2008-03-15 / Editorials & Letters

One more Letter: Wells says it's Foster that's costing the village 'dearly'

Editor:

At the Feb. 25 council meeting, Planning and Zoning Chair Karen Cookston read a 1625 word letter defending her recent gratuitous (free/discounted) land deals.

Cookston tried to cast a shadow on me to pull the attention away from her own actions. She stated that she is paying a big price for her volunteer position as a public officialbecause "Peggy Wells is interfering" in her "personal life." As a licensed broker, Cookston says she has to report to a compliance officerand pay him to oversee her transactions. She complained that my last two Beacon letters cost her $900 for oversight and legal fees. Ohio law clearly states that a public officialcannot accept anything of value that would cause "substantial and improper influence upon the public official" with respect to that person's public duties.

Mayor Frank Foster defended Cookston stating, "Unfortunately, the village has paid a big price for Peggy's misinformation in the paper all too many times. The village has paid DEARLY!" Foster claimed, "There seems to be intentional misrepresentation of information on her part or intentional lack of all the facts which is common practice for her as we know many many times involving virtually everybody here at one time or another."

Referring to my Feb. 16 Beacon letter, Foster stated, "The context of this supposed letter is almost as if it's an article in the paper." He said it was "on the verge of mighty questionable action on the part of the paper. It's unfortunate that the Beacon continues to develop new lows in reporting."

Why repeat all this bologna? Residents need to hear what this administration thinks about freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the accountability of our public officials. I will oblige Foster by sharing with you some facts I admittedly have been holding back for over a year. It seems an appropriate time to come clean.

According to the Licking County Auditor's office,Mayor Frank Foster owes a total of $20,538.70 in delinquent taxes and assessments on his business property (former tavern) at 5276 Walnut Road including $7,921.31 in real estate taxes, $96.93 in water assessments and $12,520.46 for unpaid sewer bills. The $458.80 monthly sewer bill carries a 10% late fee and has been certified against his taxes on a quarterly basis since 2004. The quarterly assessment of $1,400- $1,500 includes a 3% fee charged by the county auditor's office.

According to the Licking County Treasurer's office,Mayor Frank Foster has delinquent taxes, penalties and water assessments totaling $1,427.33 on his residence at 5139 North Bank.

The mayor accuses me of misinformation, but he's not specific. It's easy to make vague accusations, but let's talk about specifics. My little unimproved lake cottage is half the size of Foster's redone waterfront home, yet my annual tax bill is $1,528.75 more! (Foster's annual tax on his residence: $1,985.38.) I guess the village forgot to report his new construction because his tax card still says his house was built in 1908. I've paid my taxes, water assessments and sewer bills. So Frank, aren't YOU the one who has cost the village ………DEARLY??? Peggy Wells Buckeye Lake

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