Ohio legislators will soon have a very important choice to make — one that will show the citizens of this state whether their leadership is based on common-sense decisions that favor the majority of their constituents or fearful actions that only satisfy a very vocal minority.
Ohioans are counting on their state lawmakers to have the courage to stand up against the bullies in the extreme faction of the Republican Party and implement Medicaid expansion in Ohio.
Expanding the Medicaid program in Ohio would be a win-win situation for everybody.
It would provide coverage to over 275,000 people in the first two years, and a healthier work force would eventually add to the growth of our state economy.
Medicaid expansion would bring billions of our tax dollars back to the state in federal funding, and it would create much-needed jobs in the medical field and in a variety of other local service industries. From an economical standpoint, how can we afford not to extend Medicaid?
Failure to expand the Medicaid program would have lots of negative consequences.
Hospitals would be forced to absorb the costs for taking care of uninsured Ohioans, and we taxpayers would have to help fill in a multimillion-dollar hole in our state budget.
The worst part of all, though, would be that the bullies, who have been actively engaged in threatening our elected officials would be rewarded for their antagonistic behavior. We’ve all seen what happens when a bully is allowed to get his way — he becomes emboldened and turns into an even bigger bully.
Our legislators overwhelmingly passed anti-bullying legislation last year to help enhance schools’ anti-bullying policies.
Now it’s time for the adults to follow their own anti-bullying initiatives, adapt them to the political world and stand up to the bullies in their party.
Please, Republicans, support Medicaid expansion in Ohio.
Logical outcome from suffering
In response to the April 10 letter “Common sense and marriage,” the writer makes reference to scientific studies that claim “gay, lesbian and bisexual persons are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, suicide [and] drug abuse.”
Common sense tells me that if the writer had to go through life being told that who he was and who he loved was completely wrong, or being too afraid to reveal to narrow-minded people who he really was, he, too, would suffer from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
Duh. I found the writer’s references to “studies” to be simply his own opinion.
Burdened in Coventry
Coventry schools are run on a combination of local property taxes, state and federal funding. We don’t have industry or large commercial sectors in Coventry Township. So until we come up with a funding solution, the burden is on us, struggling or not.
We can’t afford to pay higher property taxes for a new high school today. We are reaching the danger point of taxation, a point where there is a deep feeling of unrest about the money budgeted for the schools’ maintenance.
High taxes could drive existing families, young and senior, from Coventry, and prevent new families from moving in. Small businesses could close because of a long-term (34 years) excessive tax burden.
The 4.9-mill levy is for a new high school building, bricks and mortar. It’s not directed at improving the quality of education.
An additional levy for teachers’ salaries, personnel services, administrators’ enhancements, employee retirements, insurance and perks will be forthcoming. To meet teachers’ contracts and rising expenses, how can one argue that the district will not ask for more money? Education is about people, not buildings.
School funding in Coventry has moved in a steady direction — up. Since 1976, voters have approved additional school taxes of 22.2 mills, 60 percent of the total school tax.
These taxes are continuing, never again subject to a vote. In 2012, a 9.96-mill, five-year renewal for $2.9 million per year was approved.
Now, school officials are contributing to the myth that they are “victims” of unstable funding. A vote against the levy issue on the May 7 ballot is saying to school officials that they must reform the open-enrollment program that is driving up expenditures.
The greatest threat on the pockets of taxpayers has been made under the pretense of getting $11 million in state aid toward a new high school. It would require another $28.3 million from the district in matching funds.
One thing that we can do is to use our voice at the ballot box. When it’s time to elect our board of education, find candidates who are financially responsible. Replace complacency with vision and conservatism.
Hugh W. Weinberg
Questions for the Fairlawn mayor
The city of Fairlawn and its mayor, Bill Roth, feel very strongly that Walmart’s new superstore in Montrose will change the character of the nearby Rothrock Road neighborhood. In fact, they have taken unprecedented measures to protect the neighborhood from the inevitable traffic.
To restrict traffic in this expensive housing area, Fairlawn has plans to barricade Rothrock Road. It has gone to court to fight for its right to take this measure, and is in a position to set up a gated community — all at the expense of Fairlawn taxpayers.
McDonald’s has proposed building in Fairlawn on a site on West Market Street, across from Rockne’s.
Will the city of Fairlawn and Mayor Roth feel as strongly about restricting the traffic and protecting the character of the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed McDonald’s site?
Fairlawn’s Zoning Committee met on March 21 to listen to McDonald’s request for zoning variances. The room was filled to capacity with residents and business owners who live in the neighboring area.
They expressed concerns about traffic, safety and how the character of their neighborhood would be forever changed with a McDonald’s on that corner.
Absent from this full house meeting was Mayor Roth.
The mayor is not required to attend zoning meetings. However, shouldn’t he have been there to hear the concerns firsthand?
The residents of this neighborhood have exactly the same issues as the Rothrock Road residents. Shouldn’t these residents get the exact same kind of attention from the mayor and the city?
Anyone who drives on West Market Street at the proposed McDonald’s site knows how congested and dangerous that intersection is now.
The inevitable traffic will take shortcuts through our neighborhoods, just like what will happen on Rothrock Road with Walmart.
The city probably will ask McDonald’s to conduct a traffic study. Of course, the study will recommend adding lanes on West Market and the side street of Shiawassee.
And once lanes are added, then the potential for another monster like Montrose is in our future.
The zoning board will meet on April 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall. It will announce its decision on the zoning variances requested by McDonald’s. Everyone expects that to be another full house.
Will Mayor Roth attend? Will the city and our mayor go to great lengths to protect the character of our neighborhood, as they are doing with Rothrock Road?
We can only hope so.
Are lobbyists in charge?
With House Bill 102, its sponsor, state Rep. Kristina Roegner, has proposed changes in the Standard Choice Offer for natural gas pricing. This bill strongly and, I think, unfairly favors the gas companies over the consumer. It is not surprising to note that Roegner is a Republican who lives in the affluent city of Hudson.
Roegner’s ill-informed responses to reporter Betty Lin-Fisher’s questions regarding the bill make it obvious that the bill was written by lobbyists who work for the gas companies. Roegner didn’t seem to have a clue about the bill’s content. The first thing that came to mind was that Roegner had received some kind of encouragement to introduce House Bill 102. Columbus is, after all, overcrowded with well-funded lobbyists.
On April 9, I read your editorial concerning House Bill 8 (“Listen to the police”). She is a co-sponsor of House Bill 8, which appears to be an ill-conceived bill that may encourage school boards to arm teachers.
Your editorial stated that the bill is still being drafted. Will Roegner have much actual input in the drafting of the bill? Is it safe to assume that the draft will be supplied by the National Rifle Association?
I confess I am biased in favor of Democrats when it comes to supporting a party’s platform. I tend to distrust most politicians. It might be useful to review Roegner’s financial records, identifying donors to her election campaigns.