Community Opinion

Les & Sue Barber: Daniel Gordon is “a consistent, reliable voice on Council for progressive and humane values”

We write to urge our neighbors in Bowling Green’s First Ward 1 to vote for Daniel Gordon in the up-coming City Council election.  Daniel has been a consistent, reliable voice on Council for progressive and humane values, as well as for nuts and bolts issues important to our Ward, during the six years he has already served.  We believe that in his next term of office he will continue to be an active supporter of proposals to reestablish the integrity and well being of older neighborhoods, like ours, in Bowling Green.  Thus, his continued presence on City Council is vital to fulfilling the wishes and needs of citizens in our Ward.  Please vote for Daniel Gordon on Election Day in November.   Les and Sue Barber Bowling Green 

Ben Otley: Charter amendment “promotes anarchy … is deeply flawed”

On November 7, you will be asked to vote on an Amendment to Bowling Green’s City Charter.   Even if you are against pipelines, I urge you to vote no on the proposed Amendment.  The type of language contained in this Amendment will keep new businesses from locating in Bowling Green and will drive existing businesses out.  Simply put, it promotes anarchy.  It will also cause the city great expense to defend because its constitutionality is certain to be challenged.   Let me be clear that I do not question the sincerity of the local group of activists pushing this initiative.  I believe the local organizers genuinely wish to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.  Unfortunately, the initiative they are pushing is deeply flawed, and I do not believe it was authored by the local organizers.  The proposed Amendment goes way beyond its stated purpose of banning pipelines, lacks basic definitions, is vague, confusing and leaves me wondering if the author has a hidden agenda.  For example, it extends rights to “natural communities” and “ecosystems”, then goes on to state “the right shall include the right to be free from new infrastructure for fossil fuel”, but is completely open ended as to what other rights it extends.  The language allows any citizen enforcement rights using “non-violent direct action” with direct action defined as “any activities carried out to directly enforce . . . this Amendment.”  It further states that “City of Bowling Green law enforcement . . . shall have no lawful authority . . .” to intervene.  Please take time to read the Amendment which can be found at under Questions and Issues List.  Then vote no on this poorly written Amendment.     Ben Otley, President Bowling Green Economic Development

Rudolph Libbe Official Supports Human Services Levy

Wood County voters on November 7th will be asked to RENEW the 1.3 Mill Human Services Levy. As Chairman of the Protective Services Levy Committee, I would like to share with you some very important facts about the Levy: This is not a new tax. It is a renewal of the same 1.3 mill levy that Job and Family Services has had since 1987. The number of mills has never been increased. Wood County is the only the state to reduce or suspend collection of a levy six times over the last 30 years. We only take what we need and are responsible to the taxpayer. We need the levy because Ohio is the 50th in the country for state funding support of child abuse programs. Without local support, the program would be severely weakened. The levy will be in effect for ten (10) years and will cost the owner of a $100,000 house approximately $37.00 per year. This levy supports the investigation of reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, and elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Wood County Children Services investigated 894 cases of suspected child abuse and neglect in 2016. Adult Protective Services unit investigated 260 complaints regarding the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly in 2016. The 2017 investigation numbers could set all-time records for both Child Abuse and Elder Abuse investigations. Opioid abuse is a contribution of the increase in the number and complexity of these cases. Renewal of this levy is absolutely essential to the continuous funding of human services for children, families, and elderly citizens in Wood County. On November 7th, please vote to approve the renewal of the Human Services Levy.   Sincerely, Phil Rudolph, Jr. Vice President, Business Development Rudolph Libbe Group

