I am writing in response to Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown's recent outing by someone who opposed his potential candidacy for Congress.
In the past few days, Tim has dealt with this attempt to vilify him by making a statement about his orientation in an honest and forthright manner. As a result, his life and orientation have become front-page news, causing him and his family a difficult time. And because of this cheap attempt to keep him out of the race for Congress, I am ashamed of our political process, because if ever there were someone less deserving of this criticism, it's Tim.
As a personal friend of Tim's, I can attest that he is one of the most genuine, caring, and faithful individuals I have ever met.
As a county commissioner, his dedication to his constituents and his numerous legislative accomplishments have immensely improved the quality of life for the citizens of this county. Tim embodies the very essence of what it means to be a leader in this country, and is a rare and refreshing breed in a morally and ethically decaying political arena. Those of us who know him are better off for it.
So, should his orientation matter? Of course it shouldn't.
Tim is a faithful steward of the people and, most importantly, one of my very good friends - a man I really admire. I will stand by him through this difficult time, and will give him all the support he needs, as will all the members of the Bowling Green State University College Republicans.
We accept and love Tim for who he is and will do everything we can to help him, and we implore the citizens of this county to do the same.
Daniel J. Lipian
Chairman, BGSU College Republicans
Where were The Blade and Seneca County Historical Preservationists when the Seneca County commissioners were asking for a tax increase to help restore the courthouse? I do not recall a Blade editorial encouraging the people of Seneca County to support the tax increase. I do not recall any historical preservationists getting on their soapbox and encouraging passage of the tax increase.
At least 10 years ago, I toured the Seneca County courthouse with the county commissioners at that time. The third floor was already partially closed to the public, and many areas in the rest of the building were in a poor state of repair. The commissioners then were saying they did not have the necessary funding to make the required repairs, but all requests for help were apparently ignored.
The current condition of the courthouse did not happen overnight, and had to be witnessed by the same people now trying to save this historical treasure. If people did not notice the condition of the courthouse over the past 10 years, why is it suddenly so important to them now? Apparently it was not a priority then.
Saving historical treasures is important but the time also comes when the county has to decide where funds are best spent. If the cost of trying to save the courthouse exceeds what a new structure would cost, the commissioners have no choice but to go with what funds they have available. After all, that is what the people that elected them to office should expect of them.
Before you continue to condemn the commissioners, I suggest that you ask the historical society why they did not take action earlier to help save the courthouse. It also appears to me the people of Seneca County spoke loud and clear when they defeated all requests for a tax increase that could have been used to help restore the building years ago.
Maybe The Blade should chastise them also.
Ottawa County Commissioner
I, for one, was so pleased to see the Sept. 16 article in The Blade concerning the Seneca County courthouse.
My husband and I, who were born and raised in Tiffin, are totally opposed to the demolition of the building, which is in the very center of our town.
Tiffin has some very significant buildings, such as the former Shawhan Hotel, which is now a home for assisted living, and the Ritz Theatre, which brings outstanding programs to this area. A while ago, I chaired the drive to restore the theater. We raised over $4 million thanks to the caring people in this area.
It is unbelievable that Commissioners Ben Nutter and Dave Sauber are so determined to demolish the courthouse that they will not listen to Texas preservation expert Stan Graves, who could enlighten all of us as to the value of restoring such an important structure.
We could take a lesson from people in Europe who seem to cherish their heritage and keep the old buildings as tourist attractions. I hope something can be done before it is too late.
Seneca County Commissioner Ben Nutter states he and Commissioner Dave Sauber have the power to make decisions concerning our courthouse.
They may have the but they shouldn't have the right.
There are no checks and balances in the county commissioner system. The commissioners are both the legislative and executive branch of county government. They answer to no one except the legislature in Columbus.
We can't, by law, recall a commissioner, and it's too early to vote them out of office. More than 1,500 signatures in favor of preserving our courthouse were blatantly disregarded. Citizens have only three minutes at the close of a meeting for their questions to be answered. Sometimes they are not permitted to speak at all.
The commissioners have ignored all polls, including the Zogby poll by The Blade that showed 63.5 percent, 66.5 percent and 77.7 percent of the people want to wait before demolition, try to find grant money, and/or have a say in what happens to "our" courthouse. Plus, we have also been told we can't put the question on the ballot.
The Tiffin Historical Trust has brought in preservation experts but the commissioners have not heeded their advice. They have also ignored the findings of their own experts as well as those of two blue-ribbon citizens' committees.
They refuse to go after grants. I learned 70 out of 70 entities that applied for the new, 25 percent Ohio Preservation Tax credit were successful in their quest for state funds. If Mr. Nutter hadn't told building-preservation consultant Steve McQuillin not to go forward with our application, our county might be $2 million richer.
What is really going on? Why all the secrecy? It is time for our county leaders and others behind the scenes to come forward with explanations and unmask themselves.
I'd like to see someone from The Blade do background checks on all of the people who are so adamant about tearing down Seneca County's courthouse. This whole thing sounds a little fishy to me. From the pictures that this newspaper has published and the testimony of people whose workdays are spent saving buildings like these, it sure sounds like it would be beneficial to save this building.
A gut feeling tells me that those who want to tear this courthouse down might be or are receiving some kickbacks or benefits from the demolition crews and/or construction crews. After all, these people are politicians.
We, unfortunately, have become a throw-away society, and to throw away such a beautiful - and I've seen enough This Old House episodes to know - restorable building would be a crime that should be tried first in the new courthouse, should that happen.
If I could say a few words of wisdom to the Seneca County commissioners, I would say the following: Dear Ben Nutter and Dave Sauber, if you insist on removing a historical gem (the courthouse), please remember these words after you ve both lost in the next elec tion and are looking for a new career,
Tsk, Tsk, I told you so.
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