2007-09-15 / Editorials & Letters

It's about common sense and integrity, not college degrees

Editor:

It's called musical chairs! In Buckeye Lake, if you don't want to do the right thing and actually run for re-election, all you have to do is jump into another unexpired term. Council President Charlene Hayden and the majority of council should be ashamed of themselves. At this week's meeting, Jim Bartoe, Drew Bourne, Hilde Hildebrandt and Shelly Schwartz all voted to appoint Hayden to John Cortez's vacated council seat. Hayden's two-year term would have expired at the end of the year. Jeryne Peterson was the ONLY council member to vote "no."

Both Schwartz and Peterson told council they received numerous phone calls opposing the move, including calls from council members from other municipalities. Schwartz said, "I got a lot of calls and they said it wasn't illegal, but it was immoral." The correct term would be "undemocratic" and probably bordering on "unethical". Apparently, Schwartz isn't persuaded by public opinion, even when she gets personal calls. Unfortunately, most of these jokesters will be re-elected because not enough candidates stepped forward to run against them. I can understand why. Who wants to serve with this group?

Council member Hildebrandt's Sept. 8 letter in the Beacon claims, "We are all business people with very good credentials and college degrees." Hilde, what good is that? As much as I value my OSU degree, I appreciate much more the old fashioned COMMON SENSE and integrity my parents instilled in me! Where is the common sense and integrity on village council? That's what most people value! They could care less if you're a college graduate! And you certainly don't need a college degree to have common sense and integrity.

With all your "financial expertise" and since you're so much better educated than the rest of us, why is the village currently suffering such a financial crisis? As Chair of the Finance Committee for the last several years, where's your leadership and ideas for alternative revenue and cost-cutting measures? I haven't seen anything of value. In fact, you have contributed to the deficit.

When I was still on council, I sat through months of your special finance meetings to discuss how we could cut costs. The department heads offered suggestions and we identified how to reduce costs in the police department. Instead of following through with the recommendations, you delayed any changes until the following year which only compounded the problem. In addition, you supported the expansion of the police department which reduced the village's rental income! And just this year, you second-guessed that decision, questioning if it was the right thing to do after remodeling was already completed and the revenue was long gone! How did your college degree and your "very good credentials" help us there?

Once again, I'm sure you're "saddened … to see another scathing letter." Not as sad as I am that our council can't seem to get their act together and do the right thing.

Here's what council members don't get: How do you expect us to have faith in your leadership to bring us water when you can't even conduct a council appointment with due diligence and dignity!!! God help this village because we're certainly not getting any leadership at the local level!

Your biggest problem is your unwillingness to accept responsibility for your own decisions. Instead, you'd rather blame the Beacon or those of us who choose to exercise our freedom of speech. You want "credit for trying to make this a better community," but your methods are overshadowing your intentions. Stop playing musical chairs; findsome strength of character and get down to business!!! Only then, will we "appreciate" your efforts.

Peggy Wells Buckeye Lake

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