Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn offered a perspective on the issue of cut trees, the Scioto County Commissioners and the city of Portsmouth are trying to work out. Kuhn’s perspective asked the question, as a community, why is this is a big deal when there are far more important issues to discuss.
“For people that volunteer with the tree commission, this is an important issue. They (tree commission members) volunteer their time; it’s an important service to the city,” Kuhn said. “Another important issue is, the commissioners keeping county property safe, for the people that are coming to do county business. That’s no less important than what the shade tree commission is doing.”
Kuhn said if people really want to talk about issues facing the city and county, there is a laundry list of things.
“If I’m going to talk about issues facing the county and the city, I’m going to start talking about unemployment, underemployment and the people that have given up looking for work in this county. How about heroin overdoses or whatever drug they are bringing in from Mexico because the border is so porous you could ship drugs across at any given point. How about the general assembly making it easier to traffic drugs in Ohio, by reducing the penalties in heroin cases,” Kuhn said. “How about the sheriff’s officer or police department, they may by funded appropriately for the population. They are grossly underfunded for the crime they are facing every day.”
Kuhn said he’s had recent conversations with the commissioners about assistant prosecutor salaries.
“Our assistant prosecutors are paid less than counties, similar to ours. I looked at a posting for clerks position with the court of appeals. They are going to start at or make more than assistant prosecutors that have been there for 10-30 years,” Kuhn said.
He said this list on scratches the surface of the things the community should be talking about a focusing on.
“The trees are an important issue and that’s fine, but the commissioners agreed to replace those trees the day they were cut. They’ve got the trees picked out to replace the others and are on the shade tree commissions list (of approved trees),” Kuhn said. “That’s about all I have to say about that. I have a list of issues I would love to talk about, that are higher on my priority list.”
He went on to said it’s not that the trees are not important, but there are more important things to talk about.
“I could fill up the rest of the day talking about, half of the things (on his list),” Kuhn said. “There’s some big issues that need to be solved. Saying all of that, is spending to much time on the issue.”
The commissioners agreed with Kuhn in saying it had to be done sooner or later and the conversation needs to shift to more important topics.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter