Friday, June 18, 2010

Opinion - Where are the Opponents?

Where are the opponents?
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson

It’s been an interesting and challenging week.
There were a number of primaries across the nation last week. Unless you watched Fox News you probably didn’t hear much about them. The “Good Guys” didn’t do so well, so I guess the major networks weren’t interested.
However, they have an excuse. The oil spill is about the only thing pulling in the viewers these days. Ratings sell advertising; and images of oil gushing, dark globs on the sand and wildlife covered in brown goo gets the viewers.
Our president is running out of people to blame… following his much publicized attacks on BP, he has recently targeted Congress for the catastrophe. Good job. Their poll numbers are even lower than his.
Breaking news… well almost. Earlier this week BP agreed to a multi-billion dollar fund that would be used for cleanup and to help those impacted by this disaster. A Republican referred to it as a “shakedown”… huh?
Since when is it a shakedown to require the perp be responsible for the damages of its actions? Our job is to make sure the money is used responsibly, not play politics!
If the spill is on the minds of locals, I haven’t heard it. Jobs, sex offenders? Yep. Politics, summer events? Nope.
Completely gone from the radar are political candidates and issues (such as the courthouse addition) and all the fantastic things on tap for the summer: festivals and celebrations and the Great Darke County fair.
In case you need a reminder… you’ve missed Arcanum’s Old Fashioned Days, North Star’s Ice Cream Social and Versailles’ Poultry Days – great events and well attended – but you can still put on your calendar a variety of events in downtown Greenville and Darke County Parks, New Madison’s and Ansonia’s Fourth of July parades, the Annie Oakley Festival and Greenville Eagles Independence Day Celebration at Shade Road.
The largest fireworks display in Darke County – sponsored and funded by Greenville Eagles members – is on tap for July 3, along with music throughout the day – starting at noon – and headlined once again by Classified. Admission, as always, is free.
For ribs and blues lovers, Darke County Center for the Arts and the Eagles have teamed up to give us a great evening of well… Ribs & Blues. Mark your calendars for 6 p.m. July 16. Tickets ($12) will buy you ribs or chicken, your first beverage and a great evening of music. They can be purchased in advance from any DCCA Board Member, Eagles officer or at the Independence Day celebration.
Something else is new in Darke County. If you are on facebook, check it out. Youth in Politics Darke County has its own page. If you are interested in the political process – non-partisan – become a member… next meeting is in July. We’ll keep you informed.
If you missed Mike Stegall’s opinion on my blog Tuesday, you might go back and read it (Planning for the Future). In it he discusses the contentious courthouse addition and praises the commissioners for planning ahead and being smart enough to change their plans.
According to Stegall the commissioners have changed their strategy from a $9 million (plus or minus) new structure to renovating the old courthouse as grants and funds become available. Then I get confused. He also lumps a possible brand new 3-story structure with the parking lot and various improvements as projects that can be accomplished “a little at a time.” How do you do that? Improvements, sure. A new steel and concrete structure?
There is something else that I consider to be a serious issue.
Stegall is adamant. The commissioners WILL do this, the commissioners will NOT do that. Was he elected while I took a nap last week? Or have they selected him to speak for them? What is missing in all of this is confirmation of those statements by the commissioners themselves.
I’ve been attending their public meetings regularly for a year and a half and have asked on occasion about their plans for this addition. The only thing they would ever tell me as that they are “temporarily” on hold due to the economy.
That doesn’t sound like a change of plans to me.
However, I applaud Stegall for putting his opinions on the record. He knows I will challenge them when I feel it is appropriate… that’s what I do. It is how the voting public can educate itself.
But where are his opponents? One of them told me he was against the courthouse addition, as I’d heard are the others. But where are they? Where is their public statement on the issues they want voters to support.
I realize it’s early, but at the present time, there are four candidates for Darke County Commissioner. Only one of them seems to be running.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to receive his opinion comments by direct email, send your email address to: He also has an open blog at Please express your views.

1 comment:

That's My Opinion said...

Mike Stegall wrote:

Nice column, Bob. I just wish you would have really read mine. No, I wasn’t elected yet, and no I am not the commissioner’s spokesperson. I just do what you probably haven’t done, and that’s I ask them directly, I don’t “ask on occasion” Are the commissioner going to raise taxes? Ask them! I did. Are they willing to put the county into more debt for this project? Ask them! I did. You say you are confused because I lump the new courts building with other projects. Read it again, Bob. I said, and I quote: “ FOUR YEARS AGO ( got that, Bob?) the plan was to build a courts building behind the old courthouse. The money would come from a ½ % sales tax increase, and from the capital improvements fund. This would be a new 3 STORY STRUCTURE behind the old courthouse, connected by a walkway.” FOUR YEARS AGO! Got that, Bob. If you would have read the rest of the column, you would have noticed it was all about how things change, and how we have to CHANGE OUR PLANS sometimes. (Maybe you do need a nap!) I know of one of my opponents who actually talked to one of the commissioners about the plan, and was stunned to find out it was nothing like the rumors or stories he had heard. Once he heard their side, he thought it sounded like a solid plan. Gee, Bob, if you ask direct questions, you might get direct answers. Are the commissioners still married to this plan? Who knows? This project is so far on their back burner they probably haven’t given it much more thought lately. How do I know that? Gee Bob, I asked!! (Maybe you shouldn’t nap during the commissioners meetings!) No Bob, I haven’t been elected yet, but when I am, I will make sure that everyone gets the complete information on things. I will not just put something out to make a political statement, nor to start a controversy. It will be to completely inform, not like some bloggers. (just had to do that for you, Bob!) I am glad that you are keeping an eye on the political scene, elected officials need watching. James Madison, one of the founding fathers once said “ ALL MEN HAVING POWER MUST BE DISTRUSTED TO A CERTAIN DEGREE.” Keep and eye on us, Bob, and I will keep an eye on you. The new media must inform and correctly state what elected officials are doing. We both agreed to watch each other when we met several months ago. I appreciate that, and I hope you do to. Who knows Bob, between the 2 of us, Darke County could have the most informed voters in the state!!