It's mighty interesting that the amount this county will not have this year is $500,000. When you add it all up, that is pretty much the same amount of taxpayer dollars Commissioner Ben Nutter wasted on his crusade to demolish our 1884 courthouse. Imagine how nice it would be if right now the courthouse was in the hands of the historical society, instead of filling our county's ditches, costing the county and taxpayers not one single penny. That $500,000 they blew to achieve their vendetta would be there to offset this, and we wouldn't be talking about yet another cut to essential services. Instead, MKC and Associates of Mansfield has taken many tens of thousands of our money generating useless paperwork and making "recommendations" and overseeing the demolishing of our most historic downtown building. Then there is B&B Wrecking, which benefitted from a stupidly agreed-upon contract, so it now mostly owns our Seth Thomas clockworks, and a great many of the antique fittings from inside our courthouse and many of the Vermont tiles that survived ended up going to Cleveland and we received not one dime from it. And 90 percent of the antique cherry and oak woodwork was turned to toothpicks. Woodwork one of the commissioners' "experts" said was pine. A proven lie, and you need only visit a downtown restaurant or antique dealer to see the proof.
One thing is certain: The county cannot afford the Ben Nutter Memorial Courthouse Fund, so the county money he has decided to set aside for his MKC-designed courthouse needs to be released to be used to support essential services in the county. We don't need a building with his name on it. The county owns plenty of buildings that can be used to house the court. The empty plot at Washington and Market should remain just that - empty. If we didn't have the money to restore, we don't have money to replace.
The time for the commissioners to fudge figures and continue to waste taxpayer money on outsiders and pet projects is over. They have been irresponsible with our history and our money and it has to stop. This latest development is a glaring consequence of the bad decisions they have made that have hurt our community. Call the commissioners office and demand they release the money they have set aside, and drop their "courthouse fund."