Geauga and Portage Counties must be allowed to control their own future. In recent years we havesuffered the consequences of decisions made in Columbus "for our own good" which have led to disasters in locally. The regulation of gas wells and septic systems are two glaring examples of the failures of big government. The State legislature decided in 2004 that it knew better than local cities and townships and turned over all regulation of gas well drilling to the Ohio EPA. House Bill 278 effectively stripped local authorities of any power over drilling by overruling local zoning laws. The Ohio EPA had neither the manpower nor the knowledge to take on this task and the result has been catastrophic. Wells are now drilled in residential areas as close as 100 feet to homes and water supplies. In Bainbridge a home was blown off its foundation in December of 2007 when gas escaped from a nearby drilling operation. The drilling industry continues to exert political influence in Columbus to the avoid stricter rules on drilling. The only long term answer is to return control over drilling to the local cities and townships who know what is best for their communities! We must insist that Columbus back off and give local authorities the power to protect their citizens!
In January of 2007 the legislature passed House Bill 231. The bill stripped authority from the local Health Departments and gave Columbus bureaucrats the sole power to regulate our septic systems. Predictably the new rules were unnecessary and expensive to implement. A typical homeowner could be forced to pay as much as $30,000.00 to comply with the new rules. A moratorium on enforcing the new requirements was put in place and has now been extended through 2011. I will be strong voice in Columbus to make certain that we return regulation of septic systems to our local health departments. Homeowners cannot afford the thousands of dollars it might cost to comply with these new sptic regulations and they must never be allowed to take effect!
The simple fact is that in most cases local authorities better understand local problems and are in a better position to deal with them. Residents of Geauga and Portage County should not be at the mercy of unelected ureaucrats in Columbus when it comes to regulating activities literally in our own back yards! If elected, I will be guided by my experience as a Township Trustee and my small government philosophy to protect Geauga and Portage County from abuses by Columbus.