Responds to challenger's response to his release
To the editor:
A few things really concern me about Commissioner Halleck's response to my press release requesting politicians to voluntarily undergo drug testing.
One is that he believed my request was "bizarre and outrageous." My request was anything but outrageous. It was about leadership.
As people running for public office was have a rare opportunity to demonstrate our beliefs and make real contributions to public discourse. A common criticism of politicians is that they are out of touch and have no understanding of how the real world works.
By submitting to voluntary drug testing we are telling people that our expectations of ourselves are no higher than the people that work with us and for us. To scoff at the idea of being drug tested is a slap in the face to many people who rely on our leadership.
There is absolutely no reason why all candidates seeking public office in Columbiana County can't pay the $20 to the Family Recovery Center and be tested. It is the least we can do to demonstrate our commitment to our coworkers.
Commissioner Halleck also said that drug testing has nothing to do with county issues. Drug testing is about more than drug use it is about leadership. It is about demonstrating that as leaders we are no better or different than the people we lead.
When companies hire an employee a drug screening is a common practice. As politicians we are asking the voters to consider and hire us. We owe the voters, our bosses, the peace of mind that comes with a clean drug screening.
I have been told that the responses to my request by Halleck and Dan Bailey make it look like they don't take drugs in our county seriously. I hope this is not the case. Just last week Eileen Dray-Bardon spoke to commissioners about the increasing problem of drugs and child abuse in our communities. This is a very serious problem.
By being drug tested we have an opportunity to show real leadership. Dan Bailey laughed at my request, and Mike Halleck took the opportunity to attack former county recorder Craig Brown.
As I stated former recorder Brown and I are friends, and I appreciate his help. In an effort to change the subject away from him being drug tested Mr. Halleck attacked a guy that saved taxpayers money, made documents safer, and executed Ohio's first recording notification system. Plus Mr. Brown isn't even in office anymore.
Commissioner Halleck we can make this campaign about creating a better county. You don't have to attack former office holders.
Today we have a chance to prove that we are leaders. I ask that all candidates seeking office including, Brandon Kovach, Nancy Milliken, Nick Barborak, Tim Ginter, and those of us seeking the position of county commissioner step forward and demonstrate that we are willing to do something small to show our commitment to our community.
Ohio School Boards Association exec director backing WB levy
To the editor:
As executive director of the Ohio School Boards Association, I am writing in support of the West Branch Local School District's levy on the May 6 ballot. The district is requesting a five-year, 0.75 percent income tax for operating expenses.
If approved, it will be the first time West Branch has passed an operating expenses levy in more than 20 years. Social Security income would not be subject to the tax.
The levy is badly needed because of cuts in state funding for education and a difficult economic environment. Passage of the issue will help ensure that West Branch Schools have the funds needed to continue its six-year run of "Excellent" ratings on the state report card. It also will strengthen the schools and the community as well as help maintain local property values.
The district has been a solid steward of the community's tax dollars. It has cut staffing and operational costs by more than $1 million since 2008. Salaries of management, staff and teachers have been frozen for four years, while at the same time they have been paying higher health care and retirement costs. And, the district educates its students for $1,000 a year less that the state average.
Without passage of the operating levy, West Branch will be forced to cut student services and programs even further, putting the district's academic success at risk.
West Branch has done its part by greatly reducing expenses and streamlining operations. Now it is asking community members for their help.
The Ohio School Boards Association strongly urges West Branch Local School District residents to vote FOR this levy on May 6. Your children, schools and community are counting on you.
Richard Lewis, CAE,
Ohio School Boards Association,
8050 North High St, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43235,
Letter writer defends stance regarding school levy opposition
To the editor:
This past year has been one of the worst in my life as far as weather and it was probably the best year in my life that I didn't have to help pay for a new school or to replace nor add a new school levy.
I have read several letters that have complained about my letters. One complaining I was using misinformation or partial information. I have all my facts down in black and white. He said he has lived here 18 years; where as I have lived here all my life. So, what is his point?
Two other letters were from a husband and wife; each independently, his on financial information from the board; and hers on part, of being "fed up" with board members.
As I recall two board members have been replaced and as the selections of capable candidates increase, more replacements will be forthcoming.
I try and tell it like it is, and have had several people thank me and say to keep up the good work. They will be looking for more of my letters!
Another thing, rumor around town is the thought of propane or natural gas buses. These types of buses cannot be kept in an average garage, there are specifications to meet.
Remember the 3-mill levy is on ballot the first full week of May. Be sure and don't forget to vote.
Salem Junior Mothers' Club appreciates support for dance
To the editor:
The Salem Junior Mothers' Club would like to thank the community for its overwhelming support of their father/daughter dance. It was a special night for both the girls and their dads.
The night was full of grins, giggles and getting to dance with her favorite guy.
A special thanks goes to Russ Hopple, Jane Bricker and the First Friends Church for their generosity, making the event a huge success!
Mother who lost her son grateful for all of her 'neighbors'
To the editor:
On March 20, 2014, the first day of spring, tragedy struck at the home of Libby DeCrow, a longtime resident at Country Club Lane in Salem. Her son, Anthony Jr., perished in an accidental garage fire.
Dictionary.com defines "neighbor" as a person who shows kindness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans: to be a neighbor to someone in distress.
As it turned out, Libby had many more neighbors than the handful of people who reside on Country Club Lane. She would like to express her heartfelt appreciation to all of the "neighbors" be it extended family members, lifelong friends, her parish family of St. Paul's and physical neighbors who offered her shelter, food, prayers, transportation and love during the loss of her son.
The magnitude of the outpouring of support for the family of Anthony DeCrow Jr. was visually represented by the front-to-back filled pews of St. Paul Church on the morning of March 25, 2014.
Never underestimate the power of kind words, cards, food, prayers, etc. to be a "neighbor" to someone in time of distress. Libby DeCrow would like to thank all of the "neighbors" who exemplified the true meaning of that word.
LORETTA DECROW CONNOLLY,