Community Opinion

“I urge you to vote for Kelly Wicks for State Representative” -Jeff Barnes

I urge you to vote for Kelly Wicks for State Representative on November 8th. He will bring fresh energy and ideas to Columbus. Kelly has been running a small business – the coffee shop and bookstore, Grounds for Thought, for decades. On a daily basis, he comes in contact with businessmen and students, townies and new BG residents, Democrats and Republicans. Kelly and his wife Laura have made Grounds into BG’s cultural center, hosting art displays, political speeches, poetry readings and free concerts. Kelly loves music, and as a co-founder of the Black Swamp Arts Festival, he has brought many great musical acts to BG over the years, and thousands of people have come downtown to see them. Kelly has also been president of the Downtown Business Association. He is well qualified to be your state representative. He is not a career politician, and he wants to go to Columbus to get things done. Budget cuts under John Kasich have hurt communities across Ohio. Kelly is a strong supporter of public education and he will fight for this cause. I have been friends with Kelly Wicks for many years. He is smart, kind and honest and will be a great asset in Columbus. Jeff Barnes Bowling Green

“Kudos to City Workers” -Gary Jones

When I walked our dog in City Park last might (Oct. 19), I was so pleased to see that the city was repairing the short stone wall where you enter the park. I had written a letter June 24 to city leaders requesting that something be done to protect and repair the aging wall, probably 75 years old. It was in sad disrepair. I want to commend the person(s) responsible for scheduling the repair and the workers who made the repair. Their work is excellent. And they put in a new, modern pad for the war memorial, a new pad for the artillery gun and what appears to be a pad for a picnic table. The work looks so nice. It’s worth a drive to city park to see it. Please thank those responsible. They deserve a lot of praise for a job well done. Gary Jones Bowling Green

“It has been said that a measure of society can be taken in the manner in which that society cares for its older citizens.” -Willard Misfeldt

Now I am a senior – again!  Time was when someone my age would be considered “elderly”, but now we are seniors and it is much more dignified.  I was a senior twice before, in high school and in college.  But, at that phase of my life, time seemed to stretch far into the future, almost to infinity.  And, the abundance of time seemed to offer limitless possibilities of activities and adventures.   Now that the future is here, my time is much shorter.  My advanced years must be considered when choosing activities and adventures to pursue. After over thirty years of teaching at BGSU, retirement seemed bleak; lacking the stimulus and rejuvenation offered daily through contact with younger people.  For me, a rewarding hobby, community theater, still offered an enjoyable and rewarding leisure time activity.  In retirement, all time is leisure; finding fulfillment and interest in daily life is more of a challenge than it was during my professional career.   At first, I resisted going to the Senior Center because I felt that surrounding myself with old people (like myself) would be a bore.  However, when I finally overcame my misconceptions, I found the Senior Center provided an environment filled with lively and engaging fellow seniors.  I found it to be my ”home-away-from-home” without the responsibility of keeping it neat and clean for visitors.    The Senior Center staff is very caring, professional and competent.  They develop and coordinate a variety of activities geared to the needs of seniors.  My leisure time is filled with activities that entertain, educate, and enhance my health and well-being.  Moreover, an outstanding nutritional program provides great meals served at a nominal cost and I don’t have to wash the dishes.   There are also professionals ready to help seniors with problems unique to them.  It has been said that a measure of society can be taken in the manner in which that society cares for its older citizens.  If that is true, the people of Wood County have demonstrated its concern for…

“Jane Spoerl doesn’t just show up in our communities, she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work” -Carol Solether

With the election fast approaching, I would like to let you know why I believe Jane Spoerl is the best choice for Wood County Treasurer. I have known Jane Spoerl for over 30 years. Working alongside her for much of that time has given me a front row seat to how she operates day to day. Jane is an intelligent, strong leader with a great work ethic. She is a team player and is supportive of her co-workers. Jane is committed to community service and giving back. Jane Spoerl doesn’t just show up in our communities, she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. For decades she has participated in: local girl scouts and cub scouts, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, volunteered at Weston Days and Apple Butter Festival in Grand Rapids. She delivers meals on wheels. She volunteers and works many fundraisers/benefits in our local communities. She is a member of Women In Ag, Kiwanis, Bowling Green Chamber, as well as serves on the Board for the Otsego Endowment Foundation. She is a proud life-long resident of Wood County and already serves the communities in which she lives. Jane Spoerl has 35 years of experience in retail and business banking. Her financial background, integrity, work ethic, intelligence, commitment to customer service, and attention to detail make her well suited and highly qualified for this position. We are fortunate to have a candidate of this caliber. I encourage each of you to VOTE SPOERL for Wood County Treasurer. Carol Solether Weston

