2009-06-20 / Editorials & Letters

Watchdog' asking more questions


Based on some accusations made several months ago, I had written a letter to Bowling Green Board of Trustees President Dan Van Buren, asking him to provide some specific feedback about Ohio Revised Code 5571.16 - OBTAINING A PERMIT BEFORE INSTALLING DRIVEWAY CULVERT OR MAKING EXCAVATION IN TOWNSHIP HIGHWAY OR HIGHWAY RIGHT-OF-WAY. So far he has not provided any response to the specific questions regarding this Ohio Revised Code section. The entire letter can be read on www.bowlinggreentownship. com. You can also watch the videos of the monthly meetings on this site as well. This is all thanks to Trustee Jeff Chorpenning, who's motto is "Public information for the public!"

Based on comments at the May trustees' meeting by GOB (good ole boy) Trustee Don Watkins regarding a recent private culvert installation, it appears that we have our next ORC controversy brewing. Why? Well he informed us all that this issue has been back and forth between the township and the county for years, but he is now going to enforce it. Interesting indeed, since I have yet to be able to obtain an answer as to when a formal resolution was approved by trustees. Nor have I been able to get a copy of the resolution or any past permits. Watkins also stated that the Zoning Inspector had issued a permit recently to a resident, but the ORC section specifically states, "applications for permits under this section shall be made to the township fiscal officer, upon forms furnished by the board." Why would this sort of thing not be documented for anyone to see in our official township Zoning Resolution? Would that not be a good place to put something like this? How would any resident know what the rules or forms are?

As they say…that's the way we have always done it. It's seat of the pants operating - just going with the flow. As usual, our GOB's just decide to enforce things whenever they choose, no matter how the process is supposed to work and how it is outlined in the Ohio Revised Code. This way they can conduct their "selective enforcement" methods and harass residents that are unaware of the statutory ORC requirements that the trustees must meet. My point to readers is; read the ORC sections and be aware of what the requirements are before you get hit. Let's hold your elected officials accountable for their actions and inactions.

Remember the health insurance issue I have been writing about? Now it seems, according to GOB Watkins, that Assistant County Prosecutor Eric Fox told him that trustees do NOT need a formal resolution to go to a Health Savings Account (HSA) style plan from the township's zero deductible plan. Say what? Not only that, but GOB Watkins has also figured out a way to get around only getting $200 a month, if he decides to drop off the township health insurance entirely. To make this happen, he made a resolution to rescind resolution R-13-01-180, which limited any reimbursements to $200 a month and it passed. I can predict what is coming at the June 2009 meeting! So will we ever get to a plan where taxpayers are paying approximately $1,720 versus $3,400 a MONTH just for basic health insurance for three trustees and their families, as we could have this year with the new style health saving account plan? That would have given the township about $1.700 MORE a month to improve services for residents. If the current GOB's stay true to form, the answer is likely....NO, since that would mean they might have to pay for some of their medical expenses.

Unless we elect a new trustee this November, I suspect the current "entitlement philosophy" is likely to go on for a long time. Just how much is enough compensation for this part time job? Are they doing justice to their official duties with what has been going on? If your answer is NO, then please check out all of the trustee candidates for the November election. Complacency is what got us to where we are today and I don't mean just at the local government level. But it is a lot easier to get locally elected officials back in line, so please be an informed citizen and get out to VOTE!

Will "Watchdog" Kern Bowling Green Township

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