In terms of the use of public electricity, the county needs to set out a clear policy that is fairly applied to all groups regardless of their politics and purpose. If Commissioner Ingold is concerned that the county is being taken advantage of over the use of electricity, maybe a simple conversation with the Occupy Findlay group could have resolved that issue.
As far as placing restrictions on a citizen’s right to protest, Commissioner Ingold’s initiative seems driven more by his personal feelings about the Occupy Findlay groups politics and methods than any legitimate concern for safety or the rights of other groups wishing to use Dorney Plaza. The idea that there is a shortage of space in Dorney Plaza for public use is ridiculous on its face value.
Commissioner Ingold may believe that citizens exercising their constitutional rights are “silly” or that the government has the right to place a time limit on public protest. I believe in expanding, not restricting, our rights at every possible opportunity.
Our basic constitutional rights do not require that we agree with any protest group or even enjoy their presence in our community. It does require that we respect their rights and stand up for their freedoms.
Commissioner Ingold, I would think that you have better things to do with your time than to restrict our constitutional rights on concerns that are largely figments of your imagination, over a protest that is no longer in progress.
See Article in the Findlay Courier: http://www.thecourier.com/Issues/2011/Dec/30/ar_news_123011_story2.asp?d=123011_story2,2011,Dec,30&c=n#__comments