J. Scott Stewart: Sandy Rowland is involved and available to citizens

Please join me in supporting Sandy Rowland for City Council.  Sandy is more involved in our community than any other candidate running for an At-Large seat on City Council. She has served on City Council for 6 years and has been deeply involved as a volunteer for everything from The Black Swamp Arts Festival, Parks & Recreation to La Conexion and Not In Our Town.  Sandy is available and approachable to residents and business because she is in the community. As a realtor in Bowling Green Sandy understands how forward progress on the Community Action Plan, support of our public schools and active inclusiveness are the necessary components of a vibrant city that can attract new industry, small business in the downtown and new families that are vital in the growth of our city. Some of the other candidates have suggested that a vote for Sandy Rowland is a wasted vote because “she will win anyway”, but your vote will only count if you cast it. Please make your vote count. Join me in voting for Sandy Rowland for City Council At-Large. Let’s keep Bowling Green moving forward!   Dr. J Scott Stewart Bowling Green

NAMI thanks Perrsyburg HS National Honor Society

This year’s NAMI Wood County Walk for Mental Health and Chili Cook-off was a resounding success, and we owe much of that to our marvelous volunteers from the Perrysburg High School National Honor Society. What a dynamic group they were! Energetic, enthusiastic, bright, willing…there might not be enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe these young men and women. From setting up to serving chili to helping participants make crafts, the NHS volunteers kept the day running smoothly. They not only followed instructions, but also anticipated what needed to be done and did it cheerfully. Walk participants and chili cooks alike commented on how helpful and upbeat our volunteers were. We couldn’t have done it without them! An organization like NAMI relies on volunteers to make its programs and events work. We feel so lucky to have had a group like the NHS involved in one of our major fund-raisers. And it’s good to know that we have such intelligent, dedicated young people in our community. They make the future look brighter! With many thanks, NAMI Wood County Staff, Family, and Friends  

“Sandy will serve us with dedication, civic engagement, and concern for all.” – Linda Lander

Sandy Rowland is seeking re-election as an At-large member on the Bowling Green City Council. As a long-time resident, she attended both Bowling Green High School and Bowling Green State University. With deep roots in this community, Sandy is the epitome of a committed public servant. She has shown her dedication to making Bowling Green a city that attracts people, families, and businesses. The qualities I most admire about Sandy Rowland are her dedication, civic engagement, and humanity. If there is an event, organization, or single task that makes Bowling Green a better community, Sandy Rowland is always there to assist. Sandy is a well-informed, collaborative Council member who critically examines issues. Her work on the Community Action Plan is evidence of a vision to move Bowling Green forward and enhance the qualities that make it a vibrant community. An award-winning real estate agent, Sandy is attentive to the needs of others and works to find solutions. She understands the importance of an appealing community, with good neighborhoods and schools, and a healthy economy. Sandy has worked to improve Bowling Green neighborhoods, particularly the east side, and address the quality of life of everyone. She has a commitment to excellence in education. Sandy’s knowledge of Bowling Green businesses is critical to the work of City Council and she works toward strong economy. I think Sandy’s greatest attribute is her deep concern for humanity which is the foundation for her dedication as a Council member and volunteer extraordinaire. Sandy was a member of the Bowling Green Human Relations Commission and works with La Conexion and Not in Our Town Bowling Green. I have personally worked with Sandy on committees and have seen her willingness to commit her time and expertise to make Bowling Green a better place for all. “Ohio, the heart of it all” was a slogan used by the state of Ohio. Sandy Rowland’s caring nature is at the heart of her work as a public servant and volunteer. Her sense of compassion is manifest in her dedication to…

“Mike Olmstead believes he is above the law”

