NOT JUST A CHOSEN FEW
I find it ironic that the mission statement for Findlay’s zoning department reads: “Enduring stewardship dedicated to service and safety for citizens, promoting Findlay as the place to live, work, and play.”
My son’s fence at 830 E. Sandusky St. has drawn a lot of attention lately, as much, if not more, than it got when it was being constructed by him and his family.
Many people, knowing my son bought the old Edelbrock homestead, would comment to me on how nice his fence looked and how wonderful that his entire family had a hand in building it.
Then, shortly after the fence was completed, the czar from the zoning department, Todd Richard, stopped by, not to tell my son (Matthias) how nice his fence looked, as others had, but to measure the fence and make sure it was compliant.
Sadly, it was off by 3 feet, 6 inches. However, Todd suggested that my son apply for a variance with the zoning board and that the city would not be opposed to the variance because it was not a hazard to motorists.
He applied at a cost of $250 and went before the zoning board on a frigid December evening. Present at the meeting were three of the seven board members, as well as Todd and the two other zoning czars. Before Matthias got up to testify, Todd left the room and did not return to verify that the city wouldn’t oppose the variance.
I ask, is this dedication to “safety for citizens”? A family trying to protect their children on a highly trafficked street was denied a 3-foot-6-inch variance, while a builder was granted a 20-foot variance?
I am not opposed to the builder getting their variance. I am opposed to the favoritism shown by the city and the zoning board.
Is Findlay “the place to live, work and play”? Or is it only for the “elite,” those with money who can vote for higher taxes and an ever-increasing bureaucracy?
I think it is time the citizens of Findlay demand our elected officials represent all of us and not just a chosen few!
LOCAL CONTROL HIT CLOSE TO HOME
Thank you to Findlay/Hancock County residents for your support of my campaign and, especially, for your support of my message of local control.
I am sorry that I was not more effective in explaining this message to the remaining counties of Senate District 1. Regardless of the county or community I visited, it was obvious that citizens were extremely supportive of the local control message, specifically for our schools.
On March 24, 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court originally ruled Ohio’s public school funding system unconstitutional due to its overreliance on local property taxes.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled the funding system unconstitutional three additional times, the last time on May 16, 2003, except this time included a writ of prohibition, prohibiting the hearing of the case again and preventing the schools from any further action.
Also back in 1997, former Ohio Sen. Eugene Watts stated on a radio talk show that educators would “rue the day” they brought such a lawsuit against the state of Ohio.
Since then, our legislative leaders have not only failed to fix our unconstitutional school funding system, they began to slowly take over our local public school system. Recently, the legislative leaders have made the funding system more dependent on local property taxes and, therefore, more unconstitutional.
Unfortunately, we have arrived at the point that our local educators are fearful of our legislative leaders and what they may impose next, and our legislative leaders are distrustful of our educators.
This atmosphere is an unhealthy environment and is hurting our children and their education. It is time for both sides to put away the past and begin working together in the best interest of our students and their futures.
If my failed run for the Ohio Senate can, in some way, help to bring about a cooperative environment for our educators and our legislators, I will consider it a great victory!
ALL HANDS WERE ON DECK
Bravo to the cast and crew at the Fort Findlay Playhouse for allowing the Findlay community to embark on an entertaining voyage across the Atlantic on the SS American!
The cast did an amazing job of delivering well-timed lines, lovely singing, and an outstanding tap-dance number in the musical production of “Anything Goes.” It was quite apparent all hands involved in this production were on board with delivering a quality production.
Thank you for the tremendous time and effort you volunteered in order to entertain us!
Anne L. Hermiller