To the Editor: Weston mayor wants change on Otsego board
Written by Mayor Howard Lashuay   
Thursday, 22 October 2009 08:25
The consolidated building plan in Otsego was voted down three times by the taxpayers. It was only when the board made a commitment to build three new elementary buildings that Otsego received taxpayer support.
This commitment ended very quickly with the spending of the high school bond money on projects that the state would not give us credit for, and the provision of less money for phase 2. The purchase of more land at the consolidated campus instead of Haskins also showed no effort would be shown in following through with regards to the promise to the taxpayer.
At the August school board meeting school superintendent Mr. Garber agreed when asked that the new consolidated facility would cost more to operate with regards to energy cost. This cost, plus the lease payment could come from staff cuts, not the taxpayer. In following meetings it was announced because of "State of Ohio mandates" they would not be required to hire more staff. If this is true, then will this half million dollars in new debt be added to the millions already forecasted?
Forget for a moment if you're for the 3-mill consolidated plan or the 5-mill multiple facility plan. 48% in Haskins, 46% in Weston and 30% in Grand Rapids supported the last levy. With many home owners dealing with layoffs, is this the time to add more debt?
Around 200 of the 600 school districts in Ohio have built new facilities under the OSFC program. I find it hard to believe that the state will never again fund school improvements if we don't act now. In the end, respect should be shown to the taxpayer in making these critical decisions, especially when they have not supported consolidated campus in the past.
I support the following candidates below. They are all fiscally responsible people who will listen to and respect the taxpayer in what ever decisions they choose to make.
As neighbors to many of us in Otsego, I believe the days of finger pointing will end. Only with everyone in this school district being treated as equals will Otsego get the sacrifice and support from the taxpayer that will be needed in the future.
I want to thank Brad Anderson, Mark Tolles and Judy Snyder for sacrificing their time to help improve our school district.
I believe these three have the wisdom to do what is right for the entire school district.
Mayor Howard Lashuay

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