election

Early voting numbers higher than last mid-term election

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A steady stream of local citizens have been making their way to the Wood County Board of Elections daily for early voting. As of Thursday, 7,595 Wood County residents had requested ballots by mail, and another 1,482 had been to the office to cast their ballots. That’s not as many as the office saw during the presidential election in 2016, but it is more than the last mid-term election four years ago, said Terry Burton, director of the Wood County Board of Elections. The total number of early voters in Wood County in 2014 was 7,990. In 2016 the number was 16,067. With 11 days to go, the early voting this year has already surpassed that of 2014.     Early voting is becoming the norm for many people. And the local board of elections predicts the in-office early voting numbers will continue upward at a faster rate as the election nears. “People are realizing the election is close,” Burton said. Not only do voters get a little nervous about mailing their ballots too close to election day, but also, there will be extended voting hours in the Board of Elections office. The extended voting hours are: Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Next week, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. No in-office voting is allowed on election day, Nov. 6. The fact that early voting numbers are higher than for the mid-term four years ago does not come as a surprise to the local board of elections. Burton tried to find the politically kind words, but ended up just saying that the state races in 2014 included a lot of incumbents and weren’t “overly competitive.” This year, the races are a little more heated. Plus the Secretary of State’s Office mailed out early voting reminders to all voters. The board of elections office is concerned about another mailer sent out by the state Republican party which stated that voters can turn in their absentee ballots at the polls. That is not true, Burton said. The ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 5 or turned into the board of elections office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Any voter taking the absentee ballot to…


“I believe Joel Kuhlman will make a good appellate judge” – Mel Browning

​A few years ago, after 23 years, I retired as an attorney at the Sixth District Court of Appeals. During my time there I had an opportunity to observe some really superior appeals judges. The court is one of the most respected in the state. ​The common characteristics of a good appeals court judge include not only a firm understanding of the law, but a sense of fairness, impartially and a dedication to protect the rights of all who come before the court.  The good judge must also temper the application of the law with a sense of compassion and an understanding that those who come before the court should be dealt with respectfully. ​I have known Joel Kuhlman and his family for decades now. I believe that he has the traits necessary to be a good judge. He has a firm understanding of the law, having practiced for ten years in Wood and the surrounding counties. He is fair, impartial and compassionate. ​He also brings with him an appreciation for the perspective of the non-urban parts of the district which, although comprising approximately half of the population of the Sixth District, have been traditionally under-represented on the court. ​I believe that Joel Kuhlman will make a good appellate judge and that his election to the court would bring a perspective and vigor that the court needs. For these reasons I would urge your support for Joel Kuhlman for Sixth District Court of Appeals sthis November. Mel Browning Rossford


Sheriff urges yes vote for Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services levy

I encourage all voters to vote yes for the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services replacement levy on the ballot November 6, 2018. There are a large number of residents in our county who suffer from mental illness and addiction. With the services provided by the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, along with continued collaboration with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and the ARC program with the Prosecutor’s Office; we can continue to help treat these individuals in a timely manner.  The Crisis Intervention Team continues to help train law enforcement with a better understanding of mental illness and how to interact effectively with citizens who may be suffering. Wood County benefits greatly from the services provided to our citizens from these programs. I urge all voters to vote yes for the replacement levy for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board on November 6th. Mark Wasylyshyn Wood County Sheriff


