Letters to Editor
Moving Claridon Forward
I would like to thank everyone, both Claridon residents and others, who have supported me over the past 38 years that I served as a Claridon Township Trustee and during this election.
It is impossible to express my appreciation for the conversations, comments, correspondence, visits and phone calls that I have received.
I am looking forward to my 11th term as a trustee in 2013 and moving our township forward.
I will continue to address the health, safety and welfare of the community by continuing the fire and rescue, road, zoning and recycling programs. It is my intent to serve the Claridon Residents and Our Community.
The Board of Trustees encourages you to attend meetings (the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6 p.m. at the Administrative Building) and express any concerns you may have. Our open lines of communication allow issues to be addressed promptly and efficiently.
We will continue to protect Claridons rural character and natural resources.
David L. Brockway
Time I Will Treasure
As many of you know by now, I came up short at the election 51 votes short to be exact, which equals 1.5 percent. I didn’t enter the race to lose, so I am not cavalier about the lack of victory.
I announced my decision seven weeks before the election clearly not enough time. I did things that I thought I’d never do such as creating a website (www.lindajobrien.us) and sending out a robo call two days before the election. Yet, it just wasn’t enough.
Plus, we had too many candidates in the race, so the votes for “our side” were too fractured. It wasn’t that there weren’t enough on our side because there were almost 60 percent of the voters stated with their vote that they wanted change.
It was a wonderful experience as I knocked on doors and made new friends, as I spoke at various events and learned of the concerns of others, and as I was reacquainted with friends whom I haven’t spent time with for too long. Tiring? Yes! Yet a time that I will treasure!
As I try and learn from this experience, I realize that the “fracture” is the issue with America. There are more God fearing, liberty loving Americans than the “others,” but we divide ourselves over a multitude of issues.
If we continue to follow this path, our liberty and our moral foundation will be gone. We must unite on the one big founding value of America God. As a dear friend of mine said, “if they’re for God, then they should join us; if they are against God, then join the other side.”
I want to thank all of you who stood with me in prayer, in encouragement, financially, in wisdom, in votes and in strength. I’m sure you don’t realize how much you helped and how much I appreciate what you did. You are a blessing to me and I am thankful that you are in my life.
Linda J. OBrien
Battle Not Over
Regretfully, Issue 34 did not pass at the polls last Tuesday. This 7.1-mill emergency levy was necessary to keep Newbury Schools from dipping into the red as early as the end of the 2013-2014 school year. This could force the district to make more cuts and borrow monies, leading to the potential involvement of the state in running our schools.
Let us not lose sight of the great strides the community has made in the past months to ban together in support of our school district. Countless hours, generous donations and creative ideas led the force as we fought to educate ourselves and our community in this ever-evolving issue of diminishing federal and state funding for our public schools, especially in Geauga County.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many community members, businesses, school staff and administration for their continued support. This battle is not over! We need to educate the entire population, so together we can find a workable solution for our kids, because they deserve an excellent education from excellent schools, which Newbury Schools have proven to be time and time again.
Thanks for Support
I would like to thank the residents of Russell Township for their support in passing the replacement operating levy on Nov. 5.
The passage of this levy will allow the Russell Police Department to continue to provide the community of Russell Township with the finest police service and protection for our residents.
The department will continue the service philosophy based on the principles of community oriented policing and being a partner of the community while fairly enforcing laws.
On behalf of the officers of the Russell Police Department, I thank the residents of Russell Township for their continued support.
Chief Timothy Carroll
Russell Police Department
I would like to thank the voters of Chester Township for the levy renewals for our fire and road departments.
The results validate the strong commitment from the community in supporting these essential services and I appreciate the support you have shown.
Ken Radtke Jr., Trustee
Not Just a Hand Puppet
Do you really believe your article correctly identified the reasons why I would have called 911 at a Chester trustees meeting? I think not.
The most important part that was left out of the article was that Mitch Gentile was pulling a black cord out of the blue plastic bag he had with him, as he sat in the chair that was approximately three feet away from Trustee Radtke. Who knows what he was up to.
He loitered in the township hallway through most of the regular meeting with Mr. Franks. He only came into the meeting room at the beginning of the public comment section of the meeting. Mr. Franks left sometime before the public comments portion of the meeting.
Then, when called on by the chair, he did his stunt. I had no idea of what he was up to. He had a blue plastic grocery-type bag, which was weighted down by something, as you could tell from him carrying it. He was pulling out a black cord, similar to a cord for a transformer of some type. It was just not a sock he had in that bag.
