Salem BOE asks for support of community
To the editor:
As your elected members of the Salem City School Board, we have been working diligently to return your district to excellence in all areas.
To that end, we have put a number of improvements in place, which have resulted in our school system moving out of Fiscal Watch through responsible financial management. In addition, we have attained excellent ratings at Salem High School and Reilly Elementary and our District's Performance Index has hit a high of 97.7, for the most recently rated school year of 2008-2009.
Several other significant achievements have come about through the strong collaboration that we have shared with school administration, staff, students and the community.
Our board is also actively working on a Long-term Strategic Plan, which builds upon this solid foundation and is designed to carry our district's many past successes into the future. We have identified several key areas of focus and are developing specific goals for continuing our performance improvement efforts in academics, programming, sports, customer service and the school learning environment.
This long-term plan for continued success is based on the anticipation that our community will continue supporting our schools through the passage of the levy renewal on May 4.
On behalf of the Salem City School Board, we are asking for your support to renew a 6.7 mill operating levy, which will generate $2.1 million dollars a year. Since the levy is a renewal levy, we are not asking for additional monies. We are only asking the community to allow us to have the same funding levels that we have managed to operate within since 2000.
These funds are needed for the district to continue to offer a high-quality education to our 2,200 Salem students, so that they will have the needed skills to graduate and become productive citizens of our community.
The levy will appear on the May 4 ballot as an "Emergency Renewal" levy, because the same wording must be used from the original levy passed in 2000 and renewed again in 2005, when it was first put on the ballot as an emergency levy. This levy renewal request is the first phase of a two-year total levy request. In May 2011, our district plans to place the second phase of the renewal levy on the ballot for $1.3 million. Together, these renewals are needed to continue to provide our current and future students with the high-quality education that will prepare them to enter the 21st century workforce and to be future leaders in our community.
As your elected school board members, we appreciate your vote of confidence and support on behalf of the Salem City Schools and our students.
STEVE BAILEY, president,
Leadership for Salem Schools being proven
To the editor:
One of the primary goals of the Salem City Schools Board of Education is to ensure that the district has the necessary financial resources to provide students and staff with the tools needed to create a positive learning environment.
An important part of this process involves oversight from community members, who have a financial background and are appointed to serve on the Salem City School Board's Audit Committee.
Since 2003, we have served as community representatives on this audit committee and have worked with the school treasurer and school board members to review the financial status of the district on a regular basis.
The audit committee is responsible for making recommendations to the treasurer and the board, which are then included in the district's financial plan.
In the last few years, we have seen our school system work its way out of a fiscal emergency. They have done this through some very prudent business decisions that have resolved some long-standing financial issues and resulted in cost savings for the district.
The credit for this achievement goes to the treasurer and the "hands on" involvement of members of the school board, as well as leadership from the superintendent.
In order to maintain our district's current positive position and keep it moving forward on the path toward educational excellence, we urge you to support the Salem City Schools' renewal levy on May 4.
The levy that is on the ballot is a renewal of a past levy: no new monies will be raised. The monies generated by the levy are a significant part of the base operating budget of the school system. They do not represent "extras" or "frills."
Our school system's leadership has demonstrated responsible management in working out of the financial problems in the past, as well as in increasing the district's overall academic standing.
The Salem School District and its employees recognize the tough economic times we are all facing. In spite of cuts in state funding the district has learned to live within its means and is not asking for new monies. But it needs the funds being generated by this current levy. We urge you to consider the strong and improving performance of the schools and to support the proposed levy on May 4.
Ex-principal praises Salem City Schools
To the editor:
Having served as Salem High School's principal from 1978 to 1988, and currently as deputy executive director for the Ohio School Boards Association, I am familiar with your wonderful school system and community. I am writing this letter in support of Salem City School District's 6.7-mill, emergency renewal levy on the May 4 ballot.
This renewal levy, originally passed in 2005, is not a new tax and will not raise taxes. This levy generates $2.1 million annually, which is critical to the general operations of your schools. These funds are needed to improve the quality of instruction, technology and to provide 21st century learning opportunities for every student. Passage of this levy will provide the needed financial stability for the continuing success of all Salem students.
It is noteworthy that strong financial management has allowed the district to move out of the state's fiscal watch program while increasing academic achievement.
I urge Salem City School District residents to vote for the renewal levy on May 4. It is a wise investment in your excellent schools and community.
