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From Ray Witten

By Staff | Nov 13, 2013

To The Editor,

On Oct. 13, the headline of The Marietta Times read, “Who gets blamed for Ormet?”

First, let me make it clear who is NOT to blame. It is not the front of Ormet’s highly regarded management team. It is just the opposite. That is what the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio wants you to believe. During the meeting held in Columbus on Oct. 17, the PUCO Chairman spent a lot of his time taking personal jabs at Ormet’s management team. Also at the meeting was an appointed elected official from the governor’s office who was quoted saying he did not want to be in attendance at the meeting but was sent by the governor’s office. He was also overhead saying, “He did not like Ormet anyway.”

We refer to this “bunch” as PUCO, but I prefer to call them, “Kasich’s Puppets.” I understand they are appointed by the governor, but what does that say? It tells me that Ormet never stood a chance to be awarded a discount in the power from AEP so they could keep Ormet running.

There have been countless attempts and meetings to Columbus to get Kasich to listen and get involved. All of these attempts were to no avail. Both salary and hourly employees working together, trying to get the governor to listen and help. One for example was that salary working along with hourly, United Steelworkers of America Local #5724 had obtained over 10,000 signatures to present to PUCO on a meeting held Oct. 17.

You could not have asked Ormet’s salaried workforce and the hourly workforce that make up USWA Local #5724 to have worked so hard together with any more dedication to keep Ormet from closing. So if the governor, representatives, PUCO, and elected officials are looking for someone to blame, I suggest they take a good look in the mirror. I am sure they see what we all see: a very proud, selfish person staring back at them.

The saddest part of all of this is that one phone call from Governor Kasich could have prevented this devastating blow to the Ohio Valley from happening. I can’t imagine how this “guy” (notice I did not use the word, “man”) feels. I am guessing a great sense of pride.

Let me, in closing, be the first on behalf of all 1,000 out of work employees, to wish Governor Kasich and his family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Ray Witten

Marietta, Ohio