Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mary Samide (R) for Geauga County Commissioner

Mary Samide has lived in Chardon for 47 years. She has served as Commissioner for 10 years and as the Republican Precinct Chair for 14 years. She served as a Munson Township trustee for 9 years.
"I am seeking this office to continue the excellent record I have as County Commissioner for the past 10 years and to serve the people of Geauga County," Samide wrote on her candidate questionnaire issued by The News-Herald.
Samide said the following items were accomplished during her 10 years as commissioner:
Moody’s upgraded Geauga County bond rating to Aa1 while other states and communities were downgraded.
14.7 million Safety Center will be paid off in less than 10 years after opening in 2005
State Auditor continuously gives Geauga County highest award for sound fiscal management with 2011 award with distinction (given to less than 5% of Counties) We have balanced county budget yearly without raising taxes. Geauga County receives Digital Technology award for outstanding use of technology countywide.
Extended Fiber Optic throughout county facilities. All Sheriffs vehicles have the latest technology and presently we are installing the latest digital communication radios that bounce signals between our 5 constructed towers in Geauga. This will help all fire, and safety personnel countywide throughout all 16 townships, 4 villages, and one city.
We are continuing to build economic development through our 14 million dollar portfolio, and our new small business incubator project. I plan to continue economic development while at the same time preserving farmland and protecting the beautiful environment in Geauga County. Our motto, which we put in place in 2004 is “Growing Geauga Greener economically and environmentally.” These goals are not mutually exclusive of each other. We see them working in tandem.
We have managed to keep all personnel working in Geauga County through a difficult economy and have managed not to raise taxes. Geauga county has a 5.8% unemployment rate, and property values have only gone down by 5%. We feel we have weathered the economic downturn. Geauga County was ranked by Forbes magazine the 4 th best place in the Country to raise a family ,and we are ranked 1 st as the healthiest in the state of Ohio during my tenure as Commissioner. If re-elected, I plan to continue these aforementioned policies, committees, and involvement.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Anthony Podojil, running for Lake County Educational Service Center

Podojil cites shared services and legislative partnerships as his priorities if elected.
“Work with our legislators in developing a more in depth understanding of the needs of the unique districts we serve and the impact that legislative initiatives are having on the quality of education be delivered to the children,” he wrote in his questionnaire.
He cites his past experience in education as a reason to be elected.
“In my role as a public school administrator, I have had many opportunities to develop and participate in numerous programs that have been developed jointly between districts using the ESC as the catalyst to make that happen,” he wrote. “In our current economic environment, the means by which we utilize our resources to their maximum potential has never been more important.
“I am committed to working with all district members in seeking solutions that benefit our students and the community.”
Podojil has been a resident of Painesville Township for 25 years.

Caitlin Fertal, The News-Herald article, Oct. 28, 2013 

Scott Slocum for Huron School Board

Scott Slocum
Slocum, 50, who is currently on the school board, said if re-elected, he would like to improve community engagement, improve labor relations and continue to be fiscally responsible.
“We now have a leadership team focused on community engagement, reflecting a new tone in the district,” Slocum said. “We intend to partner with the city on projects, which will help both the city and district share resources and be more fiscally responsible.
“We are developing a formal strategic plan to be rolled out in 2014 which will include community input.”
In regards to labor relations, Slocum said he has 20 years of labor relations experience which has gone “untapped” for the last eight years.
“Our employee morale is high right now,” he said. “I have heard this from many employees in the past month. I understand that treating employees with respect and following contract language ultimately saves the district money. Good labor relations is good business.”
The district also needs to keep on the same path of being fiscally responsible.
“This year, the district negotiated a successful contract with classified employees, saving the district $100,000 annually,” Slocum said. “And $652,000 in cost saving measures has been identified for the 2013-14 school year. Additionally, expenditures held to a 1.9 percent increase in 2012 – lower than the rate of the inflation and an improvement over 2011.”

-- Kaylee Remington, Morning Journal article from Nov. 1, 2013

Nancy Bulea for Huron School Board

Nancy Bulea
Bulea, 65, has served on the Huron school board for 17 years and the EHOVE board for four years. She said the school district must be financially strong with solid leadership and a strong teaching staff.
“Huron has worked very hard over the past 10 years to set up an organization/teaching structure to accomplish this goal,” Bulea said. “In Huron, the current majority school membership has lost the focus on education and fiscal responsibility.”
Bulea said if elected, she will refocus the board back to education and recommit to fiscally sound budget practices. She also said she wants to recapture board integrity that has been lost.
“Recently, there have been numerous instances of misuse of board policy, the law and a failure to fully disclose information to the taxpayer which has resulted in a loss of integrity,” she said.
The board needs to re-establish fiscal responsibility to ensure they build on the current education structure that has been established by the district’s academic success, Bulea said.
“To do this, I will examine all expenditures and implement prudent cost saving measures without disturbing the existing academic foundation,” she said. “If we do not curb spending, based on the current five-year forecast, we will be in fiscal emergency by (fiscal year) 2016.
“The projected, continued deficit spending must stop. We have a duty to the taxpayer to implement cost savings prior to requesting new money.”

-- Kaylee Remington, Morning Journal article from Nov. 1, 2013

Cheryl Kleist for Huron School Board

Cheryl Kleist
Kleist, who did not provide her age, strives for excellence. If elected to the school board, she said she will act with transparency and make financially sounds decisions.
Kleist has a master’s in business administration. She also has 12 years of experience in the automotive industry.
“I am in this for the long haul as my children’s future depends on a quality education provided by a quality school district,” she said. “A vote for Kleist is a vote for the children of Huron schools and their education.”
Kleist has testified before the Senate Education Committee on Dyslexia legislation in Ohio.
“I’m for the kids,” she said. “Focusing on anything else right now means that our children are last. I want the focus back on our schools so that we can restore pride in our schools and provide transparency which parents and residents want.”

-- Kaylee Remington, Morning Journal article from Nov. 1, 2013

Donna Green for Huron School Board

Donna Green
Green, 61, who is currently a board member, said she will focus on financial oversight, technology and curriculum.
“Budget cuts begin with an assessment by the school board, the superintendent and treasurer,” Green said. “We look at every line item to ascertain areas where we can reduce expenses and eliminate deficit spending, We then examine how much we can spend to maintain or improve current achievement levels.
“I think the strategic plan, in conjunction with teachers, administrators and the community, should also be consulted for input as to changes or cuts.”
The board will need to decide on having technology in the classroom, Green said. Technology is important in the classroom, especially in 2013, but it can be expensive.
In regards to the curriculum, she said she would like to see more practical, real-life requirements put into the curriculum.
The school board needs informed, skilled and thoughtful citizens who will monitor district finances, evaluate and adopt policies, manage the collective bargaining process and oversee the superintendent and treasurer positions, Green said.
“The behavior board members show at meetings and in the community directly influences the impression residents and outsiders have of the school district, and indirectly, the community at large,” she said. “I made executive decisions based on what I thought was in the best interest of our students and staff. I hope the citizens of Huron concur.”

-- Kaylee Remington, Morning Journal article from Nov. 1, 2013

Sherry Catri for Huron School Board

Sherry Catri
Catri, 48, said that if she were elected to the school board, she would focus on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, career and college readiness and look at accountability within the organization.
“As a regular attendee of the board meetings, it is clear that Huron has already started looking at the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and has implemented teaching techniques and learning strategies to give each student the support he or she needs to be able to learn and achieve,” Catri said. “With my background in education and my master’s degree concentrating on literacy, I understand how children learn to read and what current research shows about reading ability and academic success in the upper grade levels.”
Catri said she will back programs that support struggling readers and promote the school district, partnering with parents and the community.
In regards to career and college readiness, Catri said board members should understand the challenges that the district and students are facing.
During the last 16 months, she said she has asked for public records because there is a real issue with accountability.
“After going through hundreds of pages of documents, it is clear to me that previous boards have not held themselves, the former superintendent and the treasurer accountable,” she said. “An atmosphere was created that led to what I believe was bad behavior which was financed by the Huron taxpayer. I do not make this accusation without strong, supporting evidence. The previous board gave the previous superintendent too much power and he abused it.”

-- Kaylee Remington, Morning Journal article from Nov. 1, 2013