Letters To The Editor

 

First Responders Earn Deep Gratitude From Rescued Rollover Accident Driver
To the Editor:
I wish to extend my most heartfelt gratitude to the Maumee Fire Department, paramedics, police officers and everyone who helped rescue me from my vehicle after my rollover accident on West Broadway. It was the most terrifying thing that I have ever been through.
Words cannot express how thankful I am for providing me the most compassionate, kind and proficient emergency care. As soon as they arrived, I instantly felt protected and safe. They reassured me over and over, “You are going to be alright.” The firemen and police officers made me feel comfortable and calm as they explained step by step the process of cutting me out of the SUV. I was trapped for close to an hour and there was always someone right by my side while the other firefighters were sawing the roof off. I am so grateful to all of them for saving me.
My family and I thank the Maumee fire and police departments from the bottom of our hearts for taking such good care of me and the other driver.
Katie Hazard
Maumee


American Legion Grateful For Donations
To the Editor:
The Feather Party hosted by members of American Legion Post 320 was a great success.
We appreciate all of the support for the event, especially from the following businesses that donated so generously to it: Brandywine Country Club, Appliance Center, The Andersons, Charlie’s Dodge, Tireman, D&R Outdoor Power Equipment, Jd’s Drive-Thru, Dale’s, The Village Idiot, Buster Brown’s Big Dog Lounge, The Cigar Affair, El Salto’s, Timbers Bowling, Marco’s Pizza, Expresso Car Wash, Loma Linda’s, Casa Barron, Mar’s Center Court, Holiday Inn, Subway, Brondes, Barry Bagels, Longhorn Saloon, Fricker’s, OmniSource, Frisch’s Big Boy, Teri Lynn Salon, Maumee Eagles, Amazing Dollar, Bunker Bar, 7-Eleven Walbridge and The Skillet.
American Legion Post 320


Maumee Students Help The Community
To the Editor:
Thanks to the students from Maumee High School who volunteered their time and energy to raking leaves in my front yard on Saturday, November 12.
They did a good job and it is very much appreciated. I’m sure other seniors in Maumee appreciated this community service, as well. Nice job!
Kay Pritscher
Maumee


Maumee Students Have Bright Futures
To the Editor:
Thanks to Maumee High School, I had a fabulous evening on Friday, November 4.
Attending the senior dessert reception prior to the opening night of The Odd Couple, I had the privilege of speaking with many of the cast and crew members. Several of them stayed and chatted when asked about their past performances, the many hours rehearsing for the current play, future college plans, etc. What a group of impressive teenagers!
The show was absolutely fabulous! Congratulations on a fine performance. The future looks bright for this next generation.
Jeannie Geppert
Toledo (Maumee City Schools District)


LCCS Pledges To Maintain Voters’ Trust
To the Editor:
On November 8, Lucas County residents stood up for the safety and well being of the children of this county and voted in favor of Issue 20. Their decisive action will ensure that Lucas County Children Services will continue to have sufficient resources to fulfill its mission of leading the community in the protection of children.
This vote could not have come at a more critical time for Lucas County. The epidemic of heroin and opiate abuse is affecting children and families in every city, village and township.
We have 100 more children in care today than we did at this point in 2015, largely due to the destructive power of these drugs. Now, with the community’s support for Issue 20, LCCS will have the resources to continue working with the courts, law enforcement and treatment providers to guide families through recovery and, hopefully, reunification.
At the same time, LCCS is committed to continuing to address child abuse in all of its forms.
We will help children overcome their traumatic experiences through counseling and mentoring. We will help parents safely care for their children by providing parenting instruction and connecting them with community resources. We will continue to recruit, license and oversee foster caregivers who can help children overcome the trauma in their lives. We will provide training to educators, community leaders and individuals to help them recognize and report suspected abuse.
We appreciate the confidence that Lucas County voters have placed in this agency. We pledge to maintain your trust by being transparent and accountable as we protect the children of our community.
Robin C. Reese, Executive Director
Laura Wilson, Chairman