“Theresa Gavarone will build on what Randy Gardner and Tim Brown have accomplished” -Doug Cubberley

I am writing in support of Theresa Gavarone for Ohio House. I have known Theresa for over 25 years and know her to be a quality individual. She served our City well while she was on the Bowling Green City Council. She promoted fiscal responsibility and demonstrated a talent for working with others to find common ground solutions too many of the issues that impact our daily lives in Bowling Green. She was part of bringing almost 1,000 jobs to Bowling Green over the past 3 years. I have also observed Theresa as an attorney who cares for her clients and advocates for them. She is the kind of person the citizens of Wood County want advocating for them in Columbus. Theresa will continue her outstanding work if elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. The economy and education are two of her top priorities. She will take her experience as an attorney, small business owner and mother to Columbus and make all of us proud of her representation. Her commitment to reducing taxes and regulations on business will continue to build on what Randy Gardner and Tim Brown have accomplished. The creation of sustainable jobs in Wood County and helping its residents build a bright future for their families should be music to all our ears. Theresa Gavarone’s wide range of experience as an attorney, small business owner and Councilwoman in the City of Bowling Green qualifies her as the best candidate to be our next Representative in the Ohio House. Doug Cubberley Bowling Green, Ohio

“Don’t be blinded by party affiliation” -Nathan Eberly

This election cycle, much like many in recent past, has found our communities, and even families at times, sharply divided. Much like cheering for our favorite football team, many seem to want a “side” to win it all. In this case the side is a given political party. Across the board, political parties have stark contrasts which relate to given public policy opinions. These are guided from a view of big picture federal issues through their platforms. But when it comes to local matters, do the national platforms carry the same weight? It is easy for some to discount candidates due to the letter representing their political party. However, for this election, and all elections, I am hoping people evaluate individual candidates on their merits and how it pertains to their abilities for each office, and their respective plans and policies for their offices (and what they can actually do or not do in that position). Don’t be blinded by just the political affiliation. Look at their experiences, skills, and knowledge to best understand how they may perform in office. I myself, looking at my choices, support candidates in the Democrat Party, Republican Party, Independents, and Libertarians (I am sorry to say none this time around in the Green Party, but I have voted Green in the past as well). The reason is that I viewed each office and candidates critically. Not based on political affiliation. For instance, I support Joel Kuhlman for Commissioner and Jane Spoerl for Treasurer. A Democrat and Republican respectively. I support Ed Kolanko for Commissioner and Randy Gardner for State Senate. A Democrat and Republican respectively. I support Gary Johnson for President and Rob Portman for Senate. A Libertarian and Republican respectively. As I go down my ballot, I see that I have a healthy mix across the board, especially locally. I urge everyone to think critically about their choices, and not go into the polling places with the mindset of picking a side to win. If we continue to be so strict, though one…

“Why is Kelly Wicks so angry?” -Mark Pannell 

After attending the League of Women Voters Forum this past Sunday in Bowling Green, something really stood out to me; Kelly Wicks just seems like a very angry person. The very first question asked was about qualities each candidate feels they have that would translate well to the Statehouse. Instead of answering the question, Mr. Wicks proceeded to ignore the fairly simply question in favor of screaming into the mic that he pays his taxes and his opponent is a liar. Forget about the fact that public records show Mr. Wicks failed to pay his property taxes for over six months, resulting in a lien on his property. Also, forget about the fact that through social media Mr. Wicks lied by saying he was only a couple of days late on his property taxes. The second question was in reference to charter schools. This one Mr. Wicks actually did answer but again he was awfully angry. It really makes me wonder how great (or poor) an advocate he would be for Wood County in Columbus because of the strong majority Republicans have in the Statehouse. Would he take the same poor temperament he had Sunday with him to Columbus and try to shout down his colleagues in the House chamber, too? During the closing remarks Mr. Wicks, instead of talking about the issues he believes are important or what makes him fit to represent the diverse population of Wood County, chose to yet again attack his opponent. Again, he did this with a lot of anger. There was such a stark contrast between Mr. Wicks and Ms. Gavarone that I don’t understand how anyone could objectively look at the two candidates and think to themselves, “Wow. I really want that angry person representing my family in Columbus.” I know I’ll be voting for Theresa Gavarone on November 8th and I believe you should, too. Mark Pannell Perrysburg

