Gillmor’s politicking on SB 5 a disservice to constituents

Senate Bill 5 received approval in the Ohio Senate March 2, by the narrowest of margins (17-16).

Despite a 13-seat majority in the Senate, six Republicans joined all 10 Senate Democrats in opposition of the bill, which aims to curb the collective bargaining rights of nearly 350,000 Ohio public workers.

Supporters deem it necessary if Ohio is to tackle a two-year deficit of $8 billion and the bill would unquestionably save the state money.

A recent Columbus Dispatch study concluded, that had the legislation been enacted in 2010, Ohio could have saved about $750 million.

State Sen. Karen Gillmor, R-Tiffin, sided with her own party and cast what amounted to be the deciding vote on the highly-divisive issue.

Afterward, she was so convicted about her role in saving the state what could amount to a billion dollars or more, she issued the following statement: “In this era of term limits, the process by which Senate Bill 5 ... proceeded through the Senate was a radical departure from the process by which previous pieces of employment law affecting citizens’ livelihoods, children, healthcare, retirement and work environments have progressed.”

The senator continues, “Members of the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus were given only one day to reflect upon the impact of a 99-page omnibus amendment to a 475-page bill. This is not government at its finest.”

Senate Bill 5 emerged from committee and onto the Senate floor only after Senate President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, removed a pair of the bill’s opponents from two key committees.

Once on the floor, the bill was discussed for only a few hours before state Senators voted on the issue.

Mrs. Gillmor has a point.

So, if the Senator felt such opposition to the process by which Senate Bill 5 was brought onto the floor, why didn’t she do what nearly a quarter of her peers did and vote no on the issue?

I intended to pose that very question — a fair one, I think — to Mrs. Gillmor when I phoned her office more than 10 times in two weeks, without a single response.

I’m not about to take a public position on this issue. That’s a good way to alienate readership and I haven’t read the bill in its entirety.

Rep. Dave Burke, R-Marysville, said it best Monday while addressing Logan County Republicans, “There’s both good and bad in this bill.”

He’s probably right. The bill is neither a direct attack on public employees nor is it only about balancing the state’s budget.

If Mrs. Gillmor feels strongly enough to vote on a bill to unravel nearly three decades’ worth of collective bargaining in Ohio, then she should feel strongly enough about the issue to defend her vote in public.

What we’re left with, instead, is a clear rank-and-file Republican Senator intent to vote with her majority party, but careful not to upset potential voters that may disagree with her.

I’m sure her ‘Well, I voted yes, but wasn’t happy about it’ attitude has nothing to do with the fact she’s up for re-election in 2012.

A democracy isn’t always about getting everything one wants, rather it’s about getting what’s best for everyone. If Mrs. Gillmor believes Senate Bill 5, as presented, benefits all Ohioans, then she should defend it publicly.

Her unwillingness to do so, both in the statement she released not 12 hours after the bill passed the Senate and her continued disregard for this reporter’s phone calls, is a disservice to the voters in her district.

The process by which Senate Bill 5 emerged from the Ohio Senate may not have been government at its finest, but Mrs. Gillmor’s words and actions (or lack thereof) since the bill’s passage are indeed politicking at its finest.

And that’s unfortunate.

  • Written by NATE SMITH

Keep domestic violence victims in the forefront in October and otherwise

Everybody is aware that the month of October has been slated for “breast cancer awareness” month, but what many do not know is that it is also “domestic violence awareness” month. Domestic violence is also an epidemic that is gripping our world and seemingly not letting go. Thankfully, unlike breast cancer, domestic violence can be cured. The more we get our message out and just simply be aware and involved the better chance we have of getting that done.

There are many different forms of domestic violence, including physical, mental, emotional, financial and sexual. If you or someone you know is being abused in any way, there is help out there for you and you are not alone. New Directions of C.C.I. is the place to go for that. There you will meet Cheryl Garland-Briggs and Debbie Brownlee. Cheryl keeps the wheels turning with her ability to help you do anything from file for a CPO to give you legal advice and offer critical support groups. Debbie offers counseling to victims and their families. She also offers support groups and more intense group therapy sessions. Together this dynamic duo works hard everyday to get their message out and to try and help all victims.

Through their hard work and many others, the Domestic Violence Coalition was formed and meets on the second Thursday of every month. There is also a small support group for victims that meet every Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. at the office.

