Letters to the Editor 07-17-2017

When times are troubling in Findlay, Ohio, it is nice to know that you have an administration and leadership that is not focused on time clocks but rather getting the job done efficiently and effectively.
There has been so much rhetoric and debate focused on the number of hours instead of what gets accomplished during these hours. Our mayor, Lydia Mihalik, and our safety director, Paul Schmelzer, have put in countless hours managing our resources and services available to protect our community.
I know for 48 hours last week (during the flood), they did not have time for their family or personal life because they have been putting our community needs first.
I would like to thank our Findlay administration, Hancock County officials, first responders and the countless volunteers that have helped our community endure during this trying time.
I would like to recognize all the hours these people put in that tend to go unnoticed. The incredible amount of unselfish acts that happen every day doesn’t always show up on a time card in a given week.
Instead, take the time to look around at our community and see how we thrive even during adverse times.
Connor Ohlrich

In a recent column, Rep. Jim Jordan explained his position on health care reform. It seems to me the big takeaway is that his position is not so much on health care as it is on the role of government.
Jordan clearly states that he is a conservative, upholding the conservative value that the federal government should be small, and decisions and funding of those decisions be left to state and local government.
He also states that if you get government out of health care, the free market will fix itself.
You may agree with both of his positions, but in Jordan’s world that means not only no ACA, also no Medicaid, no Medicare and no program of any sort that provides health services.
There is no evidence to support his conviction that without government involvement, health care costs will go down, insurance premium costs will go down and the average American will have the means to purchase a policy that actually covers his/her needs. There is also the issue of access to necessary health services for people in rural areas.
I have urged our representatives to step back from ideology and from party politics to look at the research and listen to their constituents who want and deserve good, affordable health care.
Historically the best solutions to big problems our nation has faced have come from bipartisan efforts to focus on the issue, not the politics and seek a real solution. In this lack of debate over health care, the American people stand to be the big losers. I hope you will join me in asking our representatives to reach across the aisle and focus on health care access, affordability and insurance policies that are worth the paper they’re written on.
Colleen Benelli-Reed

Ralph Anderson (letter, July 12) needs to check some of his facts. It is true that some chose education as a major in the 1960s in order to avoid being drafted, but they are no longer working in our educational systems.
However, your recollection of the formation of the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) and the millions that have been spent on new school construction in Ohio needs corrected.
The OSFC was established in 1997 by then Gov. Voinovich as a result of the March 24, 1997, Ohio Supreme Court ruling that our public education funding system is unconstitutional.
The Ohio Supreme Court gave two reasons for their ruling of which one of them was the over reliance on local property taxes.
Voinovich started spending tax dollars on new buildings because of the lawsuit. He could not defend a system as equitable when some students were educated in new buildings with labs and media centers and others were educated in old dilapidated buildings where students still needed to use out-houses, and if anything other than a school, would have been condemned.
After minor tweaking, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the funding system was still unconstitutional on May 11, 2000, Sept. 6, 2001, and finally on May 16, 2003.
However, in addition to declaring the system unconstitutional on May 16, the Supreme Court also issued a writ of prohibition, in essence saying that the system is still unconstitutional, but we do not want to hear about it any longer.
Making good on Sen. Watt’s threat that, educators would rue the day they sued the state, the legislators have been making public school educators pay the price ever since (remember Senate Bill 5).
However, instead of making our public school funding system less reliant on local property taxes, it has become more reliant and therefore, even more unconstitutional than it was on May 16, 2003.
I guess the legislator’s oath to uphold the state Constitution does not apply to the public education funding system!
Craig Kupferberg

I’m blessed in having a few readers who are natural editors, and advise me helpfully to become a better writer. These readers tell me I need to give more emphasis to clarity. Trump, for example, they remind me, won an election with more “Build a Wall” clarity in identifying problems than having reflective solutions.
My point in recent letters has been “Tear down the party walls” which divide us more than unite us as Americans. I apologize to all readers for not making this point crystal clear. The reasons for taking this position matter, my editor readers advise, but only after making a point that can be made in one tweet or less.
After clarifying the point, my reader advisers ask “So what?” History alone provides some guidance here on the need for more two-party cooperation.
What happens when the two parties don’t work productively together? How well has the current health-care legislation worked? We had never passed a piece of major social legislation without having the support of both parties, until one party tried to do it alone.
History provides additional guidance in understanding why mutual party support worked better in the past, than the present. When the Democrat Dixiecrats became Republicans, the Democrats lost their socially conservative wing, and the Republican party became the Conservative party, leaving most of the progressives in the Democratic party. Previously there were enough conservatives and progressives in both parties to jointly cooperate enough to pass major social legislation. No more.
There was another major turning point, when the largely Democratic industrial working class of the Democratic party, became Reagan Democrats for largely social reasons, not just economic reasons. This is the wing Trump identified as being mostly left behind, and needing more social support, including better healthcare than the present.
The continued support of his base rests on the resolution of this one key issue in my view, which is inherently complicated and in need of the more cooperative reflection of both parties. I rest my case.
Tom Murphy


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