by Dylan Taylor-Lehman
The Ohio State University Press, 2018
Paper: 978-0-8142-5483-7 | eISBN: 978-0-8142-7635-8
Library of Congress Classification F499.M53T39 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 977.174

On September 9, 2015, in the quirky village of Yellow Springs, Ohio, the Miami Township Board of Trustees arbitrated a dispute concerning an area bed and breakfast that was apparently causing problems in the neighborhood where it was located. People were irate: the B&B was considered too loud by some but unfairly under attack by others, while township officials were called incompetent by both sides for not ruling in their favor. The trustees were amused, concerned, and baffled at the situation before them.
This quaint debate represents just one of many fascinating problems the trustees deal with on a daily basis. While Miami Township is small, the concerns are myriad—from cemeteries filled with unknown remains to a fire department to oversee to legal action required against properties clogged with junk. The responsibilities are doubly impressive considering no trustees have backgrounds in public office.
This book combines entertaining nonfiction vignettes with well-researched township history—including a history of religious cults and the possibility that Lee Harvey Oswald was once in town—and elucidates the processes behind an entire civic division. Dance of the Trustees documents twenty-first-century small-town life with humor, warmth, and erudition.

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