Voters in the upcoming Perrysburg mayoral race have been exposed to baseless attacks by incumbent Mike Olmstead against his opponent Tom Mackin. Mr. Mackin has not stooped to Mike Olmstead’s low level by responding in kind, which speaks to the dignity and respect with which Mr. Mackin will treat the Office of Mayor if elected. Mr. Mackin has served honorably on the Perrysburg City Council, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Government, the YMCA Board, and in numerous volunteer capacities in Perrysburg. Unfortunately, this means that a serious issue in the race has not been raised: Mayor Olmstead’s unpaid back taxes. The Perrysburg Messenger Journal has failed in its responsibility to report on this issue, despite repeating Olmstead’s attacks on Mackin. Mike Olmstead has treated the citizens of Perrysburg with great disrespect. Mayor Olmstead owes unpaid taxes to the IRS, the State of Ohio, and Perrysburg. He could use his personal holdings to pay off his debt. Instead, the IRS has liens against Mayor Olmstead and the state is garnishing his mayoral salary. Put simply, Perrysburg taxpayers are unwittingly paying off Mike Olmstead’s unpaid tax debt. Not paying Perrysburg Schools taxes, not to mention those owed to the state and federal governments, sends a loud and clear message: Mike Olmstead believes he is above the law and the rules that apply to us don’t apply to him. We expect more of our elected officials. Neil Englehart Perrysburg

“Mike Olmstead’s own behavior shows he does not believe the rules … apply to him”

I had the opportunity to attend the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum on October 8, hosting all candidates competing for Perrysburg elective offices. With such a large number of candidates answering questions, it was surprising that only one candidate would attack his opponent in a manner inconsistent with the spirit and rules of the event.   It could have set a very combative tone when, in response to the first question, Mayor Mike Olmstead accused the other candidate, Tom Mackin, of serving the interests of the city of Toledo first.   It was refreshing that Mr. Mackin did not respond in kind with an attack of his own. Mr. Olmstead also bragged of his combative style with negotiation over water with the city of Toledo, and many of the current city council member mentioned, in their responses, how they are often need to “stand up to” Mayor Olmstead.  These are not the traits of someone who wishes to build consensus in decision making or can take the point of view of others to come to a mutually beneficial outcome. It is also ironic, that in his attack accusing Mr. Mackin not intending to serve the best interests of Perrysburg, it is Mike Olmstead who has a record of not serving the best interests of the citizens of Perrysburg.   Mayor Olmstead owes unpaid taxes to the IRS, the State of Ohio, and Perrysburg.  Compounding this, Mr. Olmstead has refused to live up to his own agreement to pay what he owes, instead forcing the garnishment of his mayoral wages to pay his tax debts.  In fact, Perrysburg taxpayers are the ones paying the taxes and penalties of the current Mayor, Mike Olmstead.  This is definitely not in the best interests of the citizens of Perrysburg. The non-voluntary payment of Perrysburg Schools taxes, in addition to state and federal taxes Mayor Olmstead owes, is clear evidence that he does not care about anyone but himself and his own checkbook. Mike Olmstead’s own behavior shows he does not believe the rules that apply to us also apply to him. John Lazor

“It’s clear that now is the time to invest in new school buildings”

Voters will be asked on November 7 to support a bond request to construct a new consolidated elementary school, as well as to significantly renovate the high school.  Much thought and study by our school leaders, as well as considerable citizen input, have gone into this request, and it is not being made without good cause.  Although a cursory drive-by of our current elementary and high school buildings might suggest that they are in acceptable shape, a closer examination – even a brief walk through any of the buildings, for example – will demonstrate that this is far from the case.  The buildings have long outlived their usefulness, and in their current condition are not conducive to teaching and learning.  Our teachers and students have done a good job of making due with patch worked buildings for several years now, but we have reached the point of diminishing returns.  The current buildings have become like that old car many of us have kept a little too long – in dire need of repair after repair, with no end in sight.  And just as we know when it’s time to trade in that old clunker that is nickel and diming us to death, it’s clear that now is the time to invest in new school buildings. Bowling Green voters have long displayed a strong commitment to education.  This support has produced an outstanding school system that benefits all of us, whether we have school-aged children and grandchildren or not.  A strong school system with up-to-date facilities attracts individuals and businesses to the community and keeps them here, and it enhances property values for everyone.   But if we allow our buildings to deteriorate, this will no longer be the case.   The bond request on the November ballot represents an opportunity to continue our proud history of investment in community schools.  Needless to say, no one enjoys paying taxes, but we know they are necessary if we are to provide essential services.  Education is certainly an essential service, and I hope you…

