I am writing in support of Issue 81, South-Western City Schools' $261-million bond issue and combined 6-mill operating levy on the Nov. 4 ballot.

I am writing in support of Issue 81, South-Western City Schools' $261-million bond issue and combined 6-mill operating levy on the Nov. 4 ballot.

This levy, combined with nearly $206-million from the state of Ohio, will address the district's urgent facility needs and avoid deep cuts to education programs. Passage of this levy will allow the district to provide quality school buildings for every child, improve safety and security; upgrade technology; provide space for all-day, everyday kindergarten; and eliminate the need to use trailers for classrooms.

For just $25 a month for the owner of a $100,000 home, every student in the district will attend a new or like-new remodeled school.

This levy is a chance of a lifetime investment in your schools and community to help build our children's tomorrow.

I urge residents of the South-Western City School District to support high-quality schools and vote for Issue 81.

I bought a condominium in Grove City four years ago and pay almost $2,600 a year in property tax.

On top of that, I pay $170 a month in condo fees to cover many things that other homeowners get with their property taxes. I am essentially paying a double tax.

The value of my property has dropped $15,000, based on comparable sales in my community, but my taxes are locked in for another three years, and I cannot fight the assessment.

Now, South-Western City Schools tells me they have a deal I shouldn't pass up, to raise my taxes another $50 a month.

I want to know why it costs twice as much per square foot to build a school than a luxury hotel. And why does it cost more to maintain schools than hotels?

I want to know why government employees get automatic raises without any performance requirements, while those of us in the private sector have actually been getting pay cuts or standing still.

If the state has $200-million to give us, let them give it to us. It's our money. We could easily solve our building problems with that and still have money left over.

With all the new building and development going on, we ought to be taking in plenty of money to educate our children. If not, then it's time to stop issuing building permits….

As a concerned parent in the South-Western City Schools District, I'm compelled to express my support for Issue 81.

My fear is that other parents and community members don't realize what an important opportunity this is for us. We did not ask for the timing on this $206-million from the Tobacco Settlement Fund, but as far as I'm concerned it couldn't have come at a better time.

This proposal, if passed, will be a huge shot in the arm for all schools in our district. We may never get another chance to have half of our costs paid to renovate and update technology in every school.

If you have not been in Franklin Heights or Westland lately, you would be surprised at how rundown these buildings have become.

Costs will always rise, so it will never be less expensive to replace inadequate buildings while reducing our maintenance costs at the same time. The bonus is we will have improved safety and security and elimination of all portable trailers.

Those children lucky enough to be in one of our newer intermediate buildings know what an advantage a new building can be.

We will also save costs by going green in these buildings, from water-reducing fixtures to using architecture in providing more sunlight as apposed to mostly artificial light we use now.

Think of the jobs that will be created to boost our west side economy.

All we have to do is reach out and grab that brass ring.

The Oct.19 article appearing in ThisWeek West Side entitled "Forecast shows deficit by 2010 if levy fails" contained the laughable statement by Superintendent Bill Wise, "We will be looking at another levy attempt in the spring if the levy doesn't pass."

Gee, no kidding? In 2005 the scare tactics finally worked after, what, three attempts?

When will the residents of this community realize they are being fleeced by those constantly demanding that we dig deep into our pockets?

I am recently retired and on a fixed income, I cannot afford an additional $500 tax on my property. Have any of these school officials heard of something called budget cuts?

Oh, wait, that's an equally laughable statement.