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by Happy HarperValley Rez

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For those who voted NO
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 Are We Done with the SunCoke Lawsuit? NO
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John Beagle
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  09:42:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit John Beagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

Three days ago I asked Monroe Council, Monroe City Manager and the Monroe Legal Council these questions:

Are there any additional costs not mentioned in the article?
Will there be any future payments to Mr. Walker and his firm?
Are we done with the lawsuit?

Only one council member answered. Thank you Steve.

Don't we have a right to know if we still have an ongoing legal dispute with SunCoke?

No, according to Council, we don't have a right to that information.

I disagree. We do have a right to know. Not sure what my next step should be. There are many options thanks to Ohio Sunshine Laws.

How do you feel about this information being withheld? Am I right to ask or am I just being out of line here?

"I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody" #BillCosby

MFD50
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  09:55:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

I personally think we do have a right to know what the expenditures might be. If they are using our money then we have a right to know. I can understand there have to be some things kept close to the chest in litigation and that is proper not to let the other side know your next step. But I totally agree with you John. But I don't know what the next step is either.
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Happy HarperValley Rez
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  10:08:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

You know my thoughts on this (and many other extravagant expenses-JMO). I respect you for asking that question. I am not surprised by the lack of responses. If Govts were run the way they were originally designed to be run (of the people by/for the people)- disclosure would be a no brainer. This mentality has been lost for some time at all levels. But my question is - how do we change the tide?
I think it starts like everything else - small. At the local level. Those that honor this philosophy will improve their communities and be elevated for such service up through the state Govt offices and finally arrive at the top (depending on personal drive-JMO).
But it takes citizens like YOU, John. Who are not so frustrated that you throw up your hands and just "accept" it is what it is.
In my current frustration, I am trying to re-group my thoughts about what the choices are to "change" things in this community and where to start. Thank You for going to Council and asking the difficult questions. Hopefully, the community is paying attention to who is open to sharing info or at least looking in to it - and who is happy to keep treating people like Shrooms....just sayin...
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Doc
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  10:38:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

As nice as the kudos were, John - I must clarify that I unfortunately did not, and can not, answer your specific questions. What I did do was respond to a statement that you made about council becoming virtually invisible to the community. I can share that response here if you would like.

The reason I, nor anyone else involved, can answer your questions is that we are legally obligated not to.

That being said - I did, very recently, have a conversation asking for an update on all of this and I was informed that council would be presented with additional information regarding any potential paths forward soon.
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cmsquare
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  10:54:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

It's comical to me how so many grown, seemingly intelligent people can't wrap their brains around the way a court case works.

It's like they WANT the town to fail and have money wasted just so they can say I told you so.

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John Beagle
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  11:01:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit John Beagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

Looks like you just did answer the question. If the lawsuit was done, then you would not still be working on the next step.

Why can't council say that? Its a simple question. The answer is NO.

Jez it takes an act of congress to get a simple answer. As for my other questions, I can only speculate. Others will too, I suppose.

I think it is disrespectful of the others to NOT respond to a taxpayer question. How can I possibly support re-elections with this kind of response from those who are elected to serve the people?

Perhaps I don't deserve respect for asking so many 'difficult' questions.

quote:
[i]Originally posted by Doc[/i]
[br]As nice as the kudos were, John - I must clarify that I unfortunately did not, and can not, answer your specific questions. What I did do was respond to a statement that you made about council becoming virtually invisible to the community. I can share that response here if you would like.

The reason I, nor anyone else involved, can answer your questions is that we are legally obligated not to.

That being said - I did, very recently, have a conversation asking for an update on all of this and I was informed that council would be presented with additional information regarding any potential paths forward soon.


