‘Concerned citizens’ discuss disappointment, distrust

PIQUA — None of the Miami County officials invited to the second meeting of the new group Concerned Citizens of Miami County attended Thursday evening. The group was left without the intended “question and answer” session of the evening.

“I founded this group because I am a proponent of transparency,” Bradley Boehringer of Piqua said.

“We need the transparency,” Roy Cole of Tipp City said. “It doesn’t look like it’s quite there right now.”

Boehringer stated that he forgot to invite the Miami County Sheriff’s Office to the Concerned Citizens meeting while the county commissioners each said that they had prior commitments Thursday evening. According to Boehringer, Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell and Miami County Prosecutor’s Investigator Jim Taylor did not respond to Boehringer’s invitation. Tina Waymire, recently terminated from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, sat quietly in the corner of the meeting room, declining to answer any questions surrounding the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

Of the eight attendees, most expressed disappointment and deep distrust in the county government and legal system. A couple attendees were simply there to listen.

“Question is, where do we go from here?” Boehringer asked. “What can we do to voice our concerns?”

Cris Brubaker of Piqua stated that it was “pretty sad” that none of the county officials had decided to attend the meeting in addition to very few residents of the county attending as well.

“This is not the end,” Boehringer said. “Let’s put the tough questions to them.”

Later in the evening, Boehringer stated he was going to invite the county officials again to another meeting expected to happen sometime in August. A specific date, time, and location was not set.

“What would cause them to want to come?” Brubaker asked.

“If they want to be transparent,” Boehringer said.

Brubaker expressed skepticism.

“Do we have any leverage at all to get them to agree?” Brubaker asked.

“The only… leverage I can say we have is we get together and form a charter committee,” Boehringer said. “Frame a county charter that gives us the right of recall.” Boehringer stated that was option that they had open to them under the state laws.

“We can form a county charter committee to draft a county charter, which would then go to the voters, and if it is approved, we go from a statutory county to a charter county,” Boehringer said.

“We’d have to get more strength behind this committee,” Brubaker said. Brubaker added that having the county officials speak with them was important, but she stated that she did not believe that they would want to speak with them.

Boehringer ended the meeting with encouraging the attendees to contact and reach out to more people about their concerns with the county.

For more information about Concerned Citizens of Miami County, email concernedcitizensofmiamicounty@gmail.com.