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BG 4 Corners News & Views for Ohio’s Cradle of Education

Common Sense Where Main Meets Wooster    Bowling Green, Ohio        Vol.2, No.6   November, 2006

NO, NO, NO!

            There is one local issue on the ballot Nov. 7 that gives voters the power to send a strong message to their “representatives.” I put the last word in quotes because most elected and appointed officials in Bowling Green    are anything but representative of the public’s will.

            The issue that provides the opportunity to send them a message of disapproval is the BG School District’s proposed $27.5 million bond issue.

            Last November, the school district asked voters to support a measure nearly twice that size and it was soundly rejected, 61 to 39 percent.

            After hiding out for nine months and going through the motions of pretending to listen to the public, the superintendent-captivated school board quietly voted to place before voters a smaller measure of 2.93 mills to build a new junior high school and auditorium.

            Later the board passed a measure to enable it to hire an architect almost immediately after the measure passes. Such confidence!

            Rather than lead a public discussion on the pros and cons of the measure, the superintendent decided to use an advertising strategy that he used years ago to pass tax issues in Toledo, our depressed factionalized big neighbor to the north.

            The strategy uses little or no public advertising and public discussions of the measure through the media because, the reasoning goes, that just stirs up the negative votes. It uses direct mail and person-to-person contact instead.

            What a way to treat a university community! They apparently think we’re not smart enough to read all the viewpoints in the media and make an intelligent decision.

            While the Bowling Green School District does need a new junior high, school leaders are going about it the wrong way. In my opinion, they are entitled to a NO vote again.

            More than just defeating the bond issue, a NO vote sends a message to all local officials who do not listen, including some who are never accountable to the voters.

            It sends a message of disapproval to the school board for closing South Main because it was “unfit for children” and then allowing it to be leased to a preschool for children.

            It sends a message of disapproval to the parking lot-loving library board.

            It sends a message of disapproval to BG’s mayor and City Council that their inability to stop the library board is not appreciated and that whatever allegedly secret deals they have made to take over the old junior high building for a parking lot or new city hall are not appreciated.

            It sends a message of disapproval to county commissioners like Tim Brown and state legislators like Randy Gardner and Bob Latta for their special legislation to give away millions of tax dollars to Bass Pro shops to come to Rossford. Yet they refuse to pass special legislation to keep the stench-ridden factory farms out of Wood County.

            And it sends a message of disapproval to the BGSU Trustees that they should have better things to do than building a housing and retail development on the east side of  I-75. How about buying the increasing number of vacant former student rentals in Bowling Green, fixing them up, and selling them to new faculty members with single-family covenants?

-- John K. Hartman, Editor and Publisher                                              (OVER)

                                                           

Page 2                                                                      4 Corners News & Views                                                          November,  2006

Betty Toasts Noe, Gets $$, Drops Him

                Betty Montgomery is good at public relations, politics and fund-raising, but not good at telling it straight and serving the public.

                The fact that she took political donations from now convicted felon Tom Noe and ignored his coin fund machinations as attorney general and auditor until it was too late to save the taxpayers’ money is hardly surprising to those of us who have observed her career.

                The Toledo Blade reported Oct. 22 that Montgomery played a starring role in a roast for Noe on Aug. 24, 2004, in the Toledo area.

                The Blade described Noe’s wife Bernadette as furious at her husband’s Republican friends for abandoning him in his time of need and described her giving access to a Democrat to a videotape of the event.              Montgomery is shown telling childhood stories about Tom Noe and about her BGSU sorority friend Beth, Tom Noe’s sister.

                Montgomery really needs some time out as an elected public official to get her stories straight. Remember she made a big deal during her early campaign out of the claim that she was the first woman elected prosecutor in Ohio. It turned out to be false. The first female county prosecutor in Ohio was elected in the 1950s.

                She took money and got the endorsement from the Ohio Education Association in 1992. Her OEA board member sister was a paid staffer on her campaign. It may not have been illegal but it was ethically dubious.

                Later Montgomery “rewarded” OEA members for their support by shirking her duty to oversee investments as a State Teachers Retirement Board member. STRS lost $10 billion from in faulty investments in the likes of Enron and WorldCom from 2000 to 2003. Present and future teacher retirees in Ohio get smaller pensions and pay more for health benefits because Montgomery failed them.

                In my opinion any public educator who votes for Montgomery is voting against the educator’s best interests.

                Finally, Montgomery masterfully plays to female voters. As one of few Republicans who believe in a woman’s right to choose, she attracts more independent and Democrat women voters than the typical Republican.

                Yet, we know that party politics triumphs over personal beliefs and that Montgomery’s fellow Republicans in Ohio have orchestrated a systematic campaign to strip women of their right to choose.

                Look beyond her slick advertising – paid for in part by the $1 million Montgomery raised under the pretense that she was running for governor – and you will see that Montgomery along with her fellow Republicans have outlived their usefulness to Ohio.

                When Montgomery said during the Noe investigation “I am guilty of doing nothing,” she meant it.

4 Corners Reader Worries About E-Voting

A reader writes: “We've got those 'electronic voting machines' right here in Wood County now. With no public auditing of these machines the voting process of most of the nation is now controlled by a couple of private corporations. I used one last November (An 'off season' election, but I deliberately turned up to vote because I'd heard the new machines were here). Though they seem to have some sort of paper record keeping, punched cards, you are not allowed to see the record of your own vote. It's kept in a sealed printing device attached to the voting machine and gets put into a little box under the machine. So here they have met yet another objection with a dodge. There is no way to verify your own vote. They keep the record to themselves and if they punched it the way they wanted it instead of the way you requested you'll never know. Though it's not quite as 'local' as the other issues you usually cover, this is an important issue that the 'main stream' media is ignoring. So I was hoping that you'd also talk about control of the vote sooner or later.”

                I respond: I agree that electronic voting machines like punch cards leave too much to the imagination and to manipulation. I suggest that paper ballots that can be read by optical scanners be re-instituted. They provide a record of all voting and can be hand-counted easily if necessary

 

BG 4 Corners You Read It Here First Tip Of Month:  Democrat Robin Weirauch upsets lame-o Paul Gillmor in the 5th Congressional District and Ohio Democrats oust Republicans in five districts.

 

BG 4 Corners Lamest Coverage Of Month:  The trial of Tom Noe, a BG native, is clearly the biggest local story but The Sentinel-Tribune won’t send a reporter and put the story on page one where it belongs.

 

BG 4 Corners News & Views of Bowling Green was founded June 1, 2005 by John K. Hartman, its publisher. Its purpose is to provide additional news and points-of-view to citizens of Bowling Green in the belief that thorough awareness of and discussion of issues makes for a better community. It will be available free at various drop-off points in Bowling Green and by email by sending your email address and request to John.Hartman@dacor.net. Patrons may support BG 4 Corners News & Views for $10 per issue. Ads may be purchased for $20 per issue.  Comments and submissions are welcome.   Contact information: John.Hartman@dacor.net ; 419-352-8180; 1400 Wren Road, BG, OH 43402. Back issues at www.dacor.net/john.hartman  Copyright 2006, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved.