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Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:07 PM

Tom Jarrett’s (Northern Ohio Antique Mall) letter to the editor that appeared in the Jan. 23 Reflector caused me some amusement, not so much for the content of his letter as the nature of his business relationship with the Huron County commissioners.

The commissioners have an interesting spokesperson on this matter. He is their tenant.

First, Mr. Jarrett is hardly a “new” businessman in Norwalk, as he claims. His East Main Street Business will soon be entering its third year, courtesy of your county commissioners.

In case folks don’t recall, the property housing Mr. Jarrett’s business (22 East Main Street) is actually owned by the Huron County commissioners, who purchased the property at sheriff’s sale in November, 2004, and have leased it to Mr. Jarrett since March, 2005, at extremely favorable, below-market rent.

Of course, Mr. Jarrett would support the commissioners on this issue.

Mr. Jarrett states in his letter that, “The county commissioners were elected to do what is best for our county citizens.” Was it in the citizens’ best interest to purchase the property that Mr. Jarrett now rents when, at the time, they were quoted as saying that they didn’t know what they were going to do with it? And, is it in the best interests of the citizens that Mr. Jarrett is leasing the county-owned property for below-market rent?

Mr. Jarrett argues that the hike in the conveyance fee would not be a tax on everyone, but would only be charged on real estate transfers. The economic and social health of a community depends on both the businesses and the people who reside in that community. To favor one sector at the expense of the other is unfair.

Realistically, tourism is not, and never will be, the bread and butter of Huron County. Healthy business and industry, quality jobs that pay a living wage and competitive benefits, well-maintained and occupied properties (both commercial and residential), and healthy, educated citizens are much more productive investments of county funds.

Please let you voice be heard on March 4 by voting to repeal the increased conveyance fee.

Bob Benson


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