As a homeowner of one of the estimated 26,000 homes in Trumbull County that rely on a home sewage treatment system, more commonly known as a septic tank, I am appalled at the lack of leadership in the Trumbull County Health Department.
We need our elected Board of Health members, along with our elected county commissioners, to hire someone that can bring clarity and vision to this septic mess. We need someone that is willing to work full time (not nine hours a week getting paid $120,000 per year) to find solutions to problems.
We don't need a health commissioner that wrings his hands and says ''there's nothing I can do'' or ''I'm only following the law,'' or a county commissioner that says ''talk to my attorney.'' Where there is a will, there is a way. Find it.
Extortion can be defined as an excessive or exorbitant charge. The fee for a new septic permit in Trumbull County is $525. That is higher than surrounding counties. Who sets the fees?
What is worse is the cost of a new system. Why are the systems in Trumbull County 50 percent to 100 percent MORE than surrounding counties? Why isn't there competition available?
If the Board of Health is saying you have to put in a certain system, isn't that a restraint of trade violation? Restraint of trade is an action or condition that tends to prevent free competition in business, or the limiting of a market.
Why are Trumbull County residents held to a higher standard than surrounding counties? Higher than EPA standards?
After you get your brand spanking new system, you now have to pay for a yearly operation permit. If you don't (or can't) pay it before the due date the fee is doubled. That is a 100 percent penalty.
This is a required fee that should be included as an assessment on your taxes. Why aren't our elected officials working to make that happen? Again, this has to be done by a Health Board and county commissioners with clarity and vision.
There are so many questions. How do you get answers? Maybe it's time to vote for elected officials that are willing to find solutions to the hard questions. Maybe it's time to vote for people that actually know what is going on in Trumbull County.