"Good Job," eh?
Let's review how "good" it really was. First off, the building was valued at $25 million. That was the amount that Mr. (Ben) Nutter said would change his vote. I wonder what the state constitution has to say about that? And if you don't believe it, the video from that meeting is on YouTube, and Mr. Nutter did offer to sell his vote. As it was, there was probably close to $100,000 in antique oak and cherry woodwork that could have been saved that these two men allowed to be ground into dust. They gave away the entire building and the county got nothing. In fact, we spent $500,000, including having to buy back our own bricks to fill our ditches. There were tens of thousands of dollars of rare antique door hardware that B&B Wrecking hacked out of the doorways and took to Cleveland, along with as many of the Vermont tiles as they could save. And they are partial owners of our Seth Thomas clockworks. All profit for them, and Seneca County gets nothing.
Will of the voters? Do you recall the tax the voters voted down that these commissioners enacted anyway, ignoring "the will of the voters"? And the two votes about the courthouse were a sham. The first was a tax that they knew would not pass. The second was a tax they said they wouldn't collect, and obviously no one trusted them. The vote was a disgusting joke played on the county. And one of these men spent his time in Columbus keeping any money from coming to town. The other has spent time going around the state on personal business. Both have done nothing to help this county, they shuffle money and papers and pose for photo ops, and may show up in a parade or at the fair for awhile, but that's it. And in one man's case, this was a personal vendetta. He had a well-known history of hating the building. The other lied and tricked people into believing he was for renovation, which we now know he never was.
Lastly, I would be most interested in seeing the homes of the people who found the courthouse "ugly" to see what kind of structure they find attractive. Maybe they live in something banal and pathetic like the ugly thing across the street? The courthouse was run down thanks to many selfish men who have sat in those positions and diverted money meant to maintain our courthouse to their pet projects. But despite Mr. Nutter and Mr. (Jeff) Wagner's lies, it was still a worthwhile and useable building, and there are many photos to prove it. It was a work of art, the likes of which we will never again see in this county. And its demolition has not created one job, attracted one new business or increased the tax base in this town. If anything, it has hurt our ability to attract new businesses. Who wants to set up in a town that does what we have done? And how many of you know there was an offer to take the building off the county's books completely for five years, after which they could have demolished it anyway, during which time it was to be cleaned up, and the citizens could have seen a glimpse of what the building would look like restored. But those two men would have none of it.
No, those two men do not deserve to be thanked. They should have been ashamed of themselves for what they have done and how they did it, and we should be ashamed for allowing them to do it. Enjoy the "Heritage Festival" - a festival we no longer deserve.
Scott Edmondson, Tiffin