Independent candidates unhappy with invites

Published 10:46 am Friday, October 28, 2016

Independent candidates Katrina Hunt, who is running for Lawrence County treasurer, and Jon Ater, who is running for Lawrence County commissioner, felt they were not given proper invitations to the political forum at Ohio University Southern on Tuesday.

The political forum was hosted by the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, where candidates running for two commission seats, as well as other county positions, were able to give their message one last push for voters before Election Day on Nov. 8.

Hunt and Ater were not present at the forum, and Hunt said the reason was that they were not invited. However, Dr. Bill Dingus, of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, said that everyone was notified the same way, through a Facebook message.

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“Everyone was invited the same way,” Dingus said. “They were all notified on Facebook when and where the forum was. We messaged Katrina twice on Facebook about it, and I personally tried to call Jon Ater myself.”

Hunt said she didn’t see her Facebook messages about the forum, but was expecting a call, which she said some of the other candidates received in addition to the Facebook messages.

“The chamber told me that they had left voicemails and emails as well, but I had no voicemails or emails. My number is at the board of elections, so they could have easily found it to call me,” she said. “Dr. Dingus also told me that he couldn’t get a hold of Jon.”

Hunt added that not attending the forum greatly hurt her and Ater’s chances.

“This was the last chance to get our stances on the issues out there and what we’re hoping to do for Lawrence County,” she said. “This could cost us the election.”

At Thursday’s Lawrence County commission meeting, also regarding the political forum Tuesday night, resident Bonnie Holmes questioned the chamber’s practice of collecting notecards with written questions from the residents, but not having the moderator read them. She said she hoped that would improve in the future.

Also at commission, the commissioners:

• Approved and signed the weekly invoices and certificates as presented by the auditor’s office.

• Approved two floodplains.

• Approved 18 transfer funds.

• Approved two appropriate funds.

• Approved and signed the renewal contract between Lawrence County and Rumpke for services at 115 S. Fifth St. in the amount of $311.76.

• Approved the request of the board of DD to procure a bank credit card for business purchases only as requested by Paul Mollett, superintendent.

• Authorized the county administrator to sign the consent to representation and waiver of potential conflict between Lawrence County and Dinsmore for the future general obligation bond for Upper Township through the county treasurer Neighborhood Investment Program.

• Approved and signed the letter of support for Agency on Aging District 7, Inc., application for a Housing Assistance Program Grant funded through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund dollars.

• Hired Bevala Manning as part-time paramedic effective Oct. 23, 2016, as requested by Buddy Fry, executive director of EMS.