The trustee race in Liberty Township, Ohio, is interesting because it allows for an advanced discussion of politics that hasn’t been available to us. On the one hand, there is an incumbent who is a decent Republican, Tom Farrell. He’s offering the status quo rubber stamp on the comprehensive plan so that investors won’t have to worry about unnecessary changes in government to ruin their forecasts. I understand those problems and can see why stability there would be much desired by many people. Then there is Buck Rumpke, a hard-working guy from zoning who wants to work with Farrell to continue implementing the Liberty Township comprehensive plan essentially. I would argue that such a goal is filled with peril because those comprehensive plans are usually written by liberals hired to write them. They essentially reflect the exact phrasing of what the United Nations 2030 plans sound like and are filled with many green energy code words, which, if you peel that back, lead to global communism. Tom and Buck certainly aren’t communists, but they aren’t exactly the kind of people who are intellectually curious about significant, international matters either. They know what they know and stay in their lane, which is excellent if you want followers. But in providing leadership, not so much.
Where many communities can’t afford to debate about levels of conservative policymaking, I see in Liberty a unique situation. I like Tom, I like Buck, but in listening to them talk, I’m always looking for more from a leadership standpoint, especially after what we know now after the 2020 election year. Priorities certainly shifted, which is a point I will make for what I think is the best consideration for trustee in Liberty Township in Todd Minniear. I remember well the challenges that Senator George Lang had back when he was a trustee in West Chester when he worked to challenge the comprehensive plan there and the debates about the library that were a big deal then. George handled things well, there were times when deviating from the plan made sense, and the debates were healthy. In Liberty Township, the attitude has pretty much been, follow the plan, and that has made the politics of Liberty Township much less attractive. The problems that we are now facing are even more predictable.
For instance, Todd Minniear talks about it all the time, to encourage more growth in Liberty Township, which is landlocked for the most part, the comprehensive plan advocates for more high-density dwellings, such as apartments like the ones that were approved by zoning to go along with the new Costco development. Now for the record, I love the idea of the Costco development, and I love Liberty Center. There is a lot of good that comes from those developments. Much better than bad. But Todd is not wrong when he says that apartment dwellings are bad for Liberty Township because it cheapens everything. They don’t pay for themselves in value and what you end up with is a bunch of voters who have no real ownership in their properties making decisions for the rest of us. Apartments are a super bad idea in that context. But, apartments are part of that United Nations comprehensive plan that I mentioned, and that is the problem with following those plans without questioning the reasoning. The goal of the greenie crowd is to stack people on top of each other and make the world need less cars. So sidewalks and integrated developments are the wave of the future from the United Nations’ standpoint. Ownership of private property is something they intend to phase out. When Todd speaks out against apartment construction, it’s not because he’s anti-development. But he gets the eventual depletion in value that they create.
Also, what comes up often in such debates is what to do with the great shopping and living development of Liberty Center. It’s a struggling development that started with high hopes. I’m a huge fan of the development, and yes, they are in need of a tax bailout. I am usually a person who is against bailouts of any kind. However, much of the cause of Liberty Center’s troubles came from the government, specifically Governor Mike DeWine. When Liberty Center was built, it was already a challenge for brick and mortar stores to make investments there, given Amazon’s impact and other online stores have provided to the market. But given the wealth of Liberty Township, the risk was worth it, and it turned out to be a significant development. It still is in every respect. However, when Mike DeWine shut down the state’s economy over Covid, it directly hit every kind of brick and mortar store, and Liberty Center was struck at a critical time in its business cycle. Now, to their credit and the credit of Liberty Township shoppers, many businesses at Liberty Center have managed to stick around. The movie theater is still open. The restaurants have survived mainly. There is a lot of good to talk about. But to give an example, my wife wanted to take one of our grandchildren to the playground there the other day, and it was still closed due to liability concerns over Covid. So things have not resumed to normal even after the pandemic, which directly impacts the flow of shoppers to the complex. When you can’t just go and have fun but still must deal with Covid rules, shoppers are more inclined to stay home and shop online. Now, was that part of the United Nations comprehensive plan? Of course not. The developers of Liberty Township followed all the sustainability rules. But, the government changed the rules.
This is where a person like Todd Minniear would shine as a trustee because he is an advocate of the great book The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, which professes that leadership has an obligation to question the authority of any higher authority. An example would be the Biden executive order on vaccine mandates or Biden’s orders to shut down businesses to Covid rules. Todd, in fact, during Covid challenged the DeWine administration and won in court, so he is the only candidate who has been successful in challenging higher authorities based on Constitutional law. And when it came to helping places like Liberty Center during Covid, they sure could have used Todd Miinniear as a trustee during the Covid shutdowns because it might have helped them not take such a hit for which they now need a bailout. Looking back on how things should have been handled with Governor Mike DeWine, before the legislature eventually took away his authoritarian mandates under emergency protocols, there needed to be many more politicians like Todd Minniear in place to protect businesses and residents from unnecessary pain. Liberty Center is an obvious example, but the actual costs to Ohio are still incalculable. To get an opportunity to get a talented person like Todd onto a board of trustees is unique. It would be a shame to pass it up.
After a recent debate among the Liberty and West Chester Trustees, I listened to Ann Becker debate The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates with Todd. Ann Becker is a trustee in West Chester, and I’ve known her for a long time and respect her. She isn’t a fan of the book, so it was a great talk between her and Todd over the philosophy of a trustee’s role under such conditions. We may not have had that discussion before Covid because nobody would have ever thought a governor like DeWine would ever try to shut down an economy. But now that we’ve seen the teeth of government, especially at the state and federal level, such debates have a lot more validity. I decided Todd Minniear was the absolute best candidate for Liberty Township Trustee after listening to this friendly debate. Ann is a smart cookie, and Todd could answer all her questions quickly and effectively with the actual state revised code he had on hand. He’s such a great mind; it would be a shame not to use it fully since he’s offering it as a public servant. And I am very, very excited to vote for him for all these reasons and more. We live in a time where we need politicians to do more than just rubber stamp pre-written comprehensive plans. Sometimes we need politicians to challenge those plans, but most of all, we need leadership, even when abuses of authority come from higher offices like presidents and governors. Todd Minniear is the only candidate I know who has a proven track record of success in doing this, and for the future of Liberty Township, we will need a lot more of that than what we’ve had in the past.