2011-08-20 / Editorials & Letters

Time for change in Bowling Green Township

Editor:

Currently several townships are openly discussing and holding public meetings regarding regulated residential trash service. In Bowling Green Township, our elected officials went about the process backwards.

Our officials did not ask for public input, nor input from the trash haulers that currently serve township residents! Fact is no formal public meetings were ever held on this subject. Amazingly even the initial monthly meeting agenda did not mention any discussions were to take place regarding this major subject affecting most every resident.

For some unknown reason, this was pushed through like a whirlwind, all within a short time span. This created a problem when it came to getting bids. End result... only one trash hauler was even aware of the it (duh...go figure). I asked several questions and expressed my concerns and opinions about the process at a recent trustees’ meeting only to be slandered once again by the trash pushing trustee, Watkins.

After years of being berated by Watkins, I still manage to bite my tongue and stay in the ever shrinking designated taping area where I can record each episode. My unedited tapes can only be described as cheap reality TV, Bowling Green Township style via internet video uploads. Recent tapings include the June meeting where residents came to vent their opinions on this now “after the fact” (award was already made and contract signed) trash mandate that officially began August 3.

My recent interview with one of our trustees indicated that the board again believes if residents want to know what is going on they should attend the monthly trustees meeting. Yet how are residents to know what meeting to attend or what is going on? Interestingly on the current “official” website, Fiscal Officer Jennie Duval has meeting agendas updated about a year AFTER meetings and there are no agendas listed BEFORE the meetings are held. Common sense would say to simply post agendas BEFORE meetings. Even the final edited meeting minutes are always posted a few months behind even when the site IS updated. The unfolding trash story could NOT have been followed on the “official” website before the vote went down. Ohio law clearly states that such an exclusive trash mandate MUST be ONLY done by competitive bid. Would anyone accept just one bid for any major work they wanted done? Yes, in our township that is apparently good enough! Yet, Duval and Watkins stated at the meeting that just because they were putting an ad out for bid in the paper did not mean the board would be necessarily doing it. Apparently this was forgotten because the small ad only ran in the Advocate. It may have posted in the Advocate more than once, but that doesn’t inform most of the residents. It wasn’t published in a second publication like the Beacon where many, especially the trash haulers like CMI (who even advertised there) have picked up Bowling Green Township news the last few years.

Public records confirms that only one bid package was sent out. So only one bid came in and the winner by default was Big O! Because of the trustees’ multiple blunders, this trash saga has unresolved issues. My hauler intends on fulfilling their private contract obligations with residents. It will be hard for the township to enforce the lawful fines imposed on haulers due to our so called “officials” trail of inept blunders. Residents were not given the common courtesy of an opportunity to comment. Yes, it is a cheaper price, but could it have been even less if we had more bids? We will obviously never know now. Our residents deserve better than rash trash management mandates like this! I for one, will be voting on November 8th. Yes, I have been nominated by residents to return integrity to Bowling Green Township; residents WILL have a positive choice at the ballot box.

Jeff Chorpenning, Former Trustee
Bowling Green Township

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