Letters to the Editor

Support St. C. pubic library levy

Dear Editor:

As a homeowner in the district served by the St. Clairsville Public Library, I am writing to urge people to vote FOR the upcoming half-mil levy for operations of our wonderful library.

I am a former trustee of the library, and my wife and I continue to visit regularly for books, copies and information. Also, my wife is a regular participant of a monthly book club sponsored by the library..

The only governmental funding the St. Clairsville library receives is from the state of Ohio. These local monies began seeing cuts in the mid-1990s and have continued. Ninety-three percent (93 percent) of the library’s budget comes from state funds, with the remainder coming from gifts and donations, fines and fees.

Since 2001, total state funding for the library has decreased 24 percent! While books and materials are at the heart of library operations, since 2001 the budget for books and materials has been reduced 72 percent in 2017. Additionally, the technology budget (patron computers, etc.) has been reduced by 90 percent!

Library director Doug Walsh has formulated a Levy Fact Sheet which is available at the library, or by calling 695-2062.

Quality of life in any town is important, and the people of St. Clairsville and Richland Township have it in abundance with outstanding schools, parks and a library. Let’s keep it that way and pass the library levy on November 7th.

John S. Marshall

St. Clairsville

Support fire levy

Dear Editor,

Information on the EMS levy for the village of Barnesville, Warren Township and Kirkwood Township:

I realize that no one likes taxes. I am no different, but I can’t think of anything more important to all of us than the health, the safety for our community and lack of volunteers in recent years. In 2006, we became a paid department with part-time employees to answer calls. However, due to the lack of funding, we are not staffed 24/7 and we are completely funded by our own billing. We do not receive any tax dollars to operate. We truly have stretched every dollar we have to operate on. Unfortunately, it is not enough to allow us to improve our staffing levels or update our equipment.

In the last few years, most proclaimed programs are degree programs. These folks give their nights and weekends for 18 months or longer to get these degrees. After getting their degree, paramedics require over 80-plus hours every two years to keep their cards, all for $11.75 an hour at part time with no benefits. Most of my staff don’t just have one job. Some work two or three jobs to make ends meet. My staff truly has a passion to help their fellow man and community. I know for me personally it is an awful feeling knowing there are times we are not staffed. Please don’t think that this levy is just for us. It is for al of us — our friends, neighbors, our children and community. I ask that you please support our EMS levy on Nov. 7.

Tim Hall Sr.

Assistant Chief

Barnesville Fire Department

Positive change for Buckeye Local

Dear Editor,

My name is Teresa George, and I am an Alumni of Buckeye Local Class of 1994. I am a full-time working mother. My husband and I have two daughters who currently attend school in our district. Our oldest is in the eighth grade at the junior high, and our youngest is in the third grade at West Elementary. I have worked in the medical billing/coding field for over 20 years. As a mother of two kids and a member of this community, I have a lot invested in this school district.

Several people have asked me what is my “agenda” as a candidate for Buckeye Local Board of Education? My response is: I want to be a part of positive change, and I believe it needs to start with the school board.

My main goal if elected is to have a school board that is united and supports one another — a school board that is supportive of the administration and supportive of the staff. I believe if your school board is not united and does not support each other, then each person becomes more concerned about their own agenda than the main reason we are on the board, the children. If everyone has individual agendas, the students, employees and community suffer.

I believe the main job of the school board is to provide the best education and fundamental life skills to help each and every student become productive members of society. Making decisions should only be made if they are in the best interest of our students. The kids in this school district should be first and foremost the main priority; this should be the primary and most important reason to want to serve on the Buckeye Local Board of Education.

If elected, while serving on the Buckeye Local School Board and helping mold and prepare the next generation, I would like us as board members and leaders to reinstate the use of committees. Committees such as financial, maintenance, academic and transportation. Having separate committees that focus on a certain area will help in the aide of decision making and community involvement. I would also like to look into updating the student handbook to reflect the current challenges in society. Keeping our handbook updated on societal changes and having it reflect any current challenges within our district will help keep our children safer and better prepared for adulthood.

Vote for positive change! Vote for Teresa George, Buckeye Local Board of Education.

Teresa George


National Co-op Month

Dear Editor,

South Central Power Company is joining 30,000 cooperatives nationwide in October to celebrate National Co-op Month. “Co-ops Commit” is the theme for this year’s celebration, spotlighting the countless ways cooperatives meet the needs of their members and communities.

The mission of our cooperative is to deliver safe, reliable power that adds value to the lives of our members in 24 counties. We accomplish that in several ways.

First, we’re a not-for-profit entity owned by the people we serve. That means revenue over and above our expenses goes back to our members, not to Wall Street. That money, along with the jobs we provide in 5 communities, enhances the economies of our area.

Second, through the generosity of members who participate in our operation Round Up program, more than $500,000 is returned each year to our communities in the form of grants to food pantries, first responders, youth programs, schools, community parks and more. Since the program started, we’ve used funds to award 300 college scholarships.

Third, through our Co-op Connections program, discounts on prescription medications, health services, and pet care are available to our members. Members can also take advantage of discounts at local, regional and national merchants which means more money in their pockets.

South Central Power is part of a network of nearly 1,000 electric cooperatives serving cities and towns across America. We are so much more than power companies. We’re a part of the fabric of the lives of our members. That’s a role we’re proud to play.