Deputy executive director,
Ohio School Boards
Urges voters' support of Salem Parks levy
To the editor:
Salem's past, present, and future. These words sum up the importance of several issues facing us all as we close the curtain, read the ballot, and vote on May 4. Now is the time to honor Salem's past, while embracing the present to protect and preserve the future.
As a member of the Salem Parks Commission, and lifelong resident of the city, I urge you to vote yes for the Salem Parks and Recreation levy. A long list of facts and figures could be written to impress upon you the importance of this levy, but a simple visit to one of our parks or, for many, a stroll down memory lane will convince you of its importance.
Keep in mind this is not a new levy, but rather a renewal. There will be no increase in our taxes. The parks director and commissioners, have been, and will continue to be, good stewards of the finances and resources of the department.
Your vote for the renewal of the parks and recreation levy will help to maintain and improve one of Salem's greatest assets -our city's parks.
Thank you for your continued support.
Frequent library visitor asks for backing of levy
To the editor:
My name is Owen Washam. I enjoy visiting the Salem Public Library. The people there are very friendly. Every library employee there always says hello to me. They also are always willing to help, not only me, but also other children or adults find books, answer questions, or just have a quick conversation about the library or even some places in Salem for visitors.
The Salem Library is like another education to me, my peers, and my fellow citizens of Salem. This brings me to my point: the inadequate funding of our local library. The library is essential for the city of Salem and all its residents, as well as area residents and visitors. The children and parents here depend on a friendly, safe resource for their education. Although our schools may seem they're the only place to learn literature and life skills, the library is an important part of that also.
With the upcoming levy, adults will get a chance to show their support for our library. I believe that everyone should support this cause.
Although I cannot vote, adults can. Please vote yes in support of the Salem Public Library. I hope this letter brings change to the poor funding. I don't know about you, but don't you think Salem library would love the funding it deserves?
Implores community to support Salem Library
To the editor:
I am extremely disappointed in the state funding of our city's small, but reliable library. The library has librarians who perform at national level quality, who are extremely kind, and wonderful at helping young to elder readers. The collection of books ranging from most every genre, from fact to fiction, are all what they should be and more, all selected by the library, are (mostly) in top notch condition, the older books are extremely well taken care of down to the very last period.
The knowledge held within our library's doors is incredible, however we cannot purchase new books with the atrocious funding sent by the state is keeping the collection at bay.
If the Salem library is to expand, we (the entire city of Salem) need to be aware of the poor state funding and we must unite to solve this unfortunate problem.
Everyone in Salem must vote "yes" on the upcoming issue, which is scheduled to be May 4, to preserve our library and the knowledge of Salem's people and history.
This is a serious dilemma, and is no laughing matter to be ignored. I cannot stress it enough to vote "yes" and support our library. Either that, our we could say goodbye to the Salem library in advance.
With the entire city seeing my views, the views of an 11-year-old sixth grader, I have little doubt that our collection of wonderful books and incredible staff, will be preserved for a long time to come.
Voters can show their support of 4-H programs
To the editor:
On May 4, 2010, voters will be asked to approve the 1 percent sales tax for Columbiana County. The outcome of this vote will greatly impact Ohio State University Extension in Columbiana County. County Commissioners are required by law to fund mandated programs.
Extension is not a mandated program and without the passage of this 1 percent sales tax, the commissioners will not have enough funds to provide any county funding to Extension. Our commissioners want and desire to maintain Extension programs in Columbiana County, but they do not have enough funds in the county's general fund to support our programs and services. Please help save our 4-H Program for the children of our county. Our Extension office has over 700 children enrolled in 4-H and more children in other programs, such as 4-H Camps. Commissioner Jim Hoppel stated at one of the Commissioners Meetings, that Judge Ashley Pike commented to him that while he was the Juvenile Court Judge, he does not remember ever having a 4-H member stand before him in court. 4-H Impacts and shapes children's lives in positive ways.
The county extension office has had to initiate fund-raising activities to generate monies to help keep the 4-H Program running. One of these is our 4-H Raffle.
All 4-H members will have tickets to sell. The tickets are $1 each or a book of six for $5. The raffle is held on Friday, Aug. 6 at 3 p.m. in the Junior Fair Building on the fairgrounds. Please support our 4-H program by purchasing these tickets.
Business owners, we are also in need of donation items to put in our 4-H Raffle. If you have a business, restaurant, or any type of business that has items or a service to sell, please help by donating an item, or a gift certificate from your business.
All donations can be dropped off at the Columbiana County Extension Office, 7876B Lincole Place, Lisbon, or call 330-424-7291, and someone will pick it up. Volunteers will be going around to local businesses and asking for donations also. Your generosity and support is greatly appreciated.