As the holidays approach, let us not forget the victims of domestic violence and any children they may have. Many times “getting out” means leaving with the clothes on your back and nothing else. There is no time to grab personal items, clothes, not even a blanket or a jacket. Because of this, New Directions is always accepting donations. The following items are always helpful: baby diapers, baby clothes, formula, food, personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, antiperspirant, washcloths, feminine products, blankets and jackets. School bags and school supplies are always needed also.

If you would like to help in any way by donating money, items or your time and spirit, please call Cheryl at 593-5777.

We are honored to share this month with such a worthy cause, so let’s come together as the “strong community” that we are, and give breast cancer and domestic violence the fight of their lives.

December Miller


Domestic Violence survivor & volunteer

  • Written by December Miller Bellefontaine Domestic Violence survivor & volunteer

The free school supply

In tough economic times, parents might find it harder than ever to make sure their children have everything they need for school. Luckily, the most important school supply of all does not cost a thing. It’s a library card.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Libraries support literacy education by providing teaching resources, space for tutoring and information and referral services, as well as with free access to music, DVDs, the Internet, books and more. By motivating children to read, librarians create lifelong readers, and that makes for better citizens, and that makes for a healthier democracy.

Of course, library cards aren’t just for kids. A recent report found that the importance of libraries in American life continued to grow in 2010 — and accelerated dramatically as the national economy sank and people looked for sources of cost-effective help in a time of crisis.

In fact, 68 percent of American adults have a library card. Now more than ever, Americans turn to — and depend on — their libraries and librarians financial information, computer and Internet access, and, of course, books, movies and more.

It’s all free with a library card! Visit one of the libraries in Logan County this month (Bellefontaine, DeGraff, East Liberty, Lakeview, Rushsylvania, West Liberty, West Mansfield, Dr. Earl S. Sloan Library in Zanesfield, Belle Center Free Public Library or the Ridgeway Branch of the Ridgemont Public Library). There is something for everyone!


Judith A. Goodrich, Director

Logan County Libraries


  • Written by Judith A. Goodrich, Director Logan County Libraries Bellefontaine

The chirp of a smoke alarm

When Nov. 7 rolls around, firemen will remind us once again to change the batteries in our smoke alarms. I am an older widow and my alarm started chirping ... I phoned our local fire department and left a message asking if a volunteer could come and change the battery in my alarm for a fee.

They did not reply. I would like to suggest that a volunteer take a few hours each month to change batteries for older people. I know they would gladly pay a fee for this service. I climbed on a ladder to change mine and could not get the cover off. It chirped every 15 seconds for four weeks before I had someone change it for me. Do you know what it is like hearing the chirping constantly?

Mary Ellen Chaney


  • Written by Mary Ellen Chaney Huntsville

The kindness of friends, strangers

The families of Christy Knotts and Ranae Donohoe express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all those who have given to make the Christy Knotts/Ranae Donohoe Memorial Scholarship what it is today.

While losing Christy and Ranae has been the hardest contingency to endure, keeping their memories alive has become our being. Our one ray of sunshine is the outpouring of support and generosity from so many. Our intention is not to focus on sadness, but to highlight the actions that have followed over the years and those who continue to support each of us.

The scholarship committee, consisting of Christy and Ranae’s closest friends, has been the heart of their memorial. Without Christi Moore, Stephanie Overfield, Matt Harper, Jason Malone, Justin Mohler, Michael Phelps, John Millice, Chris and Denelle Instine and Ryan and Brandi Moore, the Poker Run and Golf Outing would not be possible. Because of their dedication and love for Christy and Ranae, the scholarship has surpassed our goals and is now reaching students all over the county. “A faithful friend is a strong defense and he that hath found such one hath found a treasure.” Ecclesiastes 6:14.

Tony and Mindy Groves and the staff at the Woodstock Inn and Kyle Long and the staff at Woodland Golf Club are also commended for their hard work in ensuring the success of both of this year’s fundraising events.

Finally, all who attended and participated in the aforementioned events and the faithful sponsors are deserving of recognition. If it were not for you, our extended families, great friends and loyal community, the scholarship would not have reached its present capacity. Your participation is making a huge difference in our hearts and the lives of Champaign County High School students.

“May the Lord reward your kindness.” Ruth 1:8


The family of Christy M. Knotts: Jerry Knotts, Cindy Knotts, Jenny Knotts & Jared Knotts.

The family of L. Ranae Donohoe: Jim & Marian Donohoe; Rex & Jami Donohoe, Daulton, Luke & Trace; Michael & Tonya (Donohoe) McGuire, Oliver, Avery & Essie.

  • Written by The family of Christy M. Knotts & The family of L. Ranae Donohoe