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Roasts and Toasts

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:49 PM

Toast the Huron County Commissioners for moving forward with a $1.5 million project to replace the heating system in the courthouse and county office buildings on Main Street. The project itself is a good one, and will save the county money in the long run by increasing the energy efficiency in those buildings. The commissioners also deserve credit for not balking at the price tag, which could be as much as $2 million, after bids came in well over the county's initial estimates of $965,000. Sometimes it's cheaper to spend a little more money before a situation becomes an emergency.

Roast the fact that Ohio is ranked fourth in the number of federal complaints filed by military reservists and National Guard members who contend they illegally lost jobs, pay or benefits because they were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report. Now that the limits on the number of times a reservist or guard member could be deployed have been eliminated, businesses are placed in a tough position. However, businesses owe it to the brave men and women serving our country to follow the laws in place that protect the jobs and personal lives of those in the armed services.

Toast Gov. Ted Strickland for temporarily preventing all state agencies from spending money on meals, while his office reviews the expenses. The department of education has come under particular fire for spending hundreds, and at times thousands, of dollars per week on meals for meetings and other events. Critics of government spending have long pointed to expense accounts as wasted money in a bloated budget. Reviewing these expenditures shows Ohioans that the budget will be watched more tightly under the Strickland administration.

Roast We Care America, which has a $2 million contract with the Governor's Office on Faith-based and Community Initiatives, for allegedly spending some of the federal welfare money it received on parking in dowtown Columbus, big-screen TVs and a "glowing" report about itself. The state agency and the contractor are both under an investigation. If the allegations prove true and a newspaper audit of We Care's docouments show they are these actions are reprehensible not only as a waste of tax-payer money, but because that money was earmarked for those in society in need of help the most.

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