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Published: Thursday, 8/28/2003

Taxpayers do mind footing Kest's bills

So Ray Kest thinks the taxpayers won't mind funding his education and hotel bills. Well, I'm here to tell him that there are two taxpayers at my address who mind big time.

No one but ourselves, our hard working parents, and a very small amount of employer reimbursement paid for our educations. While it is laudable that Mr. Kest is furthering his education, it should be at his own time and expense, as he will reap the most benefit with more marketable job skills, not the taxpayers.

If Mr. Kest read and understood the statutes and rules that apply to these situations, then one can only wonder what else is being done on the taxpayers' dime that we haven't found out about yet.

I don't know which dismays me more: what appears to be Mr. Kest's hugely arrogant attitude toward taxpayer funds, his inability to handle his own personal finances (remember the $80,000 balance on his credit cards that came out during the last election), or the thought of what else is yet to be uncovered.

One thing I know for sure: whoever runs against him in the next election gets my vote.

CAROL LINDHUBER

Sylvania

Word to the wise for Ray Kest:

Two old sayings come to mind.

“It is better to say nothing and have people think you are stupid then to open your mouth and prove it.”

“The one thing about holes: When you realize you are in one, stop digging.”

TONY ESPOSITO

Regina Parkway

My property taxes fund, among other things, the school system in which I live. I am not ecstatic about that, since I do not have children. But I do accept it and embrace the principles behind it.

I happen to have a couple of neighbors who do not pay their taxes. I cover their share of the tax load to send their children to school and have been doing so for the three years I have lived here. I am even less ecstatic about that. But I can still handle that.

I can handle it because I know that part of my taxes go into a fund to assist with collecting taxes from those who chose not to pay in a timely manner.

Ray Kest feels he too is entitled to be sent to school on taxpayer money even though he is an elected official and elected officials are not entitled to that compensation.

Mr. Kest says a PhD would contribute to his job as country treasurer. I feel his pain. After all, a PhD would significantly improve my earning potential in my profession.

Mr. Kest says he is often too tired to drive home from his classes in Cleveland, so he has to stay at a $100-a-night hotel. I know how he feels. I, too, could use a night away once in a while. And I'll bet I could find a room that costs less than $100 a night.

Mr. Kest gets a car for his personal use. And here I have been making my car payments right along. Where do I submit my canceled checks for reimbursement?

Now, just where do I sign up for that county-supplied financial aid? You see, every time I pay my taxes, I kiss part of my education fund goodbye.

MARSHA MANON

Elmridge Road

Every time Ray Kest opens his mouth, he inserts his foot. He needs to pay the taxpayers back. He can put it on his credit card - if he still has one!

SANDRA CALHOUN

Sylvania

Lucas County Treasurer Ray Kest's expenditure of restricted taxpayer money in his pursuit of a PhD would have been better spent on a remedial reading program.

He obviously needs training in reading comprehension, as he is unable to understand the simple words of the law regarding this money: The funds “shall be used solely in connection with the collection of delinquent real property, personal property, and manufactured and mobile home taxes and assessments.”

A fourth-grade student would easily discern that the words “tuition” and “hotel bills” are not among the uses mentioned as permissible. Mr. Kest's excuses for this blatant misuse of public funds are self-serving and, at best, border on the ridiculous.

GARY L. FRANKS

Perrysburg

Ray Kest has chosen the wrong course of study and the wrong way to pay for it. He needs a PhD in ethics, and he should pay for it himself.

The inflated and constantly rising cost of higher education has strapped many students and their families to the point that deserving students cannot afford tuition, and often those who do finish college are burdened with debt.

Apply for financial aid, Mr. Kest, and work to pay off your loan.

LEONORE JOHNSON

Aldringham Road

Ray Kest's milking taxpayer's dollars for his PhD and hotel rooms is the tip of the iceberg. Our local, state, and federal governments waste billions of taxpayer money every day.

I for one am sick of the government's thinking tax dollars (aka our hard-earned money) is theirs to spend at will. When will the endless taxation end?

Thank you, President Bush, for seeing this and giving taxpayers some of their money back.

BETSY NOONAN

Mapleway Drive

As a retired elected county auditor, I am disgusted and appalled to read and observe the arrogant attitude of Ray Kest, Lucas County Treasurer, concerning his improper spending of taxpayer dollars.

If one were to read the duties of the county treasurer in the Ohio Revised Code, one would find almost no mention of economic development duties. The treasurer is to prepare various tax bills, deliver them via regular mail, collect the taxes, invest safely the county funds (i.e., taxpayer dollars) and collect any delinquent taxes.

Also, refusing to take a sobriety test when driving a rather expensive county auto is exposing his county to great financial risk were he to have an accident.

JOHN L. TRUDEL

Archbold, Ohio

I would like to bill Ray Kest for my continuing education as a psychiatric nurse.

He would surely benefit from my improved services if he believes the taxpaying citizens of Toledo owe him a PhD.

JOHN FANEUFF

Oregon

If some school districts needing money just hired Toledo Police to issue speeding tickets - at double the fines due to the work zone - through I-280 construction, the income could be split between the city and themselves, thus solving all the money woes.

And it wouldn't take very long, either. I am the only one who actually drives 35 mph through those twisted turns. (There might even be some extra funds left over for Ray Kest's continuing ed classes.)

HANK RYBACZEWSKI



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