election

BG school board hears praise & protest of bond issue

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   With the primary election less than three months away, the Bowling Green Board of Education heard Tuesday from citizens fighting for and against the 5.7 mill bond issue. “It’s great to see some new faces here tonight,” School Board President Jill Carr said at the beginning of the meeting. Then she cautioned that “respectful and civil communications” was expected from all. Board member Ginny Stewart reported that details will be forthcoming on community information meetings about the bond issue to raise $71,990,000 for construction of school facilities. The funding would pay for the construction of one consolidated elementary school, plus renovations and an addition to the existing high school building. The first citizen to speak Tuesday was Tracy Hovest, who expressed her sadness that the school board and Superintendent Francis Scruci were being attacked for trying to do what is best for the district’s students. “I’m here to say ‘thank you,’” Hovest said to the board and Scruci. She went on to scold those opposing the levy who were using misinformation to scare voters. She criticized the opposition for saying the levy is too much. “It’s not too much,” she said. Hovest said she was speaking to those voters sitting on the fence, reassuring them that the school board was taking the right action. “All they are asking for is a functional home that meets the needs of all students,” she said. The bond issue is not too much when looking at the return for the community. “Please don’t say it’s too much,” Hovest said. But Steve Bateson said painting those opposed to the levy as being against schools is not fair. The levy, he said, is “excessive.” When the levy failed in November by 550 votes, Bateson said he hoped the school board would reconsider. “We need to take a step back and see why this levy failed.” Bateson asked the board to see the results of a survey asking community members to weigh in on school building options. He also…

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County park district to make its case for renewal levy

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   When voters see the Wood County Park District levy on the May 2018 ballot, park officials really hope the voters don’t confuse this levy with the park levy recently passed in Bowling Green. Many local citizens seem to confuse the county park district with the Bowling Green parks and recreation department. And that has the county park board a bit worried about its 1-mill renewal levy set to appear on the May 8 ballot. “There is a very big disconnect” between the two park programs, said Jamie Sands, volunteer services and communications specialist with the county park district. That could be particularly bad for the county park district if voters confuse the May levy with the city park and recreation levy passed in November. “People think they’ve already passed the levy for the parks,” Sands said Tuesday during the monthly meeting of the Wood County Park District Board. “We’re hoping to get the word out.” The county park board voted unanimously Tuesday to put a 1-mill levy on in May. Board President Denny Parish stressed that the renewal will be same millage sought when the park district last passed its levy in 2008. “Which means no new taxes,” Parish said. For the last decade, the levy has generated about $2.8 million a year. That amount is expected to grow to $3 million a year because of new construction in the county. “It won’t cost individual homeowners more than they’ve been paying for the last 10 years.” After Tuesday’s meeting, Wood County Park District Director Neil Munger said the district is committed to not raising the tax burden on local residents. Over the last several years, the park district has focused funding on land acquisitions.  That focus is about to shift. “I think we’re looking at a maintenance phase,” Munger said. Future land acquisitions will rely on grants or other funding options, he said. “We will be looking for other sources of funding rather than going to the taxpayers.” In the meantime, the…


The bell may be tolling for Ohio’s bellwether status in presidential elections

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ohio has an enviable record of being on the winning side of Presidential elections. Since 1896, it has voted for the winner in every election, except when it voted for Republicans Thomas Dewey in 1952 and Richard Nixon in 1960, both extremely close elections. Author Kyle Kondik said those bellwether days may well be over. Recently, Kondik, the editor of “Sabo’s Crystal Ball,” the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ newsletter, gave a local history award talk at Jerome Library on the Bowling Green State University campus. He was being honored for his 2016 book “Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President.” Kondik said he may have written the book just in time. The book covers the period from 1896 through 2012. And while Ohio went for Donald Trump by a comfortable margin, the election points to changes that have Ohio out of step with the national electorate. When looking at a state’s predictive power, he said, how closely the winner’s margin of victory in the popular vote in the state matches the national margin of victory must also be considered. Over the years, Ohio has reliably been within 5 percentage points of the national popular vote total.  In 2016 Trump won Ohio by 8 percentage points, 51.3 percent to 43.2 percent for Hillary Clinton. However nationally Trump trailed Clinton by 2 percentage points in the popular vote, 46.1 percent to 48.2 percent. This, along with the changing demographics of Ohio and the nation, may being signaling an end to the state’s bellwether status. Kondik said that the state’s electorate is less ethnically diverse that the nation as a whole, with 80 percent of its population white, compared 70 percent nationally. The state also has fewer college graduates than the national average.  Trump did extremely well with whites with no college degrees, a dominant bloc in the Ohio electorate. But, Kondik noted, just because these voters don’t have college degrees “doesn’t mean they’re necessarily poor.” Clinton lost areas that had voted for Barrack Obama in…


Daniel Gordon : “It is my honor to continue serving you”

