Perrysburg mayor reports on progress in getting CSX to fix railroad crossings

Perrysburg Community: Many of you have contacted city officials complaining about the condition of the railroad crossings at a number of intersections throughout town. We have repeatedly forwarded those concerns on to CSX asking that repairs be made as soon as possible. In April, CSX let the city know it had limited funds to repair crossings in Perrysburg in 2018. It asked us to provide a list of crossings that were in most need of repair. CSX would then determine what if any repairs could be done in 2018. CSX further represented it would allocate funds in the 2019 budget to repair any intersection not done this year. Based on citizen complaints and our own investigation, the administration identified Eckel Junction Road, Louisiana Avenue, East Boundary, and Indiana Avenue as priority intersections that needed repair. Since that time, the administration has continued to communicate with CSX, including letting CSX know that the city has continued to receive complaints about the condition of railroad crossings. On June 21st, Haraz N. Ghanbari, the Chair of the Public Safety Committee of Council, also wrote CSX requesting it make repairs. Consistent with that ongoing dialogue, CSX has recently advised us that it will make substantial repairs to the railroad crossings at Indiana Avenue and Mulberry Street this summer. CSX is not only repairing the crossings, but replacing approximately 300 feet of track in that area. CSX has also represented to the administration that it will physically inspect each crossing within the city this summer. During those inspections, minor repairs may be made to some crossings, but more extensive repairs will have to wait until 2019. While not a complete fix yet, I wanted to let you know of this step towards repairing railroad crossings in town. We will continue to work with CSX so that the crossings at Eckel Junction, Louisiana Avenue, and East Boundary are addressed next year as CSX has represented they would be. I want to thank everyone who has been working behind the scenes with CSX since January to facilitate the repairs to Indiana Avenue and Mulberry Street this year. Mayor Thomas G. Mackin

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

NAMI thanks Perrsyburg HS National Honor Society

This year’s NAMI Wood County Walk for Mental Health and Chili Cook-off was a resounding success, and we owe much of that to our marvelous volunteers from the Perrysburg High School National Honor Society. What a dynamic group they were! Energetic, enthusiastic, bright, willing…there might not be enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe these young men and women. From setting up to serving chili to helping participants make crafts, the NHS volunteers kept the day running smoothly. They not only followed instructions, but also anticipated what needed to be done and did it cheerfully. Walk participants and chili cooks alike commented on how helpful and upbeat our volunteers were. We couldn’t have done it without them! An organization like NAMI relies on volunteers to make its programs and events work. We feel so lucky to have had a group like the NHS involved in one of our major fund-raisers. And it’s good to know that we have such intelligent, dedicated young people in our community. They make the future look brighter! With many thanks, NAMI Wood County Staff, Family, and Friends  

“Mike Olmstead believes he is above the law”

Voters in the upcoming Perrysburg mayoral race have been exposed to baseless attacks by incumbent Mike Olmstead against his opponent Tom Mackin. Mr. Mackin has not stooped to Mike Olmstead’s low level by responding in kind, which speaks to the dignity and respect with which Mr. Mackin will treat the Office of Mayor if elected. Mr. Mackin has served honorably on the Perrysburg City Council, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Government, the YMCA Board, and in numerous volunteer capacities in Perrysburg. Unfortunately, this means that a serious issue in the race has not been raised: Mayor Olmstead’s unpaid back taxes. The Perrysburg Messenger Journal has failed in its responsibility to report on this issue, despite repeating Olmstead’s attacks on Mackin. Mike Olmstead has treated the citizens of Perrysburg with great disrespect. Mayor Olmstead owes unpaid taxes to the IRS, the State of Ohio, and Perrysburg. He could use his personal holdings to pay off his debt. Instead, the IRS has liens against Mayor Olmstead and the state is garnishing his mayoral salary. Put simply, Perrysburg taxpayers are unwittingly paying off Mike Olmstead’s unpaid tax debt. Not paying Perrysburg Schools taxes, not to mention those owed to the state and federal governments, sends a loud and clear message: Mike Olmstead believes he is above the law and the rules that apply to us don’t apply to him. We expect more of our elected officials. Neil Englehart Perrysburg

Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg offers place for book lovers to congregate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Like most booklovers, Denise Phillips can name her favorite bookstores. In Chicago, where she and her family lived until moving to Perrysburg five years ago, there is the Book Table. In Ann Arbor, where they’ve made regular trips in the past several years, there’s Literati. But until earlier this summer, she didn’t have one close to home. So Phillips, and her husband, Brian, took initiative and opened Gathering Volumes at 196 E. South Boundary in Perrysburg. “We’ve been searching for an independent bookstore,” she said. One that sells new books. Used bookstores are plentiful. “I think a bookstore is such a community hub,” Phillips said.  “You just feel at home, no matter if you’ve ever been there before.” With a stock reflecting local customers’ interests, book clubs geared to popular genres, and events featuring area authors, that’s just what she envisions Gathering Volumes to be. The store marks a career switch for her. She was a project manager for an information technology firm. When her father died, Phillips said, “I decided I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing, and this was something that was always there for me.” So two years ago she started researching the book trade. And she tapped the expertise of those who ran the kind of bookstore she loved. “The owners of independent bookstores were incredibly helpful and lovely.” The demographics of the Perrysburg area, with higher than average number of college graduates and lots of families with kids, was a promising market. Phillips knows it’s a gamble. “It’s a huge risk,” she said. “There’s no guarantee it will be here in three years.” It was a bet, though, her family was willing to place. With a small business loan, some savings and help from family the business was launched. Her own two children Isaac, 7, and Mackenzie, 10, are two of the stores biggest fans, preferring to come to the shop after school rather than go home. Mackenzie will even “play” bookstore with friends. “I don’t think the bookstore will replace the income I had,” Phillips said. “But I enjoy my days, and I enjoy the families that come in.” Figuring out what those families want is a key. To stock the more than 8,000 volumes now in the store, she tapped in national analytics, about what would sell. That doesn’t always jibe with local demand. She concedes…

Warm Sounds for a Cold Clime featured in Perrysburg concert

Warm Sounds for a Cold Climate is the first concert of 2016 presented by St. Tim’s Discovers, an outreach of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, , the concert will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 871 East Boundary Street, Perrysburg. Featuring orchestral music from Spain and Latin America, the special guest artists comprise the Vive Ensemble, a chamber orchestra from Bowling Green State University. Led by BGSU doctoral student Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia, the repertoire will include Mariel by Osvaldo Golijov, a feature for marimba and cello, de Falla’s Suite Popular Espanola, “La Oracion del Torero” composed by Turina, and “Retablo” with soprano soloist.Ms. Diaz Garcia comes to northwest Ohio after an illustrious career, including conducting stints throughout North and South America and Europe. Her musical career began as an oboist and pianist, receiving degrees on both instruments. At the age of 19, Diaz Garcia was awarded a tenured position to teach oboe in the National Conservatories of Spain, one of the youngest people ever to achieve such a position. Currently, she serves as a Conducting Fellow at the College of Musical Arts, BGSU and is pursuing a doctorate in Contemporary Music. The Sunday recital will feature many talented soloists, including Hillary LaBonte, soprano; Henrique Medeiros Batista, marimba; Aleks Tengesdal, cello; and Octavian Moldovean, flute. St. Tim’s Discovers is dedicated to bringing classical music to communities throughout Northwest Ohio. The performance is free and open to the public; doors open at 2:30 PM.  St. Timothy’s is fully accessible with plenty of convenient parking.Information on all upcoming events in the series is available at