To the editor:
To the editor:
Our community strength is in our resilience in facing challenges. Today, it appears that nearly every household is faced with financial tightening. Businesses and organizations are competing across borders in pricing and the acceleration of the pace of changes in consumer products, technology uses and speed of information.
I am writing to applaud the recent efforts of our school district to proactively reduce expenditures while being mindful of not undermining the quality of education provided to our students. In anticipating property value reductions, an increase in state unemployment levels and a sluggish national economy, the school community chose to enact greater financial restraint to minimize going to the taxpayers for more funding.
Our district’s classified union voluntarily agreed to pay a greater percentage increase in the amount employees will pay for health care to match what the teachers recently did, which is more consistent with what the private sector is absorbing.
The teachers union renegotiated its increases to a lesser amount and the district is keeping the number of teachers the same unless it can fund new positions with grants. We have a growing enrollment but we have no growth in buildings.
Our administrators have voluntarily taken pay freezes. They gave up performance pay and will not receive a salary increase, and they also are taking the same health-care changes as the teachers and classified staff members. They do not receive step increases.
All of these steps will help bring the costs in closer alignment with the finances that the community is able to provide. Creative solutions continue to be explored to manage operations and available resources. Full use of educational tools that can help individualize the learning experience are being implemented. Last year, a new record of students hit the National Merit-status level. The state report card rates the district “excellent” and this year, for the first time, New Albany was ranked among the best in high schools in the nation by Newsweek magazine.
In addition, the superintendent, April Domine, is focused on aligning quality supervision to faculty and staff to ensure that best practices are implemented and helpful feedback is provided in a consistent manner. Families have complete access to monitor student progress and communicate regularly with teachers and staff. The comprehensive community school strategic planning process that began last year is already well under way, with teachers committed to adopting global learning components in lesson plans designed to help our students compete in the information age.
This resilience is what makes this community special and highly attractive. Residents and businesses want assurance that their investment in education is being utilized carefully for maximum gains. We want faculty and staff members fairly compensated so we can continue to attract the best and the brightest to work with our students. We also highly value that our school community practices being good stewards of taxpayer dollars in austere times and continue to exercise strength in financial management.
Eileen D. Leuby
New Albany Chamber
To the editor:
I support Issue 18, a replacement levy on the Nov. 8 ballot for the New Albany-Plain Local Joint Parks District (New Albany Parks and Recreation), and I encourage others to do the same.
As a member of the New Albany Youth Soccer board, I understand that the current level of operating funds for the parks was set in 2000. Since this time, the number of participants in parks and recreation activities has doubled. This growth requires increased maintenance costs. Passage of Issue 18 will allow increased fertilization, backup well pumps and adequate staff to maintain the grounds.
Furthermore, I know that many of the youth leagues have expressed safety concerns with playing surfaces, due to patchy grass, limited mowing budget and poor irrigation. This levy will allow the district to better maintain the fields and expand their usage without buying more land by lighting the fields. Additionally, the levy will enable the district to add paths, picnic tables, playground equipment and enhanced programming for our community.
Growth and necessity merit a reasonable replacement levy. We urge everyone to support Issue 18.
To the editor:
What is U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Genoa Township) waiting for? I urge him to help his fellow Ohioans and pass President Barack Obama’s jobs bill.
The president has created a plan to get people working and has a plan to pay for it. Our roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair. All one needs to do is park under a bridge on I- 71 or I-270 and look up to see that our infrastructure needs attention.
We are going to spend the money sooner or later. Don’t wait until we have a Minneapolis-type catastrophe to react. Show some leadership, put politics aside and get Ohioans working.