The Ohio Redistricting Commission adopted new district maps for the state legislature this week. This impacts Sarah Fowler Arthur and Sandy O’Brien, as the areas they represent will be changing somewhat. There were calls on Facebook for people to “like” and “share” posts to grab Gov. Mike DeWine’s attention about the matter.


Instead of fiddling with Facebook, I went to the commission’s hearings that were held nearby. Only two people from Ashtabula County testified before that commission about the impact of proposed new maps on our area. Instead of hoping Gov. DeWine might take notice of something on Facebook, I instead got to address him in person Monday night in Cleveland in a packed auditorium.


I am sure folks reading this are probably thinking that they probably could have stood up and been better advocates for our community. Outside myself and John Patterson, nobody else from Ashtabula County showed up at the hearings. Those commissioners didn’t notice much on social media. They definitely took notes on what John Patterson said as well as what I said. We each needed our own “amen chorus,” though.


I want an Ashtabula City that people are eager to move to and live in. If our county had 20,000 more people in the census we wouldn’t have gotten carved up as badly as we did. I choose smart growth over withering away. 


Stephen Kellat


Editor’s note: Kellat is a candidate for Ashtabula City Council, Ward 4.


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