Dear 1st Ward residents and BG friends, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you who supported me in my re-election as your City Councilman and won us our landslide victory on November 7th. It is my honor to continue serving you and working to improve our quality of life. I will not rest until I have done all I can to make sure everyone in Bowling Green feels safe and valued, lives in a strong and vibrant neighborhood, and is free to live their life as they choose. Whether you voted, knocked doors, made phone calls, donated time or money, wrote a letter to the editor, hosted a fundraiser, posted a yard sign, or told your neighbors to get to the polls – thank you. I could not have done it without you, and this victory is as much yours as mine. Again, thank you, and here’s to two more years. Daniel Gordon 1st Ward Councilman Bowling Green  


County voters support child, elder protective services

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Voters responded to the increasing numbers of child abuse and neglect in Wood County by passing the 1.3-mill renewal levy for Human Services on Tuesday. The Wood County Human Services levy passed with nearly 68 percent of the votes (19,126 to 9,151.) That wide margin of approval was welcome news to Sandi Carsey, administrator of Wood County Children’s Services. “I think that people understand that child protection and protection of the elderly is very important,” Carsey said. “Wood County has always been very supportive,” she added. Since the levy was last passed 10 years ago, Wood County has seen six deaths of children under 3 years old due to abuse. Five suffered from head trauma, and one was smothered. There are no plans to use the levy funding to add staff. A pressing need is to provide safe placements for children removed from their homes. “The number of kids in care has gone up drastically,” Carsey said. Wood County is on its way to setting a record for 2017, as the numbers of child abuse and neglect cases continue to grow. Since 1987, the Children’s Services and Adult Protective Services portions of the agency have relied on the 1.3 mills to support their work. The 10-year levy generates $3.7 million a year, and costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $36 a year. The funding provides for child abuse and neglect investigations and, if needed, placement of children in foster homes or other settings. The levy also supports elder services, such as home health aides, homemaker services and investigations of elder abuse and neglect. The needs of the protective services at both ends of the age spectrum continue to increase. Following are the statistics for 2016: 894 child abuse investigations. 260 elder abuse investigations. 212 of the child abuse investigations involved drugs. 142 of the investigations were child sexual abuse investigations. 59 children were placed in substitute care such as foster care or group homes. And the numbers look even worse…


BG voters reject anti-pipeline charter amendment

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Many Bowling Green residents distrust pipelines, but they also disliked the charter amendment intended to keep the lines off city land. The charter amendment, proposed by Bowling Green Climate Protectors, failed on Tuesday by a vote of 2,145 (39 percent) to 3,408 (61 percent). “I’m grateful to the voters of Bowling Green for protecting the integrity of the city charter,” Mayor Dick Edwards said as the results came in. The proposed Bowling Green charter amendment was intended to give the community rights to a healthy environment and livable climate. But while that was the intent, critics said the words went far beyond those reasonable rights. Despite defeat on Tuesday, the group behind the charter amendment is not daunted, said Brad Holmes, of the Climate Protectors organization. “We’re going to keep our options open,” Holmes said. And while the issue failed at the polls, it succeeded at making people more aware of the threats from pipelines, he said. “We raised awareness about the severity of these type of issues in Bowling Green,” Holmes said. “We hope to inspire other communities to do such initiatives.” The Bowling Green Climate Protectors, saw the charter amendment as a way for citizens to intervene if the city does not adequately protect its citizens from harm to their environment. The charter amendment would have given citizens a right to peaceably protest projects such as the Nexus pipeline that is planned near Bowling Green’s water treatment plant in Middleton Township. However, the language of the charter amendment seemed to doom the proposal. “It’s a far reaching, almost anarchy type of proposal,” City Attorney Mike Marsh said. “It allows citizens on their own to take actions they deem necessary to protect the environment. It’s up to anybody’s interpretation.” The charter amendment proponents claimed the proposal was Bowling Green’s one chance to protect the city’s water treatment plant from the Nexus natural gas pipeline running 700 feet from the reservoir for the plant. But critics have said this amendment would have…


Nathan Eberly: Congratulations to winners & all those who campaigned

As a candidate for City Council At-Large, coming in fourth out of six, I wake this morning not with disappointment but rather with excitement. Earning 10% of the vote in a very competitive race is very telling. But this letter is not about me. I am writing this to congratulate all candidates that won seats on City Council last night. Congrats to Sandy Rowland and Greg Robinette for their wins for At-Large. Congratulation to Daniel Gordon, John Zanfrandino, Michael Asphacher, and William Herald for winning their respective Ward representative spots. I wish to congratulate also all those that dedicated the last year to their community as a candidate and look forward to seeing them continue their dedication in other ways. I love BG. There is so much potential for our town going forward and it will take us all as stakeholders in the town’s success to come together to fulfill that potential. Everyone needs to be represented and heard. It’s possible. Congratulations to everyone once again! And thank you to all those that voted for me to represent them, all those that volunteered, and all those hat donated. I’m thrilled to continue my early Wednesday in that same way I always have. With a bright look forward and seeking ways to have a positive impact on my community! Nathan Eberly Bowling Green