I was just wondering if you knew anything about the Columbus Police Department being used to direct traffic for the new church on Hwy 69. On Tuesday night, when I was leaving my mother’s house behind the church to go to work, I had to drive on the side of the drive to get out due to the church members parked in the road. My mother called 911, and asked for an officer to come out, but by the time he got there, everyone was gone. The officer said that it is illegal for them to park on the road, because if emergency services were required behind the church while they are in service, an ambulance or fire truck would not be able to get back there.
The next day, when I stopped by my mother’s house, I saw the police chief leaving the church. We stupidly assumed he was there speaking with them about parking in the road. When I started to leave that night, they were again parked all over the road, and attempted to stop me from driving through while people were coming out of the parking lot. There was also a Columbus PD officer parked at the end of the drive stopping traffic on a major highway so that these people could get out. I asked him to do something about the people parked in the road, and he told me that this was a private drive and the Columbus PD could not do anything about it. So, I asked him why he was directing traffic in a private drive, and he told me it was none of my business and to take the matter up with the Columbus City Council. (This would be the same council who illegally passed the vote for the church to build and assured us that the parking would not be a problem).
We do not have a problem with the church being there, but we do have a problem with the members blocking the road. I also have a HUGE problem with paying a police officer to direct traffic for a religious function. It doesn’t sound like separation of church and state to me!
Richard Holley via Facebook
Hi Columbus Packet.
I finally got around to reading your 12 Sep issue and wanted to commend you on printing what I believe is the absolute local media Statement of the Year — best I’ve read in any article in any newspaper in 2013. It’s the one responding to Marty Turner’s lawsuit threat for calling him a successful businessman:
“Should any evidence turn up that The Packet did print such an unfounded accusation, Packet Publisher Colin Krieger said he would gladly print a front page retraction that any description of Councilman Turner as a successful businessman is and was fundamentally false.”
ABSOLUTE gold. Thanks for printing it.