Category Archives: Xenia

X*ACT Thrift Store Closing to Make Way for Arts Center

As 2012 winds down, the Xenia Area Community Theater is making a big move toward fulfilling their long term Arts Mission. For the past few years they have been relying on income from their Second Act Thrift Store to help cover their operating expenses. As they continue to grow, the thrift store revenue has been replaced by growing audiences, memberships and sponsorships. Accordingly, they are transitioning away from the thrift store in favor of what the Transition Team is calling the Xenia Arts Center.

According to X*ACT President Alan King, “The vision we have of the Xenia Arts Center is a creative arts cooperative where local artists, artisans, and fine crafters can display and sell their works.” X*ACT envisions art classes and art related activities as well. Starting immediately, they are actively recruiting local artists to help plan and execute this change. They plan to begin renovations at the New Year and to open the new Arts Center in early 2013.

So now they are faced with clearing out their huge inventory of quality donated items to make way for the artists.

Today they are announcing a big 50% OFF CLEARANCE SALE at the Second Act Thrift Store. They have a large selection of Holiday Decorations, Gifts and Stocking Stuffers, Children’s and Adult’s Clothing, Vintage Furniture, Books, and Household Items.

Everything must go. The 50% OFF CLEARANCE SALE will continue through November or until all of their inventory is gone. Stop in soon to get the best selection of gently used and vintage items. Your purchases will help to fund the building improvements necessary to open the Xenia Arts Center this spring. No reasonable offers will be refused. If you have good second hand items to donate to X*ACT for this sale, please drop them off before Friday, Nov. 16.

Former President Cheryl Dern says, “We’re excited about the future and you can be part of it.” Xenia Area Community Theater and the Second Act Thrift Store are located in hospitable downtown Xenia at 45 E. Second St. Special Clearance Sale hours are Mon – Thurs from 9 AM to 3 PM, Fri from 12 to 6 PM and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM. For further information phone 937-372-0516 or visit X*ACT online at

Unsustainable Spending Drives Local School Levies

In a November 2 policy brief, Buckeye Institute reveals the real reason for the Ohio Education Association claim that state-level funding cuts require many school districts to introduce new levies.

The Institute presents historical evidence for school district overspending. Average annual inflation has been around 4.2 percent since 1975 while school spending has increased by 5.5 percent on average during the same time period. In many Ohio school districts, average teacher compensation is 50% higher than the average income of residents in their communities. While the current legislature has increased school funding, median income is declining. Since 2001, median has declined 16 percent.

Because employee compensation consumes 96 percent of most school budgets, Ohio overspending on schooling is simply unsustainable.

How can this problem be fixed? The Buckeye Institute makes the following proposal:

“Simply providing more tax revenue is not going to solve the problem. If taxpayers in this state are ever to get a break from the hamster wheel of local levies, compensation reforms are essential. To accomplish this, collective bargaining reform cannot be swept under the rug indefinitely.” Changing Ohio collective bargaining law, local school boards would have more flexibility to adjust compensation to reflect current fiscal reality.

To read the policy brief, go to

Passing the Xenia Schools 6.5 Mill Emergency Property Tax Levy: The Bottom Line (corrected)

by Daniel Downs

Since the Xenia City School District attempted to pass a 1.5 earned income tax levy in August, not much has changed. The economic situation is still uncertain. Employment is still near 8%, and growth is still very slow. The Congressional Budget Office estimates remain the same as is the outlook of economists like Nouriel Roubini and financial experts like John Mauldin. (see Passing Xenia Schools Income Tax Replacement Levy)

Also unchanged is the claim by Xenia School officials of a huge deficit looming over the election season horizon. On November 6, Xenia Community School officials want voters to agree that there is a dire need for landowners whose property value is $100,000 to pay an additional $200 per year in taxes. That is on top of the bond issue tax, the half-percent income tax, three or more previously renewed property taxes, Greene County Career Center taxes, city taxes, county taxes, state taxes, federal taxes, utility usage taxes including electricity, gas and communication taxes, sales taxes, business taxes, and many other taxes.