Local judges urge citizens to vote NO on Issue 1

It is a rare circumstance when a judge writes a letter to the editor concerning a statewide issue. It is even rarer when five judges do this. Five Wood County judges – Common Pleas Judges Reeve Kelsey, Alan Mayberry and Matthew Reger along with Bowling Green and Perrysburg Municipal Court Judges Mark Reddin and Molly Mack – want to ensure every citizen in Wood County makes an informed decision when voting this fall. All five of us urge citizens to vote NO on ISSUE 1, a state constitutional amendment that will destroy years of progress on the opioid epidemic and make Ohio a magnet for drug dealers. Our arguments against this issue are numerous but here are the top five reasons to vote no: 1. This is a Constitutional amendment that cannot be changed. In the last 25 years the drug epidemic has changed significantly taking many different forms. We have no idea what the emergent drug will be in a year, 5 years, or even 10 years from now.  Policy changes, given the specificity of Issue 1,would take years and substantial resources to adjust and could not be completed in time to address the nuance of the changing dangerous drug situation. 2. The opioid epidemic and dangerous drugs addiction are both a health care and criminal justice issue. Issue 1 tries to pigeonhole drug addiction as exclusively a health care matter. But in doing so the proponents ignore the necessity of compelling treatment for those unwilling or unmotivated to engage. Issue 1 eliminates a court’s ability to incarcerate people who are using drugs that could kill them. Many people who find themselves in a system that is seeking to help them would find themselves with neither help nor assistance. 3. Issue 1 would effectively eliminate drug courts, intervention in lieu of conviction, and other programs meant to assist drug addicted individuals. Ohio has spent significant resources in time and money creating specialized courts, dockets, and programs to address the drug epidemic. These programs are making inroads in helping courts be more nuanced in dealing with the specific needs of each defendant who is drug dependent. Issue 1 will eliminate all of this progress. 4. The proposed savings that Issue 1 would bring are illusory at best. The Office of Budget in Management recently released a report concluding that “the proposed amendment would not produce significant savings to the state…


League of Women Voters urges support for mental health services levy

To the Editor: The Mental Health Committee of the League of Women Voters of Bowling Green urges a positive vote for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Metal Health Services (ADAMHS) Board’s levy. This 1.0 mill, 10-year replacement levy will provide funding forjust over one-third of the costs of the county’s mental health and addiction services, about $3,263,000 a year. A replacement levy is not a new tax. It keeps the millage the same, but uses current property values.  The levy will cost $35.00 per $100,000 home valuation. This is about an $8.60 increase yearly to the home owner. The ADAMHS Board is comprised of eighteen volunteer Wood County community members, bringing with them a variety of expertise and experience. The Board operations are conducted by the Executive Director and six staff. The Board assesses the county’s mental health and substance abuse problems and plans for cost effective services to address them. It then contracts with certified community agencies to provide programs and therapiesand monitors and evaluates these services. It raises funds through levies and grants. Mental health and addiction services and programs include treatment and support for recovery, crisis response and intervention services, the latter working closely with law enforcement. The ADAMHS Board funds agencies’ nationallyrecognized community education and prevention programs, including those aimed at the rising opiate epidemic and the increasing number of suicides in Wood County. Services reach all ages of Wood County residents. Some agencies receiving program funding include: The Children’s Resource Center, Harbor Wood Co., Unison Health, the Zepf Center, Lutheran Social Services, and A Renewed Mind. The ADAMHS Board also contracts with three hospitals that provide inpatient psychiatric services. This levy is a good investment in the lives of people dealing with difficult problems. Helping them and their families helpsmake stronger communities for all of us. ​​Lee Hakel, President, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green ​​Charlotte Scherer, Chair, Mental Health Committee


Gary Jones: My biggest concern is that Mr. Latta does not engage with his constituency

An Informed Voter’s Choice I am a Democrat who doesn’t mean to bash Bob Latta.  I simply want to draw comparison’s between the two candidates.  My biggest concern is that Mr. Latta does not engage with his constituency.  I talked to a Northwest Ohio woman visiting her children in Florida who was angry because she had gone to a Latta Town Hall and he did not show up to take questions.  In a democracy, that is not right.  Our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people.  It is a citizen’s right to hear and to question a candidate in order to have informed opinions.  Michael Galbraith has been speaking all over the 5th district that spans from the Indiana line to beyond Oak Harbor and the Michigan line to beyond Fort Recovery. He is and has been speaking and taking questions and challenges all over this gerrymandered district to favor Latta.  Galbraith will talk to anyone who wants to listen or question him.  Since meeting with constituents is a main concern for me, the better choice is clear. Secondly, I am so tired of the gridlock in congress whose 15% approval rating is so dismal.  Galbraith’s position is to find common ground and compromise with the Republicans and Independents in order to pass much needed legislation that currently sets in gridlock.  Our congressman simply votes with President.  I just wish he would meet with people to explain his position on issues and his vision for solving the gridlock and the legislation on which he would seek compromise. I have listened to Michael Galbraith’s position on our natural resources especially our rivers, the Great Lakes, and our aquifers.  I have not had the chance to listen to or to question Latta’s positions. Is Mr. Latta’s position on the Affordable Care Act to do away with what remains of ACA? The Congressional Budget Office had estimated that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have left 23 million more Americans uninsured.  If congress is concerned about healthcare, insuring people with pre-existing conditions, and cost then they must find an alternative that both sides can support.   What is Latta’s alternative? These are the issues that concern me in the 5th district. Compare the two candidates’ positions on congressional gridlock, access to our representatives, bipartisanship, 5th district natural resources, and healthcare.  An informed voter’s choice is clear. Gary…