Rick Lemonds

President & CEO

South Central Power Company

Vote for Pielech

Dear Editor,

I am asking for voters to support and vote for Dirk Pielech for Buckeye Local Board of Education. If you look at all seven candidates for school board, I believe Pielech is definitely the best qualified.

Pielech is the only board member in recent memory to propose and make any “positive changes” in Buckeye Local. And you must agree that these changes certainly needed to be made. Dirk Pielech is a caring, hard working, honorable man. He keeps his promises. He is a problem solver, and he is definitely not just another “yes man.”

In order to “move forward,” Buckeye Local needs Dirk Pielech on the school board. Please vote for him.

Chris Linn


Run better candidates

Dear Editor,

Since the Reagan era, Republicans have focused on tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and trickle down economics. While this war on workers has decimated the middle class, the GOP has been very successful at fooling the American people and getting votes.

No ideology in modern American politics has failed as consistently or for as long as the Wall Street-friendly “democratic centrism.” Center of the road Democrats are undeterred by the losing streak that has brought our party consistent losses in elections.

Some warn all hell will break loose if we use democracy to challenge the power of money. They forget that we are descended from revolutionaries, radicals, socialists, progressives, populists, labor unionists, feminists and civil rights and environmental activists who made America truly great by refusing to bow to the powerful and wealthy and instead fighting to extend and deepen freedom, equality and democracy. If the Democratic Party expects to win elections, we need to stop running candidates like Hillary Clinton and replace them with candidates who truly represent the working class’s best interests.

Ben Lofton


Re-elect Whiteley for trustee

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the residents of Goshen Township for the privilege of serving as their township trustee for 28 years. As many of you know, I have decided not to seek re-election. The fact Goshen Township has two very capable trustees has made my decision much easier.

I have served on the board with Shawn Thompson for 10 years (his term is not expiring this year) and J. R. Whiteley (his term expires this year) for the past four years. Both are very capable trustees who always have the best interest of the township at heart. They are knowledgeable of the township and duties required of being a trustee.

The reason for my letter is to ask voters to support re-election of J.R. Whitely as Goshen Township trustee. He deserves to be re-elected. In my opinion, J.R. has proven he has the qualities to be a excellent township trustee. He works tirelessly and is very accessible to residents and our employees. J.R. has an outstanding knowledge of the oil and gas industry and the maintenance of the roads.

I ask you to vote for J.R. Whiteley on Nov. 7! I would also like to thank you for all your past support.

Bruce Miller


Vote yes for the library levy

Dear Editor,

As a parent, long-time 4-H advisor and a retired substitute teacher, I understand the need to keep the St. Clairsville library doors open and accessible to residents of all ages. Young children are delighted by the books and activities offered through the Story Time programs; elementary-age youngsters enjoy the exciting summer reading programs, and the library has a vast wealth of information for research papers, science fair projects, and many other areas of discovery for older youth.

Parents who take their children to these various activities also take advantage of adult reading materials, such as novels, historical texts, a large selection of magazines and periodicals, movies for the whole family and much more. Adults and seniors find it convenient to visit the library for an energetic and enjoyable array of health-focused activities, as well as assistance on using computers.

Our library has found itself in a position where it has a need for local residents’ help in order to maintain, and hopefully increase, its service opportunities for our community. The St. Clairsville library currently operates without any levy funding from the community and has received less and less state funding since 2001 – 24 percent less. As a result, the library has had to make drastic reductions in programming, resources, technology and personnel. Your “yes” vote for the library levy on Nov. 7 will cost your household just $17.52 a year, that is $1.46 a month. The long-term benefits of everyone’s contribution to the passage of the library levy will be a huge boost in the library’s ability to restore and continue providing the best resources for all of the wonder-filled residents of this community for years to come.

Show your support on Nov. 7 — vote “yes” for the library.

Mary Mowrer

St. Clairsville

Support the library

Dear Editor:

Gone are the days when overflow books from the Martins Ferry Public Library were stored in a bathtub (and other places) in a building near the former library location on North Fifth Street in that city.

The Martins Ferry library outgrew those former quarters and now is housed in a modern building. Another major change in recent years was the formation of the Belmont County District Library, which includes the Ferry facility and branch libraries in Bridgeport, Shadyside, Powhatan Point, Bethesda and Flushing,

The district library provides a variety of books and services as well as programs for both children and adults, and library officials are seeking residents’ help in continuing these efforts. The renewal of a 1-mill levy is to be considered by the district’s voters in the November general election. It won’t result in an increase in present taxes as it is a renewal levy for five years.

Major funding cuts have adversely affected libraries throughout the state in recent years. The 1-mill levy was approved by district voters in 2013 to counteract these critical problems. That approval resulted in the restoration of hours (which had been slashed because of the funding reductions) and also provided for the purchase of needed materials.

Approval of the upcoming levy is crucial as it provides nearly 40 percent of the district’s budget.

Think of the wide range of services provided by the library. Job seekers can use its internet and wi-fi free of charge to check about employment possibilities, and technical training on computers also is often offered. Research on a variety of subjects including genealogy also is possible via internet.

And there are also the fun things for children such as Babytime and story hours.

A library is more than just books. There are newspapers, magazines, audio books, music CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays and eBooks, and the interlibrary loan system helps borrowers obtain books and other materials not on the shelves of a district library. Another asset is the helpful librarians.

Libraries are important parts of our communities. Education, entertainment and enlightenment are offered through libraries, and it is vital that these continue at present and in the future.

Betty J. Pokas

Martins Ferry