Saturday, February 22, 2003

Group opposing new development


Suburban Insider

Compiled by Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Imagine being compared to Imperialist Britain, Communist Russia and that wily Greek Odysseus, who tricked the Trojans by sending a wooden horse into their quarters.

But those are exactly the kind of comparisons that Loveland administrators are fending off from Voice of the Electorate (VOTE), a group of residents opposed to the city's handling of the historic White Pillars property.

Now in the hands of developers, the land will become single-family homes, town houses and a commercial development.

The opposition - most upset about the project's commercial aspect - contends that the dealings have been underhanded since the start and that council members are making decisions without registering VOTE's concerns and opinions. Members have taken their case to court, but still their criticism flies.

"They don't respond to the public. (And they have) made every piece of property vulnerable to development. That is kind of imperial," said Carolyn Rutter, a group member and Miami Township resident.

With an imperialist's nonchalance, Assistant City Manager Tom Carroll casts off the connotations, saying the city is more about democracy. While the opposition claims to have 50 members, it's a mere handful that make their opinions known at council sessions.

"We've been an open book on this," he said. "The fact that we haven't agreed with them doesn't mean that we haven't listened. There's one thing that's clear. The Rutter household is 100 percent against this project."

Susan Vela

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Crossing over: Butler County politicos are in an uproar over the vice president of the county's Young Republicans Club jumping ship to the Democrat camp.

Attorney Rusty Thomas is now the political director of the county's Democratic Party - usually a job rewarded to a longtime, loyal party member, not someone seen hanging signs for Republican candidates as recently as last fall.

Thomas said he resigned from the club in October in a letter he faxed to party headquarters and hasn't hid not being a Republican since.

"I felt like the Republican Party was no longer involved with the best interests in the county, that they were more concerned with themselves," he said. "I did what I thought was right."

However, GOP officials say they never received the letter and are shocked Thomas was given such a leadership position this soon in the Democratic Party.

So how did they learn about his new party affiliation?

They read about it in a recent guest newspaper column written by Butler County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Gattermeyer.

And now tongues are wagging that perhaps Thomas was a spy for the Democrats all along - a notion he laughs at as ridiculous.

But county GOP types are not amused.

"We're not sure what to think," said Joe Statzer, executive director of the Butler County Republican Party. "You should let the current party know before you take a job with the other side. Are there some suspicious circumstances? Yes, and I'll let it go at that."

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Spouse spy: Quietly sitting in the back of Liberty Township Hall Tuesday during the trustee meeting was Andy Kilpatrick, husband of Administrator Nell Kilpatrick.

Andy Kilpatrick took notes, and then left without speaking when the meeting ended.

His wife, Liberty's administrator since 1998, has been on sick leave since Feb. 4 amid uncertainties about her performance and employment.

Two trustees want Nell Kilpatrick out because they are upset with her management and conduct, according to township records and Trustee Bob Shelley, who supports her.

Before Tuesday's meeting, trustees met behind closed doors again with their attorney to discuss her status. They emerged, however, without a resolution to the matter.

But one is expected shortly, acting township administrator and Trustee President Christine Matacic said.

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In the doghouse: West Chester Township Administrator Dave Gully has a new dog.

The canine, Sandy, comes on the heels of Gully's first dog, Gingerbread Man, who got the boot after recently biting him - twice.

"The dog apparently knew something the trustees didn't," Gully cracked.

He got both dogs from PAWS, a Trenton pet shelter

"I took him back and said, `You can have him,' " Gully said. "I was good to that dog and he bit me anyway."

So far, Sandy is staying out of the doghouse.

"She likes to eat everything - except me," he deadpanned.

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Women grow: The Warren County Republican Women's Club has seen its membership balloon tremendously in the last year and now tallies 97 women and 31 men.

The organization also has won statewide leadership awards for its efforts - but it's still not content.

To further bolster its ranks, the club will host a special membership reception Monday from 5-7 p.m. at the TPC Club House at Riversbend Golf Course in Maineville.

Beverages and hors d'oeuvres will be served. A cash bar will be provided.

For details, call 932-2946 or 494-1962.

Send political tips and news to Jennifer Edwards at jedwards@enquirer.com or fax to (513) 755-4150 or call (513) 755-4147.




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