To the editor:
I am a new appointee to the Sharon Memorial Hall board. My application and resume were given in January. Prior to that time, I did not know any of Sharon Township trustees.
I am a 35-year member of American Legion Post 239. I introduced myself to the trustees prior to their meeting in April. I was interviewed during their meeting. The hall board's president and his wife objected to my appointment.
At that meeting or the next one, Memorial Hall tenant Sheila Bagley also voiced concerns about the selection process, and the trustees chairwoman said they were trying to improve on the process.
In her letter to ThisWeek, Ms. Bagley also voiced concerns about having competent people on the board because she is a tenant in the building and board members would be her landlord and her rent money supports the hall.
I was approved by 3-0 vote. I arrived at the May 1 hall board meeting with two other new appointees. We got the cold shoulder.
Former board member John Haueisen made a motion during the hall board meeting that the new appointees not be accepted to the board. The president actually asked for a second, which was made.
Trustee John Oberle was in the audience and started a discussion, which called for "burying the hatchets" and "working for veterans." Mr. Haueisen read a prepared statement with harsh comments about the Sharon Township trustees for the past 20 to 30 years and harsh comments about the American Legion Post 239, and he called the new appointees "puppets" of the trustees. He then resigned from the hall board.
There were no strings attached to my appointment, and I am not a puppet.
We now see the attacks on the Sharon Township trustees. Letters to the editor used such words and phrases as nonfeasance, non-qualified applicants, endangering the hall's future, old abscess, packing the board, political puppets, unethical controlling and cronyism.
These attacks are unjustified and unwarranted, and they could have been avoided. Trustees could have allowed the hall board president to reappoint himself and others to the board and have the trustees provide the "rubber stamp" to make it legal. It didn't happen that way this time, so we have very unhappy people on one side. The trustees are exercising their statutory authority by making the hall board appointments. They are the elected officials and appointing authority.
The past president of the hall board has made major policy decisions without the knowledge of some of his board. In 2009, he failed to negotiate rent agreement with the trustees on use of offices at the hall. They were forced to move elsewhere, along with the Sharon Township police. That move has cost the taxpayers a lot of money. He fails to provide financial reports to the trustees, which would be public information.
The leaders of American Legion Post 239 can't negotiate with him in the fair use and maintenance of the parking lot that they share. Post 239 has been in this community for more than 90 years and did not have its own building for many years.
In the late 1940s, (this is a unique situation in the state) the voters approved the purchase of the property at 137 E. Granville Road (now the Sharon Memorial Hall) and the American Legion building behind the hall, sharing the same parking lot.
This is a transition period with new members, and we need reasonable people to do the right thing with the spirit of cooperation for the benefit of veterans groups.
New Sharon Memorial Hall board member,
To the editor:
Cheryl Shirk recently wrote in her letter to ThisWeek that the voters of Wisconsin should be congratulated for retaining Gov. Scott Walker and asks, "How did the governor perform this magic" of improving the Wisconsin budget?
Truth is, he didn't. His state lags behind the entire Midwestern states in job creation, and the budget results had to be re-issued based on possible projections after it was shown to be an utter failure.
Ms. Shirk also seems to believe that unions are at the root of the financial problems in Wisconsin, Ohio and, presumably ,in the other states in which Republicans are attempting to destroy them.
Let us remember, whether we are union or not, that unions gave us safe working conditions, the five-day workweek and many, many other benefits, and the timing of their destruction by President Reagan was not coincidental to when we all began to see our benefits and pay falter.
No, we have far bigger problems in this country. We have elected officials who disgracefully believe that Newt Gingrich is more important for our students to study than Thomas Jefferson. We have rampant voter suppression efforts aimed at non-existent voter fraud. And we have a largely middle- and lower-class group of anti-tax folks voting against their own interests and those of the remaining middle class while the wealthy plutocracy gets humongous tax breaks and our nation continues to be one of the world's lowest taxed of the developed countries.
Yup, the Republican governors and the Tea Party are taking our nation back, all right -- back to the gilded age.
It is sad that we actually have local citizens who are determined that public employees and their unions are the root cause of every difficulty they can drum up.
Thank you to our public employees and to the citizens wise enough to support them in the face of such inane attacks. They have earned every benefit they now enjoy and more.