City moves to improve schools

Feelings of approval filled the city council chambers Monday night for two levies on the November voting ballot that will guide the future for children’s education and safety in Bowling Green.

Superintendent of Bowling Green City Schools Francis Scruci lobbied before city council regarding the beneficial impact of a levy that, if ratified, would save the local school district over $72 million through school consolidations and other efficiency changes.

“This is about putting Bowling Green students on a level playing field with their nearby counterparts,” said Scruci. “This will give the sons and daughters of local parents the educational capabilities to compete at a global level.”

Scruci cited several inefficiencies within the district, such as $4,000 in commencement costs and $4 million in graduation costs, as grounds for change and the need for the new levy to be implemented. All members of city council expressed their support and endorsement for the new levy.

“There is an indisputable link between the health of the city and the health of the local school districts,” said city council president Mike Aspacher, reflecting on his own time as a student in the city school system.

Council member Sandy Rowland addressed the reality of the Bowling Green City Schools’ decaying state, citing experiences her grandson had while attending schools in the city’s system in which the water would turn “black” and be undrinkable due to eroding pipelines. “People are turning to move to Perrysburg because of Bowling Green’s decaying schools; people think the Perrysburg schools are better,” Rowland said.

Scruci and all members of council expressed their unanimous agreement that this levy is the solution to fix Bowling Green City Schools’ issues.

The other levy discussion was about the renewal of the $1.3 million Wood County Human Services Levy that would allocate taxpayer funding to programs that aid in preventing child and elderly abuse and caring for abuse victims.

“We need local support. Without it, we could see records in elderly and child abuse cases,” Job and Family Services unit supervisor, Brandy Laux, said.

This levy has been active in Bowling Green since 1987. The levy is expected to cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $3 per month in taxes.

Council member Bruce Jeffers concluded the meeting with a personal statement regarding the Bowling Green charter amendment that would allow for Bowling Green residents to vote to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure in the city. He said he believes the amendment would be “cumbersome” and has “no chance of standing up in court.”

The amendment is currently pending a hearing before the Ohio Supreme Court, and Bowling Green city attorney Michael Marsh hopes they will reach a decision before early voting begins Oct. 11.