2008-05-24 / Editorials & Letters

Writer says township meeting was a 'farce'

Editor:

Webster's Dictionary definesa farce as "a ridiculous or empty show; a mockery." That's what took place on May 12 at the Walnut Township house at a special trustees meeting on a re-zoning motion of 298 acres from farmland to industrial. The public was there (standing room only), but there was no opportunity for public comment.

A clandestinely designed three minute meeting ensued denying any adverse comments from the assembled residents. There have been more blatant acts of repression, but none seen in Walnut Township, till now.

This act of re-zoning is clouded in mystery. The land owner, Ed Parrish, indicates the trustees came to him and ask that he filean application for the re-zoning. He agreed and the zoning board approved. Despite Parrish's claim that he has no plans for the property, other than farming, one must question his conformity to the request. Is there a quid pro quo involved?

A deeper puzzle involves the motivation behind the trustees desire to have the land re-zoned. Is there a deal already being structured? Who is promoting this? Other townships I've spoken to stated no re-zoning would be approved without knowledge of the intended use and occupancy. All of these townships have land use plans. Where is Walnut Township's?

The re-zoning of this land is an open invitation to any municipal troubled industry to relocate; an asphalt plant, a galvanizing operation, a slaughter house, a steel mill or a chemical firm. Any noxious operation can apply.

The Village of Millersport administration is opposed to this venture, but have no say in the matter. The regional planning commission disapproves also, due to a lack of infrastructure, water, sewer and location in more insane events took place on April 22, the original township meeting in which the rezoning was to be voted on and later was tabled after a number of objections were raised. I had obtained a copy of the regional planning commissions report a week before and used it to promote my objections to the re-zoning.

Trustee Wally Gabriel was not aware of the RPC report and had to have the disapproval portion read to him by the clerk. His naiveté and lack of preparation on a motion he was about to vote on was mind numbing. Is this the kind of leadership we should expect? It removed the word "trust" from trustee for me.

These inane, ramrod type of re-zoning tactics cries out for a referendum. We need reasonable, responsible township management who work for their constituents. We don't need demagog.

A change in the township leaders can come none too soon for me. It is my intent to work toward the referendum and a change in the trustees and I encourage other township residents to do the same. Steve Hall Lieb's Island

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