Friday, October 7, 2011


Former state Rep. Todd Snitchler (R - Lake), John Hagan (R - Marlboro) and current representatives Kirk Schuring (R - Jackson), Stephen Slesnick (D - Canton) and state Sen. Scott Oelslager should never ever talk about the virtues of local government/local control in Stark County.

And if they have the brass to do so, they should be called out on it by whomever hears it.

For in various combinations of votes on Senate Bill 165 (2004) and House Bill 278 (2009/2010), they helped gut the ability of Ohio local governments to control what the oil and gas industry does in terms of drilling for natural gas by a process call hydraulic fracking.

A very well written letter on the topic was printed in the Akron Beacon Journal recently.  The writer, Dan Lincoln of the Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project (NEOGAP), submitted the letter to the SCPR for an encore publication.

With John Hagan, Schuring, Oelslager and Slesnick voting to strip Stark County's townships, villages and cities of their ability to fully protect "the health, welfare and safety of their residents, it is hard to see how how they can look the residents of Marlboro (Hagan), Canton (Slesnick), Jackson (Oelslager and Schuring) and, indeed, all of Stark County (Oelslager and Schuring) in the eye when they appear in public.

Undoubtedly, they say to their constituents that they are working hard as legislators.

But the SCPR adopts the words of one Michael Mouse (a community activist and council-at-large candidate in Canal Fulton), " I know know you are working hard, but who are you working hard for?"

In the case of HB 278 (2004) and SB 165 (2010), it is obvious that Messers Hagan, Oelslager, Slesnick and Schuring worked hard for the oil and gas industry interests; not for the authority of local government to fend for the health, welfare and safety interests of Stark Countians.

Here are their votes.

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