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Smith attacks Hintz's veteran status; commissioner responds

By IVY KELLER • Updated Oct 27, 2016 at 12:18 AM

When the Huron County board of commissioners met for its regular session this week, Howard Smith was waiting in the wings.

As promised last week, Smith, a county commissioner candidate, brought some papers for current commissioner Joe Hintz to look over regarding the definition of a veteran.

“We had a talk about it the other day,” Smith said.

“That is what you said,” Hintz stated, saying Smith’s definition of a veteran was serving at least six years. 

“No, it’s not,” Smith said. “To be a veteran, you had to serve under Title 10.”

Hintz requested he explain, saying, “I had an honorable discharge, I did serve. ... I really don’t understand why you’re going for this angle.”

“To state that I’m not a veteran is inaccurate. You’re wrong,” said Hintz, adding that it was insulting to him and others who had served under similar conditions.

“You’re not eligible for veteran benefits,” Smith returned.

“That’s not true,” Hintz said. “I can get a V.A. loan.”

Hintz then produced the definition of a veteran he had, which was any member of the armed services who had served for any amount of time and been honorably discharged.

“You’re misunderstanding armed services then,” Smith said.

At that point, commissioner Bauer stepped in.

“I don’t see the need for further discussion,” he said.

“He brought it up, and I’m going to defend myself,” Hintz replied, before both men dropped the matter for the time being.

The qualifications for who is considered a veteran are a lengthy read, and can be confusing. 

According to Cornell University Law School, “The term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.”

Furthermore, “The term “Armed Forces” means the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, including the reserve components thereof.”

Active duty refers to either full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other than for training, or other qualifying full-time duty or authorized travel to or from such duty or service.

More information may be found in the Ohio Revised Code, section 5901.

During the meeting, the commissioners also passed several resolutions to begin the meeting. This included approving an agreement with Christie Lane Industry.

“I just hope the people of the county are well taken care of,” Bauer said.

He praised the articles submitted by Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities representative Barbara Wrabel, promoting developmental disability awareness.

“It didn’t have a byline, but it was well-done,” Bauer said, advising people to read it.

The commissioners also approved a contract through Superior Dental Care, Inc.

“It’s an employee full pay program,” said Warren Brown of county human resources. 

Not for the first time this month, the board welcomed representatives of Greenwich Township and village to discuss the state of Kniffin Street. 

“(It’s a) very poor job,” said Greenwich Township trustee Mike Robinson. “You can see how honeycombed it is.”

Robinson, along with the other two township trustees present, requested the parties reach an agreement with a double chip and seal of the road.

“We spent our money to have someone core the road,” Robinson said.

According to the trustees, it would cost about $10,000 to do the chip and seal. Whatever the repairs, this is something the commissioners have repeatedly referred to as a “$2 fix to a $20,000 problem.”

The commissioners’ legal liaison Marques Bennet is currently in contact with Precision Paving’s legal counsel. The attorney advised for the county engineer to walk the road with Prevision Paving and agree upon spots to treat, then parties would split the cost of chip and seal, which would cost about $6,000.

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