election

Linda Lander: Daniel Gordon’s “leadership has been critical in attempts to improve neighborhoods in Ward 1”

Daniel Gordon is seeking re-election as the Ward 1 representative to the Bowling Green City Council. His outstanding record of leadership qualifies him to be the only choice for that elected position. Leadership, commitment to neighborhood revitalization, and dedication to equality and social justice have been hallmarks of Daniel’s work on City Council. He has blended these characteristics in supporting numerous projects to improve the quality of life for all Bowling Green citizens. Daniel’s leadership has been critical in attempts to improve neighborhoods in Ward 1. Central to a quality neighborhood are community resources, including green spaces where families and individuals can gather and participate in recreational activities. One of Daniel’s signature neighborhood developments is Ridge Park, the first public park in the history of the First Ward. He is eager to create another recreational area for children and families in the northeastern part of Bowling Green. Daniel has supported the Complete Streets program which provides safe transportation options for citizens. It is Daniel’s strong sense of equality that drives his efforts to ensure that all citizens in Bowling Green have equal access to city resources and safe transportation. Bowling Green has a need for appealing neighborhoods and quality housing in Ward 1 and throughout the city of Bowling Green. Sixty percent of housing in Bowling Green is rental property. It is important for a community to have an appropriate mix of housing options, particularly to attract new homeowners and families. We want Bowling Green to be a city where all members of the community are afforded quality housing. In addition to neighborhood improvement, Daniel’s leadership has been instrumental in the passage of City Council resolutions to make Bowling Green a welcoming, safe and inclusive community. He has worked with City Council, the Human Relations Commission, community organizations, and citizens to make Bowling Green a city in which all community members feel safe and accepted. In community gatherings, Daniel Gordon can always be counted on for his delivery of a well-prepared, eloquent speech that promotes the essential values of equality and social justice. His dedication…


BG contested ward candidates identify top priorities

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Three of the four wards in Bowling Green have contested races for City Council. The only unopposed candidate in Tuesday’s election is the Third Ward’s Mike Aspacher. Two candidate forums have already been held in the city. So rather than ask the candidates to talk about the same topics, BG Independent News asked all of them to talk about their top three priorities if elected to City Council. Following are brief descriptions of each contested ward candidate and their priorities. The answers for the at-large candidates appeared on Tuesday. First Ward: Two candidates are running for one seat. Daniel Gordon, Democrat, who currently serves on City Council, manages Inner Peace Homes, a local foster care/adoption agency. He has two degrees from BGSU. He led the creation of Ridge Park, the first park in the First Ward, pushed city government to improve housing, and shaped legislation defending marginalized communities. Gordon’s priorities are: Revitalize neighborhoods in the city, especially on the East Side. Gordon said he has been working on this issue for a long time, and now the new Community Action Plan will support those efforts. “I want to make sure everybody lives in a safe and strong neighborhood.” Create jobs that will keep young people here in Bowling Green. “We need job creation, that will pay a living wage,” he said. The lack of those type of jobs is causing recent graduates and others to leave the community. “No one should have to choose between living in Bowling Green and living above the poverty line.” Make Bowling Green a welcoming community. The city needs to continue making diverse populations feel welcome here, Gordon said. “So they feel just as safe and valued as anyone else in Bowling Green.” Hunter Sluss, Republican, is a fourth year student at BGSU. He currently serves as president of Catholic Falcon Community on campus. He is in the process of applying to the BGSU Hatch program with multiple business product concepts. He believes in keeping Christ at the center of city legislation….


Mike Zickar: Something’s rotten in the City of Perrysburg

There is a group of Perrysburg politicos who have a penchant for secrecy. They like to make negative attacks on candidates and issues but they do not have the guts to identify themselves. In 2013, there was a Facebook page set up to attack a judicial candidate with no names to identify the page’s creator. In that same campaign, fake Letters to the Editor were sent attacking the same candidate, letters attributed to individuals who simply didn’t exist. A few years ago, there was a Political Action Committee set up to oppose a School Bond issue that used a PO Box at the UPS Store with somebody from the Chicago area listed as a Treasurer, all so that nobody local could be identified with a negative mailing. And now in this election, there is a Facebook page, Concerned Citizens for Perrysburg, designed to attack a particular candidate. There are no names attached to the page or their posts. Negative campaigning may be distasteful in local campaigns, but it is fair game.  What is not fair game is for people to hide behind anonymous pages or shadow organizations.  If you don’t have the guts to put your name to the message, don’t say it. I hope people find out who created this page and hold them accountable.   Mike Zickar Wood County Democratic Party Chair Perrysburg


