2008-12-20 / Editorials & Letters

'Dog warden' takes on trustee's township website


There has been a lot of talk in the township about Trustee Jeff Chorpenning's unofficial township website.

In 2007, he did a computer survey to see if the township residents were aware of some of the things available in the township. I finally saw the results of this survey; he had eight people respond online. Then he had to go door to door to collect another 12 to make 20. Wow, that is a huge response! He keeps saying how so many people find this website a valuable tool. So is it just eight people that visit his site?

So let's go into more detail about this website. This is an exact quote from the homepage of his site. "All feedback and volunteer help appreciated." Well it has been proven time and time again that this is a false statement. There have been several people with feedback on ways to improve the website and it falls on deaf ears. As a matter of fact there was a gentleman that came to the meeting two months ago, a resident requested him to attend. He has extensive back ground and experience with websites. This man basically said that he feels Chorpenning is leaving himself open to liability. But Chorpenning doesn't care; he said he doesn't have a problem with it.

He has now been putting podcasts of the meeting recordings on his site. Some of them have obviously been edited or not fully recorded, in particular, the one of the meeting in June when the Medicare reimbursement issue came up. It isn't all there! He also does not mention that some of the podcasts are incomplete. Shouldn't that kind of information be disclosed on the site? He also has highlighted on the minutes page - Fiscal Officer (FO) refuses to send. How did he put them on there if she didn't give them to him? So this is an out and out lie. He also makes the same statement (FO refuses to send) next to the November 25, 2008 meeting when the minutes haven't been read and approved by the board.

We have learned to play his game, I (the Dog Warden) have been documenting everything when he asks for something, unless it has personal information. Even when there is something dropped off at the township building. Maybe they should do the same because they forget what they ask for. But maybe they are just trying to make the FO's life miserable, but they forgot something, she has lived with me for 16 years, she knows how to handle difficult.

Then there is the fact that I sent a letter for correspondence a couple of months ago and when it got posted on his website, I got a long explanation about how I didn't do it the way he wanted me to. But you look at Kern's letters, and they don't have any 'black flags' marked next to them. I guess he only wants to hear from his 'yes men'.

It's funny that they can bash the other two trustees all they want, but when it's against Chorpenning they jump all over it. I never saw where the law was made that they were the only ones entitled to free speech.

There is also an issue with the official township seal that Chorpenning conned the board into spending $134 on for official business. But one of the first things this seal was used for was his unofficial website. He also got the board to approve purchasing a scanner so the FO can do his dirty work for him by scanning the official minutes and sending them to him in a digital format. The minutes are not official until they are signed by the board and no where in the ORC or the Sunshine law requires a FO to create a new document to fulfill a records request but this goes way over Chorpenning's head. He seems to only abide by the law when it is convenient for him. The two year old temper tantrums need to stop.

This website is completely run by him. He has complete control and will not give it up. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Maybe he will be the next one to be drug into court! Shannon Duval, Dog Warden Bowling Green Township

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