BG voters to decide on changes to City Charter

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Reading election issues on ballots is enough to make some voters doze off while standing at the voting machine. This year, Bowling Green voters will decide four City Charter items – and city officials are trying to explain them without having to set a snooze alarm. Three items will modify the existing City Charter, while one will actually remove an item from the charter altogether. Following is a brief explanation of each. Filling vacancies on council The first ballot issue would result in repealing the existing charter language about filling council vacancies. This item actually has very little explanation on the ballot. The charter currently stipulates that when a council seat is vacated, the person appointed to the seat will serve the remainder of the term. “There is a potential for someone to be appointed to City Council and serve up to four years in that seat,” said Joe Fawcett, assistant municipal administrator. If the current language is repealed, the city will be in alignment with the Ohio Revised Code. The state code requires that the person appointed will only remain in the seat until the next election. Adding Department of Planning The second charter item on the ballot would result in the addition of the Department of Planning to the City Charter. “Planning is an important component of the city,” Fawcett said. The major functions of the planning office will continue to be described in the city’s codified ordinances. Increase candidate pool for fire and police; decrease bonus credit for veterans The third charter issue involves the city’s Civil Service Commission. The change would increase the eligibility list for hiring of entry level firefighter and police officer positions from three to five names. The list is certified by the Civil Service Commission and is based on the people with the highest standings. “The goal is to expand the candidate pool for those positions,” Fawcett said. Both the police and fire chiefs support the change. The amendment also grants a 10 percent bonus credit for honorably discharged veterans who achieve a passing score on entry level position tests. That is lower than the current 20 percent credit. The change has been approved by veterans involved in the charter updating process. “I think it’s an appropriate level,” said Fawcett, himself a veteran. Require charter reviews at least once a decade The final charter…


David Kuebeck urges voters to retain Matthew Oestreich as Wood County Auditor

I write today to encourage voters to retain Matthew Oestreich as Wood County Auditor. It has been my pleasure to know and work with Matt for nine years; we were colleagues in the Auditor’s Office for much of that time. In my professional relationship with Matt, I have come to see a like-minded fiscal conservative and a dedicated public servant for whom the taxpayer is foremost in all his actions. Matt is truly an innovator – firsthand I have seen Matt conceptualize and implement many improvements to the Auditor’s Office including paperless purchase orders, paying vendors via direct deposit rather than paper check, and streamlining job duties among personnel. Matt truly cares about the residents of Wood County and takes seriously his duties as Auditor. He also takes seriously his duties as a citizen. Deeply rooted in our community – a father and husband, a farmer, and volunteer – Matt is actively engaged in the fabric of Wood County life. Matt Oestreich has demonstrated maturity, reasoning, accountability, and principled leadership as Wood County Auditor. Over the years the two of us have had many conversations about good governance, and the role of government in the lives of citizens. Simply put, Matt Oestreich “gets it.” Matthew Oestreich embodies all of the qualities of a true public servant. It is my good fortune in life to call him friend, and I am thrilled to vote for Matthew Oestreich for Wood County Auditor on November 6th. David Latta Kuebeck Bowling Green


