Monday, October 15, 2018

Temperament matters!

From Facebook:

Transparency is an issue in township government because of how petulant and angry the incumbent Democrat trustee got when I suggested improvements.

This is not how public servants should behave. The Democrats' temperament is why we need new leadership.

Drain the swamp!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Dishonest rhetoric and unhinged rants by the township trustee

The dishonesty and hypocrisy of the Perry Township Trustee is sad, and his repeated unhinged rants in Herald-Times comments are unworthy of an elected position. The incumbent Democrat needs to grow up and realize that part of being an elected official is getting criticism and suggestions for how to do things better for the taxpayers. If he cannot handle that, he should resign from office.

First, the incumbent Democrat claimed that meeting minutes were always on the township website. This is plainly false. The last meeting minutes on the website as of July 2018 were from February 16, 2017. Either the trustee does not know what his own staff is doing, or he is lying.

Despite the fact that I pointed out that posting meeting minutes and agendas to the Perry Township website would take no more than ten minutes once a month, the Perry Township Trustee continues to dishonestly pretend that it would require a full time staff person, asking if I want to "create a fulltime web designer position for a friend." So instead of addressing my argument on its merits, the incumbent Democrat wants to attack my character and motivations.

I had no intention of bringing this issue up during this campaign, because I think there are more important issues and it feels unseemly. However, if the incumbent Democrat wants to use that false line of attack against someone seeking a seat on the township board, perhaps he should examine his own conduct as trustee. The incumbent Democrat, after all, hired his wife as full time staff in his own office. The hypocrisy here is astounding.

Despite the incumbent Democrat's false suggestions, I would never support any sort of discrimination in who gets assistance from the township. If someone needs help, they should get help. Period. It is the incumbent Democrat trustee who wants to impose moral standards on those seeking assistance, as seen by his opposition to a "low barrier" homeless shelter a decade ago - even going to the offensive extreme of accusing the Shalom Center of a "power grab." There are good policy reasons for a higher-barrier shelter, of course, but that is not my point. The point is the incumbent Democrat's hypocrisy.

Finally, the incumbent Democratic Trustee's obsession with turning a township board race into another front for the culture war is simultaneously laughable and sad. The township board has nothing to do with culture war issues. Township government handles overgrown vegetation, manages abandoned cemeteries, provides poor relief and resolves fence line disputes. What in the world does any of that have to do with culture war issues? This is a desperate attempt at distraction from the real issues of transparency that I have been pounding for months.

I am shocked that a race for Perry Township board has gotten this nasty. All I said was that meeting agendas and minutes should be online, and the incumbent Democratic trustee has had meltdown after meltdown since then. But here is the reality: When I am attacked, I will respond.

Friday, September 28, 2018

A petulant attitude combined with technological ignorance

When I called for expanded transparency back in July, the most recent meeting minutes on the Perry Township website were dated February 16, 2017. I am pleased that Perry Township has taken my advice and posted meeting minutes for the last year and a half. There is even an announcement for the adoption of the budget. Even as a candidate, it appears I am getting results for the taxpayers of Perry Township. It is not enough to abide by the bare minimum legal standard. Township government should go above and beyond to be as transparent as possible. In the Information Age, that means putting things online.

With that said, the petulant attitude and technological ignorance of the Perry Township trustee is unfortunate. The Democratic incumbent suggested that I am calling for "another fulltime position as a web producer." This is utterly absurd, and a dishonest representation of what I was suggesting. It takes virtually no time and not one penny of tax money to put meeting agendas online. At the most, this would take ten minutes once a month. To claim this would require another staff member is absurd. I have personally done things like that for years.

In the time it takes for the Trustee to write an angry rant in HeraldTimesOnline.com comments, he could have used a free PDF printer program such as CutePDF to "print" an agenda, convert it to an image with a number of free tools you can find online, and posted it to social media and/or the Perry Township website.

Furthermore, meeting times are at 4:30 pm, which is during the typical 8 to 5 work day. It is unreasonable to expect people take time off work to attend. The city council meets in the evenings, and the county council has moved meetings to later to allow the public to attend. There is no reason the township board cannot do the same thing.

That the incumbent Democratic trustee felt it necessary to launch a vicious and totally false personal attack against me in HTO comments demonstrates, once again, an entitlement mentality. This unprovoked nasty personal attack over differences in public policy is far below what we should expect of our elected officials. If the incumbent Democratic trustee is so immature and unprofessional that he cannot handle criticism, he should resign from office. Democrats have had one-party rule for over twenty years in township government, and that mentality needs to change. The only way to change that is by electing Republicans.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Do not just vote straight ticket!

Scott Tibbs released the following statement today:

Monroe County is a place with a progressive ideological bent, and many voters are upset with Donald Trump. But I urge voters to not simply vote for every Democrat on the ballot just because they do not like Trump. Examine each race, and what the candidates want to do while in office, before you vote. The responsibilities of local government are very different from policy at the national level. Voters are doing a disservice to themselves and their community when they cast a straight ticket vote.

Do you think it is important to be fully transparent? Do you think a unit of government that spends over $1 million dollars per year (collected via local property taxes) should go above and beyond the minimum transparency requirements of the law, to put meeting minutes and meeting agendas online, including on social media? I am running because I want to see this improve. There is simply no rational argument against expanding transparency by putting all relevant information online.

