Courthouse razing hurts investment


Demolishing the historic Seneca County Courthouse is a mistake ("Pickets turn out at courthouse; Demolition equipment moves into position," Jan. 4). It will not achieve the purported goal of saving taxpayers money in the long run.

Can the county afford to toss aside the investments that the community has made, especially when the original quality of the building exceeds anything that will replace it?

Is it likely that demolition will leverage new investment in downtown Tiffin? A rehabilitated courthouse, as the most significant building in the county, would have increased the value of the surrounding commercial district and shown that reinvesting in the historic downtown is worthwhile.

Main Street could compete by being vibrant, authentic, and unique. Prospective university students and parents who are looking for a town with personality and authenticity could find one. The historic beauty of Tiffin would be its future.

The local group of volunteers developed a thoughtful, achievable, and fiscally responsible plan. The group wanted to make Tiffin better.

The cost to Seneca County in the long run will not be in a lost building, but in lost economic development and the potential for a stronger, healthier, and diverse tax base. It is a sad lesson that we hope other Ohio communities will learn from.

Joyce Barrett
Executive Director Heritage Ohio Columbus

Shame on Blade for Seneca stand

After reading your Dec. 29 editorial "Seneca's shame," I wonder about the arrogance of The Blade.

Seneca County commissioners, local voters, state legislators, the governor, and the Ohio Supreme Court have passed on saving the courthouse. However, you continue to push to spend money that isn't available, and it's not even your money. Put your money where your editorial is.

This issue isn't a huge concern for the vast majority of the residents of Seneca County. What really concern residents are burglaries, particularly in rural areas; Tiffin City Schools funding; whether the new county sewer agreement will be a good move for New Riegel residents; a new tax to build a school in Bascom, and providing emergency medical service to rural residents as funding dwindles.

Residents of Seneca County are more worried about their day-to-day lives than about a courthouse, despite what The Blade leads the public to believe.

Michael Reinhart
New Riegel, Ohio

Leaders, backers should hang heads

The leaders of Seneca County and those residents who support them should hang their heads in shame. They are co-conspirators in this ugly act of desecration.

Tearing down a courthouse with such a storied past is nearly treasonous, and is a slap in the face of those of us who hold history and its sacred shrines in high esteem. The progeny of those who back the courthouse's razing will speak of them and what they did, and not in whispers.

Mike Manion
Glynn Drive

Why obsessed with courthouse?

Why is The Blade so obsessed with the Seneca County Courthouse?

I could understand if you were the PreservationTimes or the Seneca Register. But you are The Blade, and this story does not deserve regular front-page coverage. It should be relegated to the Second News section.

Am I the only one who thinks your coverage of this matter has been excessive? What do most of your readers in Lucas, Wood, and Fulton counties think? You should find out and publish the results.

Robert Kelso
Sylvania Township

Turn courthouse into dog shelter

Is there any chance of converting the Seneca County Courthouse into a no-kill dog shelter?

Think of all the front-page space The Blade could save.

Jerry Noss
Waterville Township

Flexible gas line article a warning

Your Dec. 23 article "Flexible gas lines suspected in fires started in storms" is a warning for everyone with corrugated stainless steel tubing in their homes or businesses.

This continuous, flexible, stainless steel tubing has an exterior covering of polyvinyl chloride, commonly called PVC. The tubing is approved for use with natural gas as well as propane. Nearby lightning strikes can cause metallic systems inside these structures to become electrically energized.

Whether your home or business has a black iron gas piping system with just one dedicated branch of such tubing, or the entire service line and branch lines, it must be bonded or grounded. People should contact a licensed electrical or plumbing contractor to see whether the home or business has the bonding/grounding wire attached.

Richard Shaw
Timberlawn Drive

2-month tax cut is just too short

Members of Congress have shown how dysfunctional they are by passing the payroll tax credit and unemployment extension for only two months ("Jobless aid, payroll tax cut extended; Obama signs 2-month deal OK'd by Congress," Dec. 24).

Why can't Congress think of the American people -- low and middle-class? Some members of Congress say they grew up poor, but I think they have forgotten what that means to those who are still in that situation.

Not extending the payroll tax cut for a full year means that lawmakers will have to debate this all over again instead of moving on to other important issues. This just shows how out of touch they are with the public.

The present lawmakers should be voted out of office. Perhaps this would send a clear message that Americans really do matter, and that they should listen to us and not the interest of their own party or lobbyists.

This is a great country, but we are falling away from what made us great.

Janet Francis
Monclova Township

Payroll tax cut extension a charade

Congressional Democrats browbeat Republicans into reducing the Social Security tax as an economic-stimulus trick. They are hailed as heroes to the middle class by giving more money to people to spend.

Now that the tax holiday will expire in less than two months, the Obama Administration is saying that Republicans want to increase taxes on the middle class rather than extend this charade.

Retirees now and in the future rely on Social Security. Where is the wailing by Social Security beneficiaries about Congress messing with their benefits, as happened when President George W. Bush suggested that some Social Security changes be made?

Who does not benefit from this tax holiday? Social Security beneficiaries, because the tax is applied only to those who have earned income, otherwise known as a job.

Remember how much Democrats argued against tax cuts when Republicans proposed them to stimulate the economy? That is tantamount to an admission by Democrats that tax cuts do stimulate the economy, but only when they initiate them. The Democrats are using us.

James Bedee
Westbourne Road

Spitting's bad; so is sweeping

Thank you for the Dec. 6 Readers' Forum letter "Ballplayers' spitting unhealthy." There's more to be said about the dangers of spitting.

When I am at a restaurant and the waitress takes a broom and starts sweeping with a vengeance, all the dust and stuff people bring in on their shoes goes flying right onto customers' food.

I ask the staff to wait until I am done eating, and then they can sweep.

Joanna Remley