SHAME ON THE JACKSON TRUSTEES!
SOWING THE SEEDS OF GOV'T CYNICISM
AMONG STARK COUNTY'S
21ST CENTURY GENERATION
SOWING THE SEEDS OF GOV'T CYNICISM
AMONG STARK COUNTY'S
21ST CENTURY GENERATION
While some Stark County High School students are problems to their respective government authorities, there is a group of them at Jackson Township who want to be doing something positive and constructive for their community.
However, the plan may go up in smoke because of the opposition of Jackson's trustees.
(Gonzalez is the Township's Fiscal Officer)
Well, that's what Jackson High student Jared McCully (Senior Director of Jackson High School's Government Club) thinks.
As so many Stark Countian civic activists are wont to do when they want the full story out before the people, McCully sent The Stark County Political Report an e-mail on January 29 to wit:
I am a 17 year old student from Jackson High School and I recently just fell upon the Stark County Political Report.
I'd like to thank you for your efforts of keeping Stark County politics and government open to the public.
I head an organization at Jackson, called government club where we seem to share the same values as your website, with spreading civic awareness and patriotism.
We recently proposed a Veterans Memorial in the township and met some opposition from the trustees. I'm sure the records and meeting minutes are available if you'd like to view them.
Anyways, I noticed that public officials don't like answering questions, especially if it's questioning some of their decisions.
I read up with some of your posts regarding Jackson Twp trustees having that issue, am I understand the growing concern among you and your readers.
I understand some of the frustration and concerns some may have with Township Government, although I'm merely a 17 year old student. With this growing knowledge I appreciate individuals like you, who help keep some officials in check.
Jackson High School Government Club (large text added for emphasis sake)
It is interesting that at the very same meeting, "adult" representatives of the Jackson Historical Society appeared and asked that the trustees pass a resolution, to wit: (from the January 13th minutes)
Lyon [the township's administrator] told the Board that several members of the Historical Society were present and asked the Board to pass a proclamation for the Jackson Township Bicentennial.
Walters moved and Hawke seconded a motion whereas, we honor the 200th Anniversary of the founding of Jackson Township, Stark County, Ohio. As we celebrate this significant milestone in the Township’s history, we reflect upon our history and acknowledge the contributions of past and present members of the Jackson Township community;
And here is the text of the resolution passed:
Whereas, on April 1, 1815, the Board of Trustees convened the first meeting of the newly formed Township 11 in Range 9; and
Whereas, the Township was named after General Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans of the War of 1812 and later the seventh president of the United States: and
Whereas, for 200 years, members of this community have strived to make Jackson Township a desirable place to live, and we recognize the important role they all have played in establishing pride in their community; and
Whereas, we honor all those who have come before us, and in special dedication to honor the memory of one of our most outstanding citizens, William “Bill” Burger, Sr., a Jackson Township firefighter and Assistant Fire chief, Ohio National Guardsman, Township Trustee, founder of the Jackson Historical Society, member of the Jackson Lion’s Club, and volunteer, who exemplified the best of Jackson Township’s citizens by dedicating himself to the preservation and betterment of the Jackson Community.
Now therefore be it resolved that we, the Jackson Township Board of Trustees, Stark County, Ohio, hereby proudly proclaim this the JACKSON TOWNSHIP BICENTENNIAL YEAR beginning this day through the last day of December, 2015.
Throughout 2015, a number of events are planned to commemorate Jackson Township's founding.
At the January 13 trustees meeting, the group headed by McCully outlined an initiative designed to demonstrate Jackson teenagers being "ready, willing and able" to:
- heighten Jackson "civic awareness,"
- in proposing that a multi-faceted Veterans Memorial be constructed on Township Hall grounds,
- at the cost of about $40,000
- to be raised by the students, who acting under the guidance Jackson teacher adviser Daniel Taray (a social studies teacher at Jackson), have set up a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity for Jacksonians to contribute a tax-deductible donations to.
The Plan is to have the memorial ready for Memorial Day, 2015, which happens to be in Jackson the 200th anniversary of the founding of the township which of course is named after America's 7th president.
The naming of Jackson (at the 1815 founding of the township, a mere 12 years  of Ohio becoming the 15th state in the Union) after Jackson obviously occurred before he became president.
Here is an excerpt from the January 13th meeting minutes showing a much lower level reaction by the trustees to the Jackson Government Club initiative:
Jared McCully, 8166 Portage Street N. W., representing the Jackson High School Government Club, which is a student led organization whose mission is to raise civic awareness and patriotism throughout the entire Jackson Township community, presented to the Board a project to commemorate and honor Jackson Township’s namesake, General Andrew Jackson, and other Veterans and Safety Service workers. He said they are requesting the memorial be at the corner of Fulton and Wales in front of the Safety Center.
Walters thanked Jared for his excellent presentation, the work he has done and bringing it before the Board.
The SCPR has asked the trustees why McCully thinks that the trustees oppose the Government Club plan.
The Report has no response as of the publication of this blog but, of course, if any of them respond, the SCPR will be quick to update.
McCully's read that "there is some opposition from the trustees" came not from the January 13th meeting but from the trustees January 27th meeting the minutes to which are not yet published for public access because the trustees have not met since the 27th to go through the approval process.
When they do become available, the SCPR will either write a supplemental blog or update this blog.
Jackson High's Government Club has published a three panel brochure for informational and fundraising purposes.
McCully provided a copy to the SCPR.
Here are a number of extracts from the brochure:
It is most unfortunate that Mr. McCully at age 17 already has had an experience of jaded local government leaders who demonstrate reactiveness rather than being proactive.
McCully is correct.
The SCPR exists because of the essentially negative attitudes of the likes of the Jackson Township trustees and because Stark County's only countywide newspaper does not effectively deal with negativity disconnectedness of all too many Stark County local government officials.
The Report applauds McCully and the Jackson High School Government Club for coming up with its plan and thinks the Jackson Trustees need to reflect on the message they are perceived to have sent to some Stark County's finest students.
Shame on the Jackson Township trustees!
Undoubtedly, with the publication of this blog, trustees will have their excuses (e.g. "we were misunderstood" and the like) for having caused McCully et al to already (not yet of adult age) be seeing them in a negative light.
As the SCPR repeatedly says, it is the likes of the Jackson trustees that are the source of their own problems in citizens being skeptical of if not cynical of the good will of government.
Over time, folks become so disenchanted with government that they increasingly refuse to participate at the most basic level of registering to vote and to actually vote.
In the primary election of 2014, Ward 4B in Canton voted at 2.03%.
And Jackson's voting percentage was nothing to brag about.
Again, the SCPR says, shame on the Jackson trustees for administering a lesson to the the township's youth which might over time get them to adopt the cynicism of their elders on the process of local government.