2008-03-15 / Editorials & Letters

Third Bowling Green Trustee responds to letter

Editor:

I have been reading the Beacon Letters to the Editor since someone has been dropping copies in my mailbox. I feel it is time to make sure readers get ALL the missing facts concerning Jean Hensler's letter last week about the third trustee.

I am Jeff Chorpenning, the third trustee. Here's the rest of the story about the Ohio Township Association Leadership Academy (OTALA). You can read about the academy at the Ohio Township Association's website at www. cpmra. muohio.edu/otaohio/.

I encourage those that pay the bill for such training to be aware of this educational opportunity and everything it is about. I believe this training is an asset for any trustee and is a cost effective investment in the future of our township. Have you ever taken on a new management/supervisory position, without any sort of formal training? Check out the courses offered so you can understand their value.

It is also important to note that I personally paid for the most expensive final requirement to complete OTALA. I drove my own car on my time and gas all the way to Washington D.C. and back. I also brown bagged it on this trip. That's right, the township did not pay for my meals either. The township also did not pay for my lodging on the way to the conference or the way back. The township DID pay the conference registration fee, parking fee and lodging during the conference. The OTALA expenditures that were spread out over a two year period of time were properly approved by unanimous Board decision. If there are issues with the cost, then it is an issue with the entire board, not just me.

Pointing out this expense does have me questioning many past conference expenditures. Why have township funds in the past paid other officials to not only attend these conferences but also include the township paying for special spouse activities and some pretty healthy meal tickets to boot? If you want to see the numbers, just request these public records from the township fiscal officer.My question as a tax payer is simple - What does this bring back to the township? In the case of the OTALA program, I brought back valuable knowledge that I am already putting to work everyday. A recent example is my successful application for a grant for our Plant Pride Not Litter event. I implemented this program in our township two years ago with help from a handful of residents and the leaders and members of Pack 33.

Bowling Green Township is a shining example of what neighbor joining neighbor can accomplish in a positive effort. OTALA training, combined with my own common sense and 20 + years of business experience as hands on' owner of an identity marketing company, are the basis for my efforts for the my township. Yes, it is 'my' township and I take great pride in being part of 'our' community!

I DO take ownership of our township and this is an ideal shared with many of my neighbors. It does not matter to me if a resident has lived here a month or for generations, a township community is owned by all that reside, work and play there. I am a 24/7 trustee in 'our' community, always available with a 'whatever is needed whenever needed work ethic'.

I believe in following the law and DO take my oath of officeseriously. You would not know this if you listen to a minority group that does not share my positive, proactive approach to fully open government practice. For anyone interested in learning about the 'third trustee', visit my personal website @ www.Chorpenning.com I have a favorite saying for those determined to tarnish my good work and name - 'Misleading statements and representations are not substitutes for the truth!'

I also will be glad to expound on ANY vote that I have taken over the last two years - Yes, No, or Abstain. In the case of the Zoning Inspector, the expenses were not properly appropriated to pay for the requested fees based on years past meeting minutes stating clearly by Trustee Watkins that permit fees were to cover the cost of the Zoning Inspector. Trustee Watkins and Trustee VanBuren have raised the township zoning permit fees twice in less than 2 years from $35 to $50 then $100, since it had still not been covering the inspector's fees. The zoning inspector has also turned in time for work that is now deemed as lost. Your taxpayer money paid the zoning inspector to create a database of all past township permits issued. The officerefuses to provide a copy of this database in the format in which it was created and now the public is being told that the digital files were "lost".

As a taxpayer and as an elected officialsigning a check, I expect to get what we paid for. Trustee Watkins recently stated on the record that the zoning inspector created the database on a volunteer basis, however township documentation turned in by the zoning inspector proves otherwise. I am not a rubber stamp nor will I endorse activity that I do not agree with. When something is dropped in my mailbox, I will reply when there are implied inequities. My main drive two years ago to run for officeand now in retrospect to actually win an election were primarily based on a campaign of awareness.

Today, BowlingGreenTownship. com is bringing township's business to the boss. That's you the residents! The information is there for all to see and now to hear on audio. I strongly believe the officialtownship meeting minutes do not fully inform residents of discussions or deliberations that occurred prior to many Board votes and decisions. Interested citizens should check out the Ohio Revised Code on this topic (ORC122.22). In addition to the ORC, the prosecutor has stated the Ohio Supreme Court has held that full and accurate minutes must contain sufficientfacts and information to permit the public to understand and appreciate the rationale behind the public body's decision.

Having audio of complete meetings now being uploaded on the township website within hours of a meeting's conclusion, allow listeners to determine for themselves the full discussions and individual trustee's reasoning behind particular outcomes. Township government is something we all OWN. Educate yourself on the basics of the law, determine the truth and most importantly - Get involved! Jeff Chorpenning Bowling Green Township Trustee

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