Letters to the editor


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So many people can’t grasp the issue

As I wade through all the rhetoric being passed around regarding the upcoming request for funding by South-Western City Schools, I am amazed so many people seem unable to grasp the simplicity of this issue.

As a society, we are all responsible for the education of our young people. It has always been this way. Every generation has had its share of economic struggles. This one is no different. What is different is that we have never before had the State of Ohio offering the district over $200 million to help.

Today, we have the opportunity to renovate, update and replace our facilities – district wide. In doing so, we will also improve safety and security, provide technology upgrades, eliminate portable classrooms and create space for all-day everyday kindergarten. All we have to do is provide matching funds. We have the opportunity to complete all the work at half the price, which means greater savings. What’s not to get?

Is it a great time to ask for additional taxes? Maybe not. Will it be easier or cheaper to do it later? No.

If we do not take advantage of the state funding, we will lose this great opportunity and the money will go to the next district in line. Our aged and deteriorating school facilities will not go away. We will face the task of raising 100 percent of the eventual replacement costs.

No on likes to pay taxes, but it is the only way that we are able to obtain the facilities and services that we need as a society. We have been given the opportunity for an education by the generations before us. Now it is our turn to pay it forward.

The combined bond issue and operating levy, which you will see on the November ballot, is a no-brainer. Like it or not, this is the best deal that district residents have ever been given and it will likely never come again.

It is in the best interest of our children, and residents, to approve this issue and get the most bang for your buck.

Suzanne Widner

Grove City

Can’t afford to pass it up

In May of 1962, I drove down the 3-C Highway to an older home near Eakin Road. It was the first Central Office of the South-Western City School District.

In the kitchen/office, I had a job interview with the late Darrel Bostick. This was the beginning of my association with the district. I was 21 years old; the school district was 4. Forty-six years with SWCS has allowed me to see many many good things happen.

I am proud of our school district. Over many years I have had the opportunity to see a district with one of the lowest tax rates in Franklin County compete against far more affluent districts and do very well. I have seen the students compete against others districts in academics, athletics, and the arts and so often come out on top. South-Western has a history of exceeding expectations for the investment its communities have made.

We now have an amazing opportunity for the district. If we can pass Issue 81 on Nov. 4, we receive a grant of funds that goes beyond matching what the communities of the district will pass. This is made possible by programs to assist schools districts, using the funds of the tobacco settlements. This will allow SWCS the funding to construct new schools, renovate other schools, and gain much needed space for full-day kindergarten. Our communities will be able to offer a state of the art school district. The economic activity this will generate, to our area, will help our local business establishments.

The fuel cost which impact all of us in many personal ways are not a favorite topic with anyone. It has cost me some 3 a.m. uncertainty, but never on this issue. I will muster the $25 per month it will cost me if Issue 81 passes. It is an opportunity I can not afford to pass up. I hope that you will feel the same way on Nov. 4.

Dick Curtiss


Here we go again

Here we go again, I usually vote for school issues, but I haven’t come to a decision yet on this one.

I would like to know how much money the South-Western City School District gets from the lottery money and what do they spend it on? I thought the lottery was supposed to help the schools.

Why not have a payroll school income tax instead, like some other cities do? That way everyone would be taking a part in supporting our schools instead of the property owners.

Didn’t the Ohio State Supreme Court rule that the way we fund our schools is unconstitutional?

Sharon Steelman

Grove City

You asked for it

You have asked for years to have all-day-every-day kindergarten. With the passing of Issue 81, the district will be able to offer that. You have asked for the best possible education for your children. In order to do that, we need to update schools with the newest technology, construct buildings that are energy efficient, and refurbish some of the existing buildings to make them energy efficient and safe for our children. Issue 81 will allow us to do that.

You want our children to be in a healthy environment – free from asbestos and dangers from fire. Issue 81 will provide the money for that and for all those bargain hunters out there – this is a BOGO.

If we miss our chance, we will have to cover 100 percent of the costs of all of the items mentioned, and that won’t be cheap.

The nay-sayers are saying “that’s fine but why an operational levy too? Why aren’t you using your money better and stretching it out further?” Well, my question to them is what should the district cut out?

The two biggest expenditures are fuel for the buses and salaries – including teacher’s salaries. The district, just like you, needs to do what is necessary to continue to provide your children with the best it can afford and the operational levy will, hopefully, carry it through for the next three to four years.

So here is your chance to make a big difference in the education of your children; a once in a lifetime chance – now who can pass that up?

Kathy Larzelere

Grove City

Money I don’t have

I’m a retired gentleman living in the South-Western City School District. I moved to the area in 2001 with my mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. We needed to be close to the medical support we both needed.

I tried to keep her at home with me, but in late 2004 I had to let go and she went to a care center. I was alone. The 2005 tax increase hit me hard.

A few days ago, I was watching a financial program on a news network. The commentator said “Do you feel squeezed? You are. The cost on maintaining a home including mortgage, utilities, foot etc. has gone up an average of 60 percent.”

I feel this increase every month. The new request, Issue 81, will put me $350 further in the hole. This is money I don’t have.

What are retired folks to do?

Donald Craig

Grove City

Parents of athletes need to have some class

I was sitting in the bleachers at my daughter’s volleyball game last week at Briggs High School where they were playing against Independence when a thought came to mind. When did it become okay for parents to rudely taunt kids of the opposing team?

I can understand cheering on your own child and their team. That’s our job as parents, to support and encourage our kids. But when did it become okay to make loud, rude comments about someone else’s kid when they are struggling in a sport? It’s classless and shameful.

For years coaches have been teaching kids to have sportsman-like conduct and we see it on the courts, but the stands show us something entirely different. I was appalled at what I heard come out of one mother’s mouth. She was rude and disrespectful to the girls and the referees. I’m sure that parent wouldn’t have allowed another parent to have spoken the same words about her child. In fact, her child appeared to be embarrassed by her behavior. I know that this one parent does not represent all of the parents and I applaud Independence students for not following her behavior. I also applaud the Briggs parents for showing their class because this is not the first incident this school year.

It is my hope that all parents will check their attitude before attending their child’s next sporting event because your actions reflect your community and your child’s school. Most of us put our children in sports so that they can learn great lessons such as team work, commitment, hard work, discipline and that you are not always going to come out on top – not to subject them to classless parents in the stands. So come out and support your child but lets do it with some class.

Jessica Woodruff



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