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Representatives lend ears to county constituents

What's on your mind?

Representatives for Ohio's two U.S. senators, Michael DeWine and George Voinovich, were at the Briggs Lawrence County Public

Library in Ironton Friday afternoon to ask that question.

District representatives Karen Sloan and Cara Dingus, respectively, met individually with concerned citizens to hear their complaints and opinions.

Rex and Cosetta Absher, both staunch conservative Republicans from South Point, came to express their displeasure at both senators. Why?

"I don't see any conservatism with these two senators," Rex Absher said. "I don't like the way they've handled the voting on the (federal) judges and the United Nations representative (John Bolton). He is badly needed there. … They were both voted in to represent us. I feel like they're both sitting on their hands."

Ironton Mayor John Elam asked for help paying for the city's combined sewer overflow system. Mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency but at possible cost of $20 million over the next 20 years, Elam would like some federal help with that price tag.

"They were able to give me some leads on that, some contact information," he said after his meeting with Sloan and Dingus. "This was just another unfunded mandate we must deal with. I also asked for some assistance with economic development."

Ron Reed, activity director for the National Youth Sports Program,

wanted to acquaint the representatives with the benefits of NYSP and make sure money for his project continued.

Sloan and Dingus said they were pleased with the turnout.

"It shows people are active and involved," Dingus said. " …We're very much the eyes and ears for the senators. Our role is to listen and provide information."