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Chamber’s Columbus mission one of issues

Bob Jodon

COLUMBUS – They came by bus and by car.

Sunday, May 13, 2001

COLUMBUS – They came by bus and by car. They came to hear and be heard. They came to persuade and be persuaded.

On Thursday, a group from the Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce spent the day in Ohio’s Capitol visiting with area legislators, a representative of the governor’s office and state government officials during the chamber’s annual Legislative Day Trip.

Local government officials, leaders of area businesses and industries and students from county high schools made the trip this year to lobby officials for state projects and programs that are important to Lawrence County. At the same time, state officials learned what’s important to members of the chamber by responding to questions and concerns.

Time and again, state officials lauded Chamber president Pat Clonch and chamber officials for organizing the legislative trip each year. The state officials stressed the importance of maintaining contact with local business and governmental leaders. At the same time, Mrs. Clonch praised state Rep. John Carey and his staff for their help in organizing the meetings.

The legislative trip did not result in decisions on Thursday. That’s not what the day is about.

It was a day, however, for state officials to provide information about state plans that affect the county. And it fulfilled its purpose of building long-term relationships between local people and officials of state government.

The trip provided an opportunity for chamber members to put a face on the bureaucrats who make the decisions that affect our local economy. And it allowed local leaders to share their ideas for improving our part of the state.

Gordon Proctor, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, seemed to say it best:

"Your legislative trip gets Lawrence County issues before us here in Columbus."

All who attended agreed that this year’s trip achieved its goals.