#554  TUESDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2019


Last Monday’s Veterans Day observance and last week’s Election Day have a very important connection and at the same time, highlighted a very disturbing issue not only in our own Township but the nation as a whole.

Since the very founding of our great nation, our Veterans fought numerous wars and conflicts to gain and preserve the rights that each and every one of us enjoy today.  And one of those rights is the right to vote in free and open elections.  Unfortunately, the vast majority (75%) of our Township residents chose to knowingly abdicate their right to the minority in deciding an important ballot issue (Townhall purchase) last Tuesday.  Equally disturbing is the fact that this was not a quirk but is considered ‘normal’ after researching many past elections.  Consider the following statistics for Northfield Center:

* The population is 5,840

* 18 years and older (80% of population) 4,672 – (eligible for voter registration)

* Actual Registered Voters 4,112 (88% of adults eligible for voter registration)

* Adults NOT registered to vote 560 (12%)

Now consider the following dismal statistics involving last Tuesday’s election:

* Registered voters 4,112 + 560 adults not registered ….. 4,672

* Actual votes cast 1,147 (25%)

* Actual number of NCT adults who gave up their right to vote 3,525 (75%)

I can’t even begin to phantom the fact that 75% of our eligible voting adult population ignored this election and allowed a mere 25% to decide the outcome of this important election issue.  There was no valid excuse for sitting out this election.  The election and the various issues were well advertised in all of the newspapers, TV, radio, online news, our website, social media and just about every other source that you can think of.  The NewsLeader is delivered to every household and this newsletter is sent to 950 addresses with an average of two readers each!  The Summit County Board of Elections even sent all residents applications for absentee ballots!  So, what is the reason for this inexcusable apathy?  Rest assured that those who didn’t vote will be among the first to complain about issues and outcomes that they disagree with.

As a Township Trustee, I am obligated to decide issues based on the needs, wants, safety and welfare of the majority of residents.  That is an obligation that I have taken very seriously over the years but have I truly represented the majority and will I do so in the future?  The answer is probably no because that majority has remained silent over the involvement and actions of the minority.  This is not a democracy because the majority does not call the shots!

I don’t have the answers to this dilemma folks and I know that it is not just a local problem because I see the statistics and I’ve talked with other local community leaders and veterans who feel the same way.  It is shameful and disgusting to witness the sacrifices of our veterans being trivialized through the apathy that has taken over our nation.  Some day in the not too distant future, this great nation of ours will become unrecognizable because of the apathy that has spread like a cancer.  And it will have started on a local level, just like ours!

Thank you,

Paul G. Buescher
Northfield Center Twp. – Vice Chairman