Sandy Rowland “consistently expresses her support and caring for all residents of Bowling Green”

I submit this letter to express my support for the re-election of Sandy Rowland to an at-large seat on the Bowling Green City Council. It is my opinion that Sandy has the qualifications, the experience, and the dedication to continue to be an outstanding councilperson. During her first term she has been highly visible and involved throughout the community. I have full faith that she will continue in this manner during her second term. The following are specific examples of Sandy’s hard work and efforts that have me planning to cast my vote for her on November 7. First, Sandy consistently expresses her support and caring for all residents of Bowling Green. Her opinions on issues are developed on input from residents, not solely on her personal beliefs or opinions. She understands the diversity of our citizens and seeks to understand the ways council decisions will impact a wide variety of individuals. When she casts a vote, she is well informed and well versed on community reaction and opinion.  Second, Sandy understands and demonstrates how important it is for a council member to be visible within the community. She attends a wide range of meetings and events going on in the community. She has been particularly involved in the meetings addressing the support of the Bowling Green City Schools. She has been clear that every child in this community deserves the best education possible.  Sandy is firmly committed to ensuring that every Bowling Green resident feels welcome and at home in this community. She is actively involved in the plan to re-vitalize the east side of BG knowing that the success of this plan will attract more diverse living and cultural options to families and professionals.  I appreciate the hard work Sandy Rowland has done during the last four years. I know Sandy wants to continue in this fashion. Please join me in giving her the opportunity to continue to work for  on-going improvements for the residents  of Bowling Green. When you cast your ballot on November 7, please vote for Sandy Rowland….

“Better schools do make better communities”

We have no children or grandchildren in the Bowling Green School district but we strongly support the proposed school levy because we love Bowling Green and will encourage any project that will improve the living and learning environment for its citizens. It may be true that buildings, per se, don’t make better students; but many studies have shown that the quality of school buildings directly effects student health, behavior, engagement, learning and growth in achievement. Of equal importance, the quality of school facilities has a direct impact on teacher recruitment, retention, commitment and effort. Given a choice, how many young teachers will opt for teaching in half-century old buildings with outdated and limited classroom spaces and technologies when virtually every other school district in the area offers state of the art facilities? The outcome of the school levy will also have significant impact on the community as a whole: one of the key outcomes of BG’s recently enacted Community Action Plan is to attract young millennials and families. Local real estate brokers will confirm that many of these families are choosing to settle in neighboring communities in part because our schools are not comparable to those in surrounding districts. Better schools do make better communities! We urge everyone to support the Bowling Green School District levy. Bob and Joan Callecod 1234 Brownwood Drive Bowling Green

Rowland “is deeply involved in the process of improving our community”

In the 52 years that I have lived in Bowling Green, I have not known a City Council member who surpassed Sandy Rowland in qualifications, competence, or commitment. In her terms on Council, she has demonstrated a deep understanding of the process of civil service and the obligations of servant leadership. During those years, she has also expanded her knowledge and understanding of government and community action exponentially. Rather than being “stuck” in the past, she is forward thinking and dedicated to the prospect of creating a community that has appeal as a wonderful place to work, raise children, interact with vibrant community members, and play. Sandy is deeply involved in the process of improving our community through projects associated with the Community Action Plan. One focus of this plan is the creation of revitalized neighborhoods on the east side of town, a project in which she is vitally involved. She was also involved with the Court Street Connects Festival for which BG recently received a Best Practice Award from the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association. Re-electing Sandy will position her to continue applying her knowledge and expertise to such projects, thus allowing their progress to continue unabated. Sandy is truly “in touch” with her constituents and cares deeply about the well-being of all of us. I have attended numerous civic gatherings in town, and Sandy is always there, usually in an active role. Examples of these gatherings are rallies associated with La Conexión and Not In Our Town, organizations dedicated to the inclusion of all our citizens in the life of our city and in society generally. I am going to vote for Sandy Rowland for at-large representative on City Council, and I encourage my fellow BG citizens to do the same. Janet Parks Bowling Green  

