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County joins 2nd Amendment movement
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By Carol McIntire
Carroll County is now a 2nd Amendment Preservation County.
The action came June 1 after county commissioners received petitions May 28 containing the signatures of 789 county residents asking them to send a clear message to the Ohio Legislature that citizens are opposed to laws that infringe on their Second Amendment rights.
Dustin Lucas, spokesperson for Ohio Stands United Carroll County, the group which circulated the petitions, said legislation was recently introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives to prohibit the manufacture or possession for sale of high-capacity magazines except for authorized use by law enforcement agencies or for federal military purposes. The legislation, known as House Bill 467, defines “high-capacity magazine” as an ammunition-feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 100 rounds of ammunition. House Bill 646 is a firearm and therapy program and gives the Ohio Health Director power to create and design programs related to firearm ownership.
“These bills were introduced during time when our state is dealing with both a health and economic emergency and they were introduced under the disguise of health and safety,” Lucas noted… “We, the people of Carroll County, are asking you to stand up as our voice to state lawmakers who look to infringe on our rights afforded to us under both the Ohio and U.S. Constitution. We are not asking you to make radical changes and are not asking you to create new laws. We are asking that you stand with your constituents and we, the people, are asking that you declare Carroll County a Sanctuary County.”
The petitions state there is a growing movement across America where state governments are enacting laws limiting law-abiding citizens’ rights pertaining to the 2nd Amendment. It notes both Virginia and Arizona lawmakers passed laws to limit, not only what type of firearms can be owned, but also what ammunition can be possessed. In rebuttal, a grassroots effort of local citizens was formed in late 2019 to defend the Bill of Rights known as Ohio Stands United.
See COMMISSIONERS, A8
Commissioner President Bob Wirkner told Lucas he had a problem with the words “Sanctuary County,” as it makes it sound like the county is protecting someone who did something wrong, but he would agree to passing a resolution declaring the county a 2nd Amendment Preservation County, which they did.
Lucas noted the group began circulating the petitions in February, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This petition was purely a county-led project. It was led by county citizens with the only help from outside in the wording,” Lucas noted.
Commissioner President Bob Wirkner said the resolution passed by commissioners would be passed on the county’s representative in the Ohio Legislature.
In an unrelated matter, commissioners discussed the PY2020 Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) program with Scott Hillis of Ohio Regional Development Corporation (ORDC).
ORDC is preparing the two-year 2020 CHIP application. The proposed budget includes $120,000 for home owner repairs, $232,000 for home owner rehabilitation and $48,000 for fair housing and administration.
Hillis noted the 2018 grant included funds for tenant-based rental assistance, but the 2020 grant will not include that category because the funds have not been spent.
The Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Tuscarawas and Carroll Counties is administering the grant and, according to Hillis, “have not spent the money given to them.”
Hillis said ADAMHS officials claim landlords are making so much money off oil and gas industry rentals they are not keeping rental homes up to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards to qualify for the program. He asked commissioners to transfer the unspent funds to the home rehab program. If the funds are not spent by the end of the grant cycle, the county will be penalized in future grants.
Wirkner questioned Hillis about the number of applicants for the rental assistance and for proof that landlords are not keeping rental homes up to standards.
“My concern is we are not getting the funds to the people they were intended to help,” Wirkner said.
Carroll County is not served by a Metropolitan Housing Authority, as is designated by the state, according to Hillis. He said the ADAMHS Board agreed to administer the grant since they do the same for Tuscarawas County.
Commissioners directed Hillis to obtain additional information as to why the funds weren’t spent and tabled a decision to transfer the funds until the June 18 meeting.
In other matters, commissioners:
-REFERRED a request to withdraw a bid award to Country Carpets and Flooring of Minerva and award the bid to Crowl Furniture and Flooring of Malvern to the prosecuting attorney. Hillis said the bid submitted by Crowl Furniture went into the ‘junk mail” account of an employee’s computer and was not discovered until after the bid was awarded to Country Carpets. Since the Crowl bid was $4,000 lower and received prior to the deadline, Hillis said it the award is not rescinded and awarded to the lowest bidder, the county will be penalized.
-APPROVED a one-time payment of five percent of each employee’s salary at the Department of Job and Family Services, to be paid by the end of June. Director Kate Offenberger said employees did not receive a three percent pay increase in January. The agency is going to undergo a wage and classification study.
-APPROVED a contract grant for the Carroll County Airport Authority Board and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for phase II of the fencing project at county airport. ODOT is providing the local match for the project, which totals $446,205.