Why do school officials need more money? Past budget cuts made by the school district was due to rising costs of health insurance, utilities and diesel fuel costs, according to a recent Xenia Daily Gazette article. A Dayton Daily News article claims passing the emergency property tax levy will alleviate the looming budget deficit. Of course, giving Xenia schools $200 dollars more of your hard earned income each year will meet the most important need of all, benefiting student learning.

Will it not also assure administrators and teachers that they will continue getting union determined pay raises, health insurance that is continuing to rise, retirement, and other benefits?

We can thank our union President Barak Obama and congressional Democrats for rising health costs, and Capitol Hill bureaucrats and oil cartels for rising gas and utility pricing, part of which is funding research and development of new energy technologies.

But, what about the budget deficit? Here I want to make several observations based on the school district’s current 5 year budget forecast. The estimates assume a continual decline of daily attendance, which also means less revenue. The amount of taxes dollars returned to our school district by the state is determined by the number of students enrolled and attending. The forecast estimates that there will be 200 fewer students attending Xenia schools in five years. If we begin with 2012, the estimated decrease in the number of students attending our schools adds up to 430.

In a presentation to the Ohio School Boards Association, Randy Overbeck said, “the district enrollment has been fairly consistent over the past 15 years. ADM (average daily attendance) has remained around 4800-5100.” The school district estimated attendance to be 5,028 in 2012, 4,748 by 2013 and 4,548 by 2017, which figures are historically unprecedented.

The school’s 5 year budget forecast also assumes property and income tax revenue growth without a new levy. Actual property tax revenue was $17,092,007 in 2012. By 2017, property tax revenue is estimated to be $18,687,908. Income tax revenue estimates follows a similar trend. It grows from $3,197,402 to $3,239,094. While personal property taxes are still being phased out, the state was still reimbursing our school district over $2.9 million in 2012. It is estimated that the state will continue compensating our school district with over $1.8 million for the next 5 years. With the amount of personal property taxes still being collected, our school will continue receiving over $3 million, according to the budget forecast.

Of course, Xenia School District payroll expenses will continue to grow by 41.4 percent over 5 years. That is an annual increase of 8.3 percent, 90% of which covers insurance and retirement benefits. When the contracted services are included, payroll expenses increase to 54 percent, an annual increase of 10.8 percent.

Consequently, while the number of students served by Xenia Schools is estimated to significantly decline, Xenia taxpayers are expected to increase their tax burden to cover the presumed loss. If the decline turns out to be real, the school district revenue will certainly decrease because the state funding is based on daily average attendance.

There is a problem with Xenia school officials blaming the state funding formula for declining school attendance. It is even worse when they assume voters are dumb enough to believe that the nearly $4 million going to charter, STEM, and other nearby school districts is a real expense. It is not a real loss because the school district received revenue for those students to give to the school public school of their parents’ choice. How terrible it must be for families to have the freedom to choose how and where their children will be educated. Yet, the same school officials fail to inform the public about how much they receive from students from other districts enrolling and attending Xenia schools.

Xenia school officials are not loosing tax revenues because it was never theirs. Unlike county and state governments redistributing local tax money, it is unfortunate that Ohio law mandates the primary local school district to distribute tax dollars to other public schools like charters, STEM school, and now other nearby school districts.

Whether the estimated decrease of 200-430 students over the next 5 years is the supposed to be the result of families moving out of Xenia or attending other nearby schools is a question that is anyone’s guess.

What is not unknown is the ultimate goal of the proposed emergency property tax levy. That goal is same as identified in my last post about the school’s earned income tax levy. It is to increase cash flow so that school officials have an on-going year-end surplus of $5-6 million. The budget forecast estimates a $2 million surplus at the end of 2013 and $700,000 at the end of 2014. By that time, Romney may have been able to move the economy forward to a growing economy and 6% or less unemployment. Many more taxpayers would be making more money and would be able to afford giving schools $200 or more for five years and thereafter.

In the final analysis, Xenia School officials estimate a steady decline in student population, steady income revenue, and significantly rising costs. Most of the increased costs are due to above inflation employee benefits. Unless taxpayer annual income increases about 10-12 percent, Xenia taxpayers will not be able to afford the emergency property tax levy or any additional taxes. Based on the school’s estimates, the budget forecast is unsustainable. That is the bottom line.

