Letters to the editor

Slyh seeks to set the record straight

I am writing in response to the letter by Mrs. Charlotte Barker published in the Jan. 7 Southeast Messenger.  

Mrs. Barker states it was shameful on my part to have the December board meeting canceled because of a ruling obtained from the Franklin County Board of Elections.  I would remind Mrs. Barker that it took a majority of the Groveport Madison School Board, a board that I was not a member, to make this decision. You might want to direct your anger on this subject towards those who made the decision to cancel the meeting.  

Since Mrs. Barker seems content on bringing this subject back up again let’s get the facts straight. In November 2007, I called the Franklin County Board of Elections to see if I could take my seat early since I ran for an unexpired term position. I was told twice in November and once in December that I was able to take my seat once the election was certified.  Scott McKenzie, superintendent of schools, was told the same thing both in November and again in December. I was also given a letter from the board of elections stating this very same thing in December, a day after the attorney for our school district claims to have been given a ruling by the Board of Elections and Secretary of State.  I have come to find out that the former board directed the district attorney in executive session in November 2007 to research this issue. Why did the former board wait 30 days to indicate we might have a problem?  Why did the board discuss legal business about myself in an executive session that was to deal with the superintendent’s review and teachers’ contract?

Since this issue was resolved in early December I have spent most of my time working with Mr. McKenzie on ways to improve our district. Both myself and Mr. McKenzie have attended meetings with other school district officials to determine which path may be best for us to take when dealing on any upcoming bond issue or operating levy request. Mrs. Barker seems content to establish opinions without getting the facts. I would urge Mrs. Barker to become more involved with our district in a positive way.  Attend board meetings out of support and not out of anger, this would certainly leave a favorable impression on the students of our school system.

I believe Mrs. Barker wants to make her campaign that, because I had disagreements with my previous board in Pataskala, that this will be the same thing here. All I can say is that I would never have been awarded the excellence in education award in 2002 by the Southwest Licking Local Education Association and appointed interim zoning inspector of the largest township in our school district in 2002, nearly three years after joining the board, if I were as bad as she would lead you to believe.

For years our community has seen a confused and at times chaotic board of education. Our district is a year away from operating in the red and buildings in dire need of improvement. If Mrs. Barker would use her energy to fight those battles and not old battles we might win and improve things for generations to come.

Steven Slyh, board member
Groveport Madison Local Schools

VTFD says thanks

The members of the Violet Twp. Fire Department Local 3558 and The Violet Township Fire Fighters Association want to thank the residents and businesses of our community for your incredible support during our 2007 Holiday Toy Drive.  

The generosity of this community has allowed us to help a significant number of families in the city of Pickerington, Violet Township and through out Fairfield and Licking counties this year. Everyone’s participation and support has made this year’s Holiday Toy Drive a great success!

We want to thank everyone who donated toys this year, with special thanks to the following sponsors for volunteering as collection points: Fairfield Federal, Pickerington Branch; Hector Gutierrez Salon; Jana L. Della Flora; State Farm Agency; Kroger Marketplace and Kroger on Refugee Rd, Pickerington locations; Longhorn Steak house; Manning Family Chiropractic; Pickerington Church of the Nazarene; Pickerington Local School District; Pinnacle Orthodontics; Prudential Calhoun Company, Realtors; Sears Hardware; St. Pius School, Kindergarten; Stonecreek Dental Care; The City of Pickerington; The Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation; Turnberry Travel; Wal-Mart Reynoldsburg; Weinzierl Nationwide Agency; and Wings & Things.

We would also like to thank P.O.D.S. (Portable on Demand Storage) and 33 Self-Storage for the donation of storage units.

We want to say a special thank you to the staff and students of Harmon Road Middle School for all of their efforts in assisting us. They helped raise over $7,000 to be used to assist families this holiday season. That was an incredible show of generosity by all who were involved.

Additional thanks go to all who brought holiday cards, baked goods and other treats to all of our fire stations. Your thoughtfulness was appreciated and enjoyed by all.  It is an honor to be part of such a generous and supportive community.  

As always, we are your friends for life.

Lt. Gregg A. Goodwin and the members
of the Violet Township Fire Department

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