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  • Children of Eden written by Joey Graceffa
    By: Destiny Breniser This book was published in 2016 with its genre being Young Adult,  Dystopian, and Apocalyptic. This story is about Rowan, who is a second-born child living in a city where her entire existence is illegal. She longs for the day when she can leave her family’s house and live without fear.  She […]
  • An Unwanted Guest written by Shari Lapena
    By: Destiny Breniser A classic whodunnit that keeps you guessing till the very end. With twelve characters to read varying points of view from, there is always something happening to leave you wondering what is going on.  This book was published in 2018 with its genre being a mystery thriller. The story starts with Reily […]

Political opponents address city issues at open forum

Fifteen candidates for county and state office gathered Sunday at First United Methodist Church to address issues in a question-and-answer forum.

Seven candidates were absent from the forum, which was moderated by Kay Sergent.

When asked about farm pollution in Bowling Green, John Mura, a democratic President Pro Tempore of the city council and hopeful for the Wood County Board of Commissioners President, said he favors moratoriums on polluted farms.

Republican incumbent president, James Carter, said the city needs to prove there’s a pollution problem first.

“If it’s a farm and it’s polluting via the air or the water, or on the ground, we need to do something about that,” Carter said. “But we need to prove that first.”

Democratic commissioner, Alvin Perkins, vying for re-election against the absent Kevin Mellott, said he thinks over-development is an issue.

“It is a problem. We do have to deal with it as best as we can,” Perkins, former Bowling Green mayor and Commissioner of the Year in 2000, said.

Republican Rebecca Bhaer and Democrat Matt Lyons discussed issues related to the Clerk of Courts position. Bhaer is seeking re-election to this position, which she has held since 1987. Lyons, a senior political science major at the University, said if he is elected he wants to increase public services.

The first thing he wants to do is increase informational access through the World Wide Web, libraries and satellite offices.

“We need to start bringing government to the people,” Lyons said. “I will prioritize those.”

Bhaer explained that she does not think there should be any changes made with her position, because she has performed her duties to the fullest.

“I follow the statute of the state of Ohio, I follow Supreme Court rule, I follow local court rule and I follow judges directly,” Bhaer said. “That does not leave a lot of room for many changes after I followed all the rules.”

Bhaer further explained that although changes could be made with technology issues, she has to follow the judges orders when making some of those changes.

Wood County Engineer hopeful Patrick Ng debated with Republican incumbent Raymond Huber.

Huber spoke about road and bridge repair around Maple Road, but said the engineer’s office has no responsibilities to a township road.

Ng, a six-term democratic city councilman, said the county engineer can indeed fix township roads.

“This is what separates me and my opponent,” Ng said. “When I become the county engineer I will make sure all the roads that need it will be repaired.”

Huber, Ohio Engineer of the Year in 2000, vowed not to increase taxes and make promises for which the engineering office has no ability to fulfill.

Democrat William Skow and Republican Robert Christiansen answered questions in hopes of being elected Judge of the 6th District Court of Appeals. The third candidate, Democrat Mark Pietrykowski, did not participate.

Christiansen said he thinks fundraising is a problem for judicial candidates and that Skow has raised money unfairly.

“In my case, my opponent has taken $8,000 from a law firm in Sandusky,” he said. “Now, the maximum is $3,000 but they’re lawyers, they found other ways to get around it.”

Skow, presiding judge of the Lucas County Common Pleas Court, countered that statement, and said the money was an approved donation

“The contributions from that particular firm, by the way, were legal and reported,” Skow said. “The judicial funding is a problem, and it raises the spector of what they call merit selection of judges. That’s been before the Ohio voters on two separate occasions over the last 20 years, and it was rejected resoundingly.”

Skow said merit selection was rejected because it brings politics behind closed doors.

Democratic state senator candidate Nathan Nickens, a University senior, discussed how he will balance Ohio’s budget.

Nickens said medicaid accounts for 37 percent of the state’s budget and balancing that will help with other things.

“The money that we’re spending on medicaid —- if we can constrict it, and provide additional money to other things we have like education and job outreach programs,” Nickens said.

Incumbent state representative Bob Latta, serving his second term as a Republican in the House, explained how he will provide affordable health care.

“Once you have a tort reform, you find out that we have doctors not only in the state, but in this county that are no longer practicing certain fields because there’s nobody in the operating room to assist, or they hand you to an OB-GYN because their malpractice is too high.

Latta’s democratic opponent, former marine and lifelong Wood county resident Scott McCarty, discussed the rising cost of tuition.

“One of the things is chartered schools,” McCarty said. “$433 billion of our taxpayer’s money has been applied to schools. That’s not right. We need to put that money back in a general fund and use it in our education. Let’s not use levy and taxpaying money to do that.”

State Senator Randy Gardner, Nickens’ opponent in the second district, also discussed rising tuition.

“It’s no question, there’s a direct correlation between education payment and incomes, and opportunities, so I think we need to do a lot more” Gardner said. “We did increase in the state budget significant scholarships in the Ohio Instructional Grant Program. I think that’s important to recognize.”

Democrat Robin Weirauch, making her first run for the U.S. House of Representatives, answered questions with incumbent Republican candidate Paul Gillmor.

Gillmor, who is president of the Ohio Senate, defended the fact that the House spent the week before the new fiscal year began debating gun control and gay marriage, and failed to pass 12 of 13 appropriation bills.

“We passed 12 out of the 13 appropriation bills back last summer,” Gillmor said. “We were supposed to pass the budget revolution. We passed it in the house last spring. The United States senate, because of a number of problems, partly their rules, partly politics, didn’t pass any of those.”

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