"I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody" #BillCosby
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Doc
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  11:18:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

quote:
[i]Originally posted by John Beagle[/i]
[br]Looks like you just did answer the question. If the lawsuit was done, then you would not still be working on the next step.
This was the very same thing your responded to me in an email with and my statement of "Don't read too much into that" still holds true. I am not making a statement one way or the other. My statement of "any potential path forward" does NOT imply anything other than just that.
quote:
I think it is disrespectful of the others to NOT respond to a taxpayer question. I can I possibly support re-elections with this kind of response from those who are elected to serve the people?
I, in practice, wholeheartedly agree with what you're saying here but there ARE times when extenuating circumstances preclude people from being able to respond to a question that could jeopardize the greater good of those that we serve. I know you understand this.

quote:
Perhaps I don't deserve respect for asking so many 'difficult' questions.
I have no idea how you'd reach the conclusion that not answering a series of specific questions should constitute disrespect. Actually, by responding to this topic at all, I'm sticking my neck out simply out of respect.
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John Beagle
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  11:40:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit John Beagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

If there is potential, then there is potential to continue this lawsuit. Nothing was read into this. The lawsuit is not DONE if you are still looking into potentials.

As for answering questions, this council has been especially non-responsive. Some questions, OK, I understand why there would be reluctance. But proper etiquette would dictate some sort of response. Something like this would be totally acceptable.

-------------
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately at this time, I don't have proper information or authority to answer. Just as soon as this information becomes public, I would be happy to pass it on.

Sincerely,

Joe Smith
Monroe Council Member
----------------------

I get responses to my email every-time from senators and representatives, but locally, the response is rare. As you go up the political spectrum, you learn to respect your constituencies. If your response gets you into trouble Doc, then I think we may have the wrong people doing the scolding.

Here is a sample response from Senator Grendell's office about SB5. Note the attempt to help me with a suggestion:

Thank you for contacting Senator Grendell regarding SB 5.

First of all, Senator Grendell does not support the bill in this form.
He does not support the total elimination of binding arbitration.
Senator Grendell is looking at other options and researching alternatives employed by other states. The state of New Jersey has imposed an economic based cap on binding arbitration and Senator Grendell is exploring this possibility as well as other alternatives.
Again, Senator Grendell does not support SB 5 in this form and he suggests that you contact Senator Jones (email: SD07@senate.state.oh.us) the sponsor of the bill and make her aware of your thoughts regarding the bill.

Thank you for contacting Senator Grendell and please don't hesitate to contact the office if we can be of any assistance to you in the future.
----------------------------

Proper decorum says, answer your email, letters, phone calls and faxes in kind. Come on council, its not hard to do the right thing.


"I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody" #BillCosby
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buckeyenut
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  12:55:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

I have to agree with John. A simple "Thank you for contacting me (or Monroe City Council) but unfortunately, I can not answer your questions at this time. When information is available, I will be happy to forward it to you."

I think Tracy mentioned a long time ago about having council emails set up to send an automatic response because we are never sure if Council gets the messages, since rarely does anyone respond. Every email from a public official should be acknowledged. I normally get a response from Angela, Kristina, Kevin or Gina within the hour - which is above and beyond my expectations.
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bobpreston
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  1:17:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

quote:
[i]Originally posted by Happy HarperValley Rez[/i]
[br] But my question is - how do we change the tide?




Stop voting yes on tax increases. The city and school boards lie, and keep secrets and then as soon as they mishandled your money and it's all gone your at the ballot box giving them more. Just say NO.
Then either they will have to start listening or let the state do their job. Obviously they aint doing such a great job!
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TheDude
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  2:36:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

quote:
[i]Originally posted by bobpreston[/i]
[br]
quote:
[i]Originally posted by Happy HarperValley Rez[/i]
[br] But my question is - how do we change the tide?




Stop voting yes on tax increases. The city and school boards lie, and keep secrets and then as soon as they mishandled your money and it's all gone your at the ballot box giving them more. Just say NO.
Then either they will have to start listening or let the state do their job. Obviously they aint doing such a great job!



If you can do a better job, I suggest you run in the upcoming election. What excuse do you want to provide for not running? I'm genuinely interested. You complain and are adamant that the city and schools are stealing tax money, yet you offer no solutions. Please - enlighten us to your genius plan.
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No money
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Posted - 03/03/2011 :  11:49:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

He didn't say they were stealing money, he said they were mishandling money, and I and many people would certainly agree. They have purchased things they did not need, simply put, they ARE mishandling/wasting money.
quote:
[i]Originally posted by TheDude[/i]
[br]
quote:
[i]Originally posted by bobpreston[/i]
[br]
quote:
[i]Originally posted by Happy HarperValley Rez[/i]
[br] But my question is - how do we change the tide?




