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Bath reader says hunting issue more pressing

10/10/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

In late 2009, the West Side Leader reported the Bath Police Department was investigating a bullet that had struck a home in Bath. A deer hunter’s slug had ricocheted and struck a house and broke a sliding glass door. In response to this incidence, the then township administrator advised Bath residents that if venturing outdoors, they should dress in bright colors and be noisy.

Many of us were shocked regarding this statement, wondering if we were living in grizzly country or in an upscale suburb of 10,000 people. The thought of wearing an orange flak jacket with silver reflectors and singing loudly around the community so as not to be shot was absurd, and more than likely, we would be arrested and sent to the township health center for observation.

However, as time went on, it was clear the Bath trustees were more interested in protecting hunters’ rights, which included illegal hunting, than the safety of the community. Hunting is prohibited within one-half mile of the Bath Nature Preserve under Ohio Revised Code 3773.06 [“Prohibition against hunting or shooting game near township park”], and to this day, the trustees, [Becky] Corbett, [Jim] Nelson and [Elaina] Goodrich, have refused to place “no hunting” signs around the perimeter of the nature preserve as was requested by myself via email (I was interim president of the Bath Homeowners Association) and by many Bath residents years ago. The trustees have simply ignored the law in favor of hunters’ rights. The trustees have failed to identify a no-hunting perimeter of the nature preserve, have failed to identify a one-half mile no-hunting zone and have refused and failed to post no-hunting signs not only in the nature preserve, but in other Bath parks, around schools and athletic fields, possessing a very real safety danger in hunting season to Bath residents, including children.

So, it must be political silly season when a headline in the West Side Leader Sept. 26, 2013 [“County Council mulling peddler penalties”], reports Bath is seriously mulling peddler criminal penalties and criminal charges! Criminalizing small business peddlers or individuals trying to make a living is an anomaly to our free enterprise system, and it is very troubling that a small township bureaucrat, [Bath Township Administrator Vito] Sinopoli, will attempt to ascertain who is legitimate and who is not, and then will find it completely normal allowing gun- or weapon-bearing hunters to roam freely around the community without the same consideration (registration) as a tree trimmer.

If the trustees and Sinopoli are really serious about safety, then require all hunters and prospective hunters to register their guns/weapons with the township, provide a proof of insurance card, an NRA safety card and make the hunters aware of Ohio Revised Code 3773.06. Additionally, put no hunting within one-half mile signs erected around the perimeter of the Bath Nature Preserve and a phone number so residents can call if they have unwanted/illegal hunters in their backyard. Then, as not in the past, enforce the law. Arresting some college kids selling books to your next-door neighbor for tuition is a waste of our taxpayer dollars and poses more of a threat to individual freedoms than our safety.

Jeff Tripp, Bath


Editor’s note: Summit County Council passed the peddling legislation at the Sept. 30 Council meeting. Section 775.99 of the county’s codified ordinances was amended to make violators subject to a minor misdemeanor criminal charge and a fine of up to $100. It applies to for-profit solicitors, peddlers and canvassers.

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