Congresswoman Jean Schmidt was welcomed into her new office in Union Township with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Union Township Trustees Thursday, March 24.
Schmidt relocated her Clermont County office from Batavia to the Union Township Civic Center amidst discussion by the Clermont County Commissioners regarding the cost effectiveness of a number of the county’s buildings.
“The board of trustees thought it was very vital, crucial, that an office for our Congresswoman was maintained in Clermont County, but more importantly in Union Township,” Trustee Matt Beamer said. “This facility, the Union Township Civic Center, has great access, plenty of parking, and handicap accessibility.”
Beamer said Schmidt’s office adds to the services provided by the existing township office, West Clermont Local Schools Board of Education Office, a Clermont Senior Services branch office, a post office, the gymnasium, and available meeting rooms to provide an all encompassing civic center for the community.
“The addition of our Congresswoman really makes a complete civic center here in Clermont County, Union Township,” Beamer said.
After the announcement of the results of the new census, which show Union Township’s population exceeding nearby Anderson Township’s, Beamer said a Union Township office was especially efficient for a large portion the Second Congressional District’s population.
Schmidt thanked the trustees, Fiscal Officer Ron Campbell, and administrator Ken Geis for the invitation to open an office at the township facility.
“I’m very honored to be here and to be able to serve the folks in the Second Congressional District in a very convenient way,” Schmidt said. “I sometimes think that God puts you in a place you are supposed to be…looking back on it it was the smartest decision I made for so many reasons.”
The space is being provided to the Congresswoman rent free until the expiration of her term in 2013. At that time the contract could be extended.
“Thank you for the very gracious rent, I think the tax payers can afford it, and I’m looking forward to being here a very long time,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said the civic center provides added security for her constituents and office employees.
“You never know what’s going to happen in life but sometimes bad people do bad things and in the wake of what happened to my very good colleague Gabby (Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford) back in January this was a very prophetic decision,” Schmidt said.
Trustee Tim Donnellon thank the public officials gathered for attending, and thank Beamer for his efforts in bringing Schmidt to Union Township.
“It’s very rare that township trustees get specific recognition for the work that they do, I want to point out that Matt Beamer was very instrumental in…making this event possible,” Trustee Tim Donnellon said.
Trustee Bob McGee closed the ceremony with a prayer followed by a ribbon cutting.
The Union Township office is one of two new offices Schmidt opened last week. On Saturday March 26 she opened a new office in Peebles in Adams County. Schmidt said she moved her Portsmouth office to a location with lower rent in the Scioto County city and the savings allowed her to open a Peebles office at the cost of an additional phone line. She said she was thrilled to have easier access to her constituents in a district that stretches from Scioto and Pike Counties to downtown Cincinnati. The rising gas prices have made the new locations especially beneficial to residents in Adams County and Anderson Township, Schmidt said.