I read with concern a recent letter, "Property valuations warrant scrutiny," wherein the question was asked, "Is it possible that there is collusion between cash hungry political leaders and the tax assessor?" I object to the claim personally and I tell you the assertion is patently false.
Ohio law requires a reappraisal every six years. This is done for the equalization of values and only has a marginal role in determining the amount of taxes that are collected. This year is a reappraisal year, and we are in the process of completing our work. By law, after all data have been reviewed, including input from taxpayers and current sales, we will deliver the final values in mid-October to the tax commissioner.
The reader then engaged in some conspiracy theory, stating, "I believe that the revaluation is being used as a technique to increase county revenue " Again, untrue.
As auditor, I have never taken a position on a levy because I don't want my office's duties to affect the outcome of same. To suggest that I set the values in order to raise money for other government entities is an insulting challenge to my integrity, and it is statutorily implausible. The reappraisal actually ensures that voted levies only receive the revenue generated by their initial vote. Reduction factors reduce tax rates in proportion to the percentage of any increases our reappraisal may find.
Finally, it's suggested that the media should investigate the 2006 property revaluations. I welcome that. Our office has handled this reappraisal with the utmost openness, held ourselves out to public scrutiny, and endured countless cheap political attacks.
We remain open to all who would like a better understanding of their auditor's office.
Larry A. Kaczala
Lucas County Auditor
As I read the recent article on Dick Cheney defending his role in the Iraqi conflict, I did just what he said to do. His words were "The world is better off today with Saddam Hussein out of power. Think where we'd be if he was still in power."
I'm thinking of the thousands of Iraqi innocents who would still be alive; thinking of our brave young men going about their daily lives being denied futures; thinking of Iraqi towns and buildings wasted; thinking of the fortune spent unnecessarily on this foolish war and being told by the powers that be we can't afford Medicare, road improvements, bridge repairs, and education funding to name only a few; thinking of our country's low morale and even lower standing in the world.
Please, let's find a quick way to end this madness, bring our boys home, and work together to once again make our country the good hearted peaceful country it once was. God bless America!
There is a lot of red and blue flying around in politics right now. Neither party, however, has even one more ounce of ability than the other to "protect" us.
Osama bin Laden does not care if you're Republican or Democrat.
The fact that Bill Clinton chose to save the American people from unnecessary war spending over terrorist acts, which we as a country could not have predicted even with the best intelligence, says nothing about Democratic Party abilities.
Just as George W. Bush's choice to use Sept. 11 as a catalyst to pick up where his father left off in the Middle East at the huge expense of American lives and money says nothing about Republican Party abilities.
People all handle these situations in different ways. Some use muscle, some use words, some use subterfuge, and some do nothing.
Presidents Clinton and Bush listened to their advisers, whom we didn't elect, and look what it got them. Mr. Clinton is accused of inaction and Mr. Bush is accused of over-action.
It's time the American people started thinking for themselves instead of hiding behind party lines.
Ottawa Lake, Mich.
I would like to congratulate the producers of the fictional docudrama The Road to 9/11. The production value was first class: it was very realistic. However, it is likely that, just like when War of the Worlds was aired, some people will believe The Road to 9/11 to be completely true. It must be worth it to fool some of the people even some of the time.
I have to say, unfortunately, there was one segment where the realism factor suffered. Even though the actor who portrayed President Bush addressing the nation could have been an exact double, the content of his speech was so overdone and obvious (as subtle as a Mack truck) that the realism factor lost all credibility.
At voting time, remember this: to make a decision based in fear is to make a decision from a position of weakness.
As the fifth year following the most brutal attack on American soil dating back to Peal Harbor and the World Trade Center passed, we continue to remember 9/11.
We remember the shock. We remember being frozen in our tracks as time stopped while we watched and listened, attempting to comprehend what we were seeing on television or hearing on the radio. For timeless decades to come, we will relive where we were and what we were doing at the exact time of the attack.
Every person will reflect in his own personal way. Some in public ceremonies and some in a private moment. Following this day in 2001 American flags flew proudly in support everywhere. On automobiles. On trucks. In front yards.
As I drove my Jeep through Maumee and South Toledo this year, the large numbers of flags seemed missing from the landscape.
I understand that everyone is very busy with their lives, but wouldn't it be great to see that kind of display again? To me it's an extra effort that is more than worth the action.
How could anyone see the picture of little, innocent Iraqi children and not be moved by the joy in their faces for being splashed by what we Americans take for granted every day, clean water?
I'm sure this complete joy is in stark contrast to the look of horror and bewilderment when we unleashed our MOABs (mother of all bombs) on their city at the beginning of the Iraq war.
Now with the Bush Administration's feet finally being held to the fire, it has had to admit Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. What a sad commentary for all the warmongers who got it so pathetically wrong. As in all wars it is the innocent children who suffer.
I am disgusted by the blatant disregard for the law at traffic lights near Willys and Jeep Parkways.
These are not people who blaze through a yellow because they do not have time to stop. The people I witness come to a complete stop and then feel free to take the law into their own hands and go anyway.
I witness several people running these lights every month, and even know a few of the people. If that one red light throws off their schedule so much, maybe they should cut out that extra cup of coffee or cigarette in the morning instead of risking someone's life.
I would love to see traffic cameras put up at this intersection or see a police officer there at various times throughout the day. I'm sure the Toledo Police Department could put the money that they would gain from these tickets to good use.