Letters to the editor

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Learn about the candidates

I know as the election gets closer, you get more and more candidates bothering you around our city, but it really is important to you to know who to vote for. Gather facts and information, these candidates will be the ones that spend your tax dollars, and they are the ones who make decision about our city.  If they lie to you to get your vote, what other things will they do when in office?  Are they for business or favor certain businesses? The business person who comes to our community should be treated equally to all other businesses.

Many candidates run for a lower office like city council to get to higher offices, like state representative, so if you wonder how that person got to a position like state representative , it’s because of small town politics. Our country wants people in political positions to do what is best for our country, everyone should be represented, poor, middle class and high class. Don’t just complain about situations, do something about the situation. Find out about your candidates, vote for the ones that you feel will help your community, and know that one day they may be representing your state or country.

It may be small town politics, but they are the ones affecting your home, your community, and your finances, so it is important for you to vote, for you to know the answers to your questions about the candidates. Ask them questions, check to see if what they say it true, and remember it’s not about what we can do for them, it’s about what they can do for you.

Carol Carter
Pickerington

Defending Burch

There have been accusations made by a certain Groveport Madison school board member about the honesty of board member Teresa Burch in her dealings with the band dinners.

I have worked along side Teresa Burch for two years each Friday afternoon serving food to the band. I did not know Teresa very well at all two years ago. But from the beginning, the main thing I learned about her was her honesty and the gracious giving of her time and support for the band.  She always made sure we knew, as a double check system how much was spent and receipts presented. Any money collected ($3 per meal) went into a box and was handed to the treasurer each Friday. She never took anything extra home with her, we even counted water and chips to be used for a meal for another week.

This is a case of a band parent helping out where needed and being made out to be a dishonest person. I have worked with her and it just isn’t true. It is sad that three weeks before an election someone who knows nothing about the system of feeding the band should sling mud.

Teresa, I think you have done a good job feeding the band for 11 years and I think you have done a good job with your board position as well. Thanks.

Louanne Burns
Groveport

Children are our future

The outcome of our Canal Winchester school levy indefinitely molds the hope that we, as a community, have for our future.  

As former students of Canal Winchester Schools, my fiance and I now realize how fortunate we were growing up in such a close community. I can’t imagine either of our lives turning out this way if we would have lived and went to school anywhere else.  

Making children suffer, by taking away their sports programs and educational funding is not the answer to saving an extra buck on our property taxes. This is a situation where, to make an educated decision, we must look at the bigger picture.  

As a community, we should not just act on what we want, but what we want for the community as a whole. Our once small village, which had graduating classes of 50 students, now graduates classes of 250, and with that growth comes necessary change to better accommodate the expanding student body. If we could give the children of our future one thing, I would hope that that one thing be an education that will continue on for the rest of their lives. If we discourage their hopes for the future and education in general, what will that do to the future of Canal Winchester?  

This levy is important because if it does not pass, our school and the children of Canal Winchester, who are our future lawyers, doctors, engineers, nurses, and educators, will be put in major jeopardy. If we don’t take care of the children, who are our future, there will be no one to care for us in the future.

Jennifer Duis
Canal Winchester

No reason to be uninformed

We have been proud to call Canal Winchester our home for nearly 30 years. I was also proud to serve as your fire chief for 22 years; and now I represent you at the Ohio Statehouse as your state representative.

Recently I have been disappointed by information that has been disseminated by some members of Canal Winchester Village Council, including: the mayor bringing a trash burning power plant to town and the council can’t stop him! Another thing I have heard is that there is no communication between the administration department heads and members of council.

I have found that neither of these positions are accurate. Canal Winchester Village Council is the legislative body in the village government and sets the policies and direction for our village. Secondly, I have seen the many ways the administration and department heads communicate with our elected officials and there is no reason for anyone to be uninformed.

Elections are a wonderful right that we do not take for granted. As we work together to move our community forward, let’s do it with transparency, accuracy, and honesty.

Larry Flowers
Canal Winchester

CWAHS says thanks

The Canal Winchester Area  Historical Society wishes to thank the following actors, guides, and greeters that made "The Ghost  Tour" possible:

Andrea Murphy, Alexandra and Joseph Bernowski, Kylund Burchett, Sydney and Sophia Friend, Tyler Bynes, Blake Harvey, Faith and Hope Hesterman, Kara Lee, Brenna and Maggie Parsley, Madison Ziccardi, Dana Ippoliti, Pat Hartman, Minda Gill, John Robert Moore, Bruce Jarvis, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Robert Hartman, Linda Dillman, Mike Ippoliti, Valerie Sherman, Sandra Largent, Peggy Eisnaugle, Jill Hartman, Beth Bayless, Joy Habegger, Trena Duchesne, Rachel Ward, Reese Fowler, Jill Hay, Amy Hesterman, Diane Ward, and Heather Ziccardi.