Flyers attacking BG school levy full of misinformation, Scruci says

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Another flyer has been delivered to Bowling Green City School District voters, trying to convince them to vote against the school building tax issue on the Nov. 7 ballot. This mailer, sent out by a newly-minted group called Wood County Citizens Against Higher Property Tax, criticizes the size of the 6-mill school levy, the plans for consolidation and the management of district funds. One week before the election, Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci is again defending the levy as necessary for the district. “From day one, we’ve tried to give out as much factual information as we can,” he said. For the second time, the district has been targeted by flyers warning people about the levy. The problem, Scruci said, is that both have been riddled with misinformation. The first mailer, sent out by a Bowling Green businessman, included incorrect tax numbers. This second one, which showed up in mailboxes on Monday, has “blatant disregard for the numbers,” Scruci said. The flyer warns of decreased business growth due to taxes, and increased crime in the schools due to consolidation. “We’ve stuck to the facts from day one,” Scruci said. “This is discouraging. For the second time we are dealing with a group of people trying to scare our taxpayers.” The flyer includes charts comparing local district school funding to state school funding. “As you can see the good property owners of Bowling Green pay more than their fair share to support this school system,” the mailer states. The problem is, Scruci pointed out, that the pie chart does not show the state average as the flyer claims. Instead, it shows the state total. “They are comparing the district collection to the total of the state – not the average,” the superintendent said. When asked about the pie charts, Grant Chamberlain, a member of the Wood County Citizens Against Higher Property Tax, defended the information. When it was pointed out that the second chart is the state total, not the state average, Chamberlain said if it were a…


Megan Schweitzer: Daniel Gordon is “personable and experienced city councilman”

As election day rapidly approaches, I urge you to re-elect Daniel Gordon, a personable and experienced city councilman who has proven time and again that he gets the job done and gets the job done right. Daniel has been instrumental in a multitude of accomplishments seen around the city in recent years, such as the creation and development of the beloved Ridge Park, the first public park in northeast Bowling Green. Daniel is not afraid to push city officials and even our own governor to get what we, as citizens, deserve. He is a huge proponent of social justice, equality, and inclusivity. Daniel continues to bring us closer and closer to adopting Complete Street policies, which include bike lanes, completed sidewalks, and safer school routes for our children. Daniel believes that everyone has the right to a livable minimum wage and is dedicated to creating more high-paying jobs right here in our city. He supports local businesses and business owners, strengthening our downtown with economic development across the board. Daniel works for all of us, regardless of economic or personal background. If re-elected for another term, there is no doubt that he will continue to rigorously fight for each and every one of us. Please join me in voting Daniel Gordon for 1st Ward representative this November 7th! Megan Schweitzer


BG Chamber: “Bowling Green district must expand, renovate and modernize its facilities”

The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted to endorse the upcoming Bowling Green City Schools Bond Issue and the Wood County Job & Family Services Human Services 1.3M Renewal Levy.  The high quality of life in the Bowling Green area is directly supported by the quality of our city schools and by the important services provided by the WCJFS. There are hundreds of articles stating how quality schools are an economic development driver. Communities wanting to retain and attract new economic development projects should know that corporate decision makers look hard at the local school systems. Do they provide a quality education?  Is the school competitive in the use of technology and facilities?  Will the school produce a future quality workforce?  Passage of the bond would make us more competitive with neighboring school districts, vastly improve technological instruction and classrooms, and would show our youth how much we value their education. There’s no question that the Bowling Green district must expand, renovate and modernize its facilities. The price tag will never be any cheaper than it is today. This project will create the best learning environment and opportunities for our youth.  The School Bond Issue is the opportune time for BG citizens to invest in our community and our future. The Wood County Human Services Levy is not a new tax, it is a 1.3M renewal. As a community, we need to be aware the renewal would ensure the support of investigating reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, elder abuse, neglect and exploitation, provide homemaker services to senior citizens, and fund the work being done for families/individuals where Opioid abuse has contributed to the increase in the number and complexity of cases. These unfortunate situations are a reality in Wood County, with the expectation that the 2017 investigation numbers will set all-time records.  The rise in cases, coupled by Ohio’s ranking as the 50th in the country for state funding of  child abuse programs, local support is absolutely vital. No one wants to experience child and elder abuse, but if you…


