Dvorak has solid plan for future

We met Jim Dvorak years ago when he was running for the Burton Township Board of Trustees. He told us of his ideas and plans of how he could serve our community. At that time, Jim was a Democrat. Although we are Republican, we liked his ideas and we crossed party lines and voted for him.

He has done everything he had told us he was going to do and then some. This is what we look for in any candidate, regardless of party. Jim (now running under the Republican ticket) is running for Geauga County Board of Commissioners and we had the opportunity to sit down face to face with Jim in our own home for over an hour. We wanted to hear what his plans are for our future. Not only did we discuss the future, but the past and all that he has accomplished as a township trustee. He has come up with logical and realistic plans and ideas which have served to be fiscally responsible.

When we met with Jim, this was a perfect opportunity as well, for him to do some mudslinging against his opponent, which we abhor. He did none of that (which in our opinion, any candidate who focuses on mudslinging has no ideas or a platform on which they are running), but we only discussed plans of the future and Jim took the time to answer some questions on current issues as well.

If you would like to see someone who thinks outside of the box and has a proven record of making sound, fiscally responsible decisions that affect all us us as a community, our recommendation would be to vote for Jim Dvorak for Geauga County Commissioner.

Micheal and Amy Kalal

Burton

Support Claypool

Winston Churchill said, “The longer you look back, the farther you can look forward.” In any election, very rarely is a candidate truly an unknown. Just look at his past and you’ll have an adequate picture of what to expect once elected.

Walter “Skip” Claypool’s record speaks for itself. For the last four years as a Geauga County commissioner he has served us well as a staunch conservative, never wavering, always vigilant of our tax dollars and those who would betray Republican ideals. Plainspoken and committed, he’s got my vote.

Ben “Doc” Alvarez

Chester

Support Skip Claypool

I will be voting for Skip Claypool and ask all voters to consider doing the same. He has performed exceptional service for the county, including his recent work on restructuring county buildings, and will continue to do so in the future.

Russell Zajaczkowski

Chagrin Falls

Claypool has proven record

Walter “Skip” Claypool is no friend of mine, but I will be voting to re-elect him in the upcoming Geauga County Commissioner’s race. He has a proven track record of hard work, dedication and exceptional service to the residents of Geauga County. He is a lifelong Republican and embodies conservative Republican values.

Jim Dvorak may be presently “registered” as a Republican, but as a Democrat, he campaigned fiercely for Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2012.

I have no qualms with Jim Dvorak being a Democrat, or supporting Democratic candidates or liberal initiatives. My mom and dad were proud to be lifelong members of the Democratic Party. And it was Democratic President John F. Kennedy who made one of the most prolific statements in the history of this country, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Skip “Walter” Claypool is a true conservative Republican who answered President Kennedy’s call to service by enlisting in the military. He is one of Geauga County’s most dedicated public servants, a statesman and a proud Veteran.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Chester

Salute first responders on May 24

Thank you Chagrin for leading the way to Ohio House Bill 44.

Four years ago the Village of Chagrin Falls began a mission to recognize and show appreciation for the dedicated men and women of our area first responder units including our police, fire, EMS and EMTs with the hope that this recognition would spread all over Ohio and beyond.

To honor them, blue and red bows were hung on lamp posts all over Chagrin and a large 12-foot banner was hung on the Main Street bridge.

Many area restaurants graciously took turns providing daily meals to the stations for one week surrounding 9/11.

Area schools wanted to play a part in honoring their local responders and did so on their football field’s tracks prior to their first home games.

Many classroom students and teachers created beautiful large banners which hung on the schools’ fence line for all to see.

Residents attended the games to show their support and stopped to sign the banners with their good wishes.

The banners now decorate the Chagrin fire station walls.

Then began the tradition of hanging red and blue light bulbs on our front porches and driveway posts in our neighborhoods.

Three years ago the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce got involved in a big way and the intended recognition grew to the 13 surrounding communities and into Geauga County. Many more restaurants got involved willingly joining in the daily delivery of meals to more area stations.

Two years ago the Crooked River Fife and Drum band performed for the banner hanging ceremony on the Main Street bridge and was attended by many local residents and First Responders.

Last year, a free, very moving concert was given in the First Responder’s honor at the CVLT by Steve Eva and his 35-piece Chagrin Studio Orchestra and all area First Responders, mayors, and residents were invited to attend.

From the beginning the goal has been to develop and foster lines of communication between these selfless public servants and the individuals in the communities they serve, especially among our youth through the schools involvement.

The mission was to see this recognition grow to the areas surrounding Chagrin Falls and all over Ohio and beyond.

To that end, HB 44 was introduced to the General Assembly with the help of State Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls. It passed unanimously and was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich on Feb. 1.

The bill states, “Every May 24 will be First Responder’s Appreciation Day in the state of Ohio.”

The First Responders are being honored as “individuals who risk their own safety on a daily basis in the execution of their duties to protect the public.”

Thank you Chagrin residents for believing in this mission.

To all first responders, we salute and thank you 24/7/365.