Ottawa County Sheriff backs Kuhlman for District Court of Appeals

As Sheriff of Ottawa County, I have taken an oath to not only protect and serve my community, but also to ensure that like-minded people are placed into positions of trust. That is why I am voting Joel Kuhlman for Judge of the 6th District Court of Appeals. I have known Joel’s family my entire life. Joel’s father was a couple of years ahead of me at Eastwood High School, and his Uncle is married into our family. These men are of the highest integrity, exhibiting the leadership values that our youth will learn from for generations to come. Joel’s upbringing was instrumental in his receiving dual degrees from the University of Toledo (Engineering and Law), as well as his community work that he has already accomplished at a young age. Joel served as a Bowling Green City Councilman, as well as Wood County Commissioner. The integrity engrained in Joel through the family values he was taught from a young age will remain with him throughout his adult life. Therefore, it will also be evident through his service to our community as Judge within the 6th District Court of Appeals. Service to our community is of highest priority to me. And through recent conversations with Joel, I have confirmed that he feels just as strongly about putting service to his community ahead of his own needs. Please join me on November 6th in casting a vote for Joel Kuhlman as Judge, 6th District Court of Appeals. All of the 6th District should be represented in our Court of Appeals, not just Toledo and its immediate suburbs, which is the present case. I believe that a vote for Joel is a vote for our future. Thank you, Stephen J. Levorchick


State school board candidates tackle testing and guns

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   State school board candidates were quizzed Sunday about their feelings on state grade cards, teachers being armed with guns, and collaborating with people they disagree with. Six of the seven candidates running for the one open seat in the 2nd District showed up for the forum hosted by the League of Women Voters from Bowling Green and Perrysburg. They are: Jeanine P. Donaldson has been the director of the YWCA in Elyria for 30 years, was an elementary teacher, and a member of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Charles Froehlich currently serves on the state school board. He is a retired manufacturing executive with 44 years in manufacturing employee education. W. Roger Knight has more than 40 years of experience in teaching and school administration. Sue Larimer, who has a degree in education, serves on the Perrysburg Board of Education. Vicki Donovan Lyle, who is a member of the Sylvania Board of Education, has a small business advising people on health insurance. Annette Dudek Shine, who has degrees from Washington University, Case Western and MIT, is a university professor and researcher. The first question posed to the candidates was about state report cards. Larimer said the report cards are “terribly flawed.” Perrysburg schools scored 119 out of 120 on criteria for gifted students, but yet failed to meet the state’s indicator in that category. However, Larimer said she would not like to see the state tests discarded, since Perrysburg’s high scores help with real estate sales in the community. Lyle said previous state testing was more meaningful, but the current system treats districts unfairly. “It’s not good for attracting business to Ohio,” she said. The system gives districts unexplainable grades. “I think it’s unfair,” Lyle said. Shine agreed the system is flawed. “Clearly it’s not good for attracting business to the state of Ohio.” The testing is stacked against poor districts and results are based on statistically unreliable data, she said. Donaldson said a decade ago Ohio schools were ranked fifth in the nation, but have now slipped to 23rd. The current administration is focused on more career-based education. “It pits communities against each other,” she said about the testing. But it will take Ohio voters to stop the state testing system. Froehlich said the state testing has “evolved into a monster over the years.” “What’s going on in the schools is…


Candidates compete for voters’ support at forum

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For two hours Sunday afternoon, 18 candidates on the November ballot talked about the lack of civility in Congress, arming teachers in schools, abortion, and judicial temperament. As far as candidate forums go, this one was not a snoozer. However, it was rather lengthy, so another story will follow about the seven State Board of Education candidates. The forum, hosted by both the Bowling Green and Perrysburg League of Women Voters groups, skipped the candidates’ opening statements and went straight into questions. The three candidates for the 5th District Congress seat were Democrat J. Michael Galbraith, who has taught finance and management at the college level; Libertarian Don Kissick, who is an autoworker and Navy veteran; and incumbent Republican Bob Latta, who previously served as state legislator and county commissioner. The first question was about the brutal discourse in Congress, and how that might be changed. Latta talked about the importance of establishing working relationships with people. “You just have to turn off the TV and sit back and talk,” he said. Latta was critical of the Democrats being unwilling to consider the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, and instead stating from the beginning that they would oppose his advancement to the court. Galbraith saw the issue differently. “Congress is being run by a group of people with extremely narrow interests,” he said, noting tribalism on both sides. As for Kavanaugh, Galbraith said the nominee was “forced through.” “I personally didn’t feel this man has the temperament,” he said. Galbraith pointed out the partisanship that doomed Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. “They are simply not responsible to the people of the U.S.,” Galbraith said of Congress. Kissick suggested that more could be accomplished if Congress would stick to the issues rather than attacking each other. “We’ve lost that in Washington, D.C.,” he said. Career politicians are disconnected from the average person. He suggested citizens could change that situation by voting outside the two-party system. “You have to start voting differently,” Kissick said. “That’s how we ended up in this mess.” The congressional candidates were then asked about the contamination at the Luckey FUSRAP site and the harmful algae in Lake Erie. When would the studying end and the solutions begin? Galbraith said there is “too much finger pointing going on.” Farmers and people working on the…


