On the Ironton Rail Trail there are a number of benches that walkers can use to rest. Some of these benches have been dedicated in memoriam to citizens of Whitehall who have passed on. One of the benches has been dedicated to the Kern children who died shortly after birth a few years ago. The bench was put up in their honor some time after. I’ve seen the bench and always thought of it as a nice gesture to the Kern family and a sign that their friends and neighbors share their grief.
With that said, this weekend at a Super Bowl party with a number of former and current Whitehall residents, the bench became a topic among some of them. Apparently, there is some speculation and question as to why Commissioner Kern has a bench when there are many people in Whitehall who have suffered the loss of children, etc and nothing has been done for them. The questions that I heard on Sunday are paraphrased below:
Why did Kern get a bench dedication? Were there special circumstances? Was there a selection process, or did he get it based on who he knew on the IRT committee? Or was it just simple politics, even though I believe Commissioner Kern was yet to be elected when the bench was dedicated.
I give these questions to you, the Whitehall citizens. Please provide some information and facts on this before the entire thing becomes a “Bench-Gate” scandal.