Six BG at-large candidates reveal their top priorities

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Six candidates are running for two open At-Large City Council seats in Bowling Green. And for the first time, the ballot has a mix of Democrat, Republican, Green Party and Independent candidates. Two candidate forums have already been held in the city. So rather than ask the candidates to talk about the same topics, BG Independent News asked all of them to talk about their top three priorities if elected to City Council. Following are brief descriptions of each At-Large candidate and their priorities. The answers for the contested ward candidates will appear on Wednesday. Holly Cipriani, Democrat, works at BGSU as an academic adviser. She has two degrees from BGSU, and has worked for various non-profit organizations serving survivors of domestic violence and people who have been trafficked or exploited. She serves as the programming chair for Not In Our Town, and was on the planning committee for Court Street Connects. Cipriani’s priorities are: Continue to review and keep a close eye on the city budget. “I would continue to anticipate cuts from the state,” Cipriani said. “So we need to be prepared.” Help to implement the Community Action Plan, with a focus on neighborhoods and Complete Streets. “We need to find ways we can actually implement it,” such as ways to fit bike lanes on existing streets and focus on improvements to the East Side. Examine ways to keep building city and university relationships. “I would like to continue to foster those relationships,” Cipriani said, noting that she has seen it pay off in positive ways in the past. Nathan Eberly, an Independent, is an adviser with Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, with more than 18 years of experience in finance. He has degrees in business management and finance. He is a member of the Exchange Club, BG Young Professionals, Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers with the Wood County Humane Society and Brown Bag Food Project. Eberly’s priorities are: Conduct a thorough review of the city budget and fund allocations. “I want to be a fresh…


‘[Daniel Gordon’s] dedication is a beacon of hope for Bowling Green’ – Linda Lander

Daniel Gordon is seeking re-election as the Ward 1 representative to the Bowling Green City Council. His outstanding record of leadership qualifies him to be the only choice for that elected position. Leadership, commitment to neighborhood revitalization, and dedication to equality and social justice have been hallmarks of Daniel’s work on City Council. He has blended these characteristics in supporting numerous projects to improve the quality of life for all Bowling Green citizens. Daniel’s leadership has been critical in attempts to improve neighborhoods in Ward 1. Central to a quality neighborhood are community resources, including green spaces where families and individuals can gather and participate in recreational activities.  One of Daniel’s signature neighborhood developments is Ridge Park, the first public park in the history of the First Ward.  He is eager to create another recreational area for children and families in the northeastern part of Bowling Green. Daniel has supported the Complete Streets program which provides safe transportation options for citizens.  It is Daniel’s strong sense of equality that drives his efforts to ensure that all citizens in Bowling Green have equal access to city resources and safe transportation.   Bowling Green has a need for appealing neighborhoods and quality housing in Ward 1 and throughout the city of Bowling Green.  Sixty percent of housing in Bowling Green is rental property.  It is important for a community to have an appropriate mix of housing options, particularly to attract new homeowners and families. We want Bowling Green to be a city where all members of the community are afforded quality housing. In addition to neighborhood improvement, Daniel’s leadership has been instrumental in the passage of City Council resolutions to make Bowling Green a welcoming, safe and inclusive community. He has worked with City Council, the Human Relations Commission, community organizations, and citizens to make Bowling Green a city in which all community members feel safe and accepted.    In community gatherings, Daniel Gordon can always be counted on for his delivery of a well-prepared, eloquent speech that promotes the essential values of equality and social justice….


Marissa Garrett: Gordon “is an authentic, strong leader who has fought proactively for change in our community”

I am writing to encourage those in the 1st Ward to re-elect Councilman Daniel Gordon to City Council. I will be voting to re-elect Councilman Gordon for numerous reasons. Daniel is an authentic, strong leader who has fought proactively for change in our community. Daniel truly wants the best for our Bowling Green community, and has fought to defend our city against budget cuts that would have taken our resident’s hard-earned money elsewhere. He has created more jobs that pay a living wage so that people of all ages and backgrounds can comfortably live in Bowling Green. Councilman Gordon is a consistent advocate for shopping local, and promotes our local businesses that make our downtown what it is today. Daniel cares about our city and wants to make sure that it is a safe and pleasant place to live, not only for permanent residents, but for student residents as well. Councilman Gordon makes sure that our neighborhoods are safe places to live by working to create safer routes to school for children, installing bicycle lanes, and improving our sidewalks. Daniel also led the creation of Ridge Park, which is the 1st Ward, or Northeast Bowling Green’s first park. Daniel works hard for all of us, no matter who we are, or what our views are. He is a consistent, hard-working leader that if re-elected, will continue to make great improvements to Bowling Green. Daniel listens to ideas and suggestions, and has made serious changes to Bowling Green during his six years on City Council so far. Once again, I will encourage you to join me in voting to re-elect Councilman Gordon on November 7th, or by voting early.   Marissa Garrett Bowling Green


