Please take a moment to listen closely to this Town Hall Meeting between myself and my opponent, hosted by WJER and the First National Bank of Dennison. I am, as always, incredibly proud to serve as your commissioner- this is my top priority. I am dedicated to being your full-time commisioner. I hope to have your continued support and vote on November 8.
It is a sad day in Tuscarawas County when my opponent and fellow colleague have chosen to misrepresent my intentions. I have always chosen to take the “High Road” and will continue to do just that but I do feel I need to set the record straight. Commissioner Metzger has recorded a commercial that skews the facts. The slick ads featuring alarms and bells, and then the use of overzealous pronouncements from professional voices that bend and even completely ignore the truth and the facts, just show again how some candidates will do anything to gain a vote or two.
Let me be frank and honest: I have NEVER motioned for a “tax hike”. I motioned for a resolution to be placed on the floor for discussion.
There were two resolutions that were crafted and presented by Commissioner Metzger, who was Board President at the time. One resolution was for the commissioners to impose the license plate fee and the other resolution was for a quarter percent sales tax ballot initiative, which would give citizens the opportunity to vote for or against it. After two public hearings and listening to the public, I felt that I heard the majority of the people speak in favor of the ballot initiative which is why I motioned to put it on the floor for discussion. I motioned and neither of my fellow commissioners seconded the motion. In the radio commercial Metzger states that he and Abbuhl said “NO!” -- I didn’t hear those words. What I did hear was a deafening silence. Neither of my colleagues would second my motion, so it died on the floor. Putting our heads down and praying for silence in a public meeting doesn't get the job done.
So you see, the facts are lost in the real intent. It was my intent to let the Board discuss the resolution on the floor before the public. That didn’t happen. Apparently, Metzger didn’t trust the voters that time -- but the truth of the matter is that Metzger said that we had three options: 1) To impose the license plate fee, 2) To place the .25% sales tax on the ballot, 3) “Do Nothing” Those, my friends, are words that were spoken and recorded (on page 24) in the minutes on July 1, 2013, which are shared at the bottom of this blog.
To see information on the meetings pertaining to this ballot issue, please click on the links and minutes shared at the bottom of this blog.
When it comes to my "tax history," as Commissioner Kerry Metzger referred to in one of the ads, here's the truth: I have stated on the record and I am very concerned now that I am the only Tuscarawas County commissioner who is very worried that our county roads and bridges are crumbling. I have reviewed the condition reports for the roads and bridges, and spent a great deal of time seeking ways to assist our county engineer and his entire staff to provide for an acceptable level of services. At every opportunity, my fellow commissioners have been combative, argumentative and simply act as if the problem will go away. It won't.
It's a shame, but I was elected to do a job in the best interests of all Tuscarawas County residents. As commissioners, we must take a "global perspective" of our county and one of the greatest needs continues to be our failing county roads and county bridges. I am not only open to all ideas on this topic and any topic, I am eager to seek solutions for our county!
Finally: I have been criticized in these ads for seeking outside sources of funding to assist the county with its infrastructure needs. My opponent not only advocates this strategy, he explained at a candidate forum held in September that he would "pick up the phone" and call Congressman Bob Gibbs and ask for funds, too! We have been utilizing this strategy for years, so my opponent certainly hasn't come up with anything new there.
While I may get frustrated when I hear the desperation expressed in the recent ads by my opponent and his supporters, I won't lose sight of my continuing drive to serve as your full-time county commissioner, eager to hear from you and work to make our county a better place to live, work and play. Thank you for your continued confidence in me and for your vote on Nov. 8.
As we approach Election Day, I think that one simple act needs to be celebrated more – voting.
It is one of the most fundamental liberties, rights, and responsibilities that we as American citizens have.
It hasn’t been an easy process to expand voting in America to every adult citizen.
The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920 -- 96 years ago this month. I don’t think I need to tell you that I would be unable to serve as a county commissioner if it weren’t for the 19th amendment.
There are other mileposts in the effort:
--African Americans gained their right to vote in 1870 with the 15th amendment, which was strengthened with the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
--In 1971, 18 to 20-year-olds – those of draft age and who potentially could die in defense of their country -- finally were granted the right to vote.
This fall I hope each and every one of you participate in the time-honored tradition of going to the polls after learning about and discussing the issues and candidates.
I hope that you will trust me with once again serving our community as a county commissioner. I need your vote.
Please, let me know if you have questions about your voting location or registration. Thank you.
I have spent quite a few evenings these last couple weeks walking the roads and streets of towns around Tuscarawas County. With summer comes festivals and I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying quite a few of them and walking in parades; I’ve attended the Bolivar Strawberry Festival, Dover Canal Days, First Town Days, Cy Young Days, Railroad Days Festival and the Soap Box Derby. These events are great for everyone: the kids get candy, I get to see old friends and make new ones, and neighbors get to catch up while watching the parade!
Evenings like this remind me what I love so much about our community. We are made up of small towns that are chock full of hard-working people willing to work all day and then attend civic club meetings after dinner to plan festivals, homecomings, and celebrations. So, this weekend while you are enjoying First Town Days and Gnadenhutten Fireworks Festival, or in a couple of weeks when you are wandering around Strasburg’s Corn Fest, find an organizer and thank them. These are the people making things happen in our towns and villages. These are the volunteers who give their time, talent, and dedication to making our summer fun and our communities vibrant. Our local businesses are the ones sponsoring and support these events, too, so make sure and get a cup of coffee at your favorite local place. Take a moment to look around at the next parade you attend. We live in a beautiful place filled with hard-working people. I’m proud to live and work in Tuscarawas County. Thank YOU for all you do to make this a great place to be!