I was quoted in the July 16 publication of The Grove City Record article regarding my address of the South-Western school board on July 13. This article takes points I made in my address to the board out of context and totally discarded the suggestion I was making to get the levy passed. I stated different positions taken by the "yes" and "no" levy groups to make the point that sound bytes can easily lead to any conclusion desired by whoever is talking. The Grove City Record certainly proved that point by printing only the "no" side of the talking points I quoted, thus creating the misperception those were the points I wanted to focus on. I am interested in the statements of those against the levy because by openly addressing those points, we can unify the community and move forward.

I was quoted in the July 16 publication of The Grove City Record article regarding my address of the South-Western school board on July 13. This article takes points I made in my address to the board out of context and totally discarded the suggestion I was making to get the levy passed. I stated different positions taken by the "yes" and "no" levy groups to make the point that sound bytes can easily lead to any conclusion desired by whoever is talking. The Grove City Record certainly proved that point by printing only the "no" side of the talking points I quoted, thus creating the misperception those were the points I wanted to focus on. I am interested in the statements of those against the levy because by openly addressing those points, we can unify the community and move forward.

I am for the levy for many reasons; below are my top two:

The failure of this levy will have a negative impact on the educational experience of the children of this district.

Without strong schools, new families that value education will not consider moving into this district. The only new residents will be people who are looking for the cheapest place to live and want to make the smallest contribution possible to their children's future. That is not the community I want to be part of.

When you listen to all the reasons given by the voters against the levy there are two objections: "I can't afford to pay" and/or "I don't want to pay." Everyone is concerned about their own finances during this recession and some worry that others are "getting too much of the pie."

At the board meeting, I suggested, the district declare their intentions for the contract negotiations set to occur next year. I thought this would alleviate the concerns of those who have predicted the passage of a levy will result in a large base pay increases for all district employees. I've since learned it could be unlawful for the board to comment about specifics regarding upcoming contract negotiations and therefore my suggestion is not possible.

The levy opposition group has stated the voluntary base pay freeze is not enough of a sacrifice; I encourage people to investigate how many other districts received the same voluntary concessions from their employees. How many of us approached our boss and offered to take a pay freeze without being asked? The employees of SWCS are an important part of our community and made a significant effort to help the district. We should trust they will appreciate the passage of the levy by their fellow residents and continue to consider the economic climate when their new contracts are negotiated.

It is my hope and belief that the residents of this district want their communities to be great places to live. Successful schools are a key ingredient to great communities. I would like to encourage my fellow residents to vote yes on Issue 2. I would encourage the SWCS school board, administrators and employees to work together to make the voters proud of that decision.