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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Problem is spending, not revenue


Election 2004

So many schools are pleading the need for more tax dollars. School boards contend the government has reduced funding, yet the state and federal governments contend they have increased funding. What's going on here? I have studied the Lakota school district's financial statements, and it appears this school board has not done its job as stewards for the district's taxpayers. This may be the reason for so many funding levies.

The Lakota School district is now the 8th largest in the state due to the population explosion in the West Chester and Liberty Townships. From 2001 to 2004 the Lakota school district's student population rose 8 percent. Over this same period, their revenue increased by 25 percent, and their operational spending increased by 42 percent. Factoring in the 15 percent rate of inflation over these years, the increase in revenue appears generous (and the 42 percent increase in spending is irrational, compared to an 8 percent student increase.

I believe the school community has successfully focused everyone's attention on the (questionable) revenue side of the issue, but have conveniently left out the expenditure part of the equation. There is a basic math problem at work here that no new funding system, nor new levy, will solve. Lakota and perhaps most other school districts don't have a revenue problem, they have a spending problem.

Allen J. Baxter

West Chester

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Support Butler MRDD

I am asking for continued support of the services provided by the Butler County of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. This request is incremental and the results are immeasurable.

Parents, associates and employees of the Butler County MRDD ask you to please vote yes on Issue 23 when you go to the polls Nov. 2. Specifically, please vote yes to replace and existing 1 mill, 10-year levy that expires. For the owner of a home valued at $200,000 the impact will be approximately $3.20 per month.

Significant changes in the way Medicaid benefits are being distributed from the state to the counties makes it imperative that we on the local level respond favorably when asked next week. As a volunteer board member for the last eight years and a parent of two daughters receiving MRDD services, I have seen first hand the fiscal challenges confronting our local agency. The services for our most needy citizens is a worthy investment.

Jim Powers

West Chester

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Clooney has integrity

I am writing as a supporter of Nick Clooney's candidacy for U.S. House from Northern Kentucky. His opponent, Geoff Davis, uses distortions to paint a picture of Nick that is untrue. The debate on KET showed Davis avoiding directly answering any question and ignoring the answers Nick gave him. I was impressed with Nick as a man before this run for office. He has been a man of integrity and goodwill for every person he has been in contact with. His clear views for the future are not those held by Davis, but rather than address those directly, Davis and his supporters have smeared Nick.

Barbara Houghton

Alexandria

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Davis clearly pro-life

Conservative Geoff Davis, running for Congress, is pro-life, period. His opponent Nick Clooney will not clearly state his position.

Clooney will say nothing other than that he is "against abortion." Doesn't every candidate say that? He opposes a Right-to-Life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He has received large donations from supporters of major pro-abortion organizations. They must think he's safely in their camp.

For those of us who are pro-life, there is only one course and that is to vote for Davis.

Carol Rutksoky

Lakeside Park

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Combat vote fraud

I am totally enraged by the fraudulent voting practices unfolding before our very eyes (Cocaine for voter registration fraud alleged," Oct. 19). When Ohio has more registered voters than voting age people, something is wrong. When felons are hired to register voters and paid with cocaine, no wonder that Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and people dead for 20 years sign up to vote.

Now I read that restrictions have been eased on "provisional" ballots for names missing from the registrar's roll.

This amounts to criminal theft of the votes of law-abiding registered citizens.

We still hear complaints about Florida's felons whose illegally cast votes were erased in the last presidential election. Where are the voting reformers now when we need them to fight clear misconduct? Even a photo ID would be a better armor for democracy than the current system of wishful thinking.

Jo Ann Fedor

Fort Wright

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'No' on 3 guards rights

Several years ago, I had a job interview with a private employer. One of the questions asked in the interview was "Do you drink alcohol?" My answer was yes, I drink wine. I was not hired because of a moral lifestyle choice I had made. Was I angry? Of course. Did the employer have the right to deny me employment because I wouldn't represent them in a light in which they wished to be seen in the community? Absolutely. I cannot ask anyone to give me special consideration because of the moral choices I make in my life. The passage of Issue 3 would remove the right of employers to choose who represents their business. "No" on Issue 3 does not take away rights. It protects them.

