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To the Editor:
Once again the taxpayers and voters of Carroll County said “No” to the OSU Extension Levy. Your paper’s article quoted John Gardner, “Hopefully we will be able to place a levy back on the November 2011 ballot.”

At a time when people of all persuasions are angry with politicians for not listening to voters, there are those in Carroll County who still don’t get the message. This Carroll County voter can’t speak for the 5,071 residents who voted the levy down. I voted against the levy for several reasons. Those concerns include the following:

*With Ohio State University sitting on a multi-billion (that is a “b”) dollar foundation fund, why should Ohio and Carroll County residents who are struggling in these difficult economic times be asked to fund an OSU program with their limited dollars?

*If the OSU extension program is vital, then why not do a letter and phone campaign to the OSU foundation  directors and ask them to fund the extension and give back to Ohio communities?

*How many jobs did the extension create in Carroll County over the past five years?

*How much revenue income does the extension add to the Carroll County budget?

*As a boy, when I was in 4-H, we paid our own way with fundraisers and parent monies. Churches have to fundraise. School organizations have to fundraise. Why shouldn’t OSU extension pay its own way? There are many worthwhile kids and community programs in Carroll County, but should those organizations go the taxpayer and ask to be funded with taxpayer dollars? Should the Boy/Girl Scouts ask for a levy?

*At a time when there are Carroll County employees who haven’t seen a raise since 2006, where is the fairness in giving tax dollars to the extension and not to deserving Carroll County public workers?

Furthermore, the article noted that several renewal levies were passed. Time and Carroll County history has shown a willingness of voters to continue funding important services. There is a difference in renewing already existing taxes for vital services and draining hard-pressed voters with new tax dollars for services that are not vital to the health and safety of this county. During this election, I thought the electorate across the nation sent a message to local, state and federal governments to live within their means and quit asking voters to raise their taxes. After two levy defeats, shouldn’t the OSU tax committee listen to the community voices as well?

Jerry Owens
Kensington, OH     


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