Public libraries across Ohio enjoyed huge success at the polls on Nov. 8.
Ohio voters approved 77 percent of the public library issues on the ballot. With 12 new levies, 174 of Ohio's 251 public library systems now have local tax support.
This amazing vote of confidence means that Ohio voters understand that libraries are doing more with less, and that they are willing to help libraries replace some of the state funding that has been lost.
These poll results also reveal that Ohio voters see value in their public libraries and understand the institutions' necessity in serving patrons. However, these levies still only replace a small portion of the state funding cuts that libraries have experienced in recent years.
Nearly all of Ohio's libraries, including the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, depend on state funding to keep their doors open and to serve their communities. Nearly half of our local library's revenue is from the state's Public Library Fund.
Most of Ohio's public libraries are operating at abysmal 1996 funding levels. We can't do without our libraries and we shouldn't have to consider this as an option. Ohio voters understood this fact at the polls.
The work remains to keep libraries open for generations to come and to restore lost funding. Our communities are depending on it.
Director Toledo-Lucas County Public Library Michigan Street
Post-Issue 2 talks a must
Now that Issue 2 has been convincingly defeated, the question is still in front of Ohioans: What reforms, if any, in public-sector labor law should be adopted?
As The Blade has urged, some sort of compromise between the overreach of Issue 2 and the current law seems to be what Ohioans want ("Ohio voters can strike a better balance," op-ed column, Nov. 6).
Now is the time for the parties to come together and do what Ohioans need them to do: negotiate and compromise. I fear that human nature may militate against just that desirable outcome.
One of the exceptional characteristics of America is our unwritten law that puts rationality and pragmatism over ideology. Let's make a deal.
Defeat of Issue 2 good for teachers
Many people like the idea of merit pay for teachers. That is fine if we are comparing apples to apples. A fourth-grade student at Ottawa Hills cannot be compared to a fourth-grader from the inner city, because the two children are from different environments.
Should a teacher get paid for just showing up? No, and that is why Toledo Public Schools has a nationally known program called the Toledo Plan. It allows administrators and peer teachers to recommend that an inadequate teacher be mentored. If mentoring fails, the teacher is terminated.
TPS teachers pay 10 percent toward their retirement and 13.3 percent toward their health care.
I am sure there were good points in Senate Bill 5, which voters defeated as Issue 2. If Issue 2 had passed, teachers would have gone backward. Promotions would be based on who school officials like or who is related to whom.
Editor's Note: The writer is a retired Toledo Public Schools teacher.
Krauthammer? No; more Dyer
As a regular reader of The Blade, I am dissatisfied with your use of op-ed columns by Charles Krauthammer. He is so one-sided.
I enjoy reading columns by Gwynne Dyer, who writes on many topics. Mr. Krauthammer is featured every week. We're lucky to read Mr. Dyer every two weeks.
Episcopal bishop of D.C. has Toledo ties
I was pleased to see the coverage of the consecration of Mariann Edgar Budde as the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C. ("New bishop pledges to revitalize U.S. flock," Nov. 13).
Toledoans are always -- rightfully -- proud to claim notable persons as their own. Bishop Budde's first position upon graduating from seminary was as assistant rector for five years at Trinity Episcopal Church on Adams Street in downtown Toledo.
Those of us who worked with that promising young woman 20 years ago are not surprised that she has been elected to a position of great moral and administrative authority. I was a parishioner and vestry member during her five years at Trinity; she left in spring, 1993.
Clearly, she had both the commitment and the skills to bear witness to her deeply held Christian faith in every aspect of our community life: going door to door in North Toledo to invite our neighboring families to Trinity worship services and Sunday school; filling her car with parish trash to take it to a recycling center; organizing physicians, supplies, and transportation for a medical mission to Honduras, and preaching and counseling with clarity and power.
She walked humbly, but was absolutely resolute in matters of justice, and unflinching in the face of adversity.
Toledo was blessed with a courageous, steadfast young minister. Washington is blessed with a courageous, steadfast young bishop.
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