‘Support the high school and elementary school construction projects’ – Mayor Dick Edwards

Dear Editor: Bowling Green as a city government and as a community has long been the beneficiary of forward thinking citizens and public officials. Wise investments in the past are paying huge dividends today and have positioned the city for an even brighter future. For example, Bowling Green has one of the best and most sustainable array of utilities in the region featuring reverse osmosis water production, extremely reliable electricity, and high EPA standards for sewage treatment. BG was the first city in Ohio to build utility-sized wind turbines. Now we have the largest solar field in Ohio: 85,000 solar panels producing 20 mega watts of power. We also have a vibrant, historic downtown business district, one that will soon feature at long last a public square, i.e., a gathering place, the Wooster Green. We have parks with miles of walking trails and features of nature, a nationally recognized garden park, a community center built on the principles of collaboration, and a water park overwhelmingly supported by the voters and located in historic City Park. As a university community, we recognize the importance and value of education. BGSU is investing heavily in its facilities, including those in its academic core. City-university relationships are being enhanced by mutually reinforcing improvements in the E. Wooster Street corridor, thus adding meaning to the city’s welcoming environment. The Bowling Green story is a good one, one that should be the source of pride and admiration by all its citizens with one noticeable exception: it has far too long neglected its school facilities. As Mayor of Bowling Green, I encourage and challenge all voting citizens to think forward from a total and broad community perspective about serving the needs for tomorrow’s students. Support the high school and elementary school construction projects on the November 7th ballot. Let’s be Bobcat Proud! Thank you, Richard A Edwards Mayor City of Bowling Green

BG residents urged to engage with international students

Friendship Program matches locals with international students” (Community Opinion, August 9, 2017) was an uplifting article to read at a time when so much negativity dominates national news. As a fairly new BG resident (three years in November), I am so impressed by the volunteer spirit in this great, small city. I would encourage all to participate in the International Friendship Program so we can show these students that not all Americans are hateful. My 20+ years of living abroad has shown me that many foreigners form their opinions of the USA and Americans from what they see in movies and in the news. In addition to the approximately 800 International students starting their undergraduate or graduate programs at BGSU this year, there is another 50 or so International students who come about 3 to 12 months prior to matriculation in order to work on their English here. These students come to the official Intensive English Program on campus: ELS Language Centers. Because of their weaker English skills, we are actively seeking volunteers to act as Conversation Partners by coming to classes once a month to speak to these students for about 45 minutes. Students at ELS Language Centers/Bowling Green also face obstacles with housing. With the closure of the Harshman Quadrangle, there aren’t any available dorm rooms for these students. All that is officially left is our Homestay Program. Although it is a much more serious involvement to house an international student for a couple of months or even a year, the rewards are much greater. First of all, there is financial compensation. Secondly, many families and international students form a deep bond, often staying in touch for years after their student has returned home. Some even visit each other from time to time, such as for weddings and other happy occasions. Every November, college campuses across the USA celebrate International Week. The BGSU office of International Programs and Partnerships has generously invited us to participate by allowing ELS students to give presentations about their countries and culture. Tentatively…

Friendship Program matches locals with international students

BGSU welcomes almost 800 International students to its campus each year. Many are eager to learn about American family life in addition to their university experience. The International Friendship Program matches interested students with local families for informal get-togethers, meals, family functions, outings, etc. There is NO financial or housing obligation associated with this program. You may do as much or as little as your schedules and mutual interests suggest. Some students may only have time to meet with their “family” (which can be a single person, retired couple, widow or widower, etc.) occasionally while others may enjoy more frequent contact. Please consider participating in the enriching experience for both student and family as the need is great. To speak with someone about the program call Bob Segna at 419-308-1906 or Megan Smith at 419-460-4237. Or, email Bob at   From Bob Segna for the International Friendship Program (See related story: