Thursday, July 27, 2017

Very disappointed in commissioners’ handling of space issue

For more than 20 years I have watched, waited and occasionally expressed my opinion while a host of county commissioners wrestled with our county’s need for space, balanced against the condition of our county’s aging courthouse.
During that time I am aware of one public meeting – roughly two years ago? – that was held with the specific purpose of gathering input on the matter. Needless to say, I was very disappointed that the opinions we offered then seemed to be disregarded.
We elect our county commissioners to make tough decisions and I appreciate the fact that the commissioners at that time (Maureen Davey, Dennis Shupak and Jerry Dell) made a decision. The problem had been kicked down the road way too long. However, I in no way supported the decision they made, nor did I ever understand their reasoning for it. (If I struggled to understand, I imagine others did as well.) When the commissioners’ plan diverged so far from the opinions voiced during that meeting, I believe it was the commissioners’ job to convince us of their plan’s merits -- or to reconsider.
I certainly appreciate our commissioners’ effort to rein in costs – assuming it was cost that guided their hand. But cost is not the sole factor to be weighed. And it’s not only today’s tax dollars but our children’s we should be considering. Will long-term expenses overshadow any short-term savings?
I urge our county commissioners not to invest more tax dollars in an old building of questionable value. Stop. Go back to start and let’s rethink this with the next 100 years in mind. And, please, take your constituents’ comments to heart.
Also, I thank our county commissioners for voting Tuesday to postpone renovations at the old hospital – hopefully to allow more time for additional information, more public input and a fresh way of tackling this problem.

Linda Halstead-Acharya
Columbus