There was a different feel at Monday’s Butler Township Trustees meeting. The tension that has been palpable the past several months had dissipated and, even though the Township Hall was nearly full, the anger was gone.
I assume that’s because those in attendance knew that the two trustees who have supported contracting police services out with the Sheriff’s Office – Nick Brusky and Joe Flanagan – were set to change their minds.
They did, and at least for the foreseeable future, the Butler Township Police Department will remain intact and the search for a police chief will begin.
That’s good news and should go a long way toward easing the tensions of the past few months.
However, what the past six months has shown is that residents shouldn’t relax – they should remain vigilant about what their trustees are doing.
The only other major decision that appears to be looming is a vote to place Limited Home Rule on the ballot again, and that should have a 2-1 majority with Brusky and Trustee Mike Lang voting in the affirmative.
But make no mistake – Brusky and Flanagan didn’t change their minds from altruistic motives. They rescinded their previous decision to disband the police department after being painted into a corner by that pesky thing called the law and the Ohio Constitution.
In a span of six months they have forced the Administrator to resign at a cost of over $100,000, essentially forced the police chief to quit, and, worse, have had the police department in a state of instability for the past two months – all while not doing their own due diligence prior to taking a premature vote.
Their immature name calling on the dais, rudeness toward residents, their reckless disregard for the desires of their constituents, and their willingness to sneak items on the agenda with no notice has been unconscionable and, as a result, deserves great scrutiny going forward.
I take the media’s role of watchdog over politicians and government very seriously, and won’t back off. I’ll be watching closely, and Butler Township residents should too.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.