LFC Comments: We were willing to state our case for why we did not support the Concord Fire Levy [Issue 1], and let the voters decide on November 3rd. However, the tactics employed by the Trustees, Administrator and the Fire Chief have caused us to push back.
We are providing a forum for a Concord resident to express his position on the Issue 1 Fire Levy. We believe that he has a very valid point about the Concord Trustees violating the Ohio Revised Code. We are quite surprised that their attorney, Mike Lucas, who is usually on top of his game, allowed this to happen. We will be communicating with the Ohio Attorney General’s office to see if a violation has incurred. We will report back to our readers.
For those not aware of the Ohio Revised Code section 9.03 mentioned in the article, here is a link for you to use: https://codes.ohio.gov/orc/gp9.03
Here is the pertinent section dealing with the issue at hand:
9.03 (C) Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(7) of section 340.03 of the Revised Code, no governing body of a political subdivision shall use public funds to do any of the following:
(1) Publish, distribute, or otherwise communicate information that does any of the following:
(e) Supports or opposes the nomination or election of a candidate for public office, the investigation, prosecution, or recall of a public official, or the passage of a levy or bond issue.
Concord Trustee Morgan McIntosh in the “Grapevine” newsletter article about the Issue 1 Fire Levy stated: “We now need to ask Concord residents for their support.”
In addition to the ORC violation, we are appalled at the Administrator’s and Fire Chief’s blatant disrespect of Concord residents. The stealing of $500 worth of “Vote No” yard signs throughout the community further illustrates the divisiveness perpetrated by the bureaucrats’ callousness toward residents.
One further note, the idea that the Fire Department personnel would ask residents, who they have just assisted with an emergency, to put a “Vote Yes on Issue 1” sign in their yard demonstrates intimidation tactics that we did not think they would ever consider. However, as Mr. Andrew Rose, Concord’s Administrator and fake NextDoor participant, stated after he suffered a humiliating defeat last year: “We were out-marketed, that won’t happen again.”
Lies, deceptions and betrayals abound. They will reap what they have sown.
Vote NO on fire issue 1, the rest of the story
Written by: Michael McCullough of Concord Township
October 24, 2020
As a 26 year Concord Resident, I recently retired from Perry Nuclear after 37 years holding positions as a licensed operator, training instructor, fire brigade leader, and emergency responder. I became interested in the Concord Fire Station planning and financing. I attended a planning meeting in February and two of the three stakeholder meetings held this summer. Despite concerned citizen feedback given to the Trustees at these and other meetings, they have chosen to put an unnecessary tax burden on the citizens of Concord AGAIN by outwardly supporting Issue 1, the 8 million, 26 year levy.
In violation of Ohio Revised Code 9.03, the Trustees have misused taxpayer money by actively supporting the passage of Issue 1. They used the township newsletter “Grapevine” as well as the electronic version sending a hard copy to every resident, heavily promoting their stance at meetings and their website as well. Opposition to this plan has been muzzled by the Township as no other financial planning options were ever discussed or shared in township communications. Basically it was their way, or the highway.
The “newly planned” stations are still excessive despite the meetings and feedback given. The Trustees came up with essentially the same size and priced stations that were presented and failed last November when 65% of the voters said NO to that tax increase. I doubt voters were looking for the same levy again this year.
The Trustees can and should secure financing now to build both stations WITHOUT raising taxes. To reduce the financial burden, they need to significantly reduce the size and cost of their expensive stations. More importantly, the Trustees should embrace the loudest outcry of disregarded residents to build the neediest station 2 on Prouty road first.
Jobs have been lost, businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Concord has 2.5 million dollars on hand NOW to get started and can quickly secure financing without raising taxes.
The first responders have waited long enough!
I strongly encourage Concord residents to VOTE NO on Issue 1. Send a clear message to our Trustees that we demand new stations without adding new taxes.