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Letter from State Representative Robert Hagan

I am against urbanized drilling here in North Royalton. Over the last year or so I have been contacting various State Lawmakers urging for change in state law to address concerns Ward 3 residents have with urbanized drilling and fracking. Below is a letter I got back from State Representative Robert Hagan from the 58th Ohio House District.

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Senate Bill 172

Below is a letter I got back from State Senator Tom Patton regarding SB 172 that helps local county land banks and communities in fighting the foreclosure crisis.


Letter to Congressman Renacci and Senator Portman

Below are my letters to United States Congressman Jim Renacci and United States Senator Rob Portman about my concerns regarding the national debt crisis and the impact on public education.

Please consider writing these members of Congress and urge for them to help public education, NOT hurt it! Here is there contact information:

Senator Rob Portman
338 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Congressman Jim Renacci
130 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Letter from Ohio Department of Education

A letter I got back from the Ohio Department of Education after expressing concern about a draft policy they are making on Rule for Restraint and Seclusion.


School Board President Dr. John H. Kelly Letter on Upcoming Bond Issue:

Below is a letter written by North Royalton School Board President Dr. John H. Kelly Letter on Upcoming Bond Issue:

The facilities issues of the North Royalton School District have been discussed for over a decade. The North Royalton School Board commissioned two major analyses of district facilities; one in 2003-2004 by Hayes Large and a second review and re-assessment in 2008 by MKC architects. In 2009, the Ohio School Boards Commission also delivered their assessment; a rating of our facilities based on state standards. These were major analytical projects and all aspects of district facilities were evaluated and assessed. From those studies several recommendations were made. Focus groups met, residents were surveyed, options were evaluated but no proposal was given to the public for a decision. Initial plans ranged in the $150 million range and involved various possibilities which included the new construction of at least one building. The 2008 review led to a decision to comprehensively repair and expand existing facilities without new construction and pared the plan down to proposals in the $100 million range. Still, no proposal was taken to the public given the cost and the uncertain economic forecasts at the time.

The Strategic Plan process which concluded in 2010 confirmed that the facilities issue was a major concern to the public and that something needed to be done to address the needs that had been pointed out for the preceding six years. A feasible plan was needed to position the district for sweeping curricular changes coming in 2014, technological instructional opportunities and growth. It needed to be complete; but free of any frills or extras. Over the last 16 months The Shape Our Schools’ Future Committee toured all the facilities, reviewed every document produced and came forward with a proposal that was presented to the community on March 27. The board would like to commend this dedicated group of residents for their volunteer effort. Parents, former parents, construction experts, architects and engineers were all part of the group that looked at our facilities’ needs.

The charge to this committee was to develop a plan that would be comprehensive; thorough but not ostentatious, so that it would provide long-term solutions that would last for many years to come. It just did not make sense to be incomplete now and have to go back to the public again in five to 10 years to finish the job. The years since the first studies have been filled with “reactive repairs.” That is, each year a “wish list” of needed repairs would be presented and the board at the recommendation of the administration would repair as much as possible within each year’s budget. Every year the list would grow larger as the worst items from the current year would take precedence over carry-over needs.

This brings us to 2012 and the plan that has been developed and presented by the Shape Our Schools’ Future Committee. The committee has looked at all aspects of previous proposals and reduced their recommendation down to the most critical needs. Their plan reduces many items included in the 2008 recommendation:

* Expansion plans have been minimized to address current needs and moremodest growth trends of recent years.
* Window replacements have been reduced to the most critical only, with plans for future replacements a few at a time each year
* Technology and electrical upgrades have been reduced significantly with emphasis given to critical technological needs and projects that pay for themselves with energy savings within a few years.
* Internal finishes and trims have been drastically cut to keep the project focused on what is necessary.
That said, the board also walked through the buildings and held meetings with the committee to evaluate all aspects of the proposal. At the May meeting the board unanimously made its recommendation to proceed; and now the plan will be presented to the public for a vote in November. Ultimately these are your facilities and it is up to you to decide if you want to maintain them for the long term.

Our district has demonstrated tremendous accountability over the years, always ranking as one of the lowest in cost per pupil and one of the highest in academic performance in Cuyahoga County. Recently, North Royalton High School was selected by Newsweek Magazine as one of only 12 schools in Northeast Ohio to be ranked in the top 1,000 nationally. The district’s long term debt is at a minimum with the middle school bond issue to be retired in 2019. The 1.8-mills currently being levied will end at that time. The stadium project, necessitated by an OCR complaint, was accomplished without a tax increase. The community stepped up to raise $1.3 million for the turf and track while the remaining $3.35 million for the renovation project was raised via cell phone tower revenue and a COPS issue by leveraging a portion of our annual Permanent Improvement Fund. The district came up with a creative way to address an immediate problem and need; with a solution that will last for decades to come, without raising taxes.

Without question, the board is sensitive to the fact that the economy is not robust nor do we deny that many residents are faced with difficult budgetary issues on a daily basis. However, we also feel our obligation to make you aware that your facilities are in need of rehabilitation for immediate and long term stability. The cost of money is at all-time lows and construction costs are also low and very competitive. Every community must decide what type of educational program they wish to support. Our facilities are at a stage where they are hindering the education of our children. It is time for us as a community to decide whether to protect the investment we have made in our facilities and provide our children with a level playing surface as they compete in a global environment.

Copy of Letter I got back from Governor John Kasich

Copy of Langshaw Letter to Biennial Budget Conference Committee

Letter from OSBA

S. 3206 Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010 Letter from US Senator Sherrod Brown

S. 3206 Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010

From time to time I write our representatives in the Ohio General Assembly and our members in Congress about various legislation. In my letters I tell lawmakers about the importance certain legislation would have on the North Royalton School District and our community at large. Below is a copy of a recent letter I got from our Congresswoman regarding the Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010. I think this is a good piece of legislation that would not only help districts like North Royalton, but the rest in our state by having increased federal aid for education.