By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer
DEERFIELD TWP. - Now is not the time to change leadership, argue Kings Board of Education incumbents in this Warren County district recently bedeviled by costly problems.
But challengers vying for two open seats on the board say some of those problems are self-inflicted by the incumbents and that a change in leadership is needed.
Election Guide 2003|
Cincinnati.com provides an early look at the Nov. 4 vote with help on getting you registered, lists of area candidates and the latest campaign news. And there's more to come, including candidate profiles - as we get closer to Election Day.
More than 100 Kings residents heard those arguments and more during a candidate forum Monday evening at Kings High School. Audience members submitted questions for each of the four candidates - incumbents Roger Jones and Konrad Kircher, and challengers Toby Darkins and Michael Sharbaugh.
Sharbaugh, an executive with ABX Air Inc., hammered on Jones and Kircher for asking voters in May to approve a $43 million property tax increase. The issue was rejected by 61 percent of voters.
But Jones countered that Kings' three consecutive years of earning the state's top academic rating of "excellent" is ample evidence that the current leadership of the 3,800-student district is doing well.
Moreover, Jones argued, the recent discovery of toxic lead on school grounds and its potentially costly cleanup, combined with storm damage last month totaling more than $500,000, makes this a bad time for new leadership.
Kircher criticized Darkins and Sharbaugh for their connections to the political group Family First, saying the two were more interested in pushing a political agenda rather than improving schools.
Darkins said he has taken no campaign money from Family First but that he "agrees with 70 percent of what they stand for." Sharbaugh responded that he was endorsed by Family First and has accepted campaign money from the group.
United Way behind goals
Fernald silo cleanup drags on
A manatee migration with a twist
Heart hospital has new suitor
IN THE TRISTATE
Movie house pictured at mall
Gay rights ordinance may be reconsidered by council
People, places and things
Death raises fears on road
City's housing authority sues feds
Pediatric doctor a 1st for rheumatology award
Terror tactics tackled in drill
Woman spared jail in cyclist's death
Fire hits Ivy Hills golf building
Kings school candidates debate
British exchange program canceled
Mason, Deerfield make nice
Mystery speaker to dedicate memorial
East End school step closer
Candidate in court over sign
Parent protests 'sweatbox'
Bronson: This time, the accused rapist was the real victim
Korte: Cranley lashes back at GOP critics
Howard: Good Things Happening
Sr. Loretta Ann Bruewer, 97, was retired principal
Paul C. Beckman, longtime lawyer
Appeals court upholds death sentence in killing of woman
Hearing reveals brutal details of woman's slaying, mutilation
Barge wreck on Ohio investigated
Grayson gets help from the president
'Thump' plays a bucketful of music
Forest Service can spare only one Ky. firefighter