2008-11-22 / Editorials & Letters

Watchdog' keeps barking


Let's discuss some more "Dog warden" Duval tales from his Oct. 18 letter.. He now has the audacity to blame our newest trustee, Jeff Chorpenning, for the township's failure to adopt a formal resolution for Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 5571.02 CONTROL & MAINTENANCE OF TOWNSHIP ROADS.

Was there ever any formal vote by the board to table this matter? I think not! Chorpenning is trying to make sure that this issue is actually openly discussed at "each" yearly organizational meeting. Why would he want to do this? Well, could it be to make sure we never get into the position we are in today? The fact remains that our GOB's have yet to produce even an old outdated resolution, to cover this ORC requirement.

Why is our board president is not providing an answer to my question? How many times do I have to bring this to the table Mr VanBuren? Yes, for many months now, he has allowed GOB Watkins to tell us all sorts of storied history, but somehow he cannot produce a document to cover an ORC requirement he was sworn to uphold. The Watkins tale goes "trust me" we had one once, a long time ago...but we have not done it in a while. Finally, he brings out his "it does not change anything anyway" line. If that is not enough, then we hear the old standby "we don't need any more paperwork". So we are supposed to trust him, just like when he said "go check it out....it's all legal", about his monthly Medicare reimbursement checks. I say, let's see the resolution, let the current trustees review it, discuss it and vote on it! How hard is that?

All of this started from a simple question to the board - "exactly who is in charge of Cooperrider Road?" All I got was a long history tale, but no real answer. So then I asked about required ORC 5571.02 resolution since Chorpenning had been told at the annual organization that "we are all responsible," when he asked about how trustees assigned workload/tasks/duties. That answer means the township would have to be "divided up into 3 road districts" and a specific trustee assigned to each. It would also have to be revised whenever a new trustee is elected.

New trustees show know exactly what is expected of them up front. But that is NOT how the GOB's do things. They keep these things a secret. Thus things can run "the way we always did it", plus they can change their story at will. So nobody can challenge them since nothing is put in writing.

Saying "let's just keep everything the same" at the last few organizational meetingso may help to make the meeting short, but it is NOT acceptable! We need to define and document what we are going to keep the same, so we everyone knows what is really going on. One good example would be health insurance, what exactly are we keeping the same here? Are we going to keep paying more and more or are we going to ever put a cap on costs? What about looking at other plans or carriers? The GOB's don't want to even discuss this huge perk.

YES, Chorpenning is on the insurance plan. But who made the motion and started this perk and when? Did the board EVER discuss or vote on any cap on these costs? All I have heard is our GOB board president saying "lets just keep everything the same." I know these perks were put in place years ago, prior to Chorpenning ever being elected.

I suspect our dog warden thinks that a vote to "keep everything the same" is supposed to mean something specific to a new trustee. It becomes particularly difficult for a newcomer since the GOB's have decided that there is no need to document policies/ procedures or even number resolutions. About all you can do is to review old meeting minutes to get some clues. From my experience, doing so is a very tedious, lengthy and sometimes even an enlightening process, since you will see you how our GOB's just ignore the facts and spin their own tales at will.

At the next organizational meeting how about identifying exactly what is going to be kept the same. Now THAT would be a move in the RIGHT direction for a change! Will "Watchdog" Kern Bowling Green Township

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