Thursday, April 24, 2014

Letters to Editor
December 12, 2013 by Staff Report | No Comments

Thank You, Tom Curtin

I was one of many who either received an email from Tom Curtin or read with disbelief in the Maple Leaf that his contract as the Geauga Park Districts executive director would not be renewed.

I am equally certain I was one of many in the county who could not believe this was happening to such a fine and capable park director.

Tom and all of the fantastic staff of the Geauga Park District in my opinion have done an outstanding job in creating the wonderful park district we have today. Fifty years from now people in Geauga County will sing praises to the foresight that Tom and his outstanding staff had in growing and developing the park as it stands today. Their courage and efforts to preserve, conserve and protect the parks we have will by far be the finest legacy our generation will hand down to the next.

With that said, we are only left to wonder and guess why Toms contract was not renewed. Did he do something illegal or unforgiving? Well that question was answered in the last Maple Leaf by Commissioner Fischbach. It seems that Toms crimes were burying a car and mishandling of firearms from an estate that was never probated, but was left to the park district.

Mr. Fischbach also stated the parks legal counsel advised Tom to rectify the probate issue, but counsel was ignored.

From Mr. Fischbachs article, the estate could have been contested but since nothing else was mentioned, I assume this was never pursued. I guess no one really cared or felt if it was significant.

I dont feel that any of these warrant the drastic action taken by Commissioners Pertuziello and Fischbach. The great things that Tom has done over the past 14 years overshadow these events that happened five years ago, way back in 2008.

If these issues were that serious, I dont believe for one second that the county legal department would have been ignored. In our litigious society, the county legal department would have been all over the park officials like fleas on a dog if they felt it was important enough. Since this did not happen, no one must have cared. If no one cared then, why does anyone care now?

I believe the action of Commissioners Pertuziello and Fischbach was orchestrated to remove Curtain. Why didnt they open an inquiry and rectify the issues? Why not advise Tom of their dissatisfaction and ask him to make things right? Why didnt they give Tom a chance to defend his actions? There should have at least been a dialog. How can it be said it was in the best interests of the park district and Mr. Curtin to end the relationship? Present and resolve the issues in a public forum to fix them.

As a result, nothing good has come from this whole ordeal. The car is still buried, legal counsel is still ignored and the park is without a great leader; so much for leadership and open communications from appointed park commissioners.

As a result, I ask the commissioners to do what is right. Reinstate Tom (if he would come back), correct the issues at hand and get on with making the park the best it can be!

Furthermore, I would ask that Tim Grendell who appointed these two commissioners open a public forum to review their actions. While we cannot vote for park commissioners, we can vote for judges who appoint them.

Whats my connection to the park you ask? I am proud to say I have volunteered for this incredible park district for about 25 years and have seen firsthand the outstanding job done by Tom and his tremendous staff over the years.

Thank you, Tom! You and your efforts are appreciated more than you will ever know.

Dan Galdun
Claridon Township

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