The township trustee was insulting and arrogant in Herald-Times comments when I called for expanded transparency in July, saying: "If you need one you can get an Subsidized Phone and call us and we'll tell you the meeting times over that device." This kind of dismissive arrogance is why we need Republican representation on the township board. Decades of one-party rule has produced an entitlement mentality that should be disciplined by the voters this fall.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Why should you care?

Why should you care about township government?

Because they spend $1 million a year with no oversight from the local news media.

This is why it is so important to be 100% transparent.

Monday, August 6, 2018

What is township government?

There are many times that I talk to voters and they have no idea that township government even exists, confusing it with city council or county council. This is one of the reasons I am running, to increase visibility of township government, make sure voters know what the township is doing and how the township is spending our tax money.

Monroe County has 11 townships. Imagine the county is sliced into twelve segments - three townships east-west and four townships north-south. (One of the townships is the geographical size of two townships, which is why we have 11 instead of 12.) Each township has four elected officials - a township trustee who acts as administrator, and a township advisory board that approves the budget and advises the trustee.

So why should you care what township government does? Perry Township spends $1.1 million dollars a year. According to IFIOnline.org, Perry Township government spent $1,109,989.17 in 2017. That is a large sum of money, and we need to make sure we are watching what township government is doing. The money involved is why my first campaign statement was to increase transparency by making sure all agendas are posted online and that meetings are held after the work day is over so taxpayers can attend. With that much money, there is simply no excuse not to go above and beyond the minimum legal requirements of transparency.

So what does township government do? Primarily, Perry Township provides social services. If you are about to be evicted from your apartment, if you are homeless, if you are about to have your electricity turned off, or if you have a financial emergency, the Perry Township Trustee is where you can go for help. Perry Township assistance is not an "entitlement" program, as benefits do not continue automatically. The township provides emergency assistance and points people where they can get ongoing help.

Township government also mows overgrown vegetation, resolves fence line disputes and maintains abandoned cemeteries.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Democrats do not take full transparency seriously

The testy, defensive reaction of the Perry Township trustee to my press release in Herald-Times comments demonstrates that Democrats simply cannot be trusted to bring transparency into the 21st Century. Posting a paper copy at the township office is just not good enough. This is 2018, not 1995.

The incumbent Democrat trustee claims that the meeting notices fulfill the legal requirements for notifying the public. I do not doubt that is the case, but complying with the law's minimum requirements is not enough when there is more than can be done to increase exposure of what township government is doing to the people who are paying the bills. There is no substantive argument against my proposal for more transparency.

I am disappointed that the incumbent Democrat trustee resorted to dishonesty in his response, asking if I am "a candidate with complaints and no plan." This was in response to a press release in which I identified a problem and proposed a solution to the problem. I have a plan to increase transparency. The incumbent Democrat trustee is satisfied with the minimum requirements of the law.

The incumbent Democrat trustee was also disingenuous when responding to my point about meeting times. I pointed out that township board meetings take place during the work day, which is true according to the township's own website. The incumbent Democrat trustee claimed what I said was "simply untrue" and then admitted my point when he said that the the meetings start between 4:15 and 4:30. This is during a normal 8 to 5 work day, which would require a taxpayer to take time off work to attend. That is an elitist response that does not indicate concern for transparency or allowing taxpayers to attend meetings.

This is not a new issue for me. I called for later meeting times for city government boards and commissions in 2015. I had a guest column in the Herald-Times calling on the county commissioners to move meetings - especially the biweekly county commissioners' meetings - to after the end of the work day so taxpayers can attend the meetings to see what our employees our doing. That is exactly what city, county and township elected officials are: Our employees. They should make it easy for their employers to see what they are doing.

It is not 1995 any more. It is time for township government to move into 2018. That means everything the township does should be online - especially meeting times and agendas. That is what I have pledged to do if I am elected. If the Democrats took this issue seriously they would have fixed it years ago.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Transparency needed in township government

The primary reason I am running for a seat on the Perry Township Board is that township government operates almost entirely in the dark. The newspaper rarely covers township government unless there is a major scandal, and the public almost never attends their meetings. When you have a unit of government that is spending over one million dollars a year and has been under one-party control for decades, that is something that needs to change.

That starts with the township's online presence. The last meeting minutes was February 16, 2017, though there have been many meetings since then. Unlike city and county government, there are no meeting agendas online for the township board. So if you are a citizen in Perry Township and you want to follow what your township government is doing, you cannot do that through the township board's website.

In the age of social media, there is simply no excuse for this. Meeting agendas can easily be posted to Facebook, Twitter or other sites. There are many sites that will convert a PDF to an image file for free, to make viewing it even easier, especially on a mobile phone or tablet. A Facebook or Twitter feed can easily be updated to let the public know when and where a meeting will be, along with a scan of the agenda.

It is never good when a unit of government operates out of the public eye. If I am elected to the township board, all of this information will be online. If the township office itself will not do it, then I will do it myself. If you believe in transparency, vote for Scott Tibbs for Perry Township Board!