To an extent, I wholeheartedly agree with your Jan. 23 editorial, Home Rule, Home Choice. The Ohio Supreme Court should support home rule. The principal of home rule is expressly set out in the state s constitution and, quite commonsensically, recognizes the basic truth that local matters should be governed locally and that city government is more accountable to its citizens than state or local governments in matters of local concern.
I disagree strongly, however, with your assertion that residency requirements from municipal employees have little practical value in the modern world. To the contrary, the city s residency requirement as enacted by voters recognizes the importance of having city employees live within the city they serve.
Contrary to the assertions of your editorial, residency goes much further than simply being a concern over response time. Indeed, it is important to know that safety forces are available to respond quickly in the event of emergency, but it is also important to know that all city employees have a stake in the city they serve. In a manner of speaking, residency of city employees is as much about accountability, pride, and efficiency as it is about response time.
The citizens of Toledo have steadfastly supported residency at the ballot and as recently as 1992 voted on the provision of the charter that requires residency. Why would we go against the wishes of the voters? Undoubtedly this support is, at least in part, due to the belief that those who are paid by the residents of the city of Toledo should be residents themselves.
This concept is neither new nor outdated. As George Washington put it in 1796, Every matter, and everything that relates to the city ought to be transacted therein and the persons to whose care they are committed [should be] residents. Washington was right in 1796, and the citizens of this city were right in 1992 when they reaffirmed the residency requirement in the city s charter.
John T. Madigan
City of Toledo
Government is simply too big
When private business doesn t have enough revenue to support staff, we change staff and call it a layoff. When government (any kind) has that problem, a tax increase becomes necessary.
I think it should be really simple. If the people who are working and paying reasonable taxes can t support the people working in government, then government is too big. It s not really that hard. Private business does it each and every day. Let s try that for a couple of years and see if it doesn t work.
Use cameras just for red-light violations
I have been following the news about the red-light cameras and, in my opinion, this city is using them strictly for revenue. I don t care what the police chief says, it s for the extra income.
I was all for the cameras when they were first installed because too many people are killed at intersections by idiots who run lights. The city went too far when it included the option to also ticket for speeding. Our speeding laws are from the horse and buggy days and need to be re-evaluated for today s cars, which are built better and stop quicker than ever before.
If the authorities would just stick with the red-light cameras, they might get away with it. But to include speed violations, well, let s just say they went too far.
By the way, why do we still have school zone speed limits? When was the last time you saw a kid walking to school?
Educate studentsat much smaller cost
I attended the University of Toledo in the 1950s. At that time, the tuition was a little over $500 a semester. I lived in a fraternity house, which we maintained. We cooked our own meals and our weekly food costs were something like $20 per student. Nearly all of us worked a part- time or full-time job. Most of us were professional students engineering, pre-law, pre-med, science-ed, and so on.
With one exception, all of my courses were taught by professors with PhDs. The one exception was a distinguished man, Arthur Black, who more than once was voted the campus professor of the year. Mr. Black had only to complete his thesis to get his doctorate.
We studied in non-airconditioned buildings. Some of our chemistry classes were conducted in the old quonset huts previously used for GI housing. Nearly all members of our fraternity became successful professionally. All of our pre-med class was accepted to medical school at a time when it was extremely difficult to gain entry.
Now, classes are held in incomparably luxurious facilities at UT and most other universities. Several of my friends have had children or grandchildren educated in highly respected and costly universities and they are taught by a disproportionate number of graduate students, not primarily by PhDs, as were we in the old days.
The point I hope I ve made is that we had a fine educational experience at a fraction of the modern-day costs.
Gordon M. Mather, MD
It s time to bring back regulation
There has been a great deal of discussion about the [federal] loans/bail-out money being used to re-invigorate our country s economy. It is obvious that there should have been more strings and conditions attached to the first round of loans. It appears that the second round will have conditions. These mass infusions appear to be what we need.
A few months ago, author and columnist Thomas Friedman pointed out that President Hoover s decisions extended the Great Depression. Just within the last two weeks, the History Channel ran a program that echoed those same thoughts. I believe those things were a balanced budget, higher taxes, and higher interest rates.
I, for one, am going to trust these sources before I trust anyone else with their 2 cents worth of opinion.
And I am never going to listen to the free trade/no regulation/deregulation mindset that got us into this mess again, no matter which side of the political aisle it comes from.
Rational regulation must be put back into place.
Sid S. Davisson
A new chapter turns in American history
Jan. 20 dawned cold and windy as most winter mornings do, but this one was different because it also dawned with the brightness of a new era in American history.
On Jan. 20, a middle-aged man from the Land of Lincoln, inspired by that great man s life and legacy, took the oath to become our 44th President, the most powerful man in the world.
Some people see this as an extraordinary moment because this particular man s skin is darker than some of ours. Some people find that frightening, as all things we have not experienced before are perceived. At one time, it was frightening to think of a Roman Catholic in this same office. Sometimes it is easier to focus on the differences that seem scary than on what makes us the same.
Barack Obama focused on the sameness of all our lives, the hopes and dreams we all have for our families and country, and that has propelled him into the White House. He has united millions who share those hopes and dreams: white, black, Hispanic, Asian, young, old, famous, and not so famous. He has inspired people to hope and believe in government again. He has a daunting task ahead because of a bad economy, two wars, and America s diminished standing in the world.
This is an extraordinary man, not because of the color of his skin but because the courage in his heart that made him seek this difficult job.
No matter how you voted, we owe him our support and our prayers as he begins to lead us in a new chapter in American history.
The point is this: Smoking kills
No smoking? Definitely.
Smoking kills in more ways than just health. Example East Toledo house fire, 2 children dead, others injured. Cause? Smoking. Need more be said?