Meadville Tribune

Opinion

July 5, 2014

Patriotism alive at recent county commissioners meeting

MEADVILLE — Patriotism was alive at Thursday’s meeting of the Crawford County commissioners, as two of the three commissioners were wearing red, white and blue ties in observance of the Fourth of July holiday.

A visitor, Meadville Mayor Chris Soff, also was sporting a patriotic tie — decorated with pictures of the Gettysburg battlefield. He said it was in honor of the anniversary of the Gettysburg battle. And he bought it at a fundraiser for Sen. Bob Robbins. It is evident that Soff can be bipartisan, as he is a Democrat and Robbins is a Republican.

One speaker from Chicago apologized for his attire. He was wearing red, white and blue shorts.

In addition the agenda — usually done in black ink — was typed in red and blue ink on white paper.

 



The state Republican Legislature continued its record of passing a state budget by the June 30 deadline, but Republican Gov. Tom Corbett had not yet signed it as of late Thursday night — three days after it was passed.

The budget, which calls for no increases in taxes, didn’t include any pension reform measures and the governor said he was not yet ready to sign it.

At the same time, however, the state government continued to function.

With the November election a scant four months away, many people are watching to see what the next step is.

Corbett is still lagging behind Democrat challenger Tom Wolf in the polls.

 



The big political news that is stirring in Crawford County is the commissioners’ decision about the future of Conneaut Lake Park. The county is one of four entities which could file for a sheriff’s sale of the 122-year-old amusement park. About 10 days ago, Mark Turner of the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County held a public meeting to present his proposal to the county to pay the delinquent taxes and move forward.

The meeting was well attended — including the three county commissioners — and most people left believing it was going to be approved since nobody said anything different or challenged the proposal.

The six days later, commissioners said they were going to vote on whether to go ahead with the sheriff’s sale. The next day, that was reversed.

The vote may come again in the middle of this month.

The problem is commissioners can’t win in this situation. Those who support keeping the park think the county should give the EPACC a chance. Others who have watched the park continue to rack up more unpaid tax bills — up to this point totaling more than $900,000 — each year say to pull the plug.

Commissioners now must study the pros and cons and make a decision — based on what they believe is right. It’s not easy, but they campaigned on it in 2011, and it soon will be time for them to run again.

At any rate, the public should be understanding of their dilemma. But as everyone who has ever followed politics knows, voters can be very fickle and vote against an incumbent if they feel betrayed — no matter what else the incumbents may have done.

We know of at least one Democrat who is reportedly going to run next year. We haven’t heard of any Republicans, but there were a number that ran in 2011, so there could be some challengers.

School boards will have candidates up for election next year as well, so the ballot could get crowded. That may be true in Conneaut School District, as its board is pushing for a sheriff’s sale and gave the solicitor authority to proceed last month.

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