2008-03-08 / Editorials & Letters

Writer responds to Bowling Green 'watchdog'

Editor:

I am writing in response to a March 1 Letter to the Editor regarding Bowling Green Township, in which two of our longterm township trustees were accused of various improprieties. There are two sides to every story, and I would like to address some of Mr. Kern's concerns.

Our trustees take their positions very seriously. They understand that as elected officials, it is their duty and responsibility to follow the proper procedures and regulations set forth by the State of Ohio. This includes observing both proper chain of command and the Ohio Sunshine Law, among others. These men are well aware of their responsibility to the citizens of our township, as one has 26 yeas of experience and the other 6 1/2 years. I have never heard either man claim to have all the answers however, both have been willing to research issues and report their findings back to the township citizens.

As long-term residents of the township, both men have an interest in the community and the people they serve. These men who are out at 3:00 in the morning, plowing, and cindering township roadways to ensure that residents can get safely to work and school. They are the ones who replace culverts and repair roads even on weekends. In addition they employ their mechanical expertise to maintain and repair township equipment and property, thus maximizing the township's monetary resources. They respond to all residents' concerns in a timely manner and to go well beyond what is required of them.

Both of these hard-working men were raised in this area and choose to raise their own families here. Mr. Kern appears to have a problem with long-term residents, implying that they are members of an elite clique, while "newcomers" are ostracized. I believe that all our township's residents are treated fairly and equally. Perhaps Mr. Kerns has his own issues with reverse discrimination.

Each of our experienced trustees brings his own unique assets to the table. Mr. Kern rudely accuses one trustee of being unable to read very well, however this comment was taken out of context. The trustee in question is the owner-operator of his own business, declined to immediately and publicly to read a large stack of papers presented to him by a third trustee. This trustee is hardly alone in his reluctance to read aloud in public, as research shows that the number one fear expressed by American citizens is fear of public speaking.

With regard to the township employee that Mr. Kern refers to as the "town bully," here are a few facts: this person has 10 years of experience working for our township. He knows how to operate the snowplow, dump truck, and backhoe. He is willing to mow grass along side of the roads, and able to work in the heat of summer and the cold of the winter. He is available day or night, and is a true asset to our township. (Note to Mr. Kern: I use the term 'our township' collectively, and do not mean to imply that it is my own personal kingdom.) The 'threatening remark' Mr. Kern accuses this employee of saying was that if this women were to run for office,her neighbors would not vote for her.

I do not know Mr. Kern personally however, I do know that he ran for township trustee and was not elected. I can only surmise that he is disgruntled by his loss and feels the need to avenge it by slandering the good and decent people whom our residents chose to represent them. Mr. Kern make little mention of the third trustee, other than the fact that he has completed the OTALA training courses. He does not say that these courses are not required for the trustees, or that it cost the township over $4,500. In fact, only four other trustees in Licking County have spent township money for this purpose, and at least two of them were not re-elected. These courses did not teach how operate or repair the equipment. In fact, he frequently abstains from voting on important issues during the meetings, and refuses to sign paychecks for the township zoning inspector, and sometimes other employees who have worked for their money.

If the citizens of Bowling Green Township want to know who is working for them, just look out their windows and see who is running the tractor or driving the snowplow. They can call their trustees and see who responds to their concerns.

In closing Bowling Green Township is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, and people should leave personal matters at home so the township trustees can get back to the business of running, like it should be.

Concerned Citizen and a "Thinking" Person Out Here in Reader Land. Jean Hensler Bowling Green Township

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