“Women of Wood County would be safer with Babel-Smith as Sheriff” -Janet Parks

In response to questions relative to Donald Trump’s 2005 comments about assaulting women by kissing them without their permission and grabbing their p…..s, current Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn stated that those comments had “not changed his feelings” about the candidate, thus suggesting that Trump still has his support (BG Independent News, Oct. 9, 2016). Wasylyshyn characterized Trump’s remarks as something Trump had said “20 (sic) years ago” and implied that they were not relevant today. I strongly disagree. Sexual assault is always relevant and should be especially so to a law enforcement officer. Entrusting women’s safety to someone who is willing to publicly “blow off” Trump’s vile comments would be unconscionable. Ruth Babel-Smith, a candidate for Sheriff, has stated to me that she takes Trump’s comments very seriously. She understands that sexual violence is a problem in our culture. She believes that it is the role of law enforcement to protect women against sexual assault and to prosecute those who commit it. I believe that the women of Wood County would be safer with Babel-Smith in the office of Sheriff and that the perpetrators of sexual assault would be more likely to be brought to justice. I will cast my vote for her, and I encourage others who are concerned about sexual violence to follow suit. Janet Parks Bowling Green

“Gavarone’s background and experience will serve her well” -Greg Robinette

This letter is to offer my full support and endorsement for Theresa Gavarone for the Ohio House of Representatives. I can think of no one in Wood County more competent, experienced, and ready to serve a full term as our representative in Columbus. I have no doubt that Theresa will continue to use her energy and experience to be the type of effective advocate for the citizens of Wood County that we have come to expect from our elected officials. She will indeed put the best interests of the citizens of Wood County first. Theresa’s background and experience as a business owner, an attorney, an elected city council member, and a parent will serve her well in the general assembly. Theresa is dedicated to serving her constituents and has already begun working on the issues important to Wood County, including education and job creation, and has a record of successful job creation in her role as a member of the Bowling Green City Council. Importantly, in my opinion, Theresa’s experience as a business owner and as a city council member gives her unique and valuable insight into the impact of state government on citizens, businesses, and local governments. This insight will be instrumental in her ability to quickly acclimate to the position of state representative and more critically, to competently represent the citizens of the 3rd House District. Please join me in voting for Theresa Gavarone for State Representative on November 8th. Greg Robinette Bowling Green

“Gavarone handled by Republican Party in Columbus” -Dr. J Scott & Ginny Stewart

After seeing the attack ads against Kelly Wicks we were surprised to hear during the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum that Mr. Wicks’ opponent took no responsibility for the content of her ads. It became apparent that she is being handled by the Republican Party in Columbus. If this is the case, how can the voters have confidence that she will be motivated to represent her constituents when she is beholden to a party, who first appointed her to the position and is now running her campaign? Kelly Wicks is a hands-on candidate who has spent countless hours meeting with his constituents throughout the region. He has shown that he is well-informed on the issues affecting our communities and our region. He understands the importance of our public schools at a time when millions of dollars have been drained from the schools by the current state administration, which favors for-profit and on-line schools. We find it disingenuous for Mrs. Gavarone to claim to be “our” state representative when she has yet to fulfill any of the duties of the office. Kelly Wicks for months now has been working hard to meet and listen to his constituents and has shown his passion for public service. Please join us on November 8th in electing Kelly Wicks for Ohio House of Representatives, District 3. Dr. J. Scott and Ginny Stewart Bowling Green

