I recently voted with my colleagues on Sylvania's City Council to endorse the school levy on Tuesday's ballot. As a fiscal conservative who has initiated and defended a 1.5 mill rollback of city real estate taxes over the past five years, I am very concerned about the tax burden on my fellow Sylvania residents.
But to secure the future strength of our community and the economic viability of our housing stock, Sylvania voters should support the schools in their request for additional revenues.
As a council member, I have come to know that the reason most cited by people for moving to our city is the quality education offered in Sylvania Schools.
For Sylvania to remain competitive with other suburban communities with excellent schools, it is essential that we support this levy.
Our teachers, administrators, and staff have all agreed to wage and benefit concessions. Our board has implemented more than $10 million in additional budget cuts to demonstrate a commitment to efficient, quality education in Sylvania.
Now it's our turn as voters to speak out for a vibrant community and in defense of our home values by voting yes for Sylvania Schools on Tuesday.
Sylvania City Council
Raise income tax on the wealthy
During the 1990s, the average tax rate paid by the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans was 26 percent, which was one of the lowest tax rates of any industrialized nation. Back then we had full employment, a large budget surplus, and a growing, prosperous economy.
Then Republicans made the largest tax cut in history -- which targeted the wealthy.
Now the wealthiest pay an average income tax rate of only 17 percent, which is lower than many middle-class Americans pay ("Taxes tumble for rich as nearly half of filers pay nothing," April 18).
And over the past decade we have experienced double-digit unemployment, widespread increasing poverty, the worst recession since the Great Depression, and massive budget deficits.
The first lesson is: If something isn't broke, don't fix it. The second, most obvious lesson is that cutting taxes for the wealthy doesn't create jobs -- it destroys them.
The third, and most important, lesson is that any politician who says the deficit can be reduced without raising taxes on the wealthy is either lying or grossly ignorant of basic economics. You elect such politicians at your peril.
Orchard Tree Lane
Sheriff's home must be saved
I was shocked to read about the condition of the sheriff's residence ("Historic sheriff's home, jail empty, in disrepair," April 25). As a member of Toledo Downtown Tour Guides, I have led tours inside the building and out.
Considering the pride the Lucas County commissioners had during their residence, the dedicated work of volunteer organizations saving the building 10 years ago, and the history of the residence and the Civic Center Mall, the building must be saved and maintained. It is the cornerstone of the mall.
Remember days of the oil men?
Do you miss the days when two oil men were in the White House ("Pain at the pump," April 24)?
Methodist church goes off deep end
Central United Methodist Church is off in the deep end of the biblical doctrine pool "Church calls attention to its support of gays" April 26). It is flailing about because it is drowning in its accumulated spiritual dead weight.
Central United has decided to stick its collective thumb in the face of God by declaring that God has it all wrong about his multiple pronouncements that homosexuality is a sin.
It is a sin in the same camp as adultery, fornication, gluttony, lying, and other abominations. Those who practice such matters will not inherit the kingdom of God.
It is sad to see the smiling faces in the photo of Rev. Bill Barnard, Oretha Lawson, and Dan Rutt as they cheerfully celebrate their apostasy from orthodox Christianity under a large billboard that says: "Being Gay Is A Gift From God."
Such a nonbiblical statement about God and their belief that God is condoning sin is abhorrent and finds no justification or defense in holy writ.
These profligates cannot quote any verses to justify such sinful conduct.
Any person, gay or otherwise, should be warmly welcomed into any Christ-centered fellowship. But it should be clearly made known to them that such a lifestyle is not to be condoned or approved. Rather, the sinner (homosexual or otherwise) is to come to repentance and forsake his or her sin.
People who profess to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are not a gift from God. They are merely sinners in need of salvation.
A true church of God does not wink at sin and think it is cute or use it as a recruiting tool for new attendees.
Lay Speaker Braden United Methodist Church Dorr Street
Kudos to church for its billboard
I was mightily impressed by your article about Central United Methodist Church and its billboard campaign supporting gay folks.
At the time, it didn't seem to concern me directly and I wasn't focused enough to consider congratulating Rev. Bill Barnard for what he had undertaken.
But after having the existence of the billboard pointed out to me by an extremely happy lesbian friend, I'm moved to write now.
Kudos and all due credit to Bill and to his church. You're certainly on the right track.
Return America to the people
Government for the people by the people no longer seems to be a true description of America. People try to work, pay their bills, and take care of their families while dealing with higher prices and lower wages and benefits.
Politicians get pay increases and health coverage far superior to the health-care reform they are trying to force Americans to accept. What have we become as a nation? Government for government on the backs of the people would be a more true statement.
When all else is taken from us -- the ability to work, the ability to choose health-care plans, the ability to own homes, to retire and be secure in our homes, to live the American Dream -- what do we have left?
Our representatives at local, state, and national levels would do well to remember this. As Americans, we must stand up for ourselves, because our representatives only stand up for themselves.
In November, 2012, we must use our votes to erase the blight of our current government and return America to the people.
Blade's Zerbey a community asset
Your April 23 article about the U.S. Marshals' Northwestern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force recognizing Joseph H. Zerbey IV as its "2010 Citizen of the Year" was great ("The Blade's Zerbey is 2010 Citizen of the Year"). Mr. Zerbey was recognized for being the idea guy behind the Most Wanted page.
I have heard many comments since the page was developed by people from all walks of life. They have been amazed by how quickly this type of notoriety allows police authorities to apprehend fugitives.
I did not know that Mr. Zerbey was instrumental in the development of the page, but it certainly comes as no surprise to any of us who have worked with him on community projects.
He truly has become a force for making good things happen, whether it is helping the Toledo Club, the University of Toledo, or the Imagination Station, Mr. Zerbey consistently has creative ideas that have a high potential for making things better.
It is great that as the business leader of The Blade, he can affect northwest Ohio in such a positive way. He has truly become a huge community asset.