The West Chester Township Trustees Play the Shell Game: Meet the pinball of Beckett Ridge

Step right up—gather around—the West Chester Township Trustees of Ohio under the presidential leadership of Catherine Stoker and initiated by Lee Wong are giving away $4,690.00 to anyone who can claim they have been hit by a car at intersections like the one at the corner of Eagleridge Drive and Eaglet in the community of Beckett Ridge. If an example of why government fails time and time again at all levels requires proof, the new crosswalk which now crosses Eagleridge Drive is the perfect example. It shows how good intentions end up consuming tax payer resources because the parties involved are functioning from a failed philosophy of collectivism as opposed to individualism. In the case described below it would appear that Trustee Lee Wong colluded with a Mr. Cho to arrange before a West Chester Trustee meeting to have a crosswalk built at tax payer expense and Trustee Stoker was in agreement. The two trustees used the West Chester Township meeting simply as a formality to play out their intentions and within 19 business days the concrete was poured and the lines painted for yet another cross walk in the community of West Chester.  The Township paid Jackson Construction, Inc., $4,690.00 for the job. 

The problem with projects like this crosswalk is that no matter how it’s looked at from any angle, whether it is from the politicians, the residents, the taxpayers, or to eyes from outside the community the situation appears to be well justified. During the meeting where Mr. Cho made his case to the trustees, he stood before them claiming to be blind from diabetes, desiring to live a full life by being allowed to walk around his community but couldn’t because he is was getting hit by cars all the time. He claimed he could not walk on the grass to arrive at the sidewalk on the west side of Eagleridge for some unknown peril, and that even if he did attempt such a thing the cars driving up and down the road would mow him down without concern. So he asked for speed bumps or some other measure to ensure his “safety.” The suspicion of the entire speech manifested when Mr. Cho showed up late for the public comment portion of the meeting and Trustee Wong personally identified Mr. Cho. Trustee Wong and Stoker then put Trustee Lang on the spot to ask for an exception that Mr. Cho be allowed to speak, which no fair-minded person could turn down. But after Mr. Cho spoke a woman who came with him also took to the podium which according to Trustee Stoker was very unprecedented, yet she encouraged it happily as though she already knew the content of the speech—which of course she did. The woman’s name was Ms. Bentley and she has children who attend Freedom Elementary at the top of Eagleridge which is one of the Lakota Schools in the area that has suffered from the busing cuts made by that school district to cover their extraordinary salaries leaving many children walking to and from school. Ms. Bentley stated that she was worried for the safety of her children—and who can argue that?

After listening to all the comments made by Mr. Cho, Ms. Bentley and Trustee Wong it painted a picture in my mind that Mr. Cho was simply a pinball in the dangerous pinball machine of Beckett Ridge, West Chester. Every time he stepped into the street he was being run down by vigilante motorists. Trustee Wong even stated that at times Mr. Cho had been hit by cars so hard that he ended up on the hoods of the cars that ran him over. As the proceedings went on during that first meeting occurring on April 24th of 2012 it became obvious to me that Trustee Stoker knew all the facts before the meeting even started and simply used the trustee meeting to build official consensus for a project she planned to use later as a bullet point to her work as a trustee. Building a crosswalk is simply too tempting for a politician who can spend $5000 of tax payer money on a blind man like Mr. Cho. Politicians after all must appear to have compassion for members of the community, which I believe Wong and Stoker do, but for all the wrong reasons. The problem here is not the compassion; it’s the obvious attempt by Trustee Wong to use his influence as a trustee to help his friend Mr. Cho with a personal problem that is the responsibility of the private citizen.

There are many options available to Mr. Cho. The street he lives on is a quiet boulevard. He should be able to walk down it with no problem. And when it comes to crossing the perilous Eagleridge Drive I sat at that intersection on my motorcycle during rush hour and counted 7 cars in a 15 minute period. Mr. Cho volunteered to paint the lines on the road himself so he can see well enough to paint; he should be able to cross Eagleridge Drive without any trouble. But then on the other side there would be a problem for Mr. Cho. Eagleridge has a tremendous curb that rises about 4 inches and would require Mr. Cho to step up and over onto the treacherous grass extending a few feet to the sidewalk beyond. God forbid he be forced to walk in the grass, for he might slip and fall, and get a boo-boo upon his elbow. Then he might sue the township for not providing adequate safety for him every time he leaves his home.

