October 30, 2003



More election endorsements

Miami Township trustee

The only truly competitive race on the Nov. 4 ballot is a good one. Incumbent Chris Mucher faces former Village Manager David Heckler in a race for one available seat on the Miami Township Board of Trustees. The winner will receive a four-year term. Both Mr. Mucher and Mr. Heckler are well qualified for the job and would serve this community well.

Mr. Mucher, a Yellow Springs resident who owns and operates Photoworks/Movieworks and processes film for the News, was appointed to the board in 1996 and was then elected in 1997 and 1999. He cites his experience on the board as his major selling point tin this race. Mr. Mucher, who is currently president of the Board of Trustees, has had a hand in many of the trustees’ recent endeavors, including the writing of a Township land use plan and the Cooperative Economic Development Agreement, or CEDA, the trustees and Village Council approved last year. He also stressed that he will continue to support Miami Township Fire-Rescue.

Mr. Heckler, who worked for the Village from 1985 to 2000, first as assistant Village manager, then manager, is seeking his first public office. A township resident, Mr. Heckler currently works as the director of Tri Cities North Regional Wastewater Authority, which manages a wastewater facility for Huber Heights, Tipp City and Vandalia. He cites his public service experience and his degrees in civil engineering and business administration. One of his goals is to complete the land use plan, stressing the nee to balance property rights with zoning regulations. Mr. Heckler also says that he will support the fire department and make it a point to reach out to township residents.

Chris Mucher and David Heckler are intriguing candidates who have a lot to offer Miami Township, which includes Yellow Springs. In his time on the Board of Trustees, Mr. Mucher has been a dedicated, hardworking trustee. He’s been at the center of several important Township initiatives, including playing a major role in writing the CEDA, an effort to bring more jobs and more tax revenue to Miami Township and Yellow Springs. Mr. Mucher has done a good job for seven years and deserves a chance to continue to serve the community.

Ballot issues

In addition to the two school levies, which we endorsed two weeks ago, several other important issues will be on next week’s ballot. State Issue 1 would allow the state to secure $500 million in bonds over the next 10 years to finance part of Governor Bob Taft’s Third Frontier project. Backers of the issue say that money from the bond issue would be used to promote job creation and the research and development of new products, mostly in high-tech fields. The proposal would not increase taxes, though the state would increase its debt load to retire the bonds. Given the lagging state of Ohio’s economy, the state needs to take a lead in economic development and job creation programs. Given that manufacturing jobs have been leaving the state in waves, a program like the Third Frontier project is overdue. While it’s not the only solution to Ohio’s economic woes, it is part of the equation. Issue 1 is worth supporting.

One countywide issue is listed on the ballot, Issue 14, a five year, 0.5-mill levy for Greene Memorial Hospital. The levy would generate $1.5 million annually. It has been in effect since 1951. Issue 14 is a replacement and decrease of the current levy, which is 0.52 mills. Paying a few dollars a year in property taxes is worthwhile when it ensures that Greene County residents will have access to quality health care. Issue 14 deserves support.

Finally, the most perplexing issue on the ballot is Issue 26, which Village Council placed on the ballot. If approved, the issue would give the Village the authority to continue to collect taxes on the profits of S corporations, businesses that pass their income to shareholders, who report the companies’ profits or losses on their individual tax returns. The issue would not increase taxes on businesses in Yellow Springs. Council placed the issue on the ballot after the Ohio General Assembly created a one-time window allowing Ohio municipalities to ask voters to reaffirm their right to collect taxes on out-of-state S corporations. Out-of-state S corporations would not have to pay local taxes if they distribute their shareholder earnings as dividends, instead of wages. Issue 26 covers all S corporations, because Council believes the state will eventually try to prohibit municipalities from collecting taxes on Ohio-based S corporations.

Though the issue is confusing, it makes sense to support Issue 26 simply because it would allow the Village to maintain the status quo: collect certain taxes on certain companies. Though the effect this issue could have on Yellow Springs is minimal, voters should pass Issue 26.

—Robert Mihalek