The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 27, 1991 · Page 20
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October 27, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 20

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Sunday, October 27, 1991
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B-8Metro THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Sunday, October 27, 1991 chools Warren Co. sees growth of schools We asked the six Cincinnati School Board candidates five questions related to the $45.8 million emergency levy that will be on the Nov. 5 ballot in the district as Issue 7. The tax will assess the equivalent of 9.83 mills in the first of five years and cost the owner of a $75,000 house an additional $225.78 the first year. B If the levy passes, what do B If the levy fails, what do you see as the next step? B What is your position on the levy and why? B What do you think can be done to increase citizens' support of the schools? B When do you see another levy going on the ballot, and what should it be used for? you see as the next rami QDO300 pushing for levy District faces massive cuts step? BY RANDY MCNUTT The Cincinnati Enquirer 3C 0 30 iaiiuiuaica iui acvcidi uudiua ui education in Warren County have more on their minds these days' than reading, writing and arithmetic. The future, for instance. And. test scores. Because the southern part of; ii- i i - ; I believe that we owe it to reform to . pass this levy so we can have resources to make the changes even more BY LINDA DONO REEVES The Cincinnati Enquirer With a $46.6 million shortfall possible this school year, money is the biggest worry for the Cincinnati Public Schools. Sufficient money allows for the smaller-than-required class sizes, At the top of the list is the suggestion that there be some restructuring of the school system. This is not going to be an easy or a pleasant task. Especially within the business department, some things need to be done quickly; some economies (need to be put in place). We'll certainly have to fall back on some of the cuts that are already projected ... with additional cuts in the wind. Some more would certainly be Draconian. I still have to believe though ... that it wouldn't be fatal. We'd probably have to look toward increased volunteer help. As soon as practical after Nov. 5, we need to take a good comprehensive look at finances to see how we can continue the momentum for reform. The bottom line continues to be for me educational improvements. ... It has to go down child by child, teacher by teacher, school by school. As the trust and confidence level of the citizens in the community increases, so will citizen support. There is a definite obligation on the part of the school system to show measurable results (such as increases in test scores). ... If we stay the way we are, we can kiss goodbye to community support. possible. ... The name of the game is reform. Reform can't be done very well without resources. nationally rec- lUtliftUaU Denized alter native programs and Lynwood Battle, 48, of Pleasant Ridge is manager of corporate affirmative action at Procter & Gamble Co. luc luuiiiy lias giuwu au layiuiy in the last few years, some districts have had to build more schools to. accommodate larger numbers of students. The transition from rural to' suburban has strained budgets as once-small districts Mason and Kings Local in particular try to adjust. New students bring new problems: Where do you put them? How do you pay for their education? In Mason, one of the fastest-growing districts in the county, the candidates will be dealing with those questions after the Nov. 5 election. The issue can't be ignored; the district's student body is increasing each year. Voters will select two school board' candidates, and consider a $10.7 million bond issue to build a new school for the lower grades and improve school facilities. The issue would run for 23 years and be the equivalent of 3.78 mills. Only two candidates, Russell Carter Jr. and Glen L. Knight Jr., will seek the two open positions on I think more money is not the answer to fixing Cincinnati Public Schools. There should be fewer students going. ,.. They should be going to private and religious schools. So If the levy fails, it is a clear message from the voters of Cincinnati that they are dissatisfied. I think the curriculum should go back to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic and other programs should be curtailed. I think they should make plans to live with the permanent (tax) amounts that are on the books now. I, as a taxpayer, might want to continue what's there. But I don't want to ever have to pay any additional. I really want parents and the city of Cincinnati to be skeptical about Cincinnati Public Schools' ability to deliver services. ... The government has been known to be an inefficient deliverer of services, so why should it all of the sudden become efficient? If the levy passes, it is going to be bad news for people on fixed income, property owners and bad news for those who subsidize their own children's education as I do. I think they should make financial plans with the intent of not having a new levy for a long time. ... - with fewer students, Cincinnati Public Schools should need less money. Jim Berns, 43, of College Hill is shop supervisor at the University of Cincinnati. me ividsuii uudiu. i iiey win replace Delores Wilt and Russ Hutchins, .. 