Last spring, Gahanna voters sent their district and board a message by failing to pass a 9-mill levy. The district is back this fall with a scaled-back request of 6.8 mills. It is my belief, given the cavalier attitude the district has demonstrated regarding the spending of tax dollars, that the district already receives adequate funding ... if only it spent wisely.

To the editor:

Last spring, Gahanna voters sent their district and board a message by failing to pass a 9-mill levy. The district is back this fall with a scaled-back request of 6.8 mills. It is my belief, given the cavalier attitude the district has demonstrated regarding the spending of tax dollars, that the district already receives adequate funding ... if only it spent wisely.

The district acquired the Clark Hall site for $5,455,380, despite the fact that the market value of the site was appraised at only $3,460,000 by a firm retained by the district. Would you pay $2-million more than appraisal for your property? Or would your lender let you do so? I don't think so.

Additionally, the district paid a law firm $67,599 for its part in the transaction. Did the attorney you took to your closing charge this much? Despite repeated requests, the district refuses to divulge the details of this bill to those of us who paid it.

Now the district has announced it will spend approximately $1.25-million over the next 5 years to teach Chinese. I fail to see how one subject can cost so much. Just how much will this be per pupil served? We are told we should not be concerned about this extravagance because it is funded with a federal grant. But where do you think that money comes from?

When a publicly traded corporation spends unwisely, shareholders can express their dissatisfaction with management by selling their stock. Taxpayers are "shareholders" in the school district and should express their dissatisfaction with the district's spending practices by voting against the current levy request.

Ellen M. Thompson

Gahanna

To the editor:

I want to thank Ellen M. Thompson for her well-written letter in the Sept. 16 edition of ThisWeek. I think it is a great idea to compare the Bexley school district to the Gahanna Jefferson school district. I'd like to take this opportunity to compare some other numbers between Bexley and Gahanna.

For example, even though Bexley may have one assistant principal in its high school to Gahanna's five, they have only 725 students compared to Gahanna's 2300 students. That's a student/administrator ratio of 362 for Bexley High School and 383 for Gahanna Lincoln.

The next stats are from the Ohio DOE FY 2009 District Profile Report:

Bexley's spending per student is $14,539, Gahanna's is $11,288.

Bexley's student/administrator ratio in 2009 was 171.28, Gahanna's was 194.14.

Bexley's student/teacher ratio in 2009 was 16.12, Gahanna's was 17.67. That's before the recent staffing reductions.

Bexley's income tax collected per student is $2890, Gahanna's is $0.

Bexley's total millage is 101.4, Gahanna's is 66.9.

I guess that if Gahanna really wants to be like Bexley, the school district should impose an income tax and ask for a 35-mill levy. Whew! I'd even vote against that! It's a good thing that they are only asking for 6.8 mills.

Bexley has a great school district and they get exactly what they pay for.

Gahanna, too, has an exceptional school district that has provided a great value with the resources it has been given. That's why I live in Gahanna.

Please vote for this levy. I know for a fact that the last round of staff reductions is already negatively affecting the educational quality within the district, especially at the elementary level.

James Bugenstein

Gahanna

To the editor:

On Monday night, I sat in a meeting at Middle School West in Gahanna. Superintendent White gave a presentation on why the school levy should pass. I am not sure whey we needed to have a meeting for something that is so logical my 13-year-old can understand it.

I am a mother of three. I have two in high school at Lincoln and one at West. My oldest daughter participates in a program called Educational Mentorship that allows her to intern with a teacher in a second-grade class. This shows her how things will be when she enters an elementary school and has 20 children counting on her.

My son is learning French and has a desire to learn as many languages as he can while attending Lincoln. He has dreams to one day be a linguist. He also benefits from the football program, which teaches him the value of family. My youngest daughter is an avid basketball player at West. She is a member of renaissance team, and works on the athletic staff during the fall.

All of my children benefit from the programs, teachers, and administrators at Gahanna-Jefferson Schools. We are from Indiana, and when my husband's job transferred here I researched schools in the city of Columbus. Gahanna stood out and with good reason. Upon entering the district, I met with Mr. Oxley, the principal at Royal Manor.

On a Friday night, he stayed after school until late evening talking to my son and me about Gahanna and what this community is all about.

Not only do our children deserve this levy our teachers do as well. So now that I have painted this beautiful picture let's get to the hard part. My first question when I walked into the meeting was why am I here? Why are we here when we know what is needed. Yes the economy is bad. We don't have a lot of money. My husband works overtime daily. Most times he works 12-hour days and tries to make it to games and band concerts. Even in an uncertain economy we do this for our children. We do this because our children are the ones who will change the economy. I don't want to my children to have to kill themselves working for pennies. I want them to go to a good college, do something they love and make a life for their children, a better life than I have made for them.

Gahanna is a town of schools, children and families. There is nothing more important than that.

I had a conversation with an elderly resident who asked me why she should pay high taxes for this levy. I asked her, "Do you have grandchildren?" She answered, "Yes." I asked her where they lived. "Florida." My next question was obvious.

"Wouldn't you want someone to pass a levy to make your grandchildren successful individuals?" She was silent. There is no deep thinking on this levy. It needs to be done.

This is a cycle. If our children are not properly educated, we have a class of people who will never care for themselves. They will walk our streets and commit crimes. They will become part of the welfare system and we will eventually support them. They will fill our jails. Why not support them now while they are bright, talented, impressionable children. It's up to us to save us.

Rhasha Williams-Hoosier

Gahanna