Candidate pushed for funding for new voting machines

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Frank LaRose got a close-up look at the Wood County voting machines that will be replaced next year with funding he pushed through the Ohio Senate. Wood County’s 12-year-old touchscreen systems are faring better than voting machines in some counties, where spare parts have been scrounged up from Tractor Supply stores or paper clip stashes. “This is an investment for a long time with the state, so we have reliable, safe machines,” State Senator LaRose, the Republican candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, said Thursday as he stopped in Bowling Green. Senate Bill 135, sponsored by LaRose, sets aside $114.5 million for new voting machines in Ohio. Wood County’s share is $1.3 million. The funding for the voting machines comes as the current systems get closer and closer to being obsolete. Wood County’s machines were built in 2006, said Terry Burton, director of the county board of elections.. “In the grand scheme of things, when you’re talking about technology,” the systems are almost antiques. Though Burton credits the local board of elections staff with babying the systems to keep them functioning well. “Every election, we see a little bit more wear and tear,” Burton said. “It’s time.” Wood County currently has 575 functional voting machines. Senate Bill 135 is intended to replace all the voting machines in the state – as long as county boards of election are satisfied with the “Chevrolets” and not the “Cadillacs” of voting machines, LaRose said. However, in Wood County, Burton said the $1.3 million from the state will be about $3 million shy of the total expected cost of $4.2 million. “It’s not going to cover it all,” Burton said. “I’ve looked at it all along as a helper. I’m not going to complain about getting $1.3 million.” Wood County Board of Elections doesn’t want the “Cadillac” of voting systems, but it doesn’t want the “Chevrolet” either, Burton said. “We’re looking for the SUV,” he said. “We’re looking for a system that’s hardy.” The total state funding is being divided up among counties based on the number of registered voters and the size of the counties, LaRose said. Wood County Board of Elections has decided to stick with touchscreen systems, not the optical scans. The touchscreens will be larger and will move more like mobile technology, Burton said. The Wood County Commissioners have been prepared for…


Candidate committed to protecting voter rights in Ohio

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A veteran in Kathleen Clyde’s district was denied the right to vote after his name was purged from the voting rolls. For Clyde, defending the rights of all Ohio voters is the utmost concern as she runs for Secretary of State. Clyde, a four-term Democratic state representative from Kent, stopped by Bowling Green State University and Stone’s Throw pub on Wednesday to pitch her campaign. “I am very passionate about the idea of bringing fair, secure and accessible elections to our state,” she said. “There have been a lot of partisan attacks on the right to vote,” Clyde said. “We’ve got to see those partisan attacks end.” The secretary of state seat is wide open since the current holder, Jon Husted, is running for lieutenant governor on Republican Mike DeWine’s ticket for governor. Clyde is running against Republican Frank LaRose, a state senator from Hudson; Libertarian Dustin Nanna; and write-in candidate Michael Bradley. Clyde pointed at gerrymandering and voter purging efforts in Ohio as proof of problems. “We need everyone’s voice to be heard in a democracy,” she said. “I have been an opponent of the secretary of state’s efforts to purge thousands of people from the rolls,” Clyde said. Though she sees the rationale of removing people from the rolls who are deceased or who have moved, Clyde doesn’t support the current system that has resulted in many citizens being wrongly removed from voting rolls. One such voter was Larry Harmon, a resident of Clyde’s district. Harmon, a veteran, showed up at the polls  in 2015 and was told he couldn’t vote. “This veteran was turned away at the polls,” she said. A little bit closer to Wood County, the mayor of Oak Harbor, Joe Helle, was denied his right to vote after he returned from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. “He found out when he went to vote after coming home,” Clyde said. “It needs to stop.” Ohio election officials send notices to anyone who fails to cast a ballot during a two-year period. People who do not respond and don’t vote over the next four years, including in two more federal elections, are dropped from the list of registered voters. Initial court rulings on the voter purge process favored the citizens. A federal appeals court ruled against the state, concluding that roughly 7,500 Ohio voters — in a…