Bob and Jo Royer

South Russell

Support Judge O’Toole in GOP primary

On May 8, voters will have the opportunity to vote for a judge who has served us with integrity, upholding the conservative values we all cherish.

Judge Colleen Mary O’Toole is running for re-election in the Republican primary for the 11th District Court of Appeals which includes Geauga, Lake, Ashtabula, Portage and Trumbull counties. Judge O’Toole has faithfully served these communities for 11 years, upholding the Constitution. She has heard over 2,000 cases and written more than 900 decisions. She adheres to strict conservative values in her interpretation of the Constitution.

Judge O’Toole’s opponent is running a negative campaign against her. He has no judicial experience to promote so he is resorting to false attacks on Judge O’Toole’s civic and volunteer activities. This shows a lack of integrity and I hope everyone recognizes this fact.

We need an experienced, proven judge with integrity in the 11th District Court of Appeals. We need Judge Colleen Mary O’Toole. Please join me in voting for Judge O’Toole on May 8.

Gary Broska

Chagrin Falls

Former president supports PRIME levy

My name is Richard (Dick) Dean, and I support the Berkshire PRIME School District Levy on the May 8 ballot.

I was born and raised in Burton. I started school in the “old gym” back of the Burton Library and my four children attended Burton Schools. I’ve lived in Burton my entire adult life.

I started on the Board of Education in 1969 and acted as president of the board along with four dedicated residents over a period of 20 years. We successfully passed levies to modernize the high school facilities and constructed the building located at the Burton Fairgrounds where students interested in agriculture could receive training.

Passing today’s school levy on May 8, I believe, is our chance to support our students and their future.

I feel that one of the most important items that was true in 1969 and is true today – many of our teachers were so accomplished that they could have continued their instruction on the college level. This is a plus for the students going to Berkshire! They will have a tremendous advantage, not only in facilities, but also in available courses through Kent State University and Auburn Career Center.

This opportunity will probably not happen again in your lifetime. So please, pass the Berkshire PRIME School Levy that will support our children for many years to come.

Richard A. Dean

Fort Meyers, Florida

Vote YES on PRIME issue

Occasionally there is an outstanding, high impact community project that deserves a special expression of support and commendation. As a life-long resident of Geauga County and having grown up in Burton village, I was a student in the Berkshire school system from nursery school through my graduation from the original high school building, prior to its expanded form of today. My teachers were dedicated professionals who challenged me to do my best. That is why I am delighted to share my personal perspectives about the Berkshire-Kent State University Geauga Campus PRIME (Partners in Rural Innovative Model for Education) project.

I enthusiastically support the PRIME project with its transformative initiatives that usher in a modern model of education for the next generation of students. Be gone the traditional, factory model of the 1890s. Embrace a model of education that emphasizes collaboration, team building and teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and moving past theory and onto practical application.

With public and private support, our children will have the benefits of major state-of-the-art Pre-K through 12 and 16 years of congruous and comprehensive educational opportunities in new facilities located on the Kent State University campus filled with the most current technology and learning environment. The student will have the opportunity to graduate from high school with two years of FREE college credits. Furthermore, this student can complete their college degrees at any KSU campus at a reduced cost in student fees.

This unique educational model will ensure the kind of education for tomorrow’s jobs yet to be discovered. It will transform education toward the best results, judged by value and successful outcomes and a model that others will emulate. I applaud the Berkshire School District Board and the leadership of John Stoddard, school superintendent, for their courage and conviction to move on this new journey. They truly see the possible and will be witnesses of validation with success of this venture.

In conclusion, the PRIME project can only help our kids by giving them the excellent learning environment that positions them for future success.

Vote YES on May 8, vote YES for the Berkshire school levy. It is the right investment at the right time.

Christie A. Frenchie

Auburn Township

Public records are open to the public

Thank you to the Ohio Court of Claims Special Master for making it clear that information used in a public meeting by a public board must be made available to the public. One would think that this is common sense, but evidently Judge Timothy Grendell’s handpicked Geauga Park Board did not. Instead of being properly and reasonably chastised by the ruling, GPD board member Andreij Lah took the opportunity to once again introduce false and defamatory statements about a group of peaceful concerned citizens into the record of the park board meeting. This was a repeat of the assertions he made at a meeting in August 2017 which he attributed to a letter he received from a person who will remain nameless here. Oddly enough, when the letter was dragged into the light, it showed little of the fear mongering that Mr. Lah expounded upon from his bully pulpit. This “gaslighting” about Protect Geauga Parks has been going on for a few years now with the same refrain and without one shred of truth. If there are people who are truly afraid to use the parks – could it be that this ridiculous, deceitful refrain is the cause rather than a group of concerned citizens?

Kathryn Hanratty

Chardon

Chardon schools deserve support

Nearly six years ago, Chardon schools were experiencing a financial crisis. Cuts to our state funding had resulted in large cuts to our operating budget. The education of our students was being affected. Art, music, gifted and business programs saw reductions or were gone altogether. High school students had few options and sat in study halls. In late 2013 we were able to pass a levy.

The last levy allowed us to restore some educational programs. Now our high school students do not sit in study halls. We have updated courses and purchased new educational materials to replace those that were years out of date.