Lucas County Children Services Board


Weather Dampens Summer Fair, Not Organizers’ Gratitude
To the Editor:
The 2016 Maumee Summer Fair is just a memory in the past. Best-laid plans cannot get in the way of what Mother Nature decides to give us. However, with that being said, we moved forward and got the job done.
A special thanks has to go out to all the vendors that did stick it out with us though the crazy weather. We hope that your sales were strong and that you will come back in 2017.
There are too many volunteers to thank without missing someone. From the early stage of preplanning to the setup crew, to the early morning greeters, to the ticket sellers and beer pourers, we appreciate your efforts.
To the city of Maumee, your unwavering support both pre- and post-event for the last 39 years has been amazing.
To the area businesses and residents that really make changes to their daily lives for this weekend, we thank you.
To our faithful corporate sponsors – thank you.
It’s time to start planning for the 40th annual Maumee Summer Fair.
Michael and Karen Dibling
Maumee Summer Fair Chairs 2016
www.maumeesummerfair.com


Maumee Students Make A Difference In Guatemala
To the Editor:
What would it be like to live in a very small one-room home with dirt floors and no bathrooms? What would it be like if parents could not help children with homework because the parents are not able to read? And what would it be like if the school that children attend could not afford papers or pencils for students to use?
Maumee City Schools recently combined with area residents in a project to educate students here on poverty in our world and to provide much-needed school supplies to students in Guatemala. This effort was an overwhelming success.
New pencils, boxes of crayons, hundreds of bottles of glue, rulers, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, scissors and many other supplies filled numerous boxes at Gateway Middle, Fairfield Elementary, Fort Miami Elementary and Wayne Trail Elementary schools in Maumee. These supplies were personally distributed by Maumee-area residents to students in Guatemala this July.
Students in our Maumee City Schools learned about Guatemala and about how poor people in our world live and survive. What a valuable lesson. Former Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith and the principals of Fairfield, Wayne Trail, Fort Miami and Gateway schools coordinated this project. The schools’ theme was “Every child deserves an opportunity to learn.”
Thanks to the students in the Maumee City Schools and their families, we are providing children in Guatemala with an opportunity to learn. Our students have demonstrated that together we can make a difference in our world!
July 2016 Guatemala Mission Team
Maumee


Police Officers Earn Our Thanks
To the Editor:
In these troubled times of upsets among our policemen in many cities, I feel compelled to share a recent experience I had in Maumee.
Coming home from my grandson’s softball game last Sunday, I needed gas and stopped at the Speedway on Conant Street. I pulled up to a pump, but did not get out of my car right away. When I did get out, I left the door ajar.
At this point, a local police officer, I assume from the Maumee force, came over and asked, “Are you OK? Can I do anything for you?”
Sheepishly, I stated, “I have the radio on and the Detroit Tigers – I’m a fan – are up to bat in a tie game, so I had to hear what happened.”
He smiled and went on his way.
The fact that this police officer was so observant and quickly acted upon what he saw gives a great message. How lucky we are to have such a great police force. As we do with our servicemen, please take the time to stop and thank police officers for all they do whenever you encounter them.
Barb Diegel
Maumee


Food Pantry Thanks Meijer
To the Editor:
We at Under One Roof Food Pantry are so thankful to have been chosen to participate in the recent Meijer 2016 Spring Simply Give campaign.
Due to the generosity of corporate Meijer and our local Meijer store, together with donations from the community, we will be able to replenish our shelves to help those in need.
Thank you to the individuals who donated and to Meijer for being a community-minded partner to help us help the less fortunate.
Under One Roof Advisory Board
Maumee


Remind Officers How Valued They Are
To the Editor:
The tragic events in Dallas, Texas on July 7 have impacted all of us. We are saddened by the senseless loss of the lives of those brave police officers. We cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like for their families.
Just a few weeks ago, I observed the sparkle in the eyes of the children at our Safety City graduation as they looked up in awe at our city of Maumee police officers and the smiles on the faces of those officers. We all need to remember that our officers need to know how much our residents value them. As a community, there has never been a more important time to show our appreciation to the men and women of our city of Maumee Division of Police than now.
I ask all Maumee residents: When a police car comes down your street or you come across one while driving, please smile, wave or give our officers a “thumbs-up.” They need to know that we are behind them and that we truly care.
On Sunday, September 11 we will hold a community event at our fire station on Illinois Avenue from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. to give all of our residents an opportunity to personally thank our police officers, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs for protecting us and our community.
September 11 is a day that will always remind us that as we run as fast as we can to get away from danger, our first responders run even faster into that danger to save lives.
As we both individually and as a community struggle to understand what occurred in Dallas, let us each pray that God will continue to protect our police officers and firefighters as they protect us.
Richard H. Carr
Mayor, city of Maumee


