Bowling Green City Schools bond issue

J. Scott Stewart: Yes vote for school bond issue important for BG’s future

This coming Tuesday, May 8th, we all have a rare opportunity.  We have the chance to vote YES for the Bowling Green School Bond Issue.  With the passage of the School Bond Issue, we will provide our children and future students with a modern, safe learning environment that will allow our children to learn in a setting that has up to date technologies, provides equal opportunities for our students no matter where they live in our community and give our students everything they need to compete in the world outside of Bowling Green. Construction of new schools will provide jobs in the community, and more importantly, updated modern schools will attract the 30-something families that both the Land Use Plan and the Community Action Plan have stated are critical to maintaining the long term viability of Bowling Green as an active, vital community. It is not unreasonable to say that passage of the Bowling Green School Bond Issue will be the first real project to actually move the Land Use Plan and The Community Action Plan toward reality. Fellow Bowling Green citizens, we have a rare chance to have a Win-Win project for our city, but we must act!  Please join me Tuesday, May 8th in voting YES for The Bowling Green School Bond Issue. Your VOTE will only count if you CAST IT! Dr. J Scott Stewart


BG school board to revisit levy options next month

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education is giving itself one month to heal from the school bond issue defeat – then it’s back to the drawing board. At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Francis Scruci said defeat of the 6-mill levy was “disappointing.” But on the morning after the election, the focus had to shift – there were still 3,100 students to educate, he said. Scruci suggested the school board take a break from levy discussions, then reconvene in December to consider the district’s next steps. He also asked that newly elected board member Norm Geer be present during those discussions. Though the loss of the levy by 550 votes was discouraging, Scruci said he was most dismayed by the discourse from the levy opposition. “The most disappointing part was how divisive it became and how personal attacks occurred,” he said. The levy would have paid for the construction of a centralized elementary building north of the middle school, and an addition and renovations to the existing high school building. Scruci has stated that the district will not come back with a watered-down version – since that won’t meet students’ needs. But next month, the discussions will begin of where the district goes from here. “We have a difficult decision going forward,” Scruci said. Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board hired Cathy Schuller as the new district treasurer. Schuller, who is currently the assistant treasurer at Rossford school district, will be taking the place of Rhonda Melchi, who is retiring after 22 years in the position. The board also voted unanimously to give Scruci merit pay of 2.25 percent for achieving the district’s goals during the 2016-2017 school year. Other business at Tuesday’s board of education meeting included recognition of outstanding efforts, like those of athletes Gracyn Amos, Zachary Applegate, Macy Hanus, Alli Fahy and Nicholas Jackson. Middle school lunch monitor Darlene Hecht was recognized for performing the Heimlich maneuver on a choking student in October. “I saw these kids pointing, and then I saw this girl go over,” Hecht said after her recognition. “I did two (thrusts) and on the second one I could feel it come up.” The seventh grade girl thanked Hecht after the incident and told her, “I thought I was going to die,”…


Resident outlines reasons to oppose school bond issue

Why I’m voting No for the School Levy.(grab a tv dinner and have a seat, This is long and your local farmer will be bankrupt when this levy passes) If you read nothing else…  read a copy of the Facilities Report done for each school (it is interesting, rates each building and details) – in summary, cost to renovate Kenwood $6,884,389.41Crim renovation $2,352,490.52, Conneaut renovation $8,246,096.24, BGMS renovation $2,347,767.79, BGHS renovation $23,770,311.45(quick math-non common core- $20Mil before adding the High School, so $44Mil) If you keep reading, remember that number.(off topic, where’s our extra million we were given in 2015 that no one can account for or why we went from excellent with distinguighment to C/D’s on report cards… jw) We should be considerate of farmers, because, well I’m not a skinny chick who doesn’t like to eat, so I need farmers… cattle, pig, chickens, corn and the other healthy stuff you probably eat and I should eat. Yes Mom I’m eating my veggies! Farm tax has increased almost 300% in FIVE YEARS! Agriculture will carry a HUGE BURDEN with this tax. THESE FARMERS, if they don’t go bankrupt, will now charge $1/tomato vs 3/$1, corn will be 2/$1 vs 8/$1, peppers, zucchini, beef, chicken, etc… we are a small town who support local. If I eat out, I hit a LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT, now let’s support our local farmers. WE ALL NEED FOOD!Look at all the kids who have free/reduced lunches, look at those who are barely making it and need that free breakfast/lunch (at, Crim?) for help with 1-2 meals a day. Income -BG’s median housing cost is $154,000 (levy flyer used$100k)-Perrysburg’s median income is $75k, BG’s is $33k(Crim gets free breakfast and lunch through a grant, I believe at least 90 percent of the school qualifies)-We are the county seat with many county services, so we tend to attract lower income households who need services close by and have no vehicles-What can our community afford? We are not Perrysburg – who will this hurt? Costs will be passed down torenters and families who already struggle to keep their own homes in good repair-BG families are cost-burdened when it comes to housing Neighborhood Schools -access via walking and biking (exercise, get to know  friends that walk together and other families, get out energy and ready to learn – read…


