Gov. should make stops

Published 10:22 am Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will be making a visit to Lawrence County and southern Ohio today, but we urge the governor to find time for a few stops that might not be on his itinerary.

Strickland will be at South Point High School to observe the progress the district has made under the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program. The governor is also expected to meet with other county school officials today.

Well, we hope the governor finds time for a more stops so he can fully see the successes the county has made and also to remind the governor of the areas that need some assistance from Columbus.

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Admittedly, Strickland has always had a presence in Lawrence County. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need a tour.

First stop should be to take the governor for a drive across the Ironton-Russell Bridge, maybe stopping for a minute so the Democrat can get out and really inspect the aged span that needs replaced.

Who knows? Maybe that project will get bumped up the list a few years.

Second, the governor should drive through downtown Ironton, a journey that showcases the best — restored buildings like Melini’s and Austyn’s at the Depot that are now contributing to the community — and the worst — all the empty store fronts and decaying infrastructure.

This may shine a different light on some of the cuts to local government.

After a quick stop by the Ironton industrial park to see how the city could use some state funds to build a spec building to attract clients, then the governor should take a ride up State Route 7 to Proctorville. If he can do that around noon or at the 5 p.m. rush hour, would be great.

After 30 years of dreams and lots of broken promises by state leaders, the eastern Lawrence County residents at least deserve to know the governor saw exactly how ridiculous it is that this project has been stopped midstream.

We also hope the governor looks at the successes of the new school projects, The Point industrial park and a new hotel in Sybene, to name a few.

And while on the way back to the statehouse, he should stop and see exactly what the citizens in Green School district are facing.

Gov. Strickland would return to Columbus with a newfound understanding of exactly what is needed in Lawrence County.