Maumee Fire Division Serves Community Well
To the Editor:
Recently, we had a small fire in our Maumee home that could have turned into a large one without the speedy response and expertise of the members of the Maumee Fire Division.
I was preparing to leave the house to run a few errands when I noticed smoke coming from one side of our basement.
When I reported the problem to the 911 operator she informed me, “They are on the way.” Within a couple of minutes the firefighters were at my door. After a thorough search they discovered the source of the smoke – an overloaded extension cord – and took care of it.
They politely reminded me that current is always present even if an appliance is not turned on and that we need to be aware of how many things are plugged in.
We are so fortunate to live in this community where we are so well-protected. The members of the fire division are to be commended for their service.
Gloria Parker
Maumee


Thanks To Boy Scouts For Rolf Park Cleanup
To the Editor:
How nice of the Scouts of St Paul’s to clean up the trash left by all the athletes and spectators who use Rolf Park.
That area is always an unsightly mess in the spring and it would have been better if the users of the park helped the Scouts out.
David Sobczak
Maumee


Vicious Dogs Should Be Destroyed For Attacking
To the Editor:
Recently, I was walking my cockapoo by the library playground when a pit bull savagely attacked my dog.
Since then, I have heard from my mailman, from other people in the neighborhood and at my vet’s office of many other attacks that have happened in Maumee.
It doesn’t seem fair that we are afraid to walk ours dogs safely in our own neighborhoods. If a dog attacks another dog, it is vicious and should be destroyed.
Susan Rodgers
Maumee


Let Ali’s Example Inspire Our Own Greatness
To the Editor:
I have many personal memories of Muhammad Ali that I would be happy to share, but there is something much more important to be remembered about “the Champ.” It has been weighing heavily on my heart since he passed.
During the tumultuous social/political climate we face in our country today, it’s important that we remember the life and times of Muhammad Ali. I recently read somewhere that he was the most written-about person on the planet. That is a testament to his impact on the world.
He was beloved by all people, in every country, of every color and of every creed. He was an American, and in his personal pursuit of happiness, he achieved greatness. Through hard work and determination, and against tremendous social/political opposition, Muhammad Ali carved out his own piece of the American pie.
We can all identify with that dream. We can all identify with the fighter within us. Our country was founded by dissidents, men with rebellious hearts who demanded sovereign civil liberty. Muhammad Ali was one of our country’s most sincere dissidents.
Our great nation is the champion to the world, offering opportunity and hope for a better life to all people. Once an impoverished Muslim minority, Muhammad Ali is the poster child for that wonderful dream.
Today, as our country is bitterly divided and in tremendous social/political turmoil, let us not dwell on the negative aspects of our society. Let us not mourn as if we are experiencing the death of America; we are only experiencing the birthing pains of a social/political revolution.
Let “the People’s Champ” and his life serve as a prophetic legacy to bring unity to “We the People.”
Let us remember the life and times of Muhammad Ali and remember who, exactly it is, that we are.
Because there is a champion in all of us, and collectively as a people, only we have the power to make our civilization “the Greatest of All Time.”
Michael Craig
Lansing, Michigan
Editor’s Note: Michael Craig, in addition to being an Ali fan, also had a personal connection to the famed fighter: His father was Ali’s bodyguard for a time. The family maintained a long friendship with the Champ.


Legion Thanks Community For Poppy Day Support
To the Editor:
The Maumee Legion Auxiliary Unit 320, Illinois Ave., Maumee, would like to thank all businesses and our members who helped and donated for Poppy Day.
On Friday, May 27, we collected over $2,000 for our veterans and their families and homeless veterans. One hundred percent of this money goes to our veterans and active military.
Thanks to these businesses: Churchill’s Market on Briarfield, Barney’s BP gas station, JD’s Drive Thru, Panera Bread, Star Diner, Pauken Wine and Liquor, Dale’s Bar and Grill and Loma Linda’s Mexican Restaurant.
Joanne Shue
Poppy Chairman – Maumee American Legion Post 320


