2008-05-24 / Editorials & Letters

'It's time to wake up and move toward the future'

Editor:

Apparently, Bowling Green Township isn't the only township with compensation concerns. Let's take a look at Liberty Township.

I believe that by law there are two types of employees...full and part time. My understanding is that if you offer fulltime employees benefits (35 houes/week), benefits must be offered to all full-time employees and, once offered to part-time employees, you had better offer them to all. I believe that trustees and fiscal officersare considered part time. Insurance plans offer "everything and the kitchen sink" to "bare bones" policies.

Liberty Township currently offers the "Cadillac" of all medical plans. Employees pay no deductibles or cost for their insurance. Does this fall in line with what most of us pay for our insurance? No, indeed it does not.

Trustee Ivan Ety's objection to the medical coverage being offered is the COST. Change the policy...bring it in line with others who have medical insurance... cost sharing with a deductible and add an employee co-pay! Right here is a huge savings to the township. Companies review policies yearly seeking cost cutting opportunities while still providing employees adequate medical coverage. Townships should be no different. Trustee Ety has had no issues with the cost of township's medical insurance until Mr. Tom Spring, Liberty Township Administrator/Zoning Inspector, came on board. Mr. Ety seems deeply concerned about the number of hours Mr. Spring works. Mr. Spring was hired by the township to work 20 hours a week. It only takes one functioning brain cell to figure out that Mr. Spring typically works 30 - 35 hours a week, sometimes more. Mr. Spring has been working with inadequate and outdated Zoning Resolutions and without a land use plan, which has led to litigation issues. Currently, the zoning resolutions are in the process of being re-written and the land use plan is also in progress. It appears to me that previous administrations have not done their jobs in addressing these zoning issues.

Look at the messes Mr. Spring walked into...Richardson/Hydromaster rezoning from an RR (rural residential) to a B-2 (commercial) that seems to be endless... Estep's junkyard...Roshon's continuous time extensions to develop, multiple zoning violations...most requiring legal assistance. Yes, it seems to me that the township's affairs have been neglected and this is the reason the people voted in a new administration. It takes time and money to put the affairs back in order.

Mr. Ety complains about "excessive legal fees"...is it any wonder? Had the previous administrations done what they should have been doing all along, these issues wouldn't BE issues! Mr. Ety states that the trustees primary responsibility is road maintenance and complains that it's been tough to receive approval for road maintenance equipment. In reading the minutes, not one time have funds been denied for road maintenance (two updated trucks with snowplows!). Trustees Tim Linkhorn and Nancy Montell have always approved any maintenance equipment for the road crew (reference trustee meeting minutes online!). They also approved a water softener for newest purchased building to help keep equipment clean, approved a water cooler for maintenance crew so they don't get dehydrated, a road roller, and a new bolt bin. What hasn't been approved? Nothing! Where does that come from? Trustee Ety says he's okay with the township spending money for a digital tape recorder (cost is about $59!), but not in favor of spending money for a computer to replace our "donated" obsolete model! What good is a digital recorder without a computer to transcribe the meetings? In fact, there was no computer for our township prior to Mr. Spring's hiring. Even our school children are being taught on computers to prepare them for work in the 21st century!

What century is Trustee Ety living in? Trustees need to be looking not just at the road maintenance issues, but following the advice of the Ohio Township Association and working toward Joint Economic Districts, Agriculture Support Options in Ohio, Drinking Water Supply Alternatives, Platting and Zoning, adopting a Property Maintenance Code, Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Ohio, Drainage Issues and Legislation to Preserve Farmland, Woodlands, Conservation Development and litigation from FAILED ZONING. These areas MUST be addressed by our trustees, not just the roads! Our Township Administrator/ Zoning Inspector understands these issues and is working for the entire township, not just for the selfishinterests of a few. It's time to wake up and move toward the future...even if it requires a new computer! Dale Jones Liberty Township

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