader like Kent Eichenauer who is the kind of school board member that will continue to keep our school academically strong; community focused; fiscally responsible and will do his “Tiger Best” every day.

Jane Core Thomas
West Liberty

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Levy necessary to keep West Liberty vibrant

Dear village residents,   

As mayor of the village of West Liberty, I would like to address the concerns of myself and village council in regards of the renewal levy. I cannot stress enough the importance of passing the levy. It is a renewal and it is no new money. I would like to inform the community that we need this money to be able to sustain our village in the years to come. In 2009, the state of Ohio cut funding to municipalities. Meaning the only consistent funding coming into the village was/is from the levy for the last five years. As mayor and village council, we felt that in order to maintain our standard of life here we need to make a proactive approach to generate revenue to provide the services that the community expects.

I believe that the citizens in our community do not realize our state and federal governments have pushed the responsibilities of survival back to the local levels of government. In 2008, we received $257,388 in local government, inheritance and interest and in 2012 we received $61,426.

We have made cuts on our budget over the last five years. We believe if we are to cut any more we will be cutting into the bones of our budget and the effects will not be well received. Some important issues that we face as a community are our aging streets. We no longer have the money to make necessary repairs.

I firmly believe in order for our community to remain vibrant, we must pass the renewal levy for not only ourselves, but for our future generations that will live in this community.

Mayor Gregory J. Hostetler and Council
West Liberty

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Lehman committed to Stokes Township

I am writing to recommend Robert Lehman for Stokes Township Trustee. I have known Bob for more than 30 years as a co-worker and friend and I know that he would serve you very well as a trustee.

Bob is committed to your community. Besides living and working there he is active in his church, the food pantry and other community endeavors. He would be an asset to you and the township and I recommend him without reservation.

Michael Lewis
Tipp City

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Motorists should respect equestrians

This past weekend I had the pleasure of riding as an outrider for an equestrian group called the “Central Ohio Wagoneers.” We traveled a planned route through a portion of the beautiful Logan County countryside by horse-drawn vehicle and horseback. It was a good eighteen and a half mile ride through Zanesfield, Marmon Valley, Middleburg and back to Zanesfield, in spite of the rain and cold.

The outriders serve the wagons in the wagon train as safety riders. Their job is to ride the front and rear of the procession to alert traffic to the many horses and wagons on the roadway and allow vehicle traffic to pass in a safe manner. I thank the entire considerate motoring public who slowed down and stopped for the outriders and the wagon train.

During these rides though, there is sometimes one “jack***” operating a motor vehicle that passes the wagon train and wants to have angry words with an outrider. Saturday was one of those days. There was a car approaching the wagon train in the opposite direction and not slowing down. The driver acted as though they were not even paying attention or did not care. The outrider was waving a red flag attempting to get the driver’s attention and yelled to the car to “slow down” as it passed. A second car being operated by one of these “jack*****” was following that first fast moving car. The second car stopped, the operator began to yell at the outrider, telling him he could not talk to his mother that way and he began to lean outside the car, waving his arm and pointing his finger in a threatening manner, he even acted as though he was going to strike at the horse. This display of bad behavior was uncalled for.

Nothing derogatory was said to the first car by the outrider and nothing was said to cause this type of behavior from any motorist. The outrider tried to apologize and tell the guy he was simply trying to get the person operating the car ahead of him to slow down. This guy continued to be confrontational and did not want to listen to any explanation. The outrider turned his horse away from the “jack***” in disbelief. The guy then said to the outrider “who do you think you are?” “You are just a horse rider” and then sped off. The confrontational driver was right; we were just “horse riders.” But, we had just as much right to the roadway as he did.

If you ever come upon and pass an equestrian, also known as a “horse rider” while you are driving down the road, please be courteous enough to slow down. It is not just a matter of courtesy, it is the law. You may prevent someone from being injured or worse by showing a little courtesy and obeying the law on the highways we all share. By the way, nothing here is meant to be offensive to anyone who owns a male donkey.

Allen Shields
Horse Rider

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 October 2013

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