Make the right choice

I am writing this letter in response to the Seneca County Board of Health public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday on the Tiffin University campus – Franks Hall / Chisholm Auditorium. For those who may not be aware, our county’s health board will be voting on whether or not to renew the license for Sunny Farms Landfill, located on the western edge of Seneca County.

Apparently, for the board of health members, this is a very big decision for them to make, and one in which they are unsure of. For us though, as neighbors of Sunny Farms, this decision would be a no-brainer. Not only will you notice a pungent smell on most days as you head to this end of the county, but there are numerous public documents on Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s web page that site Sunny Farms with many, many violations over the years, and many more that have been posted already for 2019. After looking over many of those violations in these past few weeks, I honestly have seen enough! They have me, as a mother and a wife, VERY concerned for the safety and well-being of my family, not only in the air we breathe, but also in the water we drink. So, you can see from my concerns what my choice would be in this matter, and that would be to rescind their license.

Now, you think that this decision also would be a no-brainer for Seneca County Health Department as well, especially when you read its mission and vision statements, which state: “Working to promote wellness, prevent disease, and protect the environment”, and “Creating a community that is happy, safe, and healthy.” That certainly sounds like an agency that would be on the side of the people. However, Seneca County is sitting in the shadows of $700,000 which they make annually from Sunny Farms. I know this kind of money sounds wonderful, but rather than to just look at the dollar signs, I would really like the board of health to consider its decision on a more personal note.

So, to Seneca County Board of Health, I would like to give you two scenarios to consider in making your decision: For your first choice, your family could make $700,000 per year, but along with that money came a debilitating disease for you or one of your children, while at the same time, you couldn’t drink your own water, and you would never be able to enjoy the comforts of your own home because of an unrelenting toxic chemical called hydrogen sulfide. Or, your second choice would be to live a modest lifestyle, with enough money to pay your bills, all while having the benefits of living a wholesome and healthy life, while also loving and enjoying the home you live in.

I ask you to think about this as if it were your own family; exactly which one of those scenarios would you choose? I know for me and my family, I would select the modest lifestyle with good health. And, for anyone else I know, I’m sure they would make that same exact choice.

I do understand that the decision you make on the Sunny Farms license may not impact you directly, but for your neighbors, your family and your friends who live on this side of Seneca County, it does impact us all directly, and in a very big way. Our very lives, and our families’ lives, are being placed in your hands. We simply ask you to consider us, as fellow mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends and neighbors — please make the right and just decision based on your conscience, your morals, and your integrity. I realize we do not have $700,000 to give you in return for this verdict, but there is such value in doing the right thing. At the end of the day, it is you that needs to feel good about the life you lead and the choices you make. You now have a choice to make — what will it be?

Jenny Theis,