2008-05-17 / Editorials & Letters

Local elections can have a big impact on our lives


I have voted in every election since the age that I could legally do so. Prior to this last primary, my wife and I were talking about the candidates on the ballot. She didn't know the candidates on her ballot, and I didn't know a few on mine. We both used the Internet to check out the background and qualificationsof the candidates for our respective ballots. I mentioned to her that our selecting a primary candidate might be more important than our selecting the "winner" of that contest in the fall. My point being: has either a Republican or Democrat president, senator, representative or other person running for most state and county officeshad much effect on our quality of life as we live in our house along Buckeye Lake that we brought 35 years ago? We know we have been affected by their decisions, but we didn't think that the decisions of these partisan persons have had much of a negative impact upon our lives, and we hope their decisions have had a positive impact if they voted with the majority.

But on Monday morning (May 12), two non-partisan Walnut Township trustees who voters first elected six and a half years ago and another, reelected six months ago, moved, seconded and voted on rezoning a parcel of land. The land, all or some of which is east, south and west of Ohio 37, Ohio 79 and Millersport Road respectively, was proposed for an I-2 classification.This is the highest possible land use classification.As I understand, almost anything goes.

I arrived at the meeting just prior to the 8 a.m. start. Someone asked to make a 30 second statement prior to the meeting to the trustees and he did. Another person submitted a petition from Lieb's Island residents about this land's possible rezoning classification.It was placed in front of Trustee President Ralph Zollinger. The pledge of allegiance was said at exactly 8 a.m. Mr. Zollinger made a motion and Sonny Dupler seconded it. There was a roll call vote. Wally Gabriel said "nay," and Mr. Dupler and Mr. Zollinger said "aye." I was surprised that Gabriel had voted against the Lieb's Island petition, but then a motion to adjourn was made and the meeting was over. Less than fiveminutes had elapsed. I noticed Dupler and Zollinger quickly disappeared.

I think the person next to me was about as surprised as I was with the quickness of the proceedings. Apparently, the mumble, mumble motion and the mumble, mumble second was for I-2 rezoning, not the Lieb's Island petion. So it then made sense to me that Gabriel was voting against the rezoning, while Dupler and Zollinger were voting for an I-2 classification.

Just think, three non-partisan elected officials (really only two) made a decision early Monday morning that could have serious implications on those that live near this parcel of land and live in this part of Walnut Township.

Let me do some math: One, the township has now had two one-year only firecontracts with Millersport; Two, we have seen the rezoning of an I-1 property south of Canal Road along Ohio 37 to I-2; and Three, we now have an agricultural parcel rezoned to I-2 off Ohio 37 and Ohio 79. I wonder how high we Walnut Township residents will be able to count before the November 2009 elections? Tom Tweedle North Bank

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