by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Training a kitten requires you to let the kitten know what will not be tolerated. You have to remove them from the table and sharply say “NO!” while looking them right in the eye until they 'get' it. Eventually, they learn.
When my daughter, Ayn, was two she snuck a small package of candy from a store as we were checking out. I found it clutched in her tiny hand as we arrived home. A few minutes later she was back in the store looking up at a frowning store manager, trembling. It never happened again.
The Commandments are not suggestions. Kittens have to learn the rules, too.
Commissioners, are employees. There are rules which they are required to follow. One of these is making sure we have the facts before money is committed. A FOIA, which I wrote about earlier here, is a tool the people use when this has not been working correctly.
There are many reasons the New Ashtabula Charter is on the ballot this November.
FOIAs are used when things are going wrong. Knowing in advance what is planned allows us to ensure we get the best we can afford. People can look into it themselves, write letters, do research. Therefore, bids on contracts and complete information on ballot measures should be made available early and often.
Of late, our commissioners have shown signs they do not accept our rules. Two examples for bids are the contract for Ashtabula County Transportation and problems with recycling. You would think the information was a matter of National Security instead of reliable rides and trash.
Another issue is the lack of information on the Charter measure on which we vote this November. By law, Article X, Section 4 of the Ohio Constitution and Ohio Revised Code Section 307.70. The wording of the Charter must be sent to every registered voter at least 30 days in advance, preferably 35 to accommodate early voting. Indications from those listening at Commissioner Meetings lead to the conclusion they do not think it is important to comply with the law.
If the Charter passes things will be very different.
No form of government is engraved in stone. King George learned this and county government changes at the will of the people.
Kittens don't want to stay off the table. Kids want candy. But they learn. We need to enforce our rules and stay informed.