READERS FORUM

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.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

 

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

Norwalk

Comments

What's the prob...

Would you rather the building sit empty, like it was for a number of years. No one wanted to buy it (it was offered in two sheriff's sales), and no one could afford to lease it at "market rent" (whatever the heck that is). So now it's a well run, good looking addition to a downtown that needs all the help it can get. You complain, Mr. Benson, but offer no thoughts on something better.

JEF (Anonymous)

How can placing a 50% increase in the real estate conveyance fee and thereby further decreasing the value of homes in a county with an already depressed real estate market possibly aid in the area's economic development?

The Bible states: 'By their fruits ye shall know them.' How has the Huron County Commission (HCC)performed in the past to garner the voters' support in this economic development campaign?

In Dec. 2007, according to The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Huron Co. had a 9.3% unemployment rate. This is the fourth highest among the state's 88 counties.

Obviously, the HCC's past performance in job creation has been inadequate. What has changed to make the voters believe that it won't be more of the same irregardless of throwing more hard working Huron Co. family tax dollars at the problem?

Clearly, Huron Co. needs jobs.

However, the HCC needs to reassess the situation and develop a new and better economic development proposal that spreads the burden among all citizens of Huron Co. such as utilizing gasoline taxes or sales taxes and not place it squarely on the shoulders of home owners.

Decreasing the value of a major asset of Huron Co. citizens by government fiat is untimely and it's unfair.

What's the prob...

I don't think it's up to the HCC's, as you put it JEF, or the government to create jobs. That has to come from the provate sector. But government can try to assist with some oportunities for business to exist. So would you rather have any enpty store front or another office or storage area, or a viable business. In that case, I go for the business every time.