I asked the chairman to call the police and he didn’t even stop to acknowledge that I had even said anything. In this day and age, you never know what someone is going to do. Geauga County knows this well because of the Chardon Schools shooting. I asked again and said if he didnt I would call 911.
At anytime I feel in fear of someones actions, yes I will call 911 and I did feel that way at the trustees meeting. So did several other people in the audience.
It was amazing that Mitch Gentile left the meeting extremely quickly when he knew I was on the phone with the 911 operator.
The 911 operator had asked me to try and see what car he got into, so I went outside. I was too late to see what car he got into. There was a car rushing out of the parking lot as the Chester police arrived.
After I had explained what had happened to the police, the officer suggested that we go into town hall, where it was warmer, so he could take my statement. Judy Caputo was standing at the door into the hallway by the meeting room, holding the handle of the door speaking with the other two Chester police officers. She told them that Mitch Gentile was not to be removed from the trustees meeting, as he only had a ‘hand puppet. It was not just a hand puppet!
Please make sure to talk and check with all participants in a situation before writing a story which leaves out critical facts.
Thanks, West Geauga
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving this community on the West Geauga Board of Education for 32 years. It has been my pleasure to watch the growth of this school district.
When I started on the board we had four elementary schools, a middle school and high school. Over the years, enrollment changes required that we first closed Chester elementary school and then Russell elementary school.
Again, changes occurred with enrollment and in the mid-90s we added classroom and special use spaces to each of our four buildings. Now we are experiencing a new phenomena, that of declining enrollment of our residential population. More changes will occur as time goes on and I’m sure we will all weather the changes.
It has been a pleasure to serve with many citizens of the West Geauga school district as fellow board members over the years. There have been many and let me name as many as I can remember: Kathy Leavenworth, Tim Ristau, Joe Varanese, Ted Lewis, Roger Glover, Jack Fear, Tom Small, Rich McClelland, Al Mulliken, Rich Chicone, Linda Miller, Jim Koster, Sherry Patti, Pam Makowski, Ben Pintabona, Dean Patterson, Ben Kotowski, Jackie Dottore, Mike Kilroy and Bill Beers. I’ve learned from each of these fellow board members, sometimes about differences, sometimes about friendship, sometimes about leadership.
I’ve also served with many treasurers, but none as fine as the current treasurer, Michele Tullai. And many administrators have made their marks on West Geauga while I’ve served on the board. There have been superintendents, principals, central office administrators and support staff who have made a difference. Tony Podojil brought us into the 21st century with a chance to be a leader of school districts.
And not to forget, the most important component of all, our fine teaching staff. We wouldn’t be the Blue Ribbon High School we are today without their dedicated work.
I look forward to using time I will now have to pursue other interests, but I will miss being a part of future growth of our district.
Thanks, Chardon Schools Voters
Thank you to the voters. We deeply appreciate your support of Issue #31. You made a difference in the lives of the 3,000 students served in our schools each day by allowing us to restore lost educational programming and services that will be critical to the success of every student.
Thank you to all of the volunteers and staff members who contributed tirelessly to getting the message out, educating our community members on the importance of this issue to the future of our schools and community. Your time, energy and support were overwhelming.
Thank you to the members of Chardon City Council and Chardon Township Trustees. The impact of your support and endorsement is immeas-urable and deeply appreciated.
Thank you to our students who used their voice to express why maintaining and developing educational opportunities in our schools is important to your future. Your energy and enthusiasm were clear.
Thank you to those that attended community meetings, visited websites and did other research on the levy. As an informed voter, you understood what was best for our children and communities.
Thank you for valuing public education and the future of our children and the communities we serve.
Michael P. Hanlon Jr., Ph.D.
Cooperation is not a word we always associate with our elected political officers. But recent actions from our county recorders in Geauga and Lake counties have debunked that theory.
On Oct. 1, 2013, Geauga County Recorder Sharon Gingerich and Lake County Recorder Ann Radcliffe cooperatively processed over 110 identification cards for Geauga County veterans.
Veterans started to line up before 8:30 a.m. and were processed until 4:15 p.m. So, not only did the recorders work side by side, they even worked beyond stated hours.
Ms. Gingerich will be assisting Ms. Radcliffe in Lake County to process veteran ID cards on a future date.
Yes, we are fortunate in Geauga and Lake counties to have elected officials that are responsive to our needs.
A very hearty, hearty thank you from all veterans in Geauga County.
Newell G. Beaumier
Atwood Mauck Post #459
American Legion, Burton
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