She was one of several people who called Friday wanting to talk about Thursday evening’s mayoral forum hosted by the African-American Chamber of Concert.
“First of all, let me say that I am happy to see the mayoral race comes down to two women. Women always do a better job cleaning up the messes created by men,” she said in a straight voice, no joking intended.
She said she attended the forum.
“I wanted to see things for myself,” she explained.
Two things worried her as she left that night.
• The back-and-forth between candidates Elizabeth Hardesty and Sharetta Smith in regard to the decision by the Lima Refinery’s new owner, Cenovus, to outsource workers for their fall turnover.
• The candidates’ response to a question about making Lima’s leadership positions more diverse.
Both candidates saw things differently.
Smith said, “I am a supporter of labor; in fact, I’ve been endorsed by a number of labor unions. In addition to that, I’ve stood on the picket lines with the refinery workers.”
Hardesty countered that it wasn’t so simple.
“I definitely encourage people to hire locally when possible. Just like any sort of argument, there are two sides to every story,” she said. “The contract was awarded to a company that they chose was best, for safety, for quality, for multiple reasons.”
On the subject of diversity, Smith said the city needs to be represented better in its leadership roles. Hardesty answered that the city is diverse, and that people are promoted on an equal level.
Smith didn’t buy it, pointing out “there are several organizations in our city, particularly in our economic development organizations, that have zero African-American representation,” she said.
Hardesty replied, “I think that if there is a lack of diversity, it’s probably because either no one has offered to do that job, or no one is qualified to do that job.”
Tough words by both candidates.
The caller questioned whether the community can handle such a discussion.
“I’m torn,” she said. “I don’t want such a discussion to hurt our community, yet I realize it’s important to know where candidates stand on such issues. The two women each made good points. I guess what I’m saying is that I just hope the media doesn’t dwell on this.”
And that’s why she said she called.
It’s not the first time we’ve taken such a call. We do understand the concerns.
It’s not our intention to “dwell” on anything.
It is, however, our intention to cover the news. There’s no magical button that determines the life of a story. And yes, there are judgment calls we will make. In an election, the candidates and the public influence those decisions through their actions, in what they say and do, when things happen, how they occur and where they occur.
Our role is to present the information fairly and accurately.
That is what we strive to do.
ROSES AND THORNS: A couple of musicians head up a busy week in the rose garden.
Rose: Elida High School graduate Dan Banks dotted the “I” in script Ohio while a member of the Ohio State band in 1983. He’ll do it again as a member of the alumni band this Saturday when Ohio State plays Akron.
Rose: To Adriane Thomson Bradshaw, the vice president for student affairs at Ohio Northern University. She sang the national anthem before the Cleveland Browns’ home opener Sunday.
Rose: Ron Wireman of Bath Township made it official. He’s an “Ironman,” as is his nephew, Riley Rosado of Shawnee Township. Both finished the triathlon competition this month in Wisconsin, biking 112 miles, swimming 2.4 miles and running 26.2 miles. Wireman trained for an Ironman a year ago, but it was canceled due to the pandemic. At that time his family made a makeshift course for him to do in Allen County.
Rose: Herbert Kratzer, the father of Dennis Kratzer of Lima, celebrated his 101st birthday last Wednesday. He and his wife Virginia also recently observed their 75th wedding anniversary.
Rose: To Roberta “Bobbie” Stemen, who grew up in Lima before joining the military. She’s now retired from the United States Air Force after serving 36 years as a nurse.
Rose: Five couples celebrate more than 60 years of marriage:
• Janet and Russell Young of Lafayette celebrated 70 years of marriage on Saturday.
• Clara and. Eugene Stites of Lima will celebrate 65 years of marriage on Wednesday.
• Nancy and Marvin Taylor of Lima celebrated 65 years of marriage on Thursday.
• Diann and Mrs. Alan Yoder of Bluffton celebrated 60 years of marriage on Friday.
• Dorothy and Gene Long, of Bluffton, celebrated 60 years of marriage on August 13.
Thorn: Allen County has seen an increase of 600 covid cases already in September.
PARTING SHOT: Maybe if we start telling people their brain is an app, they’ll want to use it.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.