At Monday night’s New Carlisle City Council meeting, resident Becky McKenzie questioned Council Member Ethan Reynolds on some of his Facebook posts.
The one she objected to the most was a meme showing Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. The caption read “No heart, no brain and no courage. Guys, why are you not politicians?”
Reynolds had added, “Unfortunately many local politicians have this problem. Sometimes you have to have a spine of steal (sic) in politics that might make you unpopular with the political establishment but that’s why we have elections. #Draintheswamp”
McKenzie questioned the divisiveness of Reynolds and Council Member William Lindsey and asked why council could not work together.
“He’s fighting the community,” she said. “It’s important for everyone to know what he’s writing on Facebook, and it’s not good for the community.”
Reynolds responded stating that he had campaigned on a specific platform, was elected on that platform and is working on following through with his promises. He said that other council members have not seen eye-to-eye with him on many of his ideas.
“You tell a whole lot of half-truths,” said Council Member Rick Lowrey to Reynolds.
Council also brought up two proclamations that Reynolds and Lindsey made. One was to the Stagecoach Café for their first anniversary.
Mayor Mike Lowrey stated that he stopped at the Stagecoach Café to get a sandwich on his way to work. He said he was asked if he was going to be there tomorrow for the proclamation. “That’s the first I had heard of it,” said Lowrey.
Lowrey said that proclamations have always been made by the Mayor at a public council meeting. “It will be in the minutes for our posterity,” said Lowrey.
“You’re watering down the proclamation process and cheating them out of the experience,” he said.
“The proclamation was not for the Stagecoach Café,” said Council Member Rick Lowrey. “It was for the people making the proclamation.”
As a result of the proclamations issued by Reynolds and Lindsey, Council introduced an ordinance empowering the Mayor to issue proclamations. Council will hear public comments and take action on the ordinance at the April 17 council meeting.
Reynolds stated that he did it through his office as a city council member to recognize those who make important contributions to our community.
Council also had before them a resolution showing support for the Immigration and Naturalization Act that was drafted by Reynolds and Lindsey.
“It’s important to stand up for law enforcement and for the laws of this nation,” said Lindsey, defending his resolution. “I don’t think we want New Carlisle to become a Sanctuary City.”
Lindsey said he believed that it was important for the city to make this stand.
Council Member Jim Leathley saw it differently. “Nobody is in favor of illegal immigration,” he said. “What is the purpose? We don’t need it.”
Leathley and Vice Mayor John Krabacher were the only two votes against the resolution.
Council also heard a presentation from Susan Bayless, Director of Nursing for the Clark County Combined Health District. The subject was Narcan and the drug epidemic in our area.
Heroin overdoses in Clark County are increasing every day. “There were more overdoses in 2016 than in 2015, and we’re on track to beat 2016,” said Bayless.
Bayless said that those who overdose on heroin are “not the typical resident that you would expect.”
“Your first experience with heroin is a choice,” she said. “Then it changes the chemicals of the brain, and you will do anything to get more.”
She turned from the podium to address the high school students in attendance and said “Please, don’t do it.”
She said the symptoms of an overdose are cold, clammy skin, bluish lips, snorting and trouble breathing.
“If they can’t talk to you, call 911,” she said.
Fire Chief Steve Trusty added that many people believe that if a person is suffering from an overdose, you should immerse them in cold water. “That will kill them,” he said.
Bayless added that Carfentanil has been showing up in some areas of Ohio, but not yet in Clark County. “Carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than Fentanyl.”
She said that you don’t have to injest Carfentanil to overdose. You just have to be in the room where it is being used.
Bayless said that Narcan counteracts the effects of an opioid, like Heroin and Fentanyl. It is made available to first responders through the health department, but two doses at a drug store cost about $130.
She said that some people have required as many as 16 doses to be brought around.
Council also heard a presentation from Dan Risko, Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the Ohio Treasurer’s office. He announced that New Carlisle had joined Treasurer Josh Mandel’s Online Checkbook program.
“The online checkbook program took Ohio from #46 to #1 in government transparency,” said Risko.
He said that the State initiated the program, and other communities started asking how they could get involved. He said that there are now over 1000 local Ohio governments on the Online Checkbook.
So far, New Carlisle only has 2016 expenditures online. You can see them at newcarlisle.ohiocheckbook.com. New Carlisle’s expenditures will be updated annually.
On a lighter note, council congratulated Dewey Brosey for his 96th birthday.
The next meeting of the New Carlisle City Council will be on Monday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Smith Park Shelter House. The public is welcome to attend.