With the November 2011 election nearly upon us, there are three Scioto County tax levies that I want to comment on. As your 89th District State Representative, I feel that each of these is a clearly needed investment in the well-being and prosperity of our community, and I am urging you, my fellow Scioto County citizens, to support and vote for them.
On Oct. 13, I was deeply honored to attend and deliver the keynote speech at the Annual Developmental Disabilities (DD) banquet held at the Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Friends Center in Portsmouth. There was a great turnout for this event — a full house! As I visited with those in attendance and later in my remarks, I made clear exactly where I stand on this issue: those served by the area DD program are valued members of our local society. From the participants to the families who love and care for them, wonderful things are accomplished every day. We are ALL God’s children. He depends on us to do the right thing and to open our hearts to those among us who need it most. I fully support the passage of this levy which is a renewal and not a tax increase.
The Save Our Kids levy is a new tax, but it is one from which we will benefit tremendously, and I support it as well. Over the last decade, the twin scourges of drug abuse and drug-related crime have nearly overwhelmed us. There is hardly a family among us that has not had a loved one become addicted, or that does not know of such a family, or has not suffered as a result of drug- related crime. So many lives have been ruined; too many lives have been lost. As we struggle to treat those afflicted and to bring to justice those who break the law, we must take a stand on what is perhaps the single most important part of this fight; preventing our precious children from falling prey to this evil. We must have a decisive effort from parents and churches and civic organizations and schools to push back and say “No!” to the loss of our kids to drugs. This is a battle we cannot afford to lose. It is an investment in our community that we truly need to make. I urge everyone to support this levy and to join our local efforts to wipe out the horrible problem of substance abuse.
Finally, there is the Senior Citizen levy. Like the DD levy, this too is a renewal and not a tax increase. I treasure the presence of our area senior citizens. These are the people who raised me, taught me, corrected me, directed me, loved me and mentored me. I suspect that they have done the same for you. A strong and vibrant senior community is what this levy supports. A strong and vibrant senior community is exactly what we need as we strive to put darker days behind us and move to a brighter and more prosperous future. Our seniors should be encouraged and enabled to help us through our problems, and we should support them every way we can.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts on these matters. God bless!
State Rep. Terry Johnson
89th District, McDermott