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Coffee & Conversation - Library Levy and Mike Schadek

Coffee and Conversation logoCoffee and Conversation

Saturday, February 4, 2012, 10 am

UA Public Library Meeting Room A

Kathy Panning introduced the Library Levy Presentation: Ann Moore, Amy Sharpe, Ruth McNeil, Bill Shkurti, Kate Porter, board members and officials of the library.

Ann Moore. Our mission at the library is to be free and open to the public, as a pillar of democracy. We believe in teaching kids to read before they go to school. We have a mission of teaching computer literacy, since the '80s. We have meeting rooms for people to come and meet their friends. Our mission statement is to Explore, Gather, Grow.

Kate Porter. Discussion of the Gadget Gallery. We can show you how to download a book for your Nook, Kindle, or iPad. You can even get free e-books on your computer.

3000 people every day visit our libraries. 85% of UA residents have a library card. That is one of the reasons we get such high ratings nationally. We’re ranked number one in our category. UA is so well educated and so well read and they have such a thirst of knowledge. The average checkouts per person is 55 per year. That’s a remarkable statistic.

There’s a whole lot of stuff we pay a premium for, such as scientific journals, and the reference librarians can help you find information that is not freely available on the internet.

Trustee Bill Shkurti spoke on the Levy. The Library doesn’t happen by accident. We have a wonderful staff, and a wonderful support by the community. The levy accounts for half of our revenue. We get 42 cents on the dollar from the state public library fund. There’s a small amount from interest.

We’ve absorbed a 20% reduction in state support over the last five years. The public hasn’t seen that, because of good management, lack of pay raises for the last two years, and the money from the tax levy.

Compared to other communities, paying for the library per $100,000 of home value is much cheaper in UA than in other communities such as Grandview Heights and Worthington.

How can people help?

  • Spread the work, this is not a tax increase.
  • Email to your friends and family.
  • Like us on facebook.
  • Put up a yard sign.
  • Write a letter to the editor.
  • Make a contribution to help us pay for the campaign.

We’d like to have an overwhelming vote for the library on March 6, 2012.

Vote for Your Library buttonQuestion: Is there some way that people who use the UA library but don’t live in UA can help with the campaign?

We have about 50,000 library cards. Only about 30,000 are held in Upper Arlington. We really need the Upper Arlington residents support, but if anyone would like to take a packet of ten post cards that you can mail out to friends or ex neighbors.

The beauty of the Ohio library system is you can use any library in Ohio with no fee.

Last year we had more kids in summer reading than any time before.

Question: Do you have signs?

Yes, and you can pick them up at the Goodie Shop and the Arlington Bank.

Note that the ballot number is Issue 9.

Presentation by Mike Schadek. Issue 4 is the police and fire levy. UA has been funding the police and fire levy with property tax. This is going to be a very small increase. The increase is 4 dollars per 100,000. The city of UA is mandated to pay for fire and police pensions. So if the levy doesn’t pass, UA will have to pick up more than a million dollars, and it’s got to come from somewhere. Furthermore, the Estate Tax is going away and also the local government fund is going away. This is going to mean a 15% reduction in money coming in to UA government. There are no easy answers. It is important for UAPA to be a part of this discussion. UA has typically supported the police and fire pension fund. We’ve been doing this for 30 years.

Question: Why would anyone deny teachers, firefighters, and police officers, a decent retirement, a decent health plan, and a decent pay rate.

Even people who want to say they support police and fire department, we have to do it by supporting issues such as Issue 4.

Question: Do we have a gold plated pension compared to other municipalities?

No, our pension is the same as other municipalities. Very comparable.

Question: Is this the employer paying for the employee portion of the contribution?

If the employee portion is paid in part by the municipality, it was paid through negotiations in lieu of salary.

If the levy does not pass, UA will still have to pay the state mandated 1.7 million portion of the pension.

A to Z connector. This is coming up to City Council in the next three months. The issue is coming up because people are trying to bring it up before MORPC. The studies will run $150,000. Businesses on Lane Avenue are against that. This was shut down by MORPC after hundreds of protest letters only last year, and they’re starting it up again.

Question: The A to Z connector is platted on the books and has been for 50 years. The connector was not built originally, it needs to be built now.

The Zollinger Road traffic increase would go from 5000 cars a day to 20,000 cars a day. Cass, the developer for Kingsdale, is pushing for this. The Ohio State property just to the east could be developed, but that would not pay one dime to Upper Arlington’s coffers.

Question: Issue 4: Currently the money is paid by the levy. If we don’t pass the levy, it becomes a 1.7 million dollar drain on our UA budget.

Question: Will a strip club come in to the Lane Avenue development?

No, that would never get by BZAP. Mike Schadek’s cell is 554-5607. On March 1 at 7pm there will be a conversation with Mike Schadek at the UA Public Library. He will hold these monthly.

Kathy Panning: Please come to our Blue Brunch. We have gourmet food catered by Jeff at Park Creek Kitchen. We do need a final count by Monday. We have three levels, you can be a host at the $150 level, a sponsor at the $75 level, or a friend at the $50 level.

Maureen Reedy: Running for 24th Ohio House seat, the Ohio House of Representatives. I’ve been a teacher in UA for 26 years. I’m taking a personal leave of absence to run for office. Public education opportunities for our children are slipping away.

I kicked it into gear with Senate Bill 5 last year. I raised my kids, worked full time, but really stepped up with the SB5 campaign. We heard from Mike Schadek about money being parceled out from our municipality and being given to charter schools and other priorities. We need to protect our coffers. I’m not a double dipper, I’m not retired. I’m ready to do all we can do.

Check my web site: I’ve been inspired by UAPA. For volunteers: I need someone to help me with the website to make it more active. I need people to sign up with the volunteer line. I need to have people come and have neighbor conversations. We’re starting to organize house parties. I’ve been told by the experts that to win you need to knock on 10,000 doors. I’ve already knocked on 1000. We’ll launch Maureen’s Team later in spring and have door knock training. Just sign up on the website, and I will contact you later in the spring. Someone from We are Ohio has helped me cut turf. I have cut turf in Hilliard first. I am meeting with Hilliard City Schools teacher representatives. The map includes Clintonville, the bike path, UA, Hilliard, Prairie District, all the way down to northern Grove City.

UAPA's next monthly meeting is on the Thursday Feb 23, State Rep John Carney is the speaker. He will bring us up to date on how Ohio is keeping up its responsibility in health reform.

Book club: February book is Winner Take All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. See Book Club will meet on Monday, February 29th at Donato's (Zollinger and Northwest). Book Club is always the last Monday of the month. The March book is Corporations are Not People.

To get a sample ballot, go to the Franklin County board of elections web site, look up your name or address of your house, and then you can download a sample ballot. This can be helpful in figuring out what the wording of the issues is; and in seeing what races are contested. Go to:

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