Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Business group lashes out at Bedford officials


TEMPERANCE - Members of a Bedford Township business group last night fired back at elected and appointed officials whom they accused of attacking them personally two weeks ago over new ordinances covering commercial development and existing businesses.

The Bedford Industrial and Commercial Association was formed last year, in part to oppose ordinances passed last summer covering architecture, lighting, and landscaping in and around commercial property in Toledo's largest suburb.

But member Steve Lennex, who is also a member of the Bedford Board of Education, took umbrage at what he considered personal attacks directed at him by Trustee Joyce Hagen and planning commission member Mike Minges.

“Even though I wasn't here to defend myself, an elected official and an appointed official took shots of me,” said Mr. Lennex, a Realtor whose business focuses on commercial property in Bedford Township.

Mr. Lennex took issue with comments by Mrs. Hagen and Mr. Minges last month that inferred BICA members were being “greedy” in opposing the limitations on commercial development.

“They have crossed the line, and they must be held accountable, and they will be,” Mr. Lennex said. “These attacks ... on [citizens] must stop.”

Controversy over the three ordinances continues to tear at the township, pitting business owners and their economic interests against local residents and the elected officials who say they want to protect them.

Township board members passed the ordinances to improve the appearance of local businesses and keep big-box stores from moving here.

The township board last month reshuffled its members on the committee as it seeks a compromise.

“I am one of the greedy business owners of Bedford Township,” said Lambertville Hardware owner Tim Oswald, who urged the business and residential community to work together to find something everyone could agree on. Bedford Township's business owners, Mr. Oswald said, “are just as important to the community as the residential community.”

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