Broadway Hit “A Few Good Men” Continues Playing at Xenia Area Community Theatre

For ticket information, click here.

Xenia Friends Matinee, Thursday 10/25 & Saturday 10/27

Two films are being shown this week(-end) at the Xenia Library.

The first is a newly released blockbuster movie about an imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins,who is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection. Rated PG13.

The movie will shown on Thursday October 25th at 5:30PM. The film was created for adults of all ages.


The second is a screening of the newly released movie about a group of zoo animals who are fighting to get home to New York city. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style.

This movie will play on Saturday October 27th beginning at 2PM.

Both movie will be showm in the 1st Floor Meeting Room of the Xenia Public Library located at 76 East Market Street in Xenia, Ohio.

For more info, conact the Reference Department at 937-352-4000 x1311.

Hidden “Treasure” Found in Old Downtown Xenia Building

Hidden Treasure has been uncovered on the east wall of the Toward Independence, Inc. building at 87 E. Main Street in downtown Xenia, according to Toward Independence, Inc. (TII) Board Chairperson, David Springsteen. “We were excited to hear that our contractor uncovered two inlaid brick “O”s on the east side of the building where we are removing deteriorating stucco. We think the “O’s were created a century ago for Xenia’s Orpheum Theater. Preserving these ornately bricked “O”s and sharing them with the public is a great way for TII to pay homage to Xenia’s past.”

According to Catherine Kidd Wilson, Director of Greene County Historical Society and the co-chairperson of the
Downtown’s Design Committee, “the uncovered doorway with two brick O’s was possibly the side entrance to the Orpheum Theater for props and flats for the theater which opened in 1909. At that time it was called the ‘longest room in Xenia’ at 22×165 feet. Before it was the theater, that location was the Bee-Hive dry goods store.” She added that the volunteers of the Downtown Xenia Design Committee plan to include the architectural feature in a Treasure/Scavenger hunt downtown at their First Friday Festivals (which is today).

TII is currently working with Columbus Architects, Hardlines Design Company, and the City of Xenia to restore the look of 87 E. Main to more closely resemble the original turn of the last century building that housed the Orpheum. The nearly half-million dollar façade renovation of the TII buildings at 81 and 87 E. Main Street is slated for completion by November 2012 and is partially funded with Community Development Block Grant funds through a Discretionary Grant from the State of Ohio and through the Xenia Downtown Façade Loan Program. An additional five downtown properties will be renovated under the Xenia Downtown Façade Loan Program this fall.

For more information about First Friday, go to

Annual Car Show to Feature Hot Rods and Cool Cars in Support of ‘Holiday Project’

(Xenia, OH) This weekend on Saturday, September 1, hot rods and cool cars will line the streets of downtown Xenia at Main and Detroit Streets to raise funds for the Greene Community Health Foundation’s annual Holiday Project at the Greene County Combined Health District. This event is sponsored by the Greene County Road Runners Car Club.

The 16th annual ‘Christmas for Kids’ Car Show will roll into town on Saturday featuring door prizes, 50/50 raffles and fun for all ages. Registration for cars will be held from 9:00am – 12:00pm and anything on wheels is just $10 per entry. Dash plaques will be provided to the first 100 entries and various awards will be given to selected entries including the ‘Favorite 50’, Best Engine and Best Paint. The show is free to spectators and will be held 9:00am – 3:00pm, rain or shine. All proceeds support the Holiday Project which provides holiday gifts for Greene County families in need. Donations of new toys will be accepted throughout the day.

GCCHD would like to thank the car show event coordinators Adam, Andrew and Sherri Geis, along with many generous sponsors and donors from the community.