When I drive from my home to the Tri County area which is a ten-mile stretch of road I pass no fewer than 10 traffic lights on my way. Most of those traffic lights are the result of situations just like this crosswalk issue where a minority of public speakers came forward and spoke about how dangerous a particular intersection was, then over dramatized the situation for theatrics on behalf of the politicians involved. The politicians looking for easy political points and a pile of tax payer money at their fingertips often can’t resist the temptation to capitalize on such requests and over time, these parasitic politicians have given our society an overly regulated world with stop lights, stop signs, and cross walks at virtually every turn. The situation in Butler County is so extreme that it is now impossible to travel from west to east or east to west intersecting the very long road of By-pass 4 since the engineers of that redeveloped thoroughfare have taken a page from the progressive California playbook in trying to eliminate left turns completely—to save driver side impacts from crashes. The situation is insane on By-pass 4 as a result of pandering politicians and the safety addicts who speak at these public meetings. Little by little, these timid creatures of suburbia destroy the world around them with their requests to be insulated from all danger, which the pandering politicians are more than happy to oblige so they can pat themselves on the back with money they consumed from the public treasury to paint some lines on a road, and pour a little concrete so people like Mr. Cho don’t have to walk in the grass.

The crime here is in the politicians themselves looking to use township money to show off for their neighborhood friends exploiting handicaps so that they can be heroes at the expense of the unfortunate. The deal with Mr. Cho had already been worked out by Mr. Wong and Stoker before the trustee meeting even took place. The speech at the meeting was just the formality of building public consensus. The same behavior goes on in school board meetings where the decisions are already made by the board before the meetings ever take place. The public meetings are only designed to give the illusion of public transparency. That’s what is called in Washington politics a “back room deal.” And nobody ever questions it because it would be political suicide to draw attention to a blind man who simply wants the “freedom” to walk about his community and is just asking the local politicians to help him. But that’s not what is going on. Not only was the political process compromised in the creation of the crosswalk at the corner of Eagleridge and Eaglet by pandering to the few at the expense of the many, but the message to the community itself is wrong. Yet again a few, weak and feeble individuals have been allowed to dictate the shape and pace of our community, using compassion to disguise narcissism. Politicians use the weak and feeble to advance their social status with tax money to do the deed. In government, nothing happens as fast as this crosswalk did. The speed is the indicator that it was Trustee Wong and Trustee Stoker who desired to exploit Mr. Cho so that they could score political points not just with the community at large, but with themselves. Building the crosswalk to them is just the form of social justice that may open the gates of heaven using $5000 of tax payer money to purchase the ticket—and that is why the newest crosswalk in the community of Becket Ridge is one more example of tyranny migrating like a blob across the individual lives of West Chester citizens everywhere who surrendered a subtle freedom they didn’t even know they had till it has been erased forever.

Oh—and for those reading this who think this is like the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing, let me direct your attention to one final fact that reveals the strings of manipulation and who pulls them–the request by Mr. Wong for the crosswalk at Eagleridge and Eaglet in front of the West Chester Trustees took place on April 24th as stated. Yet six weeks prior there was communication with Greg Wilkens of the Butler Country Engineer’s office which said:

Greg, Thank you for the returned call re: crosswalk at Eaglet and Eagleridge, I understand the situation.

I asked Tim Franck to contact Matt and see what a crosswalk would look like with all its approach requirements and about how much it would cost. I know your staff is so busy so I hope you don’t mind me asking. If Matt can’t, no problem, please just let me know.

I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, but we took a long weekend and we are down in Clearwater, FL.

That communication was written by Judi Boyko West Chester Township Administrator.  Here is the actual email, just so it cannot be said that what has been stated is a fiction. 

 

Now, with what you have seen here, go back and watch the collection of videos above so you can listen to the West Chester Trustees for yourself.  Notice how Trustee Wong uses the standard progressive mode of class warfare when he can’t answer Trustee Lang’s questions.  Anyone who lives outside of West Chester would find it absolutely laughable that Wong would even attempt to describe Beckett Ridge as a community of less economic statues.  But, these are the standard progressive arguments no matter what the situation, and the facts speak for themselves. 

Mr. Cho in the end got his crosswalk. The cement was dry before the final meeting was concluded. It is my opinion that all the trustees were extremely nice about the entire ordeal, especially Trustee Lang. I can’t say I would have been so sympathetic. My suggestion to Mr. Cho, the self-professed pinball of the treacherous Beckett Ridge pinball machine would have been to wrap him in bubble wrap for his own protection so he could bounce off all those cars without causing injury to himself, or the cars.

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Rich Hoffman
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