VIEWPOINTS A10 • NORTHEAST SUBURBAN LIFE • OCTOBER 23, 2013 Editor: Dick Maloney, firstname.lastname@example.org, 248-7134 EDITORIALS | LETTERS | COLUMNS | CH@TROOM LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Vote for Sims is vote for stability As a nearly lifelong resident of Symmes Township, namely Camp Dennison, I have seen many examples of solid leadership and responsible governance at the local level. One in particular is Carol Sims, currently appointed fiscal officer of the township and candidate for the elected position this November. I have served with Carol on the Camp Dennison Civic league and worked with her on several community projects. She is passionate about the people of Symmes Township and has their best interests in mind as she works for them every day. She has been a faithful and competent steward of the township’s resources for nearly 25 years. As a subject matter expert, Carol will continue doing an excellent job carrying out her fiduciary responsibilities if retained by the electorate as fiscal officer. The finances of Symmes Township are currently in extremely capable hands under Carol’s leadership. A vote for Carol Sims for fiscal officer will ensure the continuation of the township’s financial stability and success. Jay Berry Camp Dennison Symmes Township road levy renewal In November 1998, upon the recommendation of the Township Finance Committee, Symmes Township trustees placed a .9-mill levy before the voters as a means to provide the necessary funding for major resurfacing/repairs to township streets, as well as construction of sidewalks. To put this in perspective, the proposed .9 mills will generate $27.14 of tax annually for each $100,000 value of privately owned property. This levy was approved in 1998 and again in 2006. Every seven to eight years the community is provided an opportunity to vote for the renewal of this important levy. The Symmes Public Works Department has established a road resurfacing plan to ensure that the 40-plus total miles of township-owned roads are maintained on a 17-year cycle. See LETTERS, Page A11 NORTHEAST SUBURBAN LIFE CommunityPress.com CBA benefits entire district As many in the community know, the Indian Hill Exempted Village Board of Education is in the process of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) with the Indian Hill Education Association (“IHEA”), the union representing the teaching staff in the district. While collective bargaining is always a challenge, Indian Hill’s task is made easier by the shared objective of the school board and individual teachers, administrators and staff that we provide each student with an exceptional educational experience that drives outstanding student achievement and learning. Our community demands nothing less. The board believes strongly that retaining and recruiting the best and brightest teachers is a key factor in delivering such excellence at Indian Hill. This past year again validated this approach, as Indian Hill received scores at or very near the top of each measured category in Ohio for student, district and grade level performance. Our teachers are a key element of this success. On that basis, over many years the Karl Grafe COMMUNITY PRESS school board has made GUEST COLUMNIST Indian Hill’s teachers among the very highest paid educators in the state. The board expects that to remain the case under any new CBA, by proposing that teachers receive meaningfully increased compensation. In the current negotiation, the school board wants to recognize the important link between teacher performance and compensation. Simply put, the board believes that effective teachers should be rewarded through increased compensation, while ineffective teachers should not. This link would be implemented by tying an increase in compensation in year two of the CBA to the principal’s evaluation of each teacher’s performance. Some have suggested, incorrectly, that the performance of teachers will be based simply on a one-hour classroom visit by a principal. Rather, the evaluation system is very robust, and principals compile evidence of teacher effectiveness throughout the year. The evaluation consists of a thorough consideration of, among many other things, teacher knowledge of content and pedagogy, collaboration, use of effective teaching assessments and tools, establishing a culture of learning, organizational skills and communication. Because of the high quality of our teachers, it is the board’s expectation that the performance of very few teachers, if any, would be rated ineffective. Just over a week ago, a large number of teachers and others began signing an online petition encouraging the school board’s negotiating team to support collaboration, not competition in the new CBA. We agree. The board’s proposal fully supports the deep collaborative culture of the district, which is reinforced by the current evaluation criteria calling for teachers’ relationships with colleagues to be characterized by mutual support and cooperation. Further, as there is no quota on the number of accomplished or skilled teachers in the board’s proposal, we anticipate continued collaboration, not competition. Nothing would please the board, administration and community more than to have every teacher rated “accomplished.” As more teachers understand the specifics of the board’s proposal, I am optimistic that we can collectively agree on a CBA that will support the shared goals of the Indian Hill School District. Karl Grafe is a 34-year resident of Indian Hill, and is a candidate for the Indian Hill Board of Education. Keep Blue Ash the ‘City of Choice’ On Nov. 5, Blue Ash residents will select two at-large representatives for city council. Council plays an important role providing guidance to the city manager, overseeing the budget and finances, and passing legislation. We succeed by working together as a team, leading by example, and creating an environment that makes Blue Ash attractive to residents and businesses. Voters will choose the most qualified candidates to represent their voice in the city. Finding accurate and unbiased information is important and fortunately there are sources that compare candidates in a standard format highlighting issues and qualifications. A great example is the League of Women Voters website (www.smartvoter.org) or the Enquirer’s candidate website (Cincinnati.com/EnquirerVote ). At these sites you may view the candidates’ understanding of fiscal issues and their leadership experience, priorities and community involvement. You may diTom Adamec rectly contact COMMUNITY PRESS candidates for GUEST COLUMNIST their voting record on any topic or attend a council meeting to see your representative in action. Meetings are open to everyone and votes are only taken in public during the meeting. What important qualities should you look for in determining the best council members? I believe openness to new ideas and the ability to work with others is critical. When I joined Rotary, I learned of the Rotary fourway test. It is a proven method for working well with others that starts by asking yourself: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friend- ships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? I believe my background as your current council representative and 26 years with Procter & Gamble are ideal qualifications for a member of council. My skills and experiences in strategic planning, eliminating waste, and energizing and enabling others add value to the capability of council. I worked and lived overseas for eight years teaching me the importance of being open to new ideas, working with others, and considering novel approaches when addressing complex issues. Over the last 10 years I have focused my efforts towards community service. I have served as a volunteer or in leadership positions in many community organizations including: » the city of Blue Ash including four-plus years as your council representative; » Blue Ash Montgomery Rotary Club; » Blue Ash Civic League; » 0ther local civic organizations. Blue Ash is extremely well managed mix of parks, residential and business/commercial residents. We have exceptional public services and facilities that are among the finest in Ohio. We have opened Summit Park and begun construction to make this a world class park with sidewalks and bike paths that will connect the entire community to the park. We are also one of the most desirable business locations as seen by the new ITelligence, Forest Pharmaceuticals and Vora Technology offices. By casting your vote for candidates with proven leadership ability, fiscal experience, and demonstrated ability to engage citizens, you will elect leaders that will continue to keep Blue Ash the “City of Choice.” Tom Adamec is running for reelection to an at-large seat on Blue Ash City Council. Judge candidates by dedication, commitment It has been my privilege and honor to represent the residents of Blue Ash as council representative at large and vice mayor for the last nine years. In that time city council and administration have accomplished much. With the voter’s approval of Issue 15 we completed the expansion of the Blue Ash Recreation Center, completed construction of the Cooper Creek Event Center at the Blue Ash Golf Course and have now started construction of the new 130-acre Summit Park. We have added 15.7 miles of sidewalks/bike and walking paths over the last four years for a total of 31.5 miles and growing. We have added $6 million to the city’s capital reserves in the last year and retained Moody’s “High Quality” Aa1 bond rating. We have also improved our outstanding municipal and Lee safety serCzerwonka vices. All reaCOMMUNITY PRESS sons why peoGUEST COLUMNIST ple choose Blue Ash to live, work and play. Blue Ash is the envy of the region not just because of our financial stability, but for our award winning administration. Neither of these factors happens by accident. City Council plays an important role in the management of the city through goal setting for the administration and overseeing the budget and fi- NORTHEAST SUBURBAN LIFE A publication of nances. Most importantly, our focus on conservative long range financial planning enables Blue Ash to thrive in the current economic climate when other communities struggle. Blue Ash as a balanced community (one-third residential, one-third business and one-third recreational) also benefits the Sycamore Schools by providing property taxes that are the top sources of funding for the school system. My wife and I have lived in Blue Ash for more than 21 years in Fallsington Grant, where I am president of the homeowners association and led the restoration of the neighborhood after the 1999 tornado. I’m an independent marketing consultant with a BFA and morr than 30 years professional marketing management experience with GE, Lockheed Martin, U.S. EPA, Fujitec and AFG. I am a member of the state auditor’s Regional Advisory Board, treasurer of the Hamilton County Municipal League Board, president of Blue Ash Civic League, volunteer for Cancer Support Community, 37-year donor for Hoxworth Blood Center, Phillippe Award winner for GE for Outstanding Community Leadership. How do you select the best council representatives to represent you? You should look at and consider each candidate’s qualifications, education, leadership experience and demonstrated history of public involvement and service to our community. Below are website links where 394 Wards Corner Road Loveland, Ohio 45140 phone: 248-8600 email: email@example.com web site: www.communitypress.com you may compare the candidate’s qualifications. » http://bit.ly/19PgP1T » League of Women Voters – smartvoter.org/2013 » Enquirer Election Guide – cincinnati.com/elections You can be certain of my dedication to Blue Ash and its residents. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns about Blue Ash. In this time of economic uncertainty, success does not happen by chance. I ask for your vote Nov. 5 so I can continue my commitment to you and to Blue Ash. Thank you for your support. Lee Czerwonka is a candidate for an at large seat on Blue Ash City Council. Loveland Herald Editor Dick Maloney firstname.lastname@example.org, 248-7134 Office hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday See page A2 for additional contact information.