Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Can you say 'sitting duck'? Dowlin's critics sure can

Around the suburbs

Critics of Hamilton County Commissioner John Dowlin are having fun baiting him.

The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes is accusing Dowlin of ignoring its concerns by ducking both a questionnaire and a forum the group has organized. COAST urged voters to "goose" the Republican into answering questions on the county's high tax rates before the March 2 GOP primary.

The anti-tax group's press release Tuesday, headlined "Duck, duck, duck, goose," is illustrated with images of waterfowl.

Meanwhile, Republican challenger Pat DeWine's campaign has thumped Dowlin for rejecting the Cincinnati councilman's call for three debates. Thumped him repeatedly, in fact - with veteran Butler County campaign strategist Michael McNamara issuing four press releases on the topic in the past eight days.

The funny thing is, Dowlin does plan to attend candidate forums that Republican clubs are planning next month. So why is Dowlin - a veteran politician with 13 years as commissioner and twice that long as Sharonville mayor - taking these jabs quietly?

That question leads to another: Who's running the Dowlin campaign, anyway? His staff aide, Rob Fredericks, said it's not him. Try campaign Chairman Richard Finan, Fredericks said. Finan's office, in turn, said the former state senator is out until month's end.

Just ducky.

Cindi Andrews

FALSE ALARM: After buying one of Anderson Township's old fire ladder trucks last week, Maysville, Ky., firefighters made a pit stop on their way home.

The truck, still sporting the Anderson logo, was spotted at the Hooters restaurant on Ohio Pike in Union Township.

The Maysville firefighters were so pleased with their new toy, they gave tours to waitresses.

"We got a call from at least one resident reporting that our employees were obviously not on the job," Anderson Administrator Henry Dolive said.

Jennifer Edwards

MAKING FRIENDS: New Middletown Mayor Bob Wells has already made good on his promise to meet with Warren County officials about the Middletown Regional Hospital move.

But County Commissioner Pat South said that while the hospital came up in last week's meeting, discussion quickly turned to improving cooperation between the county and the city.

South described the meeting as an "olive branch" of sorts. But Commissioner Mike Kilburn, who did not attend, said it sounded more like "olives and money."

Erica Solvig

TIME TIME TIME: New West Chester Trustee George Lang couldn't believe how much time was devoted to a recent discussion on when trustees should meet 11 months from now.

Trustees were setting their calendar for the year when they realized that they had scheduled a session on Election Day.

As Trustees Catherine Stoker and Jose Alvarez debated dates, Lang blurted: "Cancel it!"

Then he added: "Is this why government is so inefficient?"

Trustees kept the Nov. 2 meeting on the schedule for now.

John Kiesewetter

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Can you say 'sitting duck'? Dowlin's critics can

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