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


Mailers sent out anonymously on school bond issue are incorrect

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The 8,400 mailers sent out by a Bowling Green man opposed to the school bond issue include incorrect tax numbers. The Wood County Auditor’s Office said today that the school bond issue taxes were calculated incorrectly on the mailers that Bowling Green School District voters are receiving in their mail. The mailers portray the taxes as much higher than they actually are, according to the auditor’s office. Though the mailers were sent out anonymously, Bowling Green businessman Bud Henschen has acknowledged that he sent them out. He said he wanted to make sure people were aware of the bond issue and of the effect it would have on their taxes. But improper calculations resulted in the incorrect information going out to 8,400 potential voters. The mailers state that for the owner of a $200,000 home, the new levy would cost $420, and would add up to total property taxes of $6,365 a year. That number is nearly $2,500 too high. Using the correct calculations, for the owner of a $200,000 home, the new levy would cost $420, but the total taxes would add up to $3,928, according to the county auditor’s office. “We can’t really speak to what he did. We’re just going on what we know is fact,” said Becky Graber, deputy auditor. Henschen said he was just trying to get information out to potential voters. The 6-mill, 37-year bond issue is unaffordable to the average person, he said. Henschen initially denied using inaccurate numbers on his mailer. “I’m not inflating these,” he said. But the county auditor’s office staff said they had explained how to calculate the tax to Henschen and pointed out to him that he was using the wrong figures. “I told him, you use the effective rate, not the full rate – which makes a big difference,” Graber said. After speaking with the auditor’s office this afternoon, Henschen acknowledged the calculation error on the mailings. “That is a blunder,” he said. The inaccurate mailers have Superintendent Francis Scruci in clean up mode – trying to get out the correct information before the Nov. 7 election. “This is scaring people,” the superintendent said this morning. “This is lying to them.” The voters should be able to decide how they feel about the bond…


Scruci responds to anonymous mailer about bond issue

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci has been talking himself hoarse about the school bond issue on the November ballot. Monday evening he took the pitch to Bowling Green City Council. In the audience were several teachers and school board members showing their support. But in addition to explaining the 6-mill bond issue, Scruci also had to spend time dispelling what he called untruths in an anonymous mailer being sent out to district residents. The mailer criticized the school district for not being open about the tax issue, and for not being honest about the costs to taxpayers. Scruci did not hold back. “I hope when you and your neighbors get this, you put it where it belongs, and that’s the trash,” he said. “It’s not worth the paper it was printed on.” “We’ve been transparent from day one,” said Scruci, who has been making almost daily presentations about the bond issue. The superintendent said the numbers printed on the mailers were false – painting a far worse picture of how much taxpayers will owe if it passes. That’s just not right, he said. “You can mess with me, but this is messing with the kids,” Scruci said. Though the mailers are from an anonymous source, a few people in the City Council audience believed Bowling Green businessman Bud Henschen may have been behind the material. When called after the council meeting, Henschen said that he was the person who sent out the 8,400 mailers. His motivation was simply to alert the public about the school bond issue, he claimed. “A lot of people didn’t even know there was a school issue coming up,” Henschen said. “That was the intent.” “Everybody who owns real estate is going to get hit by this thing. Let’s let everybody know about it,” he said. When it was mentioned that Scruci has held many meetings about the issue, Henschen said that city folks were getting the information, but not the rural residents. Scruci just held an open meeting last week to explain the issue and answer questions from the farming community. Though school officials felt otherwise, Henschen said the mailers were not negative toward the bond issue. “They didn’t say ‘vote yes,’ and didn’t say ‘vote no.’” But Henschen acknowledged that he…