By Amanda Amsel
Things got heated at a recent Franklin Township trustees meeting after one trustee accused the other trustees of editing a newsletter.
Tim Guyton accused Don Cook and John Fleshman of removing information Guyton wanted to include in a township newsletter.
“These trustees purposely came in right before the newsletter went to print and removed information I included in it,” Guyton alleged. “The more knowledge the residents have, the better informed they are, but these trustees are not letting the taxpayers have all the information.”
Both Cook and Fleshman acknowledged that they asked that some of Guyton’s suggestions be removed from the newsletter, however they deny they are limiting the information they give to township residents.
According to Guyton, the information that was removed from the newsletter was related to financial issues that are plaguing the township’s police department. Guyton said he provided the township with several suggestions related to what they could do about funding the police department. Guyton alleged that Cook and Fleshman removed several of his suggestions.
The suggestions that were reportedly removed included disbanding the department and not contracting with anyone for police service and putting a levy on the ballot that would change the ballot language so the township could contract out the police coverage. Guyton said the other trustees added an option to ask voters for another permanent levy, something both Cook and Fleshman have said they support, but Guyton has said he does not.
“I don’t feel as though I am misinforming the public or not giving them all the information because the two things that were removed are not options as far as I see,” Fleshman said. “I am only one person, but I do not support getting rid of our police department or contracting it out with the sheriff’s office.”
Cook echoed this sentiment, saying he saw no purpose in presenting these options to the public when two of the three trustees would not support it.
“As a trustee of Franklin Township, I struck these two options down because I would not even consider them,” Cook said. “The people of this township want a local police department, the options that were removed would be the exact opposite of this.”
However, some township residents disagreed with Cook and Fleshman’s decision to remove Guyton’s language from the newsletter, saying they have a right to hear all options.
“Whatever way you say it, we have a financial obligation to the people of this township to give them all the options and let them make the decision,” Guyton said.
To read the Franklin Township Newsletter, visit www.franklin-township.com.