Resident advocate of ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — During the Troy City Council’s public comment portion of its meeting on Monday, Troy resident Christopher Harshbarger advocated for the city of Troy to become a “sanctuary city for the unborn” like the city of Lebanon recently declared in May and to outlaw abortion within the city.

“You and I as citizens here in Ohio do not have the pen to outlaw the murder of unborn children. That’s held at levels higher than us. However, you do have the opportunity to outlaw the murder of unborn children here within the city of Troy,” Harshbarger said. “I know we currently don’t have any abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood, whatnot within the city limits, but after they set up shop is not the time to address these issues. Now is the time to declare Troy, Ohio a sanctuary city for the unborn.”

Harshbarger spoke from a religious point of view to argue against abortion, asking the council members to address this issue.

“If city council can take on moral issues such as drinking and drinking on public land, we can take on the issue of murdering children here in the city limits of (Troy) Ohio,” Harshbarger said. “I feel it would be better to remind you of your role before God. All of us will one day stand before our creator and give an account, and I ask that you fall on his grace that he gives to sinners like me and have that grace to take a bold stance for other humans who are made in his image.”

Harshbarger said it could be a difficult experience for the council to declare the city of Troy as a “sanctuary city for the unborn,” stating the ACLU of Ohio is planning to oppose Lebanon’s legislation in court. He added the council members may face having “your reputation and your character called into question.”

“It is objectively right and necessary to do to stand for the citizens who cannot stand for themselves,” Harshbarger said.

During the council’s regular meeting, Council Member William Twiss voted against entering into an agreement with the Troy Main Street regarding its Donut Jam event, noting he was not against the event itself.

“I’m against the sale of alcohol on public property,” Twiss said.

The legislation passed by a vote of 8 to 1. Council Member Bobby Phillips was absent. The agreement allows for the Donut Jam, which will hold a concert the evening of Aug. 27 and additional entertainment on Aug. 28, to sell alcohol during the event. Troy Main Street will be required to apply for a liquor permit for the event.

The Donut Jam will be held during the Tour de Donut between Aug. 27-28. The council approved an agreement with Can’t Stop Running Co. in regard to the Tour de Donut event. The agreement includes the closing of the public square.

Also during the council’s meeting, the council approved Small Business Development (SBD) loans for Smith’s Boathouse Restaurant LLC, and the property at 107 W. Main LLC, also known as the Masonic Temple.

The application approved for Smith’s Boathouse Restaurant, located at 439 N. Elm St., will restructure two existing loan balances for the business totaling $158,017, as well as add $30,000, to create a new loan in the amount of $188,017. The 10-year, 3-percent interest loan will help the restaurant to add awnings to the front and rear patio deck areas of the building, which is an improvement estimated to cost $60,000.

In regard to the Masonic Temple, the council approved a loan agreement in the amount of $100,000 with the owners Sam O’Neal and Doug Ernst, who purchased the property last year. The 36-month, 2.5-percent interest loan will help with the $2 million renovation of the site. They are expecting the project to create between 50-60 jobs within two years after completion, according to Patrick Titterington, director of Public Service and Safety.

The council also approved the following items:

• The annexation of Strayer Farms, Inc., 8.140 acres along Washington Road, into the city of Troy;

• The authorization of bidding for the Police Department Heat Pump Replacement Project, which has an estimated cost of $100,000;

• Accepting the final plat for Fox Harbor Subdivision Section 8 and the dedication of right-of-way;

• Accepting easements along Archer, associated with the WACO Warehouse;

• The ordinance of assessments for the Sidewalk Improvement Program Phase 12;

• And vacating a portion of Arlington Avenue, west of South Dorset Road.

The council suspended the three-reading rule for all legislation.

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