Stop voting yes on tax increases. The city and school boards lie, and keep secrets and then as soon as they mishandled your money and it's all gone your at the ballot box giving them more. Just say NO.
Then either they will have to start listening or let the state do their job. Obviously they aint doing such a great job!



If you can do a better job, I suggest you run in the upcoming election. What excuse do you want to provide for not running? I'm genuinely interested. You complain and are adamant that the city and schools are stealing tax money, yet you offer no solutions. Please - enlighten us to your genius plan.

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cmsquare
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Posted - 03/04/2011 :  03:11:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

quote:
[i]Originally posted by No money[/i]
[br]He didn't say they were stealing money, he said they were mishandling money, and I and many people would certainly agree. They have purchased things they did not need, simply put, they ARE mishandling/wasting money.
quote:
[i]Originally posted by TheDude[/i]
[br]
quote:
[i]Originally posted by bobpreston[/i]
[br]
quote:
[i]Originally posted by Happy HarperValley Rez[/i]
[br] But my question is - how do we change the tide?




Stop voting yes on tax increases. The city and school boards lie, and keep secrets and then as soon as they mishandled your money and it's all gone your at the ballot box giving them more. Just say NO.
Then either they will have to start listening or let the state do their job. Obviously they aint doing such a great job!



If you can do a better job, I suggest you run in the upcoming election. What excuse do you want to provide for not running? I'm genuinely interested. You complain and are adamant that the city and schools are stealing tax money, yet you offer no solutions. Please - enlighten us to your genius plan.





hey may not have used those words here in this thread but he has certainly used those words before.
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cmsquare
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Posted - 03/04/2011 :  06:14:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

quote:
[i]Originally posted by John Beagle[/i]
[br]

Something like this would be totally acceptable.

-------------
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately at this time, I don't have proper information or authority to answer. Just as soon as this information becomes public, I would be happy to pass it on.

Sincerely,

Joe Smith
Monroe Council Member
----------------------




That's like the most vague useless response of all time. I find it hard to believe you would find that response acceptable. I think you would have the same things to say.

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Dannyboy
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Posted - 03/04/2011 :  08:35:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

Politicians should always acknowledge email, even if its vague and useless. The worst thing you can do is ignore an email.

As for the SunCoke suit, just because you lose a fight doesn't mean the fight wasn't worthwhile. But I'm no expert on the ins and outs of the suit.
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John Beagle
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  09:04:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit John Beagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

Sometimes a no answer is really an answer.

No answer means No. Is that so hard to do. Tell us the truth. 'No we are not through with this yet,' should be the answer from every council member we elected. And even the guy that got appointed.

This is our city, we elected you and you have a responsibility to answer questions. And don't tell me by answering Yes or No that we are tipping our hands to our enemy. What are you planning on doing another 'surprise' lawsuit? Come on be realistic with the people. We have a right to know what you are planning on doing with our money.

Here is a question that is perfectly OK not to answer, because it would tip off the enemy. How much will you spend?

I can only guess that the number is over $2 Million. If you are ok with the city spending over $2 Million of your tax dollars without a say, then by all means, vote them back in November.

If you think Council may spend $5 Million or more and are feel that you are not being represented, then it is your duty to vote for new council members.

If we took a vote, how many would vote for spending over $2 Million for a lawsuit we already lost, a lawsuit against our neighbor's company, a lawsuit against the current and past governors wishes, a lawsuit against economic development in Butler county, a lawsuit that we can not win?

How would you vote? Should we be done with the SunCoke Lawsuit?

No - Continue the lawsuit, save Monroe from SunCoke pollution.
Yes - Stop, drop back and formulate a new plan to battle SunCoke pollution.

"I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody" #BillCosby
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HornetPride
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  09:14:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse



I vote a Big Yes. Stop the maddness. How's that for communication. And check out the young Zep and Page's solo at 1:42.
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justwatching
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  10:01:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

I vote heck yes.

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loveyourneighbor
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  10:02:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

Just because we say yes, stop the lawsuit doesn't mean that we are for SunCoke. I certainly don't want more pollution in my backyard and I can see why the lawsuit was started originally. However, IMHO it looks like we CANNOT win, we can't stop SunCoke and continuing on seems to be throwing good money after bad. I hate to throw in the towel on a good argument as much as the next guy (ask my husband) but I don't see what good continuing will do.
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cmsquare
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  10:03:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

I love pollution and all the added health detriments that come along with it.