“Negative campaigning by Gavarone is disappointing” – Rick Busselle

Bowling Green is a nice community. Wood County is a nice part of Ohio and a nice part of America. Our schools are good and our roads get plowed when they need it. Our local economies are pretty strong. I think life is good around here because people are mostly honest, hard-working, and committed to their communities. That’s why the latest mailer supporting Theresa Gavarone is disappointing. It represents a negativity and deception that is more akin to the values of politicians in Washington or Columbus than our values, and frankly, it doesn’t belong here. This isn’t the first deception from Columbus involving candidate Gavarone, only the most visible. With little acknowledgment Gavarone was appointed to Tim Brown’s vacated seat and is now being paid several month’s portion of a $60,584 state salary. We’re paying her, apparently, merely to establish name recognition because the House has met only once since Brown resigned. That was to appoint Gavarone, and it won’t meet again until after the election. She can somewhat honestly claim that the pointless appointment was a Columbus decision, and she was just following party orders. But the mailer is just more deception from Columbus where the super-majority in the State House claims to cut our taxes when it’s really just shifting the costs of schools, roads, and basic public services to county, village and city budgets, forcing increases in property and municipal taxes. We should reject the deception and negativity of the current state government. The only way to get better government is to elect better representatives. I’m voting for Kelly Wicks because he’s honest and hard-working, just like most of the people I know around here. Rick Busselle Bowling Green

“Gavarone’s small business leadership comes up short” – JJ Dennis

I was very surprised to receive a brochure at my door recently touting Theresa Gavarone’s experience as a business owner as a reason why we should elect her to the position she was appointed to fill in August. Based on my time working at one of Gavarone’s businesses, I do not believe her experience as a small business owner warrants support. Anyone who has frequented Howard’s Club H knows that part of its charm is in its grungy appearance. What you might not know is that until very recently that grunginess ran bone deep. While her family owned Howards, employees were regularly forced to wade through vomit and other human waste multiple times every night to plunge the toilets that hadn’t flushed properly (read: hardly at all) for years. Those boxes of plastic gloves you saw behind the counter? Not for food prep. In addition to the infamously inadequate bathrooms, closing duties included dumping gallons of bleach down floor drains behind the bar to prevent an unbearable stench from filling the business the next day. When the smell didn’t drive customers away, the broken AC and furnace did. Fortunately these issues (which posed a clear health risk to employees and patrons) were fixed immediately when new ownership took over. That makes me wonder though, why were these issues – issues that were resolved within days of the business being sold – not addressed for YEARS under Gavarone’s ownership? I don’t believe that letting a business fall into that degree of disrepair should be considered a qualification, and I certainly won’t cast my vote for anyone who thinks it’s acceptable. JJ Dennis Bowling Green

“Support our fine Parks and Recreation program” – Gary & Ann Jones

Bowling Green Parks and Recreation: there is so much that can be said in support of our city’s parks and facilities. My wife and I (now in our 70’s) have spent the major portion of our lives living in Bowling Green. And without a doubt, the parks and their facilities have always been an important part of our lives here. We have enjoyed with our friends the Friday summer lunches in City Park with good food provided by local vendors and good musical entertainment. We have enjoyed the excellent Sunday night music from the Needles stage. Our friends from Whitehouse and Findlay bring their children to our pool facility and the well maintained park and playground. And the skate park and the “hockey” rink seem always in use. As we walk the park, I love to look at the beautiful stonework in the stone wall built in the early 1940s. My wife and I have also made good use of Wintergarden, St. John’s, and Tucker woods. The paths wind through so many varieties of trees and plants. We walk the woods daily with our dog Gunnar, and before Gunnar with our dog Abby, and before Abby our dog Lady. What a treat for both us and the dogs. We see deer (almost every trip), fox, raccoon, turtles, frogs, toads, geese, ducks, woodcocks, so many varieties of birds and much more. No two days are the same. And the Bordner Meadow reproduces a meadow of the early 1800s. Once, we met a man from Missouri who asked us if we knew how lucky we were to have all of this within our city limits. We do know! I have only mentioned two of our parks that my wife and I love. There are others just as important. Try to picture Bowing Green without them. How sad it would be.The current levy amount has remained the same for 16 years. But much has changed in those sixteen years. My wife and I will support the new levy to maintain the new facilities…