Reflection on the school district project


I had the pleasure of attending the ceremony for the solar panels held in the village Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2010, at the high school.

I enjoyed the well-framed speeches and especially the demonstration presented by the children showing how the solar panels and windmill should operate.

Thought I would sit back and see what others in the community would comment about the school district going green, so far I haven't heard much about it. After all, how can anyone say anything negative about the district receiving $1.2 million in services through technology and products? How could anything be wrong with that? Have you even looked into a rain barrel?

There are two ways to look into the rain barrel. If you look at the surface, you will just see a reflection on the water but casting your shadow over it, you can see clear to the bottom. My first reflection noticed in the barrel was our local educators doing their very best to move the district into the direction of going green and that is highly commendable. However, local educators aren't above being used or manipulated by greater powers than they themselves. Looking deeper into the rain barrel, we can see a figure of $1.2 million and that is enough green to attract the attention from most any politician in Ohio. My concern is this: It has been said we were just in the right place at the right time to receive this solar project. Or, was someone placed in a position to be in the right place at the right time to receive this project.

Looking deeper still into the rain barrel perceiving the players involve county commissioner Chris Abbuhl stated, "It's an historical event."

Gregory Kuss, president of SolarVision, said, "District was one of the easiest to work with."

State Representative Josh O'Farrell and State Senator Jason Wilson made comments and gave commendations.

Even a US Congressman Zach Space stated, "You should be proud what was done here."

Looking still deeper into the barrel, we can see a $1.2 million project given to Newcomerstown without any specific statistics of where all that green came from. And who is this First Merit Bank anyway?

Looking deeper yet, my personal observation we have banks, we have never heard of and politicians showing up in town, businessmen and educators promoting this project. The only missing phase in this scenario is the phase, "Trust me." Now all the players are in place and all it takes is some gullible Appalachian community to set the windmill turning and the solar panels burning.

Now let us go and look at the bottom of the barrel. Chances are this could be legitimate and may not cost the district anything at all, but there is a good chance it is going to cost the tax payers of Ohio in the form of tax write-offs for those grants and company donations to the project. Yes, it appears we are going green. The politicians have been going for our green for years. My opinion is this is just another way to get the green out of our pockets. We can only hope that it is light green.

The eye, like the rain the barrel, can be looked into and if the eye is the window of the soul, I shook hands with charlatans and Jacobites on that historical day.

And now that the district is receiving all these savings, there should be no need for the 9.2-mill renewal levy allowing the property owners and taxpayers of the district to save a little green of their own.

Chester R. McVey