I don't know how Gov. John Kasich can appear on television ads for Senate Bill 5, on the Nov. 8 ballot as Issue 2, with a clear conscience, making fraudulent, deceptive claims to hard-working Ohioans ("1st ballots to be cast Tuesday in Ohio; Health care, S.B. 5 among key issues," Oct. 2).
He says that public employees need to pay their share. He stressed that all Issue 2 asks of these employees is that they pay 10 percent of their salary to retirement and 15 percent of their health-care costs.
It sounds so simple and puts public employees such as firefighters, police officers, and teachers in a terrible light.
Teachers and most other public employees already pay 10 percent toward their retirement.
Representatives of teachers from across northwest Ohio met with State Rep. Barbara Sears (R., Monclova) and State Sen. Mark Wagoner (R., Ottawa Hills) before Senate Bill 5 was finalized and told them that teachers would be willing to pay 15 percent of health care costs if it meant preserving the integrity of public schools. Both declined to support teachers.
Issue 2 is about more than contributions to retirement and health insurance. It's about firefighters and police officers maintaining their ability to negotiate for proper safety equipment and levels of staffing. It's about teachers being able to work with administrators to maintain effective public schools. It's about preserving the middle class in Ohio.
If Gov. Kasich feels so strongly about Issue 2, he could at least have the decency to be honest with Ohio voters about the full scope of this legislation and the shared sacrifice that Ohio public employees are willing to make.
Editor's note: The writer is an English teacher at Southview High School.
Teachers' unions, boards doing fine
Public school teachers have worked with local boards of education to devise fair and equitable pay scales through collective bargaining. They don't need legislators to dictate how that process should work ("Issue 2 fight shifts to costs of benefits," Oct. 3).
Teachers with the same experience and education get the same pay. Unlike in much of society, men and women are paid the same. Teachers who want extra pay take on extra-duty contracts, coach, or advise.
Performance pay will not make teachers better. It will cause cronyism, demoralization, disparities in pay scales, discrimination lawsuits, individualism and the nonsharing of good ideas, and subjective evaluations that favor special interests.
The proponents of S.B. 5 want voters to think public employees are ripping off the public. But the public should not be fooled by S.B. 5 proponents who use misinformation and misperception to drive their political agenda.
Keep local control in place and vote no on S.B. 5.
Editor's note: The writer is a retired Ottawa Hills teacher and former president of the district's teachers' association.
Cut pay at the top, folks will respond
Governor Kasich has no problem saying that it's time for state workers to pay their fair share, but last month, state Senate leaders gave significant raises to top staff members ("19 Senate staffers get pay hikes of 4-33%," Sept. 8).
I do not belong to a union, but I believe that union workers have the right to organize and bargain. I will vote on Nov. 8 to keep S.B. 5 from going into effect.
If Mr. Kasich expects people to follow him, he should start cutting the cream where it's the thickest, at the top in Columbus. If he can do that, he can come back to the table and I'm betting people will respond in a better manner.
Bell's staff needs to sacrifice too
As a city worker and member of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 7, I would like The Blade to publish the rest of the story ("AFSCME, city reach tentative agreement; Cuts to help city ease projected $8M deficit," Oct. 1).
Mayor Mike Bell says the city's broke and he needs to balance his budget on the backs of our 850 members. You should show how much some of our safety forces' wages and overtime hours are costing city residents.
Why doesn't Mayor Bell and his administration ever have to suffer like the rest of us? Where are their concessions? I thought we were all city of Toledo employees.
City, Local 7 show talks can work
If the need to reduce government spending is so great that we need Issue2/S.B. 5, and our state legislators are just looking out for the welfare of the citizens, then why did they exempt themselves from this bill?
The pending agreement between AFSCME Local 7 and the City of Toledo shows that the process of negotiation works better than this dictatorial bill.
Bell doesn't seem to care about city
Mayor Bell thinks of only himself, not the people of Toledo. As mayor, he has to go.
Enough already of photos of Bell
We all know who Toledo's mayor is, so why do we have to see his picture in The Blade every other day?
Toledo, U.S., take a Chinese look
The way things are going in the City of Toledo and the United States of America we might as well change the names to China, Ohio, and the United States of China.
Democrats ripped over Tea Party
Recently, Democrats led by Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi have made a concerted effort to blame the policy failures and plunging poll numbers of the Obama Administration directly on the Tea Party movement ("The Tea Party makes war on the American people," op-ed column, Aug. 3).
The possibility of losing both the White House and the Senate in 2012 has caused them to lose their composure, lashing out with false accusations against Tea Party members.
Anger at this grass-roots movement has resulted in people calling Tea Party members barbarians, bigots, terrorists, and uneducated white racist malcontents out to destroy the government simply because they support individual liberty and limited government and oppose higher taxes, rampant spending, massive deficits, redistribution of wealth and income, Obama-Care, and the expansion of entitlement programs.
The false accusations against these American patriots only make them stronger and more determined to see that this President is not re-elected in 2012.
Assistance Dogs coverage shorted
I couldn't help but notice the three pictures of artwork made from condoms for the Planned Parenthood benefit and only one very small picture from the Assistance Dogs' benefit ("Fund-raisers boost Planned Parenthood, Assistance Dogs," Sept. 22).
Why slight the benefit for the assistance dogs?
Cut funds for Parenthood unit
I was appalled to read about the Art of Prevention condom art show to benefit Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio.
Then I had a great idea: remove Planned Parenthood from receiving any government funding so that it can raise all its own money in these "artistic" ways.