JULIA B. HERRON,
Ohio State University
4-H Youth Development
Appreciates help with Clean-Up Salem Day
To the editor:
A big thank you to the following people who helped make Clean-Up Salem Day on Saturday April 10, a huge success, and for taking time out of their busy Saturday to give back to the community. They trimmed bushes, pulled weeds, swept sidewalks, cleaned out tree grates and picked up litter.
They accomplished a lot and because of their efforts, the downtown looks amazing. They truly made a difference in the appearance of "our town!" They should be proud of themselves-Melissia Hartman, Amanda Hepfner, Rob McCulloch, Eric Coffee, Sonya and Mariah Everly, Doug and Katelin Pfouts, Steve Faber and the community workers.
The Girl and Boy Scout Troops did an absolutely fantastic job! Boy Scout Troop 3, leader, Mark Smith, and scouts, Cody Park, and dad, Chuck; Alex Rudy and Bransen Panezott, Boy Scout Troop 40, leader, Michele Mellor, and son Ethan; Girl Scout Troop 579, and leader Claudia McGaffick. Thanks kids!
Also, to our faithful SBC committee members, Jean Alice Fehr, Audrey Null, Joe Radin, Charlotte Wallace, Isabelle Huber, Carolyn Jones and Jeff Stewart.
KAREN L. CARTER,
Unhappy with portrayal of modern dairy farm
To the editor:
On Sunday April 18, you ran a cartoon by Jok Church "Beakman and Jax" which upset us greatly. This cartoon typically includes information on science, technology and history.
Sunday's article included blatantly inaccurate information depicting a modern dairy farm. While the newspaper did not write this information, your choice to publish this article did great harm to good dairy farmers who provide healthy dairy products to our community.
The public needs to know we are committed to provide safe, high quality milk to them. We do this by providing a comfortable living environment for our dairy herd. Cows do not live in factories.
We work with a dairy cow nutritionist to supply well balanced, healthy, antibiotic and hormone free diets for our cattle-24 hours a day they have access to fresh water, feed and comfortable stalls with specially designed mattresses to rest.
Our milk is tested daily to insure that it is top quality. Our family and employees work very hard and are committed to provide the best care for our herd. While the idea of cows "peacefully munching grass in a meadow" seems all warm and fuzzy, the reality is we live in northeastern Ohio as in most areas of the United States grazing dairy cattle is not a comfortable or healthy habitat for them because of the weather extremes.
Church states in his article "factory cows only live 3-4 years before they die," if this were true we would not still be in business. Our cows are an investment, if we don't take care of them we don't have milk to sell. This is our livelihood, our family has been in the dairy business for over 75 years and we are continuing to nurture this business for future generations.
Our family and employees are proud to supply the community with a nutrient rich dietary product. Well cared for, healthy dairy cows give milk which is an excellent source of calcium, potassium and magnesium for children and adults. Reputable newspapers publishing misleading information can cause children and unknowing adults to not choose nutrient rich dairy products.
We hope in the future, the newspaper chooses syndicated articles that are informative and accurate. If anyone would like more information, on how modern dairy farm families like ours care for their animals and protect their land while growing a responsible farming business for future generations, visit www.ohiodairyfarmers.com or www.dairyfarmingtoday.com.
RICH and JENNY
Comment on citizens and arms is hot topic
To the editor:
Only hours before he was scheduled to speak at a rally, Christopher Harben appeared as a guest on Fox News' nationally broadcast Fox and Friends Show on April 17.
The topic was regarding the highly publicized comment made by Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey that local citizens should "arm themselves" in light of massive lay offs due to budget constraints.
During the segment Harben pointed out that even in the best of circumstances it is the individual responsibility of citizens to protect themselves.
At the closing of his interview on FOX, Harben noted that there has been a significant increase among females and couple seeking to get their concealed carry license.
As an NRA certified instructor, Harben regularly teaches a concealed carry class at the Salem Hunting Club, where he is also a member.
Later that afternoon Harben was also a guest speaker at a protest rally held in the city of Campbell.
The city council recently enacted an ordinance prohibiting the private sale of firearms within city limits. That bit of legislation goes against O.R.C. 9.68 (right to bear arms) as it's written in the Ohio Constitution.
Ohioans for Concealed Carry (OFCC) for who Chris is a Compliance Coordinator filed a lawsuit against the city of Campbell, which is expected to repeal the illegal ordinance.