Another Letter: Just the quotes; passing the blame for the levy defeat
Entertainment can be pretty cheap in Buckeye Lake Village. If you can't make it to village council meetings twice a month, you can always get a copy of the meeting on CD for $1. The following are actual comments transcribed from the May 14 meeting CD. They speak for themselves.
Resident Donna Thompson asked, "If the council doesn't have any money, how are you going to pay (for the land next to the firedepartment)?"
Mayor Frank Foster said, "The money in firedepartment account is not a lot of money and quite frankly in an emergency situation, if we needed an engine or a squad, it would be a difficultsituation. The village is protected; the firedepartment has its own money. The firelevy produces $150,000 a year." The mayor said the firedepartment fund status was approximately $200,000 including a few Certificatesof Deposit. He said the department spends about $160,000 a year. Foster said it is important for us to have parking for the firedepartment but "the difficulty is spending some of those funds set aside for emergency situations for the purchase of this property." Council voted not to act on the legislation to purchase the property.
Donna Thompson asked if there were "plans to put the levy back on?" Council member Drew Bourne commented, "We'll have to." The mayor said, "I don't see an option frankly, but….. of having to ask the voters for something. But at this point, it was defeated so soundly again that I'm not sure what the direction will be. Council hasn't met to have an opportunity to speak as a body." Thompson stated, "There's a lot of people upset for one thing because of the water. They haven't seen much on that materialize so I think they have their minds made up to be against a lot of things." Thompson offered a suggestion, "Ya set cha' some big old trucks out here along the road, get a couple of backhoes and say waterlines…….." Her light-hearted comments produced a lot of laughter in the room.
Part-time resident Kitty Zwissler took the microphone next to speak about the levy defeat, "I think it's unconscionable that a former city council person and the paper in this village to take what I call an unconscionable position and let their personal agenda and bigotry and animosity get in the way of doing the right thing for the people of this village. As we went around, it was very apparent that the people were not angry or upset with either the police or the firemen. But the response was to the . . again, I called unethical, unconscionable editorial by The Beacon. Especially in light of the fact that they're making their living in this village and that they take that sort of position and essentially endanger the life, health and safety of the rest of us here. And I hope you let your money walk with you. If you have something to do, do not support The Beacon or its elk!"
Council President Charlene Hayden said, "Kitty provided the levy flyers, cost of printing and pretty much engineered the whole thing because I was kind of burned out from the last one." Hayden also said, "We did have a few compliments on the ad. People thought it was a great idea. Too bad it didn't work for us. We did have at least slightly higher percentage that voted for the levy this time. The person who will pay the ad is Andrea Foster. Ed (Houlk) agreed to be our Treasurer and Kitty named the committee, The Committee for a Safe Community."
During the legislative portion of the meeting, Council Member James Bartoe asked, "Why are we passing everything on an emergency basis?
When it was time for the second opportunity for public comment, Donna Thompson said, "Mayor, I'm not really picking on you. But I got a couple of things to say but it's not just for me." She asked him to speak into the microphone and said she had another suggestion but didn't want to hurt his feelings. She continued by saying residents have asked if he still owns the old Tavern building. After the mayor confirmedhe did in fact still own the building, Thomp son said, "They are very upset because they feel we have an ordinance to keep our properties clean and they claim that your's looks like a trash bin down there!" Foster responded, "There's a lot of truth to do that, there's a lot of truth to that. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the appearance that it should." Thompson said, "So, if you need help getting it cleaned up, how much do you pay?" During the exchange of laughter, the mayor said, "I'll give myself one week to do it." Council member Drew Bourne commented, "I believe that was brought up a few meetings ago. It looks like you're getting water in the sides."
Council member Hilde Hildebrandt took her turn during public comment saying, "I would like to mention that I am now have been going to the state house every Tuesday. We're meeting with Senators and Representatives and we're covering the issues of why people are still in poverty and what laws can be changed to get people out of poverty. And one of the things I found out recently was that The Beacon has not been publishing news articles because they say they are partisan. And so then they are asked what is partisan in this article -- I'll be happy to take out whatever you findbut nobody answers them and then they are therefore not publishing articles that we should know about here. I personally have talked to realtors who are advertising in The Beacon and telling them you should think twice about the money you are putting into advertising when every time when people want to read something about Buckeye Lake it is so negative. Why would anyone want to move here because it is so negative? So I'm just telling you people that go ahead and talk to your realtor friends and tell them the same thing. Because I think some of the articles that came out about the levy was very upsetting to us, very upsetting. And if they're so negative about us, why are they here?"
Charlene Hayden, "Good point, Hilde. Thank you for saying that." An audience member said, "I agree with her." Hayden added, "Yes, I think we're all definitely in agreement of that."
Pastor Beverly Myers, who was honored earlier in the meeting for her service to the community, responded to the previous comments, "I would say that nobody has supported Water's Edge like The Beacon. We were able to raise money to keep our doors open because of the coverage we were given and the support we have had. So, for me personally it's a different place than the political seat and certainly we are non-partisan. Peggy Wells Buckeye Lake