Barbara King is the incumbent running for Monclova Twp. trustee. Her challenger is Chuck Hoecherl (hershell).
Chuck says we should elect him because Barb helped to get Cathedral of Praise their property on Strayer Road. This was bad, he thinks, because of noise and traffic generated by this large church. Granted, the whole neighborhood comes out to see Cathedral's fireworks and enjoy the occasional, infrequent, outdoor festivities with contemporary Christian bands. But Hoecherl indicates he is unhappy about the tax revenues lost when Trinova moved out. Never mind that no business came forward to buy the property and pay the taxes as far as I know. The complex seemed to be empty for quite awhile before Cathedral bought it. Hoecherl says the trustees were remiss in not notifying all the neighbors of the permissions for Cathedral to buy.
For the same reasons that Hoecherl opposed Cathedral, Barbara King was recently persuaded by hostile residents to oppose the Monclova Road Baptist Church's purchase of a large property on the corner of Monclova and Coder Roads. However, in addition to Cathedral of Praise, I understand that Barbara DID vote to approve a purchase by St. Joseph's Catholic church in Maumee. Barb says her own church is St. Joan of Arc --also a school and church property on a busy corner.
I don't know how Springfield Twp. manages to function with their large school on McCord --or Anthony Wayne on Finzel for that matter. Both of these are tax-exempt schools which must cause some traffic for their games and school start and dismissal times--even more noise and traffic and parking space and tax exemption for them than for Monclova Baptist.
Every church and school has tax exemption and generates traffic and affects the "rural" atmosphere. Housing and business developments also detract from the rural atmosphere. Development of Monclova seems inevitable as the demand for property escalates and the land owners want to sell. They feel they should be able to sell for top dollar. Do the township trustees have a right to frustrate the land sellers about a church purchase? and to prevent the relocation of a church less than a mile down the road? Is that really impacting the rural atmosphere any more than any other future use of the corner? Not if they can't force the owners to keep the land agricultural.
As for the tax revenue lost, church people ARE tax payers. Our country has a historical tradition of recognizing the good of churches and the fact that they are made up of "we, the people." Tax-paying people. Church members are not only taxed on their homes and businesses, they support their non-profit churches and pay all their bills. Tax exemption has long been considered a good trade-off for the good that churches do in a community.
Hoecherl wrote a note to one of the neighborhood opponents of the church, a lady who had written the Blade against the church --he said to her that the Monclova Road Baptist Church expansion on that property had nothing to offer the community. While he agreed with the letter writer, she is letting his note be used out of her obligation to Barb Lang's campaign --since Barb did what she wanted, voted against the church --and because Hoecherl is said to have told Monclova church people that he would be sympathetic to them in the future. (But that is hearsay from church people.) In any case, Hoecherl is definitely on record saying he opposes both of those churches.
Pastor Merrin recently refused to allow the Board of Elections to use the church as a polling place this year --which means over 1000 voters in the township have to vote elsewhere. He is understandably upset with the township officials and is suing the township for unfair treatment as a church. (You see, He's Baptist and they can get irritated; we Free Methodists have to be sanctified and turn the other cheek! : D) Unfortunately, one of the politically connected sellers backed out of the suit, which may hurt the church's case.
But no wonder he is irritated --how often is a church denied an equal right with business and real estate developers to buy a property?? Is the almighty dollar for tax revenues the most important community consideration? People have flocked to Monclova, adding to the crowding and the demise of rural atmosphere and agriculture, but now that they have THEIR homes there, they don't want any more development or tax exempt churches?
Barb Lang and the church opponents said the property as planned looked too full. Merrin says the county commissioners urged them to plan whatever they thought they might ever want to build on the property in the long run --so Merrin said they felt encouraged to dream big. It was a mistake used against them.
I have suggested to him that they keep their present property and buy the new land just for a sports and arts complex, as the two properties are close together. I'm sure, however, they hoped to sell their other property and use the money toward the new construction. I do think if they offer to put a lot of green around their parking lots and athletic fields, they may get township approval next time around --especially if the church-going community rises up and supports trustees who will support the church.
That's why I'll vote for Lang. Even though she sided with the other trustees (who are not up for re-election this year) under the pressure and advice of the vocal citizens who would oppose her if she didn't vote against the church. She was under the illusion that most people opposed the Baptist Church. I see her as being more desirous to please the majority --whereas Hoecherl has made it clear that he doesn't approve of any large church complex regardless of community wishes because he has his own clear idea about church tax exemptions, apparently. Is this his call to make?
What do churches do for communities? They provide a niche and a resource to help needy and troubled people. They help families be functional, providing encouragement to moral living, successful marriages and parenting insights. They provide a youth group with wholesome activities for students who may find their public schools big and impersonal. A Church school provides athletic and music opportunities which our larger public school may not be able to provide for everyone, due to a larger, more competitive student population. They may help some students find a social niche with lots of adult mentors --whether they go to the church school or just the youth activities of the church. As more parents avail themselves of the private school in their midst, they relieve Anthony Wayne's crowding and expense. It used to be that public schools had a lot of state funding per student to lose if the student left the school -- but that's not true anymore. As I understand it, we aren't getting much state aid per pupil anymore. But even if we lost some state aid for every child that doesn't attend the public school, nevertheless, good private schools in a district ALSO enhance our real estate values and provide educational choice --and smaller schools for some who need them.
Anthony Wayne is the largest school district in the state geographically. It can stand a little competition and relief for their over-crowded buildings and continually growing student population --even though churches don't pay into the property tax base. REmember, their people do. WE do!
I think Lang is our better choice for trustee. I believe she will support the fairness of church acquisitions if it's presented to her with more strength than previously --as she has done so two out of three times that I know about.
All church people should let Monclova trustees know how they feel about this issue.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible