The Crawford County Fair offers candidates an opportunity to meet and greet potential voters — but there are restrictions.

In the "olden days," candidates could distribute literature and campaign throughout the fairgrounds. However, several years ago, the Fair Board chose to limit the distribution of literature and/or signs to the two booths of the Republican and Democratic parties under the grandstand. Each party committee has a stand there where workers have literature, voter registration forms and all the items pertaining to an election.

Candidates may circulate, of course, as it is a public fair. However, they are asked not to distribute the literature. Most comply. The reasoning is many people at the fair don't want the literature and often dispose of it on the grounds, causing more work for maintenance crew.

In addition, some people at the fair are not from the county and couldn't vote for many of the candidates. The board heard complaints about too much politicking, so it changed the rules.

Of course, some people have skirted the rules by entering the demolition derby with a sign on the side or top of the car; or have been a sponsor of one of the categories in certain contests. That, however, does not result in the piles of litter.

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The race for county sheriff is still interesting and people are watching to see what happens. Some die-hard Republicans still support Neil Fratus, who is Republican but on the ballot as a Democrat. And some Democrats are supporting Dave Powers, who is the Republican nominee.

At local parades, many supporters of each candidate have T-shirts promoting their candidate and often walk together to show a sign of how many are supporting that candidate.

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Brian Connolly, who served as the county finance director for several years, retired recently. In addition to Connolly, Dave Crowe, director of the Crawford County Drug and Alcohol Executive Commission; and Bob Stein, adult probation officer, also retired recently. The latter two had been long-time county employees.

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At a recent Linesville Borough Council meeting, former council member Mike Heaney asked council members to "lead by example" when driving, asking them to obey the traffic laws. In addition to using turn signals, they were asked to avoid making "Pittsburgh left turns."

That prompted one council member to inquire what a "Pittsburgh left turn" was. Heaney explained that is when a driver sees the red light is ready to turn green, jumps the gun and starts to make the left hand turn before the light changes.

Heaney didn't mention any names about who he believes should lead by example and nobody answered his concern.

• • •

One audience member offered kudos to all the Linesville residents who participated in the "National Night Out." Councilman Aaron Morrell said he thought it had been canceled because of the weather. (Conneautville canceled its because of weather issues.)

"We are from the town where the ducks walk on fish," said council President Kevin McGrath, adding, "water doesn't bother us."

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Vernon Township Supervisor Fritz Snyder has a new name for the roundabout being constructed at the intersection of routes 322, 6, 19 and 98.

He calls it the "eighth wonder of the world."

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At a recent Conneaut Lake Borough Council meeting, council member Bill Eldridge had an easy way to buy something. Noting that if money grew on trees, "we could have everything we want."

Long-time councilman Billy Paris resigned recently, citing his new employment taking up more pf his time, limiting how much time he can devote to council.

"That's disappointing news for Conneaut Lake," said council President Dick Holabaugh, noting Paris was a good member of council.

At one meeting, after listening to a lengthy discussion about issues an elderly woman was having with getting her garbage to the curb and trying to come up with a solution, Paris interjected. For the time being, he would go and take the garbage to the curb, he said, to end the lengthy discussion. He will be missed.

• • •

Ryan Lang approached council and asked to be appointed to Paris' seat. Asked if he had a resume, Lang said he was 36 years old and had never done a resume.

He gave a quick overview, noting when he was a kid, his grandfather paid him a nickel for picking up cigarette butts at his grandfather's automobile dealer site. Ryan graduated from Penn State University with a degree in accounting and returned to work in the family business, Lang Motors.

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Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Stevens will have his name on the ballot in November. He is running for retention, meaning voters will vote "yes" or "no" on whether he should be retained for another 10-year-term.

That means that Stevens can campaign this year as judges are only allowed to be involved in politics when they are seeking election or retention.

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Sheriff Nick Hoke is retiring this year but has already said he will seek part-time employment. But he said it won't be a job where he has to carry a gun.

He said he has been in law enforcement long enough and wouldn't mind having a job that doesn't require firearms.

Jane Smith is a retired Meadville Tribune reporter who specialized in covering government and politics.

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