But the state has continued to cut, and we have lost nearly another $1 million from our funding due to loss of the tangible personal property tax. We also must pay for local students in privately operated charter schools and this currently costs the district about $600,000 per year. As part of the response we are undergoing a reconfiguration of the district which will require closing two elementary schools and reductions in staff and administration. This will result in a more cost-effective use of facilities and staff but with some additional educational opportunities for our students. This will not be enough. To prevent cutting programs as in the past, additional funding is still needed.

Therefore, I am asking you to support Issue 3. We are asking for only what is necessary to counter the state reductions along with a small increase in additional operating millage. This will allow us to stretch our resources without disruption to our children’s education.

My focus is on not returning to the days when we eliminated educational opportunities for our students. If Issue 3 fails there will be plans for increases in fees and reductions in programs, services and personnel.

Guy Wilson

Chardon

Strong schools, strong community

As a mother of two children in the Chardon School district, an employee at a local nonprofit that works to strengthen communities, and the co-chairwoman of the Citizens for Chardon schools levy campaign, I am asking the voters of Chardon, Chardon Township, Munson and Hambden to come together and vote yes on Issue 3.

We are fortunate to have a district ranked in the top 10 percent in Ohio, a fact we should all be very proud of. Our teachers, administrators and staff work tirelessly to educate and mentor our young people. They will not be able to continue to provide this excellent learning environment if not funded properly.

Our community is viewed by the state legislature as a wealthy district, and thus that same legislature has cut $1 million dollars annually. We cannot count on Columbus. We must do that ourselves as a concerned, supportive, and proud community. Our kids deserve it. Our school district staff deserves it. Our community deserves it.

Please go to the polls on May 8 (or sooner and vote early) and vote yes for our kids and yes for Issue 3. Strong schools equal strong communities.

Jodi Clute

Chardon Township

Vote for Issue 8

For nearly 20 years I have worked and lived in Solon. I started a business here, raised our kids here and have been a resident three times longer than any other place I have lived. Like most families, the reasons for staying in Solon are clear: Solon offers a safe and friendly place to live and work and an unequalled school environment with results that are valued by college admissions offices around the country.

With substantially less state assistance than most other districts, Solon City Schools has consistently ranked higher than just about any other district in the state. This is a testament to the leadership of the district as well as the fine faculty and staff we are lucky to have. Solid fiscal management has allowed Solon to outperform its peers and stretch each operating levy as long as possible.

With the onerous revision in the way the State of Ohio reimburses districts for revenue losses stemming from the elimination of the tangible personal property tax (TPP), districts must now absorb the difference. In Solon’s case, we will eventually lose nearly $11 million in annual operating revenues. The change to TPP funding is serious for the Solon schools and because state lawmakers failed to enact a solution, we must now step up.

Solon residents and homeowners not only owe this to our students, we owe it to ourselves. By maintaining our high level of educational achievement, we maintain our high property values. The school system is the No. 1 reason why our values rebounded from the 2008 financial downturn and why they continue to increase.

With all the recent national attention to school funding in states like Oklahoma and Arizona, it’s a source of personal pride to know that Solon schools continue to flourish. The only way we can maintain our success is to dig a little deeper and vote for Issue 8 on May 8.

Greg Rosenberg

Solon

Solon needs senior living facility

Issue 14 is important to Solon. My handicapped sister was in need for this type of a senior-only community. One has not been available which only put travel time, stress and took away precious time I could have spent with her daily before her passing. I’m glad my neighbors will have an option to keep their loved ones nearby.

Being a senior-only community, Issue 14 won’t be bringing new students to our school system while it will provide much needed tax revenues. Other communities like Hudson, Strongsville and Westlake already have senior living projects and Solon needs one, too. After doing extensive research, I agree that Issue 14 makes sense for Solon.

Lois M. Muraco

Solon

Issue 8 is for children

We hold the key to our children’s future. We are voting yes on Issue 8.

The belief that all students can and will learn in concert with an unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of all Solon students is the lynchpin of the Solon City Schools.

Consistently rated as one the top public school districts in Ohio and the nation, the Solon City Schools have provided our children with a rigorous and comprehensive academic experience, complemented by an extensive array of opportunities in the arts, activities and athletics. More, the achievement of all Solon students increases every year as measured by the state and independent indicators.

But quality extends beyond data points. It is reflected in the myriad accomplishments of our talented students and is supported by critical partnerships and collaborations that are cultivated in Solon to ensure student engagement and success.

We want to ensure the continued growth and achievement of Solon schools and its students.

The district, which includes the village of Glenwillow, has lost millions of dollars in state funding over the last several years. The cuts in state funding began when Ohio started a gradual phase-out of tangible personal property tax reimbursements to local school districts. Those allocations may be entirely phased out by 2025, an action that district officials continue to lobby against. The sole purpose of this levy is to keep the Solon education and extra-curricular programs operating as we all have come to expect.

We are helping to keep our schools among the best in the state.

We are voting yes on Issue 8.

Aaron and Darcy Hershey

Solon

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