Yay pollution!

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arwendt
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  10:30:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit arwendt's Homepage  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

I'll vote yes because I don't think this is a fight you can win. Save your money for a fight you can win, such as one over any EPA violations.

Looking for a good quote for your signature? Check out the Words of Freedom Blog
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Happy HarperValley Rez
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  11:31:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

I vote YES!!! Stop burning the money on this lost cause...
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Brawlin
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  11:36:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

I vote yes, stop the insanity. Which reminds me of Susan Powter.

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Tony C
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  4:41:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

Yes absolutely the citizens have inherit rights to know the answers to direct questions. Perhaps they should read the Freedom of Informatin Act.
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buck35
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  5:04:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

With the ongoing stress on both constitutional and inherent rights of American citizens and the added assertion of government subservience to the individual, some thought it was necessary for government information to be available to the public.
However, due to the sensitivity of some government information and private interests, others believed that certain types of government information should remain secret. Therefore, Congress attempted to enact a Freedom of Information Act in 1966 that would effectively deal with requests for government records, consistent with the belief that the people have the “right to know” about them. The Privacy Act of 1974 additionally covered government documents charting individuals.
However, it is in the exemptions to solicitation of information under these acts that problems and discrepancies arise. The nine exemptions to the FOIA address issues of sensitivity and personal rights. They are (as listed in Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552):[4]

1.(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;[5]

2.related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency;[5]

3.specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than section 552b of this title), provided that such statute (A) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or (B) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;[5] FOIA Exemption 3 Statutes

4.trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;[5]

5.inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency;[5]

6.personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;[5]

7.records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source, (E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law, or (F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual;[5]

8.contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions;[5] or

9.geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.[5
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John Beagle
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  5:27:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit John Beagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

Nice cut and past Buck. So you think council should keep the lawsuit a secret. How do you keep a lawsuit a secret? Silly of the entire group to not answer my email.

I don't mean to tip our hand, but to answer straight up, yes or no about the continuation of spending our money.

I was looking over the past 2 years of agendas and minutes and not once did I see any money specifically appropriated to this lawsuit. The only way we know what is being spent is if we ask. No one will tell you until you ask.

So I ask, early and often. Kind of the same way I handle follow-ups on sales leads.


quote:
[i]Originally posted by buck35[/i]
[br]With the ongoing stress on both constitutional and inherent rights of American citizens and the added assertion of government subservience to the individual, some thought it was necessary for government information to be available to the public.
However, due to the sensitivity of some government information and private interests, others believed that certain types of government information should remain secret. Therefore, Congress attempted to enact a Freedom of Information Act in 1966 that would effectively deal with requests for government records, consistent with the belief that the people have the “right to know” about them. The Privacy Act of 1974 additionally covered government documents charting individuals.
However, it is in the exemptions to solicitation of information under these acts that problems and discrepancies arise. The nine exemptions to the FOIA address issues of sensitivity and personal rights. They are (as listed in Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552):[4]

1.(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;[5]

2.related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency;[5]

3.specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than section 552b of this title), provided that such statute (A) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or (B) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;[5] FOIA Exemption 3 Statutes

4.trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;[5]

5.inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency;[5]

6.personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;[5]

7.records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source, (E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law, or (F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual;[5]

8.contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions;[5] or

9.geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.[5


"I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody" #BillCosby
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buck35
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  6:10:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

"Nice cut and past Buck"
Why thanks John it wasn't hard to do.
Its not a matter if I agree with them not saying anything or not.
But I understand that the city's mouth piece would tell them to keep a lid on it.
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James Little
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  10:02:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

quote:
[i]Originally posted by buck35[/i]
[br]But I understand that the city's mouth piece would tell them to keep a lid on it.



Some people do not understand that.
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John Beagle
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Posted - 03/08/2011 :  10:49:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit John Beagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote Report Abuse

The vote was 6 to 1 to appeal the latest ruling.

"I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody" #BillCosby
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