0 , bllVMUH, In Lebanon, three board mem- yy ueis win ue eiecieu irom among six: Roger E. Clark, president of the board; Donald Earnhart, a vet- -eran board member; Dixon C. Ma-. pie, a retired Lebanon teacher; What we are trying to do is build up the school system without spending additional monies. Any large improvements in facilities (and programs) are going to require additional tax levies. (I would do) just about what we are doing now. We've changed super- . intendents. (J. Michael Brandt) is very forthright and works to change things when he finds a problem. For 3 12 years, we didn't have that. The cuts (the school board previously) listed will have to be made, and we will be under much stricter state regulation. ... There will have to be another levy. I'm just worried that our advances will be buried. I strongly support the tax levy. The money is needed to avert a second massive borrowing from the state brought on by an irrational system of public financing from the state. ... They fixed the financing so that we don't know funding from one year to the next. If this levy fails, then we'll have another levy on the ballot as soon as we can get it. I think that would be February, and that would be used for the exact same thing. If it passes, we'll probably come back in November. (But) the public has to tell us what its priorities are. uiiib ivi.ui u iuui,i rv uu lias Virginia Griffin, 68, of Westwood works at home and is a school board member. been active in Lebanon's levy campaigns; Darlene Hicks, vice presi-i dent of the board; and Donald R. : Bohl, who has been active in the; school's booster activities. In Kings Mills, the board of education will get two new members. Incumbents Pete Mason and Doug Shanks will not seek re-election. The candidates are Roseann Bayles, Susan Cossman, Steven M. ; Contardi and Michael K. Byrd. Kings Mills has no levy or bond issue on the ballot. Voters in the Little Miami Local I believe the levy is absolutely essential. It needs to be passed for the district to continue its current programs. To a great extent, we've already done a great many of the things that can be done to pass this levy. ... Now if we get the monies, we can implement the other programs to further strengthen our curriculum. wide-ranging bus transportation now available in the 51,000-student school district. More money is needed to begin reforms recommended in the Buenger Commission report, a blueprint for school improvement completed almost two months ago. But the district faces a severe cash crunch if a levy designed to generate $45.8 million fails Nov. 5. That has five of six Cincinnati School Board candidates on the ballot themselves the same day worried as well. Only candidate Jim Berns of College Hill is against the levy's passage. "Sometime we've got to get away from this crisis situation," said John Muething of Amberley Village, who hopes to win one of three school-board seats up for election. "(We) live from hand to mouth." $33.5 million in cuts If the levy is rejected, $33.5 million in cuts that the school board already has designated would be put into place, and the state could take control of the system. If the levy is approved, school-board members still would face myriad challenges in their quest for reform. "All of these things are going to take money," candidate Karla Irvine of North Avondale said of calls for increased alternative programs, revamped curricula and school-based management. "It will be a disaster for the school system if the levy does not pass." Most candidates say the schools' money woes are rooted in House Bill 920, state legislation passed in 1976 that adjusts tax rates to allow for inflation. Because of that bill, this year Cincinnati schools collect 26.03 mills on residential property even though taxpayers have voted in 40.44 mills. If House Bill 920 didn't exist, an owner of a $75,000 house would pay almost $930 annually in Cincinnati school taxes. Instead, that homeowner pays about $600. High expectations Passing the emergency levy would add about $225 to the same tax bill annually for five years and wouldn't be the last levy needed to implement reforms. "I don't want them to be unrealistic," said Berns, who would like to see the size of the school system decreased and an emphasis placed on basic education. "If the levy fails, I think they should make plans to live with the permanent amounts that are on the books now." But other board candidates Muething, Irvine, Lynwood Battle of Pleasant Ridge, incumbent Virginia Griffin of Westwood and incumbent Charles Hughes of Golf Manor say money is needed to keep the schools solvent and the students motivated. "We've seen glimpses of rises in ability achievement scores; we've seen rises in CAT (California Achievement Test) scores," Hughes said. "Every student can learn if we set high expectations. If we can do well in all those areas, we can do well in this tax levy and tax levies to come." There's really horrible scenarios that I don't want to think about. ...We'll just have to do the best we can with what we have whatever's left. It's a very grim scenario. I'm sure there would be a ripple effect no one could fathom. School District will elect three candidates from among five Lester Brown, an incumbent: Linda Bid- There would be another levy next year if this one passes. ... It would be another operations levy. ... That levy would be necessary to deal with the same things that this levy would deal with the increasing of revenues and the stabilizing of expenses. The next step is to address the state funding issue to change the way the schools are funded by the state. ... When property values increase, we do not get additional funds. We must seek change in the state determining funds. I think we could get a legislator willing to introduce a revision. die, a board appointee earlier this year; M. Carol Williamson; Paul Rodeghero; and Linda Davenport. Little Miami has no ew or bond Incumbent Charles Hughes, 57, of Golf Manor is case manager for New Life Youth Services. issue on the ballot. Growth issues brew as vote approaches - ' gf, h S I don't think we have any choice (but) to go ahead with the restructuring. ... I think we'd have to come back with another levy. I think we'd have to come back and restore credibility in any way possible. UI lKClNC WKIU111 The Cincinnati Enquirer Council members elected Nov. 5 in the city of Trenton and village The next step will be exploring ways to change state financing, finding new finances for the schools and implementing the Buenger