2009-02-07 / Editorials & Letters

'Watchdog' says trustees now muzzle public at meetings


At the Jan 2009 monthly township meeting, our GOB's decided that there would not be ANY sort of public comments. They have done everything they can to disregard any of my formal letters to the board president. Now they even resort to this tactic to not entertain any more of my questions and comments.

We can spend all sorts of time listening to GOB Watkins berate another trustee in public, but we cannot find any time to allow the public to have any sort of comments? Looks like this government is not really "for the people," at least not the ones that chose not to go along with the way we have always done it. How exactly does a lowly citizen get any "redress of grievances" against this form of government or I should I say KINGDOM? I only see one way left; get at least one of the GOB's out of office, the next time around.

In the past few months there have been numerous issues addressed to our GOB Board president, but he has yet to respond to any of them. Is it that he cannot read my letters or is he just going to ignore them and hope it all just goes away?

At the Jan. 9 organizational meeting, he went so far as to even push for a time limit on any sort of correspondence. I can only surmise that this was a direct result of my letters directed to him.

The local lynch mob crowd and GOB Watkins does all it can to personally attack Trustee Chorpenning with ridiculous verbal comments, questions and open ended statements. I, on the other hand, have tried to stay on subject and even had to resort to putting forth my issues and comments in writing, so they stay in context as they were stated. If any of you care to read the sort of things I am asking of our elected officials, you can read each one of them on the website (www.bowlinggreentownship.com). So see for yourself if these are valid issues that should be addressed by the board.

One of these letters addressed the issue that our infamous township dogwarden wrote about in the Beacon. It has to do with his purely childish attempt to "make an issue" by getting to the meeting 1/2 hour early and taking a seating position I had been assigned, months ago, in order to video tape the meetings. Nice try, but no problem for me. I can now sit anywhere as a result!

Then we have the issue of insufficient date on zoning permits. The issue of "private property rights" and having a 30 foot versus a 20 foot right-of-way on a township road. The disparity in the current maintenance records for the GMC truck. The case of inaccurate data being listed on the annual township bridge and culvert inventory. The reason I resigned from our all-volunteer Park Committee. On that note, you might also read the letter sent to the board by Barb Wiseman, the president of the Park Committee on this topic as well. Then there is the "other side of the story" regarding the GOB Watkins verbal tirade (or should I say blind sided attack) about the culvert on 13048 Cooperrider Road.

Let's face it, the GOB's have to find some traction somewhere to try to smear and discredit me again this year, after all, it's an election year for two trustee positions you know!

None of my letters have or will get much, if any, mention in the official meeting notes. That, of course, is by design. What the GOB's would love to do is have NONE of these letters and issues to even be available for anyone (not at the meeting) to see/read/hear. Adequate replies or answers to these letters is another issue altogether. The quelling of unpopular public comments, letters and information is exactly what I suspect will happen if they have their way with a new internet domain name and website.

The amazing thing is that the GOB's fought hard to keep Chorpenning from even putting any sort of township website together, even if it was at his own expense and time. But now, a few years later, since the GOB's cannot control the PUBLIC information Chorpenning has put out there, they are now ready to pay for one? So whatever happened to "Never needed that before" and "we don't need one now" or "if they want to know anything they can come to a meeting"? Have they really changed their mind now or is this more about CONTROL OF INFORMATION?

I suspect that none of my correspondence would ever see the light of day if it were not for Trustee Chorpenning putting it out for all to read on the web. Are they possibly concerned about all of their voices and faces being out on the website so that folks will be able to hear and see the entire "theater of the absurd" for themselves? I know what I believe! But as they say, "only time will tell" for certain if I am correct.

Will "Watchdog" Kern Bowling Green Township

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