BG Chamber: Charter amendment will scare off businesses

As a representative of the business community, the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce believes it is important for citizens to thoroughly read the proposed City Charter Amendment. If passed, there are real unintended consequences to our community. A portion of the actual ballot language reads “If the City of Bowling Green fails to enforce or defend this Amendment, or, a court fails to uphold this Amendment, any person may enforce this Amendment” and “City of Bowling Green law enforcement, and cooperating agencies acting within the jurisdiction of the City of Bowling Green, shall have no lawful authority to surveil, detain, arrest, or otherwise impede persons enforcing these rights.” The BGCC finds this specific language very disturbing. It implies anyone acting on behalf of this amendment, can break laws without consequences; our local law enforcement agencies are restricted from safeguarding our community from potential harmful activities ‘protected’ under this amendment; and even our court system is belittled. This proposed amendment would directly obstruct or stop any business/industry interested in locating or currently operating in Bowling Green who is affiliated with fossil fuel (whether used by residents or businesses). Passage essentially puts a sign on the city limits proclaiming “Bowling Green is closed for business.” Also, this amendment impacts our city treasury. The cost to enforce and the first time it attempts to enforce, there will be a lawsuit challenging the amendment. And yet, individuals who claim to be so concerned about the welfare of Bowling Green residents have no qualms about taking funds out of the public treasury… funds potentially earmarked towards projects that maintain our quality of life and make Bowling Green a ‘Best Hometown’. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Directors encourages citizens to vote NO. This proposed amendment is neither community nor business friendly, it drains the public coffers, and prohibits our law enforcement and judicial systems to protect Bowling Green from potential harmful activities. If these concerns are not enough, then read sections (c), (d) and (e). These sections are aimed at stripping the rights of anyone to…


Hannah Lanfear: Gordon has worked to make BG an inclusive city

I am writing to encourage other members of my Bowling Green community to vote to re-elect Daniel Gordon for City Council. Daniel has served on City Council for six years and has shown that he is authentic, has a strong work ethic and practices good judgement. He has an incredible track record of fighting for policies and projects that make Bowling Green an inclusive city, where all people, of all backgrounds can feel safe. He has authored legislation aimed at  protecting all citizens from discrimination and hate crimes. Additionally, Daniel has been working and would like to continue working hard with neighborhood revitalization. He has been a part of raising housing stock and property values, especially on the east side, and would like to strengthen the Community Action Plan to continue these efforts, if re-elected, with an overall goal of having housing in Bowling Green that is safe, affordable, and of good quality. Finally, Daniel represents BGSU students, as well as permanent residents. He has made much effort to bridge the gap between the students and permanent residents and will continue doing so, if re-elected. He strives to support local businesses and bring more jobs to Bowling Green that pay a living wage. He would also like to add bike lanes to make it safer for students and families to get to class and travel through the city. With all of this said, I highly encourage Bowling Green residents to vote early or on November 7 in support of Daniel Gordon so we can continue making Bowling Green a fun, safe and inclusive city for all residents.   Hannah Lanfear Bowling Green


At BGSU, Clarence Page reflects on Middletown & “Hillbilly Elegy”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Clarence Page is a story teller. That’s what all good journalists are, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner said. On Thursday at Bowling Green State University, though, he reflected on someone else’s story, J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” Vance’s book has been selected as the university’s Common Read. Page was invited to BGSU to discuss Vance’s book. Meant to bring everyone together to read the same book and spark discussion, this year’s selection has done the trick. Social media is full of commentary on the book, and even its appropriateness as the Common Read. “Hillbilly Elegy” arrived at the same time as Donald Trump was elected to office, and many reviewers touted it as the book to read if you wanted to understand Trump voters. Vance takes a hard look at his people, who feel displaced in America and are plagued by dysfunctional families and unemployment. This demographic is the most pessimistic of any in the country.  Poor whites are more pessimistic than poor blacks. “Maybe because we’re used to it.” Page, who like Vance comes from Middletown, Ohio, said the book gave him a look at what was happening on the white side of town. Page noted he started out as “colored,” and has been a Negro, black, African-American, before now being a person of color. His family, he said, was “po’” because, according to his father, they were too poor to afford the “or.” But, he added, “ we were rich in spirit.” Page, 70, said he’s told Vance that save for the difference in age and race, it could be his story. But there were differences. Unlike Vance who chronicles a difficult family life, Page said his family was boring, a quality he’s come to appreciate as he’s gotten older. Like Vance’s grandfather, Page’s family moved north from the south to work in northern industry. Page’s people were part of the Great Migration that brought blacks north by rail seeking an escape from the segregated south and seeking greater…