Commission report. I was very pleased to see that (Ohio Senate President Stan) Aronoff was already working on a bill (to help). I'm emphatically for the levy. If we don't have the levy, the school board is mandated by the state to make cuts. I'm deeply concerned about losing 100 teachers and many aides and reducing transportation. ... It will be a disaster for the school system if the levy does not pass. That depends if this levy passes. Obviously, we're going to see another levy passed. I would not want to put another levy on the ballpt until we convince the public that we have the will to implement the restructuring. ... We won't be able to put (a) pilot mini district in place unless we get some exceptions to regulation. We have citizen support now. I think the restoring of credibility (happens) by going in and implementing the Buenger Commission recommendations. I think the discipline policy is already helping a great deal, and getting school-based management in place will help a great deal. of Monroe in Butler County will need to cope with such issues as increased brewerv traffic and a merger. Karla Irvine, 58, of North Avondale is executive director of Housing Opportunities Made Equal. Trenton will be dealine with traffic and growth already generated by the recent opening of the Miller Brewing Co. plant, while : Monroe officials could deal with results of a proposed merger of the village and Lemon Township. ; I renton residents aooarentlv : are P30Pr in hp nart nf enlntinne i since eight candidates are seeking election to three posts for four- i year terms. Certainly, the next step that we're all looking for is reorganization at the administrative level and setting up of the pilot mini district. I think they can go forward at the same time. Obviously, the cuts have to be put into effect that have already been established by the board. That requires substantial (cuts of) teachers and assistants. That will be difficult to overcome in having to continue reform. With the rollback, you have the constant problem of having to keep up with inflation. But (I don't see another' operations levy) certainly not within the next 12 months. If we did get into facilities, that would require a bond issue. Challeneine incumbents Carl It's sort of a chicken-and-egg situation. What I think we need for citizen support is No. 1 , (showing people) that there's a whole lot of effort being made to improve. But No. 2, some improvement is going to have to be made. It's sort of a vicious circle. Ennis. Oliver McKinnev and lack I'm in favor of the levy because I think it's absolutely necessary to maintain the level of service we are giving now. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to continue the reforms that we are doing without the passage of the levy. Going into school-based management would pose a problem. Allen are Linda Jean Hall, Shari , Lewis, William Moore, Henry Hudson and John Madoffori. The biceest issue will be con tinued orderly crowth." said Tren- : ton City Manager Mel Ruder. John Muething, 70, of Amberley Village is founding partner at Keating, Muething & Klekamp. lhat involves improved infrastructure, zoning and dealing with ' traffic." Agreements made with state ' and county officials at the time the Several incumbents in Warren Co. villages face challenges Miller plant was tirst planned need , to be pursued, Ruder said. "We hope everybody sees fit to honor the agreements and come up with an orderly solution," he said. Five Monroe residents are 1 seeking election to four seats on village council, also for four-year terms. Challenger Mark Neu hopes to capture a seat from incumbents ' John Montgomery, Herbert Wack- ' ler, Philip Miller and Elaine Neill. "If the forming of a merger commission is approved by voters (in this November election), a merger could be something council ! will have to consider in the fu-1 ture," said Seth Johnston, Monroe : village manager. h 1 BY RANDY McNUTT The Cincinnati Enquirer Several villages in Warren County sport lively races for council and mayor in the Nov. 5 elec-tion. That's not always the case often small towns are lucky to get candidates for any public office. In South Lebanon, the races are interesting but subdued, Village Administrator Vance Jacobs said. That doesn't necessarily mean, however, that the candidates Ferris and J.C. Napier will seek re-election against challengers Emory B. Barker and Lonnie Reynolds. Two candidates will be elected to four-year terms. South Lebanon has been changing lately. The town has started a village cleanup project to improve its public image. A new 750,000-gallon water tower has been added, and a new well will be ready shortly. The town also has been seeking to expand its boundaries through annexation, and a new aren't conducting spirited campaigns. "There's been no main issue," Jacobs said, "but I think the races are going to be good ones. I haven't seen too many political signs or heard much publicity, which is unusual for such crowded races. It's been quiet." For mayor, incumbent James David Smith is opposed by Morris Allen Jr., Bennie J. Dyer and former Mayor Albert E. Shepherd. Council incumbents Sam A. ' housing development is under way. But, as far as one big issue is concerned, none has arrived during this campaign, Jacobs said. In the city of Springboro, council incumbents John Balyo, Billie Cox and Dan Muldowney will seek re-election to two council seats. Other candidates are Greg Bell and Daniel Pack. Current council members James H. Eyler and Earl West will seek the mayoral post being vacated by John Remick, who will not V seek re-election. In Waynesville, five candidates Robert Stansberry, Sandra Stemple, Paul Pummill, Michael Inderrieden and Shannon Maloney will seek election to two council positions. Stansberry is the only incumbent. In the mayoral race, incumbent M. Sue Anderson is opposed by James Prickett, Charles W. Sanders and William H. Sawyer. f V

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