Also thanks to our writers: Joy Habegger, Vicki Shaw, Andrea Murphy, Linda Dillman, and Jo Weiser.  All the merchandise sellers: Sandra Beury, Marilyn Rush-Ekleberry, and Phyllis Metzger.  Our refreshment hostess: Marcy Harvey.  Our ticket sellers: Reno Robinett and Paul Thomas.

Many thanks go to our behind the scenes workers and organizers: Beth Bayless, Joy Habegger, Judy Fleming, Carol and Tony Note, Vicki Shaw, Bill Donahey, and Jeanette Schneider.

Our special vocal artist for the Opera House Mr. Todd Phillips. Mr. Bob McDorman of Bob McDorman’s Chevrolet for use of a ’57 Chevrolet.  Slate Run Historical Farm and Wagnalls Memorial Foundation for our costumes. Joe Wilkins of Graphic T’s for signage, and advertising monies granted to us by the Canal Winchester Convention and Visitors bureau.

A special thanks to all the folks who bought tickets and embarked the journey on the Ghost Tour.  The proceeds will go to maintain the Historical complex and grounds.

With sincere thanks to all.

Elaine Thomas, member
Canal Winchester Area Historical Society


GM board had to act

In response to Teresa Burch’s letter in the Oct. 29 Southeast Messenger, it is important to make some important corrections.

I greatly appreciate our band, the band boosters and the work Teresa has done for them.

The board’s action to censure Teresa Burch came as a result of repeated disregard, in our opinion, for the laws that govern the position of a board member and our authority, this goes well beyond the infractions at hand. At this meeting Mrs. Burch confirmed that she had indeed used her husband’s company again, there was at that point nothing more to investigate. Any references made to our request for documentation was based purely on our demand for the repayment of funds.

Mrs. Burch stated that the "board" contracted with her husband’s company and she had no knowledge. This was not a board purchase; this was made by our superintendent without knowledge of the board.  After repayment was demanded by the board, Board President June Gibbs carefully explained our policy and the law to Mrs. Burch. She unfortunately chose to ignore the mandate and in our opinion the ethics laws.  After being made aware that her husband’s firm engaged in an inappropriate action and having to pay back the moneys, one could only expect that she would at a minimum, clear any further business transactions with the board before engaging in such activity

I believe that if the OSBA’s legal council actually rendered an opinion as Mrs. Burch references, that it is not accurate; one would not expect it to be if based on the facts as Mrs. Burch presents them.

The Ohio Ethics Commission states it quite clearly.  A member of a board of education holds a position of power and authority over the employees, business affairs, and budget of the school district. See R.C. 3313.17, 3313.201, 3313.47, and 3319.07…You are also prohibited from using your authority or influence as a board member with regard to students or parents, in order to secure business for your store.  Also RC 102.03 (D) and (E … for instance, you may not use the instruments donated to the school…to persuade parents or others to purchase similar merchandise from your store. This can be read in its entirety on the Ohio Ethics Commission’s Web site under opinion # 90-003.

Mrs. Burch claims that her activities are not under the jurisdiction of the board, the board has a duty to not allow board members to engage in activity they view to be in violation of the board policy and Ohio law. The feeding of our students is without question part of our fiduciary responsibilities. These students are on our property and under the supervision of our staff.  

Mrs. Burch voted to approve our current food service contract and appears to be directly competing with it as well. Violation of these laws can come with stiff financial penalties, jail time and lead to being barred from public service.

Given the importance of this issue I hope that you can understand the need for action by the board regarding this matter.

John Kershner, member
Groveport Madison school board

Campaign flier inaccurate

As is the case with most of us, I am offended by negative campaign advertising.

Unfortunately, I have been quoted on a negative campaign flier that was distributed around Newport Village in Groveport The quote ("Allowing problems to occur because you’re blinded by dollar signs is unacceptable.") was included without my prior knowledge, was taken out of context, and was used in a negative way toward Jean Ann Hilbert’s Groveport Village Council candidacy.  Since I was not given the courtesy of being told it would be on the flier, I did not have an opportunity to clarify and will do that now.  

Let me make it absolutely clear, I was not directing that comment to Jean Ann Hilbert or any other specific person on either council or the planning commission. I respected Jean Ann Hilbert as a teacher and respect her now as a councilwoman.

It would be a wonderful world if we did not need to be a system based on money as the bottom line, but that is the way it is. Sometimes we need to prod government from that reality and let them know we are here. My quote was just that and directed toward the system not a specific person. Anybody who is or has been involved with government would recognize that.

Jean Ann and I have discussed some of the amendments she intended to present when the company in question suddenly withdrew their application for rezoning. We both understand the importance of being prepared with a Plan A and B; in this case, one to stop an undesirable rezoning and one that would protect the residential property adjoining the development site in case we cannot legally stop it. It is the responsibility of all of us to be ever vigilant and ever vocal. I spoke and I believe the Groveport Village Council members listened. I am confident Jean Ann Hilbert will continue to serve us well and I support her candidacy.

Charlotte Barker
Groveport

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