For more information on the car show, please contact Sherri Geis at 937-510-1504 or Carol Sue Knox at 937-374-5658 or by email at

Passing Xenia Schools Income Tax Replacement Levy: The Bottom Line

By Daniel Downs

Xenia Community School officials want residents to agree with their plan to replace the current one-half percent income tax with a 1.5 earned income tax levy. The difference between the two is relatively simple. With the current income tax, earned compensation and unearned compensation is taxed. Earned compensation includes wages, salaries, commissions, tips, after-expenses business profits, and similar types of income. Unearned income consists of pensions, public assistance, unemployment, investment income, and similar types of income. With an earned income tax, only earned compensation is taxed.

Why do school officials want to replace the current income tax with an earned income tax? Is it to help the elderly on fixed incomes or the poor on public assistance? Do they make doing business in Xenia less costly? An earned income tax would benefit them all. However, the bottom line is not making taxation more equitable nor is to help the poor. The poor wage earner ends up with less money.

The bottom line is this: The proposed tax levy is the fast-track to a $6.4 million budget surplus in four years. Literally, this figure is the last line of the school district’s five year financial forecast. School officials apparently want to have about the same amount in the bank as they prior to the recession. In 2009, the school district had over $6 million in the bank. In 2008, the bank balance was over $5 million and $4 million in 2007. Without the new income tax levy the budget surplus is estimated to be $1.875 million in four years, which is a little less than the surplus balance reported in 2006.

Why do school officials want $6 million in the bank? One reason is state and federal banks pay interest. However, the interest usually is little more than the rate of inflation. Right now, the inflation rate is somewhere between 1-2 percent. Another reason is cash flow. Money collected from the earned income tax would get into the school district’s bank account much quicker than if another property tax was levied. Still another reason is that a fat bank account generates more money to spend with less stress. It must be stressful having to deal with increasing employee salaries and benefits as well as buying new buses, equipment, furniture, trips and other perks during a global recession.

The school district’s five year forecast appears to be based on the belief that the economy will have recovered to pre-recession levels of growth and productivity. That is not the case. No serious government economist, private sector economist or financial expert expects such a return by 2016. The Congressional Budget Office does not. Economist Nouriel Roubini sees more recessionary clouds in the American as well as global horizon. And, accountant and financial adviser Rob Clarfeld also cautions investors about the global recession.

Like many others, Congressional Budget Office economists estimate unemployment to still be 8 percent in 2015 and maybe 6.6 percent by 2016. However, it all depends on what the Europeans, U.S. Congress, and the newly elected president does. Many financial experts claim they are not actually fixing the housing, credit, and debt problems that created the economic crisis in the first place.

It should be remembered that the great depression lasted 10 years. During those years, the economy grew an annual average of a little over 1 percent with high unemployment. It looks like the liberals will achieve another 10 years of slow economic growth and high unemployment.

Again, the bottom line is that the school wants more money than it actually needs. Because of the economic uncertainty, giving the school officials all they want may prove to as problematic as two-story elementary schools. We just might get shoved down the stairs and loose all of our nickels and dimes.

“Much Ado About Nothing” Bargain Matinee on Saturday

X*ACT’s production of William Shakespeare’s very funny comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing,” is finishing up a two week run this weekend with evening shows on Friday and Saturday and matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

X-ACT’s talented and innovative Director, Lisa Howard-Welch, has set this production in the early 1920s with period costumes and music, so this will be different than any other “Much Ado” that you may have seen before. The Much Ado About Nothing Video is very modern…. Rumor Has It.

A Synopsis: Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a very “merry war”; they are both very glib and proclaim their scorn for love, marriage, and each other. In contrast, Claudio and Hero are sweet young people who are rendered practically speechless by their love for one another. By means of “noting” (which sounds the same as “nothing,” and which is gossip, rumour, and overhearing), Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar. However, Dogberry, a Constable who is a master of malapropisms, discovers the evil trickery of the villain, Don John. In the end, Don John runs away and everyone else joins in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples.

General Admission for the rest of the weekend is $15; $12 for Students and Seniors. Shows are at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday evenings June 22, & 23. Matinee is Sunday, June 24 and Saturday, June 23 at 3 PM. The show runs about 2+ hours with an intermission. Get tickets on-line at X-ACT.

Light the Way Campaign – Free HIV & Hepatitis C Rapid Testing June 20th

Sponsored by CDC & Greene County Combined Health District.