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Letter to the Editor: Commissioner Campbell Blasts Local Pastor Over Annex Letter

Thursday, October 2, 2014 @ 03:10 PM

Posted by exploreClarion

After reading your Letter to the Editor on Explore Clarion last week I have been continually thinking about it. I debated what to do, mainly just let it go by but I just can’t. I was going to respond to you personally, but seeing you would rather put your concerns and issues in a public forum I will as well. Additionally since our office did reach out to you to meet about your thoughts and you chose not to meet with us.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This Letter to the Editor is in response to a letter submitted by Pastor Jake Jacobson and published on on September 23rd.

I guess I will start with if you are opposed to the annex that’s fine. I would appreciate it though if you told the whole story in your articles instead of a very slanted perspective. Yes, the annex will be in front of the church but it will still be visible as you are going west on Main Street.

As a matter of fact, it will be more visible than it was when there was a gas station and diner on the county employee’s lot. While we are talking about parking you keep saying “we” will lose most “our” parking. Jake, you have no parking, except for your personal cars. As far as having the lot chained off, please let me know when other than during times of resurfacing or work on it is being completed.

The county has allowed you to utilize “our” parking. Additionally, in the winter our maintenance staff tries to clear the lot on Sunday mornings rather than wait until Monday. Your parishioners have access to more parking now than at any other time in history. The metered spaces next to Jefferson Place currently are planned to be moved and there will be a net loss of 7 spaces (of the current 14). As far as closing Jefferson Place and access to the church being through a “series of alleys”, people will be going on only 1 alley, Madison Road which the church is located on or they can park on Liberty and use Jefferson Place.

Then you talk about putting up with taunts, catcalls and jail breaks, from the jail. First and foremost your predecessors selected to build their church on an alley and next to a jail. Secondly, it hasn’t been a jail for 20+ years.

Autumn Leaf Festival, I understand you lose use of the metered spaces and 31 of the counties spots for 2 services. As a county we also lose access to the metered spaces for our patrons as well as displacing 31 employees for the entire week.

The main catalyst though for my deciding to respond was your personal attack at myself and the commissioners. I find it more than offensive to have anyone especially you insinuate I did, I am or I will be taking a “kick back” as a reason for this project.

As you ramble on about the inconveniences to you, what about the people working in the 911 Center or basement offices in that building. They come to work every day in a damp, moldy environment. A jail built in the 1870’s with 3 foot thick concrete walls inside and out was not designed nor is it serviceable, or cost effective to use as an electronic network for emergency services.

I have never said I am excited about the project or the spending of the money but I am also not in favor of forcing people to work in an unsafe, unhealthy, environment. Although the population of the county has diminished over the years, the requirement for services has increased. Some examples are our current jail has as many if not more inmates than ever; we have increased 911 calls every year; and our demands to protect and serve those in our social/human services has skyrocketed. This is not about spending money to build a shrine it is about giving people a decent place to work and providing access and equal services to all the population.

The one thing I do feel bad about is not letting you know before the public meeting but as a board we agreed to keep it for the meeting and the meeting wasn’t over before it was all over Explore Clarion. That is one of the down sides to our electronic world.

Butch Campbell, Clarion County Commissioner

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of To submit a letter to the editor, email

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