Callecods: BG charter amendment “ill-conceived”

We consider ourselves to be avid environmentalists and share the concerns of many citizens of Wood County about the potential negative environmental impacts of the several proposed pipelines through the area, particularly the Nexus project which will run under the Maumee River near Bowling Green’s water intake and distribution plant.   A local activist group succeeded in getting sufficient signatures on a petition to place an amendment to the Bowling Green City Charter on the November 7 ballot.  The petition was touted as an action to protect the city’s water by banning the pipeline project. However, the actual language of the amendment goes far beyond the issue of pipelines:  It states that “The people…and the natural communities and ecosystems…possess the right to a healthy environment and livable climate.”  No problem with that, other than how does one define “healthy” environment and “livable” climate? But the scary part comes next: “If the City…or court fails to enforce or defend this amendment…ANY person may enforce these rights through non-violent direct action…(and)…law enforcement, and cooperating agencies…shall have no lawful authority to surveil, detain, arrest, or otherwise  impede persons enforcing these rights.” Power to the people is an admirable objective.  Citizens of Bowling Green are free to, and often have demonstrated openly on issues, have packed City Council meetings to voice their concerns, and most importantly, voted for candidates who share their views on those issues. For the health and safety of its citizens and the environment, the city has zoning laws, codified ordinances and policies; and we have highly trained and qualified safety officials and judges to enforce those laws and procedures.  The concept of an individual or group of individuals to be able to act with impunity against a corporation or agency (or their neighbor, for that matter) because their interpretation of a “healthy environment” has been violated is what we would  refer to as anarchy. This amendment is well-intentioned (we hope), but ill-conceived.  The language is too vague and undefined to be meaningful but broad enough to be used to the detriment of the city, corporations and the citizens themselves.  We urge voters to cast their vote against the proposed charter…


BG will not regret funding new school: Adrian and Margo Smith

This past summer my wife and I decided on our new adventure. After 35 years in BG raising five children and teaching in the BG district, we uprooted and landed in Southern Ohio, Brown County, about an hour east of Cincinnati. Mostly rural and not wealthy by any means, there is one thing that stands out to Margo and I from our day trips – the local schools. From Georgetown to Ripley to West Union, Mt Orab, Wilmington, Hillsboro, Blanchester, Peebles, Winchester, Aberdeen, etc ALL of the school buildings are new and almost all are campuses. Most, unlike BG ,received extensive state funding due to the economics down here, but, more heartwarming are the local attitudes to their schools. There seems to be a special community pride for them and more often than not the schools are a hub for local activity. Now I know it is said by some that new buildings don’t insure better education but I can tell you from empirical observation that they have greatly helped the state of education down here. We continue to wish you and all of our friends a hopeful positive levy vote – the community will not regret it. Adrian and Margo Smith


BG council candidates try to win BGSU student votes

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council candidates wooed student voters Monday evening with promises to work on decent housing, better job opportunities and more renewable energy. Ten of the 13 candidates running for City Council spent two hours answering questions during a forum at Bowling Green State University. Third Ward candidate Mike Aspacher is running unopposed, so was present but did not participate. At-large candidate Carolyn Kawecka and Second Ward candidate Kent Ramsey were no-shows. The candidates were asked about three local topics by the moderators – rental housing, environmental safety, and the city-university relationship. They were asked how the city could hold landlords more accountable for the condition of rental properties. The question specifically referenced the “power over the city” held by landlords like the Newlove, Maurer and Green families. William Herald (Republican for Fourth Ward) said efforts have been made by the city to improve housing through such proposals as the master plan update. The city has worked on improving the appearance of neighborhoods, but “those efforts need to be continued,” he said. Scott Seeliger (Democrat for Fourth Ward) agreed that housing is a problem. “We certainly have an issue in housing.” He suggested that zoning changes would be the best way to make improvements. “We have to work with the owners. We have to work with the students.” John Zanfardino (Democrat for Second Ward) said the current programs in place for correcting substandard housing are insufficient. “I have grave concerns about the rental properties in Bowling Green.” Other communities, like Oxford, require that landlords have rental properties inspected prior to leasing. “You know that’s not happening here,” he said. “We kick the can down the road on this issue. We need to start hearing from students.” Hunter Sluss (Republican for First Ward) said his hometown of Sandusky hands out “pride awards” for homeowners that take care of their properties. The city also offers grants to help owners remodel homes. Such programs could help local landlords re-evaluate their properties, he said. Daniel Gordon (Democrat for First Ward)…