Preserve And Protect All Wildlife
To the Editor:
In the early 1930s, Whitetail deer were hunted to near-extinction in Ohio.
Ottawa Hills is already doing a cull, so why aren’t we waiting to see what the effects of that are before pulling that itchy trigger finger?
The Humane Society states there are humane ways of dealing with the deer population. These could at least be investigated before all this needless bloodshed.
The thought of my tax dollars going toward this heavy-handed mass slaughter of deer in the Metroparks is of great concern to me. After reading the parks’ mission statement, two words stuck out: “preserve” and “protect.” That should include all wildlife in the park. Let’s not repeat history.
Pam Reithmeier
Monclova


Pavers Could Help Fund Park
Fellow Maumee Residents:
Thank you to Maumee City Council for being forward-thinking in its decision to make the lot at East Broadway and Conant into a park.
The city needs a “gateway” and this is the perfect spot. One thing council may want to consider as a fundraiser is the selling of bricks or 6-by-8-inch pavers.
Purchasers can have them engraved as we do at Side Cut Metropark. We have two sizes and have installed 100 6-by-8 pavers and over 25 12-by-12 pavers.
Corporate donors would also be welcome.
Alaina Meister
Director, Friends of Side Cut


Tobacco Proposal Discriminates
To the Editor:
On February 15, Maumee City Council voted 5-2 to send to the Code Committee a proposal to change the age for the sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21. If smoking is so detrimental, then why doesn’t the proposal ban all ages from smoking in Maumee? This would be similar to banning smoking in bars and restaurants.
At present, the proposal is both discriminatory and hypocritical.
Nancy Cramer
Maumee


Court Not To Blame For City Deficit
To the Editor:
Mayor Rich Carr has stated in The Mirror that he blames the city budget deficit solely on the Maumee Municipal Court and not on the 95 percent of the budget the he and city council controls.
After losing in the courts, the mayor stated that he could impose “garbage collection fees” on the citizens of Maumee. This “Garbage Tax” would affect the elderly and poorer citizens in a most unfair manner.
Maybe the mayor and city council could look to the other 95 percent of the city budget. Possibly they could check with Columbus and find out why the state of Ohio is returning more than a quarter of a million dollars less per year to our city than it did just five years ago.
Imposing garbage collection fees (we already have to pay for those crazy bags) seems like a knee-jerk reaction.
Hal Simon
Maumee


Happy Holidays From The Mayor
Fellow Maumee Residents:
Driving down Conant Street and seeing the beautiful light display set up by our service division personnel certainly is a wonderful reminder that the holiday season is upon us! It is also a reminder to take time to appreciate what we have in our lives.
My prayer for 2016 goes beyond our city borders to across our country and around the world: that we all may channel our energy on what we share in common instead of on what divides us.
We certainly are blessed to live in Maumee. This is a great time of the year to pause, reflect and be thankful.
Best wishes for a great holiday season and for a truly Happy New Year!
Richard H. Carr
Maumee Mayor


Food Pantry Thanks Meijer, Community
To the Editor:
Thank you to the Maumee community and the Conant Street Meijer store for the tremendous response to Meijer’s recent Simply Give campaign. Our food pantry, Under One Roof, was the recipient of this campaign.
Your generosity impacts families in our community and the surrounding area. We are very blessed to have such a giving community and the opportunity to partner with Meijer. These donations will enable us to continue to assist those in need.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Advisory Board
Under One Roof Food Pantry

Maumee


Cats More Welcome Than Rats
To the Editor:
So glad to see your article on rats in our city. I wrote Animal Control earlier to see if it was still against the law to have outdoor pet cats. I know we had a problem a while back, with too many. I was told both dogs and cats were not allowed to run loose here.
We have lived here since 1976 and never had a rat issue until now. I would think, since cats are a natural predator of mice and rats, arrangements could be made to have some fixed and released. It may decrease the rat population.
I know I’d much rather see a kitty than a rat in my yard.
Jan Kozbial
Maumee


