As readers of the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) know, The Report, during his campaign against Democrat Celeste DeHoff (Tuscarawas Township trustee), was skeptical of Todd Snitchler's ability to represent everyday citizen interests given his historical connection with chambers of commerce from the state level to the local level.
Despite The Report's critical look at his candidacy, Snitchler (pre and post election) has always been cordial and responsive in personal encounters. Snitchler is beginning to remind me of Kirk Schuring (whom The Report tabs as the most mature of all Stark County's legislators).
Oelslager will get ugly with you, if you get critical. Otherwise, you wouldn't find a nicer guy in Stark County politics.
John Hagan, well, John has no business being a public official at any level. When he was state representative (and thank God he got term-limited out and lost to Dr. Pete Ferguson in the recently concluded county commissioner race), Hagan was notorious for not getting back to constituents. Criticize him? He wouldn't even say hello.
Getting back to Snitchler.
Snitchler seems to be really into doing his job as a state representative. A number of Stark Countians, including The Report, are unhappy about a provision in SB 221. This bill is the legislation which set up procedures for Ohio's public utilities to adhere to in seeking rate increases.
Because of Jon Husted (the Ohio Speaker of the House) insisted (and some say that current minority-leader Billy Batchelder concurred and was really the force-majeure), that a provision be inserted in SB 221 which gives electric utilities the right to veto any rate increase modified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).
A leading Stark Countian in the quest to get the veto provision taken out is Trustee Louis Giavasis (Plain Townshi0).
State Rep. Mark Okey (D-61st) has shown some interest and now The Report learns so is Snitcher (R-50th).
Here is the text of an e-mail sent by Snitchler to Trustee Giavasis that has been released to The Report (by Giavasis), to wit:
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2009 09:22:06 -0500
To: firstname.lastname@example.orgMr. Giavasis,
Thank you for your e’mail on the issues surrounding S.B. 221 and its implementation. I was not a member of the legislature when S.B. 3 or S.B. 221 were passed, but as a consumer have followed these issues with some interest.
As you may know, I filed a letter of opposition to the AEP-Ohio Power rate increase proposal with the PUCO. As I stated in my letter, at a time when Ohio is struggling economically, a rate request seeking at 15% increase for three consecutive years is not good corporate citizenship. I can certainly understand that the cost of doing business has increased for AEP, but I have not seen anything to suggest that the 52% increase is warranted.
I have spoken with some of the other members of the Stark County caucus (and hope to catch up with the others soon), as well as other legislators on the recently announced Public Utility Committee, in an effort to understanding of both the intent of the bill when it was considered and what actions may be taken to respond to this specific issue.
I welcome your input and look forward to talking with you. Thank you for your proactive stance on the issues affecting Stark County citizens.
State Representative – 50th District
The Report does not know if Snitchler's reference to "other members of the Stark County caucus" was intentional or not. But as readers know, that the state senators and state representative who have a representational duty to Stark County think of themselves as a caucus who come together a develop a common agenda (irrespective of party affiliation), has been a prime project of The Report.
In any event, The Report compliments Representative Snitchler for getting started on the right foot as a legislator.
The Report is beginning to believe that Snitchler was be a bold representative who will aggressively look out for the interests of 50th District constituents, Stark Countians and, indeed, all Ohioans.