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October 17, 2012 - Mitchell's biggest fan

Dear Editor,

I am likely the biggest supporter of Jeremy Mitchell's candidacy for Independence Township Trustee, because as his wife, I have seen first- hand Jeremy's commitment to serving people and communities for several years.

I met Jeremy on a college mission trip to Virginia over nine years ago in which students from across the country came together to help low income children enrolled in summer programs. After only one month, the staff chose Jeremy as the primary student leader and tasked him with managing the mission trip operations.

As a member of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature, my husband learned the inner workings of state and local government and later applied that knowledge as a professional. Jeremy worked alongside non- profit organizations whose goal was to partner with state legislators with an interest in building a stronger middle class.

I truly believe Jeremy will make an excellent trustee because he is a knowledgeable and thoughtful leader who has a spirit of cooperation and who will bring productive energy and new ideas to this township.

Please join me in voting for Jeremy Mitchell for Independence Township Trustee on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Jamie Mitchell, PhD

Independence Township

A call for school change

Dear Editor,

I believe the Clarkston School Board is dysfunctional and changes are needed. The public can do something about that when they vote on Nov. 6, by voting for the board members that will redirect the board to perform the functions the board has an obligation to perform.

Please vote for Susan Boatman, Joan Patterson, and Betty Reilly. A vote for them will result in the changes to the school board that the district needs. I also believe that Craig Hamilton is also worth voting for. I have spoken to Craig at school board meetings and I believe that he also sees the board's dysfunction and wants to see the changes that the district needs.

I hope voters don't vote for Cheryl McGinnis, current president; Kelli Horst, who has publicly sided with the rubber stamp members of the current board and Dr. Rock on anything else being discussed, and was one of the ring leaders of the "Say Yes to the $20 million bond" group; or Theresa Adriaens, who is a staunch Dr. Rock supporter who is an "absentee" candidate who hasn't decided to be interested enough in the school system to even attend the board meetings before or after she decided to run for the board.

Per the Center for Public Education, an initiative of the National School Boards Association,

"The local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways. First and foremost school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school board's agenda—it is the only item. When making decisions about school programs, school boards incorporate their community's view of what students should know and be able to do. School boards are accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of their schools. School boards are the education watchdog for their communities, ensuring that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent."

I wish that the Clarkston Community Schools School Board would actually become a group of seven professional adults representing the wants and needs of the public, focused on the direction and control of the school system in order to ensure that the students are educated safely and to the best possible degree given the funds the district has to spend on that endeavor. That is what the school board is supposed to be doing.

I see Joan Patterson, Susan Boatman, and Rosalie Lieblang living up to those school board responsibilities.

On the other hand, I see Cheryl McGinnis, Steve Hyer, Barry Bomier, and Elizabeth Egan ignoring the wants and needs of the public, not requesting the proper data from administration, financial and program data especially, they should have before making decisions on those subjects, and allowing their direct employee, the superintendent, Dr. Rock, to take over the board's responsibilities to direct and control the school system and the board, ignore the public's comments and desires, and to keep himself and the school board as inaccessible as possible from the public.

Mrs Patterson, Mrs. Boatman, and Mrs. Lieblang have requested data they are not only entitled to as board members, but the data should have been supplied to them prior to being asked to make decisions for the district. Time and again, Dr. Rock has ignored or refused their requests. A change in the board is what is needed to stop this behavior.

Dawn Schaller

Independence Township

Thanks for service

Dear Editor,

We would like to thank Neil Wallace and Larry Rosso for their many years of public service as Trustees of Independence Township. Both of these gentlemen made significant contributions to our township over many years with little reward and considerable investment of their personal time. They handled the disappearance of our township Supervisor well and managed to put the township on a much more effective business model.

We can only hope their successors are half as dedicated and effective as these two people.

Jim and Barb Reed

Independence Township

Support for Roth

Dear Editor,

We support Peg Roth in the Clarkston City Council election on Nov. 6. Peg brings a lot of valuable experience as our longest serving council member. We are elated she has decided to run for a fourth term! Clarkston needs Peg Roth. She is actively involved in the community serving on a number of local organizations. Peg is the co-founder of the Clarkston Retailers Group.

The Clarkston Retailers Group works to improve the downtown business district, ensuring it remains vibrant. Campaigns such as "My Clarkston/Buy Clarkston" are but one example of the Clarkston Retailers Group's efforts. Peg is also a board director of the Clarkston Chamber of Commerce

Peg is very visible around town doing all she can to improve our community, whether she is working in some of the downtown gardens, or working on the recent video promoting Clarkston. We feel she is uniquely qualified to serve on the next council, due to her prior council experience, her local business background and her commitment to Clarkston.

Please join us in voting for Peg Roth on Nov. 6.

Sue and Steve Wylie

Clarkston

Library millage rates

Dear Editor,

Last week's letter to the editor from a city resident regarding the Library Millage, is inaccurate and as such, misleading to city residents. It's really pretty simple.

The city pays the same millage rate as does Independence Township, currently .691 mills. To determine the annual payment, the city's total taxable value (TV) is multiplied by the .691 millage rate. This expense has always been paid from the city's General Fund and City Council has stated that it will continue to be the case.

Now let's be clear, the city residents will not, repeat, will not experience a 1.25 mill increase for library services. The actual increase residents can expect will be .559 mills. That's because the city will continue to pay the existing .691 mills from the General Fund as it has since 1992.

On a $200,000 home, taxed at one-half of its assessed value, $100,000, .559 mills, amounts to an increase of $55.90 to the home owner, not $125 last week's writer leaves one to believe.

No, the sky is not falling.

Dennis Ritter

Clarkston City Manager

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