Caryn Johnson

College Hill

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'Yes' on 3 for fairness

Why are some voters confused how to vote on Issue 3? It's clear to me - if you vote yes on Issue 3, you will help Cincinnati get rid of a law that prohibits the protection of gay people from discrimination. Discrimination is wrong. But maybe when voters enter the polling booth they won't be thinking about fairness - they'll be thinking about their "feelings" about gay people. If voters have negative feelings about gay people, they must not know anyone gay.

So please allow me to introduce myself: I am a 30-year-old professional who is an aunt to a beautiful 8-month-old nephew; a sister to a caring brother; a daughter to loving parents who've been married nearly 40 years; a granddaughter to a 91-year-old farmer; a graduate of two academically rigorous universities; a colleague to dedicated leaders who strive to end violence in our city; and yes, I'm also a girlfriend to a wonderful woman who is an intelligent, compassionate lawyer to victims who cannot afford legal representation. I am your typical gay person. I was born gay - just like my brother was born heterosexual. He can't change who he is, and I can't change who I am.

But, when you close that curtain in the polling booth, you can change a law that discriminates. You have the power to remove a law that allows people like me to be denied housing, fired from jobs, and kicked out of restaurants. Please vote yes on Issue 3.

Kristin Shrimplin

Oakley

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Rules invite abuse

There are times in life when given an opportunity to make something simpler we cause it to become more complicated. This is a great way to describe what is happening with the current voting situation.

People are already voting in some states. Rules are being changed so a person can vote wherever they choose. Computer voting machines are supposed to be easier to use but do not leave a paper trail if they fail.

While it will make it easier for a few to vote, it will give many others the opportunity to abuse the system. The wide range of rules and systems are an open invitation for corruption. Having one system of voting, with the same set of rules throughout the country, is the only way to minimize the corruption.

Everyone has the right to vote. With that right comes responsibility. When you register to vote you accept the responsibility to know where, when and how to vote. If you cannot manage these responsibilities you do not deserve to vote.

Chris McKeown

Montgomery

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Issue 1 hurts Ohio

On Nov. 2, voters will vote on State Issue 1, a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution banning gay marriage. The League of Women Voters of Ohio opposes this amendment for the following reasons:

• No no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination.

• This amendment would legitimize discrimination in the Ohio Constitution and contradict the Bill of Rights.

• It threatens equality of opportunity and access to health care for unmarried couples that might otherwise receive domestic partner benefits.

• Its far-reaching language will disallowotherwise contractual rights, benefits and protections, such as those of adopted children of unmarried couples or of unmarried couples jointly owning property.

• It hurts the ability of employers to recruit and retain a qualified and diverse workforce, contributing to Ohio's economic decline.

• It ignores and inhibits recognition of the evolution of marriage as a social institution.

Nike Mendenhall

Co-President

Mary Kercherval-Short

Co-President

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Don't vote against kids

After reading the "Your voice" column "Business group opposed to CPS levy" (Oct. 17), and after all the palaver about the Cincinnati school levy renewal, the overwhelming fact remains - if you vote against the renewal, you are voting against kids. The column is about adult issues, while kids are the ones who are vulnerable. We must vote for them. Kids are not only our future; they are our dearest and most precious assets. Vote for Issue 32.

Steve DeMar Madisonville

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Why not hire aide?

In response to the article "Convicted aide still working for Deters" (Oct. 22), Deters is being criticized for allowing fund-raiser Eric Sagun to still work for him after Sagun pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating election laws. Tim Burke, the county's Democratic Party chairman, said "he was stunned to learn that Sagun was working for Deters."

Aren't the city and county Democratic leaders working on a plan to have convicted felons put back into society by allowing them to vote and get jobs?

Harold Schuler

College Hill

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Bush tax behind levy

Regarding the article "Glendale makes levy case" (Oct. 21): I have lived in Glendale for 37 years and never before voted no to any levy. The current Glendale proposal, however, gives me pause. The article states "Inheritance revenue has fallen..."

A major reason for the loss of local inheritance revenue is a little-known, devious and complex "Robbing Peter to pay Paul" component of the Bush alleged tax reductions. The result is that a good portion of the inheritance revenue, which used to go to local municipalities is, instead, being paid directly to the federal government.

Mary Lewis

Glendale




SUNDAY FORUM
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Repeal Cincinnati Article XII
Use of Dr. King's image "shameful"
CPS levy: 'No' for stalled progress
We support Bunning for re-election
Letters to the editor
More letters: Election 2004
Hot Corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers
Election 2004 section