Next PCTEA Meeting Monday, November 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Maplewood Career Center. 
Guest Speaker will be Ohio Governor Candidate Mary Taylor.


November 13, 2017

Ravenna Record Courier
206 East Erie Street
Kent, Ohio 44240

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to your opinion piece posted on November 12, 2017 titled “Editorial: Elections pluses and minuses.” In the first paragraph you state that I communicated “clearly false information” concerning the levies on the ballot on November 7th. Let me point out that what I communicated was not false, and was not intended to be false, it was based on what was stated in the legal statement of the actual ballot language. The ballot language fails to differentiate between “Appraised Value” vs “Assessed Value.” The Appraised value is what your home is worth on the open market, the Assessed value is what the county appraises your home at for tax purposes. 

In the ballot language for Field for instance, the legal statement on the ballot issue says “Tax being an additional tax of 8.3 mills at a rate not exceeding 8.3 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to 83 cents for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2017, first due in calendar year 2018.” Is it for each dollar of the Appraised valuation or Assessed valuation of the property being taxed? It is not clearly stated. I think we all can agree that the ballot language, which is actually dictated by the state all the way down to words that can be used and even what type size can be used, is anything but transparent. Instead of helping to inform on the issue so voters know what they are voting for or against, it is designed to obfuscate by using language not commonly used to discuss property value. Stating property valuation in terms of cents per $100 dollars in valuation is like describing gas milage by the cost in cents to drive 100 feet.

How about adding some perspective as well. They are always talking about how little the additional tax is, but they don’t tell the voter what the total cost actually is in their community! While the new levy for a fitness center in Kent, which thankfully failed, would add “just” $172.80 per year in taxes to the Assessed value of a $60,000 home (worth $175,000) it would in fact raise the total taxes on that home to $4,550 per year or $379 PER MONTH!

Now I will admit that I was not specific enough in my language in our robo calls either. I did not use the words Appraised or Assessed, as I was just using the actual non-precise ballot language as the basis for the description of the new tax in our calls. However, when I said in the case of the Crestwood levy that “a person who owns a $100,000 home, or rents one, will pay $450 per year in new taxes.” That statement is true even if you insert the word “Assessed” into the statement as property with an “Appraised Value” of $285,000 would have an “Assessed Value” of $100,000 and would therefore pay an additional $450 in taxes, as I stated.

Now, since your newspaper falsely accused me of communicating “clearly false information” let’s talk about the school districts and other government entities who actually do intentionally communicate “clearly false information” when trying to pass a levy. Your reporter, and many of those who complained about our call, took issue with my statement that these new taxes will be paid by renters as well as home owners. To your reporter’s and your newspaper’s credit, in your initial story you printed my explaination that of course renters pay these taxes because their rent must cover the total expenses involved with the rental property.

However, school districts and other government agencies routinely and intentionally leave out this fact not just in the ballot language but in their presentations to the public as well. The US Census shows that 31.3% of homes in Portage County are not owner-occupied, but are renter-occupied, which is a huge block of voters - all of whom pay these taxes through their rent. However, through omission, school districts and other government agencies intentionally want these voters to believe that they can vote for these taxes to get the benefits without paying for them. That is “clearly false.”

Then there is the other “minus” from the election where, in your opinion, tax payers “claim they can’t afford any tax increase”, as if there is no evidence to support their position, and you opine that “there has to be a better way to ensure our schools have proper funding.” We do properly fund our schools and have all our lives, but we simply can’t afford any more, and we are not getting wha we pay for as far as educational outcomes. Even you admit in your coverage that schools have declining student enrollments and yet have increasing expenses. Why is that? How can you have less students, on whom schools are supposed to be spending our money, and have increasing expenses unless the schools are being mismanaged?

What you nor the school districts talk about is how in the past three years something like 33% of the oldest and highest paid teachers have retired because of dramatic changes in their state retirement plan. If a teacher did not retire by last June, they could lose as much as 11% of their retirement for life based on the new rules. So, every school district in Portage County has had dozens of teachers retire who’s cost to taxpayers, including $24,000 per year in health care costs in many cases among other perks, approaches or exceeds $100,000. They have been replaced with younger teachers who are paid $60,000 including benefits. This has saved each school district millions per year in costs, and where has that money gone? Plus, with lower student enrollment, why are some of them even being replaced? Why are classroom student sizes so small, when there is no evidence of improved student achievement? This practice adds more teachers at our expense and provides no benefit! That is mismanagement. In the real world taxpayers live in, if you make less product, you spend less money.

Not to mention the insanity of school districts wanting to build new buildings with 30 years mortages when they have no idea what type of buildings, if any, students 25 years from now will need! I always find it interesting when public school systems sell old buildings and Christian schools buy them up and fix them up for their purposes because buying old buildings keeps costs down compared to building new ones. We should not be building any new school buildings in Ohio today, particularly since we have seen zero improvement in educational outcomes in districts that have built new buildings. We should be modernizing our old buildings, and consolidating buildings and even school districts themselves to be more efficient with the money taxpayers already pay. The bottom line is that not only should these school districts not be asking for new levies, we should be repealing existing levies and they should be giving taxpayers some of their money back as student enrollment declines and teacher costs drop! The problem is not “proper funding” as you assert in your editorial, it is “proper management” and respect for the taxpayers’ money.

It has been said that “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” Stop putting the same levies up over and over again. It is long past time to stop the insanity of our failed public school systems, which have not failed due to the lack of funding, but have failed because it’s focus is on creating well paying jobs for adults, instead of creating superior educational outcomes for students. This is proven by school districts like Ravenna and Crestwood who only spend 66% of the money on classroom instruction and the rest on highly paid and/or unnecessary administrators. To quote my “friends” in the teachers union every time a levy comes up “Don’t you care about the children?” It’s pretty clear our schools, not individual teachers, but the unions and the administrations, care very little about the children while caring a whole lot about themselves!