Negotiating Through The Media Shows Unprofessional Leadership
To the Editor:
I read the Letters to the Editor in The Mirror’s October 29, 2015 edition that were written by two separate Maumee City Council members with great interest. Their letters, along with the numerous public statements by Mayor Carr, certainly make some interesting points. I read with particular interest the comparisons with the two other cities. As most business people realize, it is often misleading to compare percentages.
Shaker Heights, Ohio, is about twice as large as Maumee, population wise, and Fairfield is about three times as big. This, of course, makes many fixed costs appear as much smaller percentages. I also noticed that both Fairfield and Shaker Heights have substantially greater “deficits” than Maumee, one by almost $90,000 per year and the other by over $95,000 per year.
Negotiating through the media is the lowest form of negotiation and the worst example of politics. Maumee City Council should do its job in a professional manner and forget about grandstanding in the media.
Hal Simon
Maumee


Judge’s Refusal To Notably Raise Fees Passes Costs On To Taxpayers
To the Editor:
I have had the pleasure of serving on council for three years. It was not a position I initially sought, as I was approached to fulfill the one year remaining on then-council member Rich Carr’s term.
As a result of that first year of service, I felt as though I was making a difference within the community and sought re-election. I thank you for your incredible support.
My natural curiosity and writer’s instincts have served me well, as I continue to ask questions of both my peers as well as administrators in making decisions on your behalf.
I remain committed by serving on the Finance Committee to work with the mayor, administrators and my counterparts on the committee to present a balanced budget annually to council for approval.
For the two years I’ve served on the Finance Committee, I’ve witnessed our administration make cuts in every aspect of their departments. I remain committed to tightening our budget as much as possible, bearing in mind the level of service we’ve all come to expect within our great community.
One of the greatest challenges in serving both on the Finance and the Court committees is the situation with our municipal court.
It is a complex situation. We are mandated to fund the court per state law. Maumee serves as the host community to the municipal court, which serves not only the city of Maumee, but also Waterville, Whitehouse and the sections of Swanton within Fulton County. We also are responsible for all traffic violations along the turnpike from Maumee to Fulton County. The communities we serve are not required to contribute financially to the level they are served. This needs to change.
It is likely that as long as Maumee serves as the host city to the municipal court, we will always operate at a deficit. Revenues generated from services provided by the court will never meet our costs.
However, and this is the most difficult aspect for me to understand, the deficit could be much less.
Much attention has been lent to the efforts the judge has taken to cut costs. He is to be commended for such actions. However, it is simply not enough.
The other side to this story, and one that has not been focused on, is the opportunity to generate more revenues. To my knowledge, mediation was broken off before Judge Gary Byers would explore avenues to increase fees associated with the costs involved in serving clients at the level our court does. The judge’s solution was to increase court costs at a flat $10.00 per case, which would generate an additional $100,000 annually. It’s a great start.
But it’s not enough.
Through the mediation, the financial bottom line of peer courts that were selected by the judge tells quite a story.
Here are the numbers, boxed below. The first column represents the revenues generated for services provided to the home community. The second column reflects the amount paid back to the home community, therefore reflecting both the costs involved in processing cases and serving clients, but also the revenues generated overall.
Again, this is a reflection of both the expenses of running the court and the revenues from fees assessed.
Comparatively, line by line-item, our court assesses lower fees for nearly every aspect of processing a case and serving a client.
Bottom line: The judge is not being fiscally responsible by his unwillingness to consider an across-the-board increase in fees to be assessed to those served by the court.
His unwillingness to do so therefore passes the costs of serving those who seek the services of the court not on to those served.
He’s passed them on to you and me.
That makes me mad.
It should make you mad, too.
It is still my hope that we can rectify this, and I am personally very sorry that we’ve paid significant legal fees to the judge’s representation, only to have mediation terminated.
Our hands may be tied due to state law.
However, our voices, your voices, should not be silenced in this matter.
Julie K. Rubini
Maumee City Council Member

Maumee:  9,345 cases – $1,450,984 receipts – $846,365 paid to home city
Fairfield:  8,334 cases – $2,299,412 receipts – $1,605,433 paid to home city
Shaker Heights:  1,587 cases – $3,219,428 receipts – $2,518,789 paid to home city
As noted, the percentage of revenue generated by the court and returned to the home community is as follows:
Maumee: 58 percent; Fairfield: 70 percent; Shaker Heights: 78 percent


City’s Capital Funds Can’t Fund Court, Judge Must Increase Revenue
To the Editor:
On October 8, 2015, Judge Gary Byers sued the city of Maumee for not completely funding his requested 2015 budget.
The Maumee Municipal Court is tasked with providing the justice system in Maumee, Waterville, Whitehouse, parts of Swanton and all other communities south of the turnpike, east of the Fulton county line and north of the Maumee River. This triangle area makes up the Southwest Lucas County Regional Municipal Court, known as the Maumee Municipal Court.
By state statute, the host community, the city of Maumee, needs to make up all revenue vs. expense shortfall of this court. This isn’t a responsibility that anyone during my tenure on Maumee City Council takes lightly; and to date, all court expenses have always been paid. As needed, city council has voted multiple times over the last couple of years to pay the court’s current expenses. We just haven’t approved the total amount of Judge Byer’s requested annual court budget. This has been done in hopes to make the court more financially efficient with constant scrutiny, scrutiny that is needed because the court is running $800,000-plus annual deficits.
For five years, the city of Maumee has tried to explain to Judge Byers the importance of reducing expenditures in the court and increasing revenue. It is frustrating to see yet another failed mediation occurred, with the judge only offering a $10.00 increase in court cost, which reduces his estimated annual deficit by 12 percent, plus or minus.
It is important that the court’s funding community, the taxpayers of Maumee, know that financially, the Maumee Municipal Court is broken and our current judge’s actions suggest that he is willing to do little to fix it.
Judge Byers stated in his August 21 court order, “Over the last 10 years, the court has found innovative ways to reduce costs.” I’m sure innovation has found its way to the court, but cost savings has not. During this same 10-year period, 2005-2014, this regional court’s revenue vs. expenses shortfall has cost the city of Maumee taxpayers $8,410,153.
Judge Byers claims, “The city maintains a reserve of approximately $20,000,000.” He fails to recognize the wisdom of the Maumee citizens who, in 1967, passed an additional 1/2-percent income tax to be earmarked only for city infrastructural improvements or capital projects. This insured separation between operational revenue and city capital projects. All one has to do is look at the deterioration of South Toledo’s infrastructure to realize how wise the voters were in 1967.
Currently, there is $13,000,000-plus in Capital Fund B. I’m hoping the judge isn’t suggesting joining the Capital Funds B with the Operational General Funds. This would require a vote of the citizens of Maumee and a charter change. The purpose of this is what? So Fund B revenues can be used to mask his court’s financial inefficiencies. If this is what is being implied in the judge’s October 8 lawsuit, it is self-serving and not in the best interest of the city of Maumee taxpayer.
The question that should be asked is: Why hasn’t a modern fee structure that mitigates the burden on the taxpayers of the city of Maumee not been implemented? By having a modern fee structure, it passes on court operation costs to those who are utilizing the court and not disproportionately impacting the taxpayers of the city of Maumee.
Why should the average resident have to expect less by way of other city services since they are offsetting expenses that should be borne by those utilizing services throughout this regional court?
Much like water, you are billed by what you use. Your neighbor is not expected to pay for something that they are not benefiting from. The simplicity of the judge charging for all services rendered and collecting all fees, rather than having an amnesty program every few years, which collects pennies on the dollar owed, would be more prudent.
Brent Buehrer
Maumee City Council President


New Side Cut Metropark Swings Are A Nice Addition To The Park
To the Editor:
I’d like to thank the Friends of Side Cut Park for the new swings along the Maumee River. They are very nice.
Marilyn Krueger
Maumee


Uplifting Concert Leads To Praise For Maumee Community Band

To the Editor:
Thank you to the Maumee Community Band for a wonderful program to end the summer series. We are so lucky to have them. They are such a great example of what can happen when people join together to create something beyond any one of them alone. It was fun and uplifting. Hope to see and hear them again soon.
Kay Pritscher
Maumee


Maumee Summer Fair Directors Thank Supportive Community
To the Editor:
The dust has settled, the tents and signs are down and the thousands of people have continued on. Just the memories of the 38th annual Maumee Summer Fair remain.
It was a challenge stepping back into the Summer Fair directors’ role after more than 10 years just being volunteers. There were some bumps and lumps along the way. However, mother nature was on our side and gave us a perfect weekend after a less then desirable beginning of our summer.
The city of Maumee as always stepped up and helped with so many tasks. The Maumee Chamber of Commerce once again gave us a great parade; the Northern Lights Lodge revitalized the car show into another great asset of the event. Calvary Church came to the forefront and had some great kids’ games for our kids’ zone. Our volunteers were awesome – without you, an event like this could never happen.
To our uptown neighbors and businesses, we understand the inconvenience that this event may cause you. We appreciate your help each and every year.
To our vendors, we hope that we provided a venue for you to sell your products. To our sponsors, we did our best to give you exposure in print media, cable TV and radio as well as signage at the event.
To the Maumee Uptown Business Association, thank you for creating and managing this event for 38 years. To the current membership, thank you for your trust in allowing us to continue on with this event.
Finally, to all of you who attended, thank you for making the 2015 Maumee Summer Fair a huge success.
Mike and Karen Dibling
MSF Directors 2015