Push is on to get local citizens to register to vote

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The man picked up the brochure in the library on how to check on his voter registration status. “I think I’m registered,” he said. “I definitely don’t want to miss out on this one.” The League of Women Voters don’t want him or any other Wood County citizen to miss out on voting. So on Tuesday, members staffed tables at libraries throughout Wood County to help people register or make sure they are already registered to vote. “Most people have said they’re registered, which is great,” said Judy Knox, as she sat at a table in the Wood County District Public Library on National Voter Registration Day. The window to register to vote is nearing closure, with the last day on Oct. 9. Early voting for the general election starts the next day on Oct. 10. The League of Women Voters teamed up Tuesday with libraries in Bowling Green, Grand Rapids, North Baltimore, Pemberville, Walbridge and Weston, to give local residents opportunities to register to vote. “It’s a very dynamic political environment,” said League member Joan Callecod as she volunteered up at the Walbridge Library. “It’s important for people to cast their votes.” The League of Women Voters have had a registration table at the Bowling Green downtown farmers market all summer. “We’ve tried to put a real push on,” Knox said. “This is the first step to being a citizen,” Knox said about registering to vote. “The next step is getting to the polls.” There are multiple options for how people vote, she explained. They can vote absentee, or do early voting at the board of elections, or vote on Election Day Nov. 6. As she was working at the voter registration table in Bowling Green, Knox heard a common refrain from a citizen. “Someone walked by and said, ‘I don’t know why people wouldn’t vote. Countries fight for the ability to do that,’” Knox said. Voting, she said, should just be part of a person’s life. “Every voting is important, frankly.” In addition to registering voters, the League of Women Voters members also offered information on registering online, the types of identification accepted at the polls, and verifying voter registration. “It’s just good to check,” with voter purging being done, Knox said. Prior to being removed from voting rolls for inactivity, citizens should receive notice from boards of election, Callecod…


Local judges voice negative verdict on State Issue 1

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry uses a penny to show one of the flaws with State Issue 1. He points to the minute beard on Abraham Lincoln, and explains it would take just 2 milligrams of fentanyl to cover Lincoln’s beard – and to potentially kill 10,000 people. Then the judge explains that under Issue 1, someone could be picked up with 19 grams of fentanyl and only be charged with a misdemeanor. “That’s unconscionable,” Mayberry said. Wood County’s three common pleas judges are in agreement that Issue 1 – which will appear on the November ballot – would be bad for Ohio. The intent of the state issue is to offer treatment rather than jail time for drug offenses. The language makes the vast majority of drug offenses misdemeanors rather than felonies. “The state is struggling with whether drug addiction is a crime or a mental health issue,” Judge Reeve Kelsey said. But the judges – Matt Reger, Kelsey and Mayberry – said treatment is already being offered in Wood County. All that Issue 1 would do is result in the courts having one less tool to use to convince addicts to get clean. “We see people in front of us every day,” Reger said. A simple slap on the hand is not enough to convince most of them to give up drugs – though in front of a judge they may profess their commitment to quit. “We’ve all had someone in our courtroom who has died a week later.” Issue 1 would take away the judges’ “stick” and leave them only with the “carrot.” “There’s no stick. There’s no consequence,” Mayberry said. “They can blow off treatment or restoration, and there’s nothing we can do to them.” Wood County Common Pleas Courts already use graduated responses for drug offenders, with many people offered intervention in lieu of jail time, Reger said. Many of those sentences are designed with the individual in mind, he said. The offenders can be ordered to attend treatment, get education, get mental health help, go to an anger management or domestic violence program, or perform community service. “It’s giving them the tools to live,” Kelsey said. “We already have gradual responses,” Reger said. “We’re already doing it.” For example, Reger has required offenders to work on getting their GEDs, do volunteer reading to kids…