Norton voters have an opportunity to rise above the negativity that has plagued our community. We need to step aside from the problems that some have with our city administration and the expansion of infrastructure such as water and sewers. Let’s focus our attention on the good that has been here all along — our Norton City Schools.
On Nov. 5, we have the potential to launch our future in a new, positive direction. Issue 42 is a bond issue that would provide new, updated learning spaces for our children. It would consolidate our aging elementary school buildings into one space, designed to maximize collaboration and innovation between our top-notch staff and students.
Middle school students would move into better facilities that include science and computer labs, allowing them better access to 21st century skills. High school students would benefit from a new school building that features new learning spaces, competitive athletic facilities and an auditorium for the performing arts.
A vote for the bond issue would allow for the relocation of the stadium complex (necessary due to the impending widening of Cleveland Massillon Road). This would create a community athletic complex, accessible to all athletes and members of the community.
Previously, voters turned down a similar plan to build new facilities. Our local board of education listened to feedback, revised the plan and is truly looking out for voters and students. The location of this project has been moved back to the center of Norton, the costs have been contained and community access has been taken into account.
Norton schools currently have the lowest taxes in Summit County. With the passage of Issue 42, we would still be one of the lowest. Why would we turn away over $16 million (51 percent of the core project) from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission?
For around $11.35 per month (based on a market value of $100,000), we can bring Norton schools to the forefront of innovation and creativity. Our children would be better prepared for college and careers, while property values would rise and the community’s reputation as a desirable place to raise a family would be restored.
Please join me on Nov. 5 by voting for Issue 42.
Unwilling to face reality
I was profoundly disappointed when I read U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci’s comment about the just-ended government shutdown (“Leaders share in the frustration,” Oct. 17) . His twisted logic and untruths cause me to wonder how he can be trusted to legislate for his constituents.
Renacci’s response, blaming Harry Reid and the president’s “stunning failure in leadership” for the shutdown, reveals the congressman’s total unwillingness to face reality. The simple truth is that it was Renacci and his tea party cohorts who caused the shutdown by their quixotic attempt to force change by holding the government and the full faith and credit of the United States hostage.
Isn’t it a shame that Renacci, this self-proclaimed patriot and stalwart defender of the Constitution, has apparently never read (or doesn’t understand) Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
If we want to blame anything for the shutdown, we need look no further than the brief description of the congressman’s district, a gerrymandered melange of areas including portions of Summit, Medina, Portage and Stark counties and all of Wayne County. He might be reminded that it is only this gerrymandering that allowed him and his fellow Republicans to be elected to Congress despite the fact that a large majority of votes cast in the last election went to Democratic Party candidates.
Change of mind on the Field levy
Field Local Schools has a tax levy on the Nov. 5 ballot. As a vocal opponent of past levies, I want to chime in on this one because this time is different. I have opposed past levies because of the lack of transparency and accountability in the district’s finances and the administration’s and board’s unwillingness to address cost-cutting measures that would not directly affect children.
These were rational and valid reasons to oppose prior levies. They are no longer rational or valid for this levy.
Field has a new treasurer in place, Todd Carpenter. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Carpenter. I came away from that meeting very impressed with his skills, abilities and character. As a certified public accountant, I can readily tell the difference when somebody is providing transparency and accountability or smoke and mirrors.
I am confident Carpenter will give us the transparency and accountability the district so desperately needs, as well as providing accurate numbers and sound advice to a new board of education.
With three open board seats and only one current member running for re-election, the dynamics of the Field board will be changing. I have spoken with all six people who are running, and believe any three of them will change our board for the better.
You can go to www.falconpride.org for complete details on this levy. It is only a three-year levy, so we will have a chance to review the progress then and choose to renew or not renew the levy.
Bottom line, the new administration, along with a new board, needs your help. Give them a chance to succeed and our children a better shot at quality education in Field. Join me in voting for Issue 23.
Thomas P. Serle
Failure to take responsibility
As every person with debt problems knows, the choice of which bill to pay and which not to pay lies solely with himself or herself.
Therefore, the blame for what happens during a government default does not lie with the Congress, but with the president.
During the recent government shutdown, President Obama chose to close national parks. His administration chose which personnel were nonessential. His administration chose to deny benefits to veterans’ families.
In a default, the president would have been the one to choose among paying interest on the debt, paying government employees or making Social Security payments.
Still, Obama stands up and blames Congress. Is he not responsible for anything?
No individual, business or nation can continually overspend without consequences. The borrower is the slave of the lender.
Stevenson has the qualifications
I have been a registered Democrat all my life, and I’ve been disgusted by our political process for many, many years. Candidates will do and say anything to get elected and then backtrack on their promises.
I have only agreed to put a handful of political signs in my yard over the past 40 years, and there have been signs for Democrats and Republicans. I vote for the individual, not the party.
A recent letter (“Knocked, and then listened,” Oct. 21) recommending the election of Zack Milkovich for the clerk of courts position in the Barberton Municipal Court seemed to be based upon two things: a personal visit to the home of the letter writer and the fact that Milkovich was a good listener.
Shouldn’t the main focus of anyone running for a political position be his or her qualifications? Milkovich might be the best listener and the nicest guy in the world, but he’s not qualified to hold the position of clerk of court. In addition, Milkovich recently made statements about the current clerk that were blatantly false, and he was taken to task for those misrepresentations in a Beacon Journal editorial (“For Barberton clerk,” Oct. 15).
The current clerk, Diana Stevenson, is supremely qualified to hold that position. She has over 20 years of legal experience, including holding positions as a magistrate in the Summit County Probate Court, an assistant Summit County prosecutor and judicial attorney for former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Deborah Cook.
She has the endorsement of those who deal with the court on a daily basis, the Barberton Fraternal Order of Police and the Norton Fraternal Order of Police.
To voters in the cities of Barberton, Clinton, Green, New Franklin and Norton and Copley and Coventry townships, please vote for the only qualified person to hold the position of clerk of court, Diana Stevenson.
Do they sleep?
Less than one week after the shutdown ended, Congress quietly approved $1.6 billion in aid to Pakistan, just one of many foreign countries that receive help from the U.S.
At the same time, our so-called representatives try to take every penny they can away from the needs of our own people, especially the poor, sick and elderly. I don’t know how they sleep at night.