2008-03-22 / Editorials & Letters

Bowling Green 'watchdog' responds

Editor:

I cannot resist taking some space to reply to a letter submitted by Jean Hensler.

First off, she must be in the twilight zone by coming up with all of her comments. One thing for sure, she has not attended all of the meetings for the last 18 months like I did or she would know better. I only wish that all of the audio and video from these meetings was available on the township's website so readers could all see/hear the antics, first hand.

Yes, these elected officials have to do some work at odd hours for which they are well compensated. That is one of the main issues I will be writing about in the future. But currently I have been focusing on the TRUST part of the word trustee.

As far as the "out of context" comment goes, I stand by my comment. I was there; it was one piece of paper, not a stack at all. Let's face it, when you are the president of the board of trustees, you had better be ready to do some public reading or speaking. Like it or not, this is all a part of the job. Mind you, the bigger the township and budget gets, the more this sort of thing will come into play.

Ms. Hensler, the only reason I even considered running for election was because I got fed up with our "theater of the absurd." I knew I could do a better job than was being done. I also felt it was my civic duty to put my time, energy, talents and money out there by at least trying. If I had not run, the voters would have had no choice. The incumbent would get another four years by default.

There is a saying that goes "put your money where your mouth is"; that is not just a saying to me, I live by it and proved it by placing my hat in the ring! Fact is, I would have saved the township over $1,400 A MONTH. How? By not taking the current 100% FREE health insurance package and medicare reimbursement check our oldest trustee and his wife were getting (data as of Mar 07). That is money that could have gone to more chip/seal and road maintenance projects or maybe even some salt for the roads this winter.

Disgruntled that I lost? HECK NO, far from it. I knew the hard political facts going in. This was my first ever try at running for public office.I was the new kid on the block, trying to knock out an "incumbent" who has lived here all his life, has 26 years in officeand his father was a trustee before him. The fact that I only lost by a few percent was actually a great accomplishment.

Yes, it would have been great to win, so I would be able to implement my planned vision for our township. By the next election cycle, I plan on making sure more residents know about what is really going on, behind the pretty scene you are trying to paint. Yes indeed, I agree, there are two sides to every story and I intend to continue to prove my side, with hard facts.

Now lets get to some facts about "taking positions seriously" and about "duty & responsibility to follow proper regulations", as she had noted. Lets start with reading ORC 5571.02 CONTROL AND MAINTENANCE OF TOWNSHIP ROADS. When I asked why I had not heard any sort of resolution indicating which listed option the township was/is using, we heard our 26 year trustee indicate that they had NOT been doing it since Richard Wright (a previous one term trustee mind you) was in office.He seemed to indicate it was former Trustee Wright's fault, plus at the same time telling us that the ORC requirement has NOT BEEN MET, since early 2000 as well. Interesting! We get to hear some tale about why the ORC requirement has NOT been met, but not a word about when this obvious error would be corrected? So this is obviously not the end of that, so read more on the township website on this topic.

Now lets read and discuss Ohio Revised Code 505.04 ANNUAL INVENTORY. Last year I happened to check with the county engineers office,to see if/what the township had turned into them. To my surprise, there were no records on hand for our township, even for three years back. When I asked about this at the next meeting, our 26 year trustee says "Well, the engineer did not remind us" and "He normally reminds us to do it". Plus, saying "We update the list as we go along," which really means they had NOT even performed an actual "PHYSICAL" inventory, as is clearly directed.

Read the ORC 505.04 requirements, it is pretty short and specific as to when/what must be done. You won't see a thing about the engineer being a "mom" for the trustees. Nothing there about only updating it as you go along. There were some other interesting comments made by our 26 year trustee lately, about what the inventory is for & about. Plus there were some comments about Trustee Chorpenning doing a digital picture inventory this year. Yes, THIS YEAR, we have all of our inventory on digital pictures, which really helps to clearly identify the items on hand. But as Gomer Pyle used to say "Surprise, surprise, surprise"! Since this time the "physical" inventory was actually accomplished as required in the ORC, we also found all sorts of errors/omissions.

Stay tuned for more on this developing saga. If anyone feels that I am misrepresenting the facts, feel free to attend the next meeting and findout for yourself. The meeting dates/times, as well as more detailed information/correspondence is located on the township website (www.bowlinggreentownship. com) for all to see. Anyone can also request copies of the audio tapes of meetings from the fiscal officer(they cost $1.50 each). Will Kern Bowling Green Township

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