Memories of commissioners

Isn’t it amazing when we are smart enough to elect public officials, but then suddenly they are smarter than we are? They forget we were in favor of them coming to work for us, but then they refuse to work for us. Is this because we don’t know what is good for us? Or perhaps they have quickly become much smarter due to their time in public office?

Several years ago, you will remember that the Seneca County commissioners asked the voting residents for a sales tax increase to help them with funding issues. The levy failed. Again they asked, and again the levy failed. Because they were so much more intelligent and insightful into what was good for us, they enacted this half-percent sales tax increase against the voters’ directives. To appease us, it would only be a temporary tax. With little fanfare at the end of the tax, it became permanent. Do you remember who those commissioners were? You may not, because they didn’t stay in office too much longer after that.

Now, you have an issue causing much anxiety within Seneca and surrounding counties. There is a flurry of activity from wind developers wanting to make your home an industrial complex. Many people have reasons to think wind turbines are a good idea. Anything this renewable must be good for the environment and ultimately good for our grandkids, right? These are not small, home-sized turbines on a 60- or 80-foot tower. These are not even large commercial units on a 300-foot tower like in the Van Wert area. These are nearly 650-foot behemoths! As Mr. Thompson wrote recently, these will be seen as far away as Marion and Fremont.

In the past few weeks, many residents have expressed their opinions to our local elected officials. This has included a petition with well over 2,000 signatures. Commissioner Mike Kerschner recently came to understand the wishes of the voters he represents. State Rep. Bill Reineke also has indicated he has studied and learned much more about the pros and cons of the projects as well as understanding the opinions of the residents. I would like to extend a huge “thank you” and show of appreciation to these two for their hard work to learn and understand, then publicly come forth with a changed evaluation on such a hotly contested issue.

Right now, there is a large group of voters who have become angry voters. While I do not intend this in any way to be misconstrued as a threat, our two other commissioners, Holly Stacy and Shayne Thomas, soon could be headed for the same fate as … what were their names again?

The citizens of the county will not stand for two elected officials who have so staunchly dug in their heels against so many constituents with such strong convictions. It is not clear what either of these two are trying to prove or what their motivations are, but angering so many people on their home turf is not a good stepping stone to higher political aspirations. Residents and township officials who are working and listening to their home voters have tried to work through this with the commissioners to gain additional support and tools. Now Thomas blatantly has refused to support the elected township officials, to the point of building another roadblock. By not allowing involvement of the county prosecutor, paid for by our tax dollars, the residents will either lose their voices or be forced to pay out of pocket for representation that is already paid for at the county level.

It looks like the gloves are off!

Bruce Hanzel,