Column: 2017 filled with moments good, bad and questionable

CLEAR FORK VALLEY — The year 2017 slipped by quickly but had many memorable moments for folks in this area.

Depending on who you are, it could have been described as full of fun. Or just the opposite.

The year had its national and international bits of turmoil. But a few things locally were more mesmerizing.

One big event: the passage of a three mill levy for support of the Bellville Police Department.

For Butler, a goal to find a site for a new wastewater treatment plant was met.

Local personalities shared their analyses of the big 2017.

Bellville Police Chief Ron Willey said the year was important for his department because of the passage of the police levy.

In his “line of work,” Willey said, there is not much that is trivial.

Sage Fritz Ackerman contributed what he said were both good and bad things.

On the good side, the recently passed federal tax legisaltion.

On the bad, the over abundant complaining of people who seem to want to vent against people they think are “evil doers.”

The record seems to show the year had more than a few crazy moments.

Bellville village officials had said passing the three mill levy would allow the hiring of more police officers.

Willey said one person who had been part time will become a full-time officer Jan. 1.

That is Tom Queen.

Willey said he hopes another officer can be added as a full-time employee later in the year.

Some types of police work are not cheerful ones, Willey said. He mentioned the crisis with opiates.

Many people become addicted to opioids and find themselves locked into a type of behavior that is harmful.

Willey said people would have to “live in a dream world,” wearing “blinders,” to not know the problems associated with opioid use.

He also said there are numerous “scams” that affect inadvertent residents.

It is easy for people to be taken in by something as simple as a telephone call from someone, maybe offering information but actually trying to hook someone. That is one of the not-so-good things people need to watch for, said Willey.

“One of the best” things to happen nationwide was the tax cut legislation recently enacted by Congress, said Ackerman.

He said it will “give everybody more disposable income.”

After thinking more about the good, the bad and the questionable of 2017, Ackerman added the following.

He said he is fed up with what became “ridiculous sexual harassment” accusations. This happened on the part of males and females, he said.

It seemed like every time someone had calmed down about the latest accusation, there would be a “new rash” of people making accusations.

Ackerman is owner of Mid-Ohio Safe and Lock. He also said he has decided some things established in Bellville were not such good ideas.

He points to the signs marking crosswalks in downtown Bellville.

He said he thinks those cause people to “swerve” in order to miss them. In the downtown area people generally find a parking place and walk directly across the street to a destination, like V & M Restaurant.

Ackerman said he thinks signs marking crosswalks are fine in areas around schools.

But he thinks people have been doing what is practical for “100,000 years” and that is to find their own ways, with their own method of travel.

The crosswalks for now seem to be gone, Ackerman said. And he thinks that is good.

Other notable things happened in 2017.

Construction of two new elementary school buildings has started, and the structures are starting to show their shapes and sizes.

The Clear Fork Valley School District has two new members, Kyle Beveridge and Jennifer Stallard. They will take office at the Jan. 4 meeting of the school board.

Fritz Ackerman Ackerman