City Is Sued By Judge Gary Byers, Mayor Addresses Budget Dispute
An open letter to Maumee residents:
On September 29, 2015, Maumee Municipal Court Judge Gary Byers filed legal proceedings in the Court of Appeals, Lucas County, Ohio Sixth Appellate District against me as mayor and every member of our Maumee City Council. Facts that have never been disputed are that the Maumee Municipal Court today processes nearly 45 percent fewer cases each year than it did in 2000. Despite the drastic reduction in cases, the court today has the same staffing as it did in 2000. The court’s expenses in 2000 exceeded its revenue by less than $250,000; today, its expenses annually exceed its revenue by more than $800,000. Judge Byers’ legal filing presents nine “innovative ways to reduce costs” that the court has “found” over the last 10 years. In 2005, the court’s expenses exceeded its revenue by $693,370. That was the beginning of the court finding “innovative ways to reduce costs.” In 2006, the first full year of the court’s efforts, the court’s expenses exceeded its revenue by $830,948. In 2009, the expenses exceeded its revenue by $957,221. In fact, during the 10-year period since the court commenced its cost reductions, the court’s expenses have exceeded its revenue by $8,410,153. “Deficit” is defined as “the amount by which expenditures exceed income.” The Maumee Municipal Court’s expenditures for the past 10 years have exceeded its income by an average of over an $840,000 a year. Judge Byers wrote me a letter on November 26, 2013 wherein he stated that this is a “fictional deficit.” The basis for that assertion, he wrote, is that “courts do not have deficits.” However, Ohio Revised Code, Section 1901.31 (C)(1) provides that municipal court judges prescribe the annual compensation for the clerk of courts unless the revenues of the court are less than the expenditures of the court, in which case council sets the compensation. Ohio law certainly recognizes that courts have deficits. Unfortunately, Judge Byers does not recognize that his court has a deficit. Judge Byers requested mediation to resolve a dispute that has been ongoing for three years. The city of Maumee agreed. The judge selected two “peer courts” for comparison. Both of those courts he chose, like the Maumee Court, receive a percentage of court costs received for use at the judge’s discretion within the requirements of Ohio law. Both peer courts use some of the restricted funds they collect to pay court employee wages to assist their cities in meeting their economic demands. Judge Byers refuses to use any of the funds to pay employee expenses. Even though the judge requested mediation, he refused to even discuss staffing, which is the issue we agreed to mediate. The judge brought not one but two attorneys to the mediation, which he billed the city for, and he then refused to even address the issue. The city of Maumee, for all operations of the city other than the court, is projected to have a balanced budget and possibly as much as a $300,000 surplus. The court, however, is currently projecting a deficit of over $800,000. Yet after Judge Byers submitted his proposed budget to council and the budget was approved, Judge Byers gave a part-time employee a 14.9-percent pay increase. That part-time employee will likely be paid approximately $41,000 in 2015. How many part-time jobs pay that much? The court’s personnel expenses, for which the judge filed legal proceedings to fund, are projected to exceed the budget the judge himself submitted and ordered council to pay. In September, just days ago, Judge Byers, despite an over $800,000 deficit, donated $1,000 of city of Maumee money to sponsor a forum presented by the Toledo Bar Association. While the particular forum is a very valuable one, when your expenses exceed your income by $800,000, do you give $1,000 donations? The city of Maumee is not able to operate at a deficit of over $500,000 a year for too many years before our funds are exhausted. Apparently, Judge Byers believes you wait until you do not have any money before you respond. I disagree and so does Maumee City Council. The Maumee Municipal Court is the only court with a jurisdiction of its size that the judge has identified which has clerks on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The judge’s filing states that court staffing has not been increased in 25 years. I agree. If your business realized a 45-percent decrease, would it have increased staffing? No. Would it have decreased staffing? Yes. While the court calls $800,000 a year a “fictional deficit,” I assure you that it is very real. It impacts each of us who live in Maumee and it impacts all of our city employees. Judge Byers has been quoted as stating that council wants him to fire clerks, and he will not do that. Since this issue began in 2012, the judge has had multiple clerks resign and could have substantially reduced personnel costs through attrition. Instead, he continues to hire staff. Even this year, while council was challenging spending, the court advertised to hire a clerk. If the Lucas County Court of Appeals rules in the judge’s favor, what are council’s alternatives? Do you have fewer police officers protecting our neighborhoods? Do you have fewer snow plow operators? Do you change garbage collection? In the last three years, the city has reduced its law department budget by nearly 70 percent, reduced the number of prosecutors by 50 percent, eliminated the position of assistant chief of paramedics, eliminated compensation time for directors, began using part-time dispatchers to reduce overtime expenses and cut many more expenses. The overtime paid this year to city employees is on pace to be lower than any year as far back as 2000 and over 20-percent lower than the average for the five-year period prior to 2012. We are responsibly addressing spending in all areas. The court may find in favor of the judge. However, I do not believe we, as elected officials, can remain silent. I believe there is a responsibility to our residents to do everything we can to address the deficit. To that end, I have initiated talks with Sylvania, Oregon and Toledo to request the Ohio legislature create a Lucas County Municipal Court. This is not a new concept; county municipal courts exist in large counties, such as Franklin (Columbus) and Hamilton (Cincinnati), and in smaller counties, such as nearby Fulton and Ottawa. Presently, the Maumee Municipal Court serves Maumee, Whitehouse, Waterville, Monclova and Swanton Township residents; however, the city of Maumee is solely responsible for the $800,000-plus annual deficit. A county municipal court would relieve us of such a responsibility. This will take time. Our city must address the deficit now. It is unfortunate we are in this position, but we are. The deficit is not “fictional.” It cannot be ignored. It will not be ignored.
Richard H. Carr
Maumee Mayor


Maumee City Zoning Committee Lacks Criteria For Code Decisions
To the Editor:
Maumee residents be advised: Your neighbors can request changes to the building codes (variance, setbacks, etc.) and you have no say, nor can you appeal Maumee’s Zoning Committee decision unless you file with Lucas County Court. Maumee’s Zoning Committee can make changes to the building codes and they do not use any structured criteria for their decisions, according to a couple of different committee members. In my opinion, without guidelines, their decisions appear to be based solely on personal feelings. This was made clear to me when I recently attended a meeting. My neighbor had requested building code changes to convert her carport into a new garage. My response was, “Positively yes! Build and enjoy a garage; however, please move it back far enough into your backyard so as not to obstruct the view and sunlight through my kitchen windows and door.” I presented pictures of other neighborhood homes, some of which had added or converted their carports into living space or a garage without blocking their neighbors’ windows or sunlight. My neighbor’s contractor stated that the new garage could be moved to the backyard, but that option had not been considered nor figured into the homeowner’s budget. The committee members voted in favor of changing the building codes to allow the construction. In my opinion, the committee did not put forth any effort to find a win-win solution for both parties. How hard would it have been to just move the garage back a few feet? A Zoning Department employee said my neighbor could enclose the carport with roses and lattice or even erect a 6-foot privacy fence, both of which would block my windows. Honestly, though, either of those would be better than to look out the window at a 14-foot wall. I was appalled at the condescending comments directed at me from some committee members, including, “Maybe if you’re nice, your neighbor could grow some roses between the garage wall and the kitchen windows” and “there is not an appeal process for the neighbor,” meaning me. This system is broken and not user-friendly. With that said, here are my suggestions: First, criteria need to be developed and implemented regarding changes to the building codes. Second, I suggest creating a criteria-based appeal process overseen by an impartial committee composed of three professional individuals not associated with the Zoning Committee. Their goal would be to find an equitable solution for all involved parties. I had hoped the Zoning Department supervisor – who was not present at the meeting – would require the garage be built further back, creating a winning solution for both neighbors. Sadly, however, my new view will be a wall.
Richard J. Hardy
Maumee


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