It should be noted that none of the renewal levies were defeated in Portage County because we have not yet decide to take that path. All of the increases were defeated by large margins in part thanks to our calls educating the public. Since the TEA Party began in 2009 it is estimated that the educational efforts of the Portage County TEA Party has saved Portage taxpayers as much as $14 million per year in unnecessary taxes. That is a total of $110,000,000 in savings while still providing "proper" funding for schools, cities, parks and rec and the county. We are proud to have provided these services to our community.


Thomas R. Zawistowski
Ohio Citizens PAC

Great Turnout for Tonights Pre-Election Meeting. Republican Mike Gibbons did a nice job of speaking. Plus we got to discuss all the local and state issues as well as local candidates. Thanks to all who attended!



Mogadore, OH - The Portage County TEA Party will host a pre-election meeting at 7:00 PM, Thursday, November 2, 2017 that is open to the public.  The main speaker for the meeting will be Republican Candidate for US Senate, Mike Gibbons. The event will be held at the Maplewood Career Center at 7075 State Route 88, Ravenna, OH 44266. After Mike Gibbons speaks there will be a question and answer session followed by a discussion of local candidates and state and local issues that will be on the ballot in next week’s election. There is no charge for the event, the public is welcome, and refreshments will be served.



For Immediate Release: Sunday, August 13, 2017



Ravenna, Ohio - The Portage County TEA Party announced today that Jim Renacci, Republican candidate for Ohio Governor and current US Congressman from the Ohio 16th District, will speak at a public meeting the group will host on Thursday, August 17th at 7:00 PM at the Maplewood Career Center Cafeteria at 7075 State Route 88 in Ravenna, OH 44266. The candidate will explain why he is running to be the next Ohio Governor, and why he believes that you should support him, and then he will take questions from those in attendance. The meeting is open to the public and the media. There is no charge to attend and refreshments will be served. 

Tom Zawistowski, Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party, commented "We are very happy to give the citizens of Portage County an opportunity to not only meet but also question Jim Renacci about what he will do if he becomes Ohio's next Governor. We thank the Renacci campaign for putting us on a very busy speaking schedule as the Ohio Primary next May is now only nine months away.  It is our goal to bring each of the other Republican Governor candidates, as well as any Democratic candidates who will accept our invitation, to Portage County over the coming months. We will also try to bring the US Senate candidates to speak in Portage County as well."

The Portage County TEA Party is a non-profit educational organization that strives to educate citizens about the US Constitution, our political systems and political parties and how citizens can and should participate in their own self governance at the local, state and federal levels. The group was founded in 2009 and citizens can get more information on it's website at or on Facebook. Anyone wanting to join the Portage County TEA Party can do so by calling 330-474-3848 or by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please Join Us

Portage County TEA Party Meeting

Monday, April 3, 2017 at 7:00 PM


Maplewood Career Center Cafeteria

7575 State Route 88, Ravenna, OH 44260


Tom Zawistowski will make a presentation

about the Future of the TEA Party Movement



The Following Canidates have been Endorsed by
the Portage County TEA Party PAC:

Tia Paoloni, Candidate for Portage County Clerk of Courts


Lori Calcei, Candidate for Portage County Recorder


Sabrina Christian-Bennett, Candidate for Portage County Commissioner


John Mancini, Candidate for Portage County Commissioner


Sarah LaTourrette, Candidate for Representative from the 76th District


Jim Lutz, Candidate for Representative of Ohio State House 75th District


John Eklund - Ohio Senate 18th District



Ron Tamburrino, Candidate for 11th District Court of Appeals



Great Turnout tonight at the Portage County TEA Party PAC Candidates Night in Ravenna! Thanks to all the candidates for attending. Video was taken of all the Candidates and will be posted to this website and our Facebook Page as soon as they are done. The crowd took home 300 Trump Signs and 3,000 voter guides! Also voted for who the PAC will be endorsing locally this year. We will announce our endorsements before early voting starts on October 11th!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 26, 2016
Mogadore, OH - The Portage County TEA Party PAC announced today that they will be hosting a local candidates night on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 starting at 7:00 PM at Maplewood Career Center at 7075 State Route 88, Ravenna, OH 44266. The event is open to the public and refreshments will be served. The event will feature candidates for elected offices being decided in the General Election on November 8, 2016. All candidates on the local ballot were invited to the event, regardless of party affiliation, with a month’s notice.
Candidates that have committed to speak at this time are:
County Commissioner:
- John J. Mancini
- Sabrina Christian-Bennett
Clerk of Courts:
- Tia M. Paoloni
County Recorder:
- Lori Calcei
- David Doak
State Representative 76th District (Northern Portage):
- Sarah LaTourette
State Representative 75th District (Southern Portage):
- Jim Lutz
State Senator 18th District:
- John Eklund
13th US Congressional District:
- Richard Morckel
16th US Congressional District:
- Keith Mundy
11th District Court of Appeals:
- Ron M. Tamburrino
Depending on final confirmations, each candidate will get at least five minutes to speak and members of the public will have ample time to question candidates at their respective tables before the start of the event, during breaks and after the event. Candidates will be encouraged to bring signs and other campaign materials to hand out to the public. All candidate speeches will be video taped and posted on the Portage County TEA Party website as a resource for Portage County Voters. The Portage County TEA Party PAC is an affiliated Ohio State PAC registered with the Secretary of State of Ohio and as such is able to endorse and support State and Local Candidates in Ohio.