Letters to the Editor
February 18, 2016 by Submitted

McArthur, Rear Fit the Bill

In the races for Geauga County Commissioner, there are two candidates who have the right stuff to lead our county: Nancy McArthur and Blake Rear. Each has demonstrated the integrity and leadership qualities that make them ideally suited to address the issues confronting our county. We will be well served if they are elected.

If you stay abreast with what is happening in the county, you may conclude, as I have, that there is a level of dysfunction and discord that is counterproductive and inhibits the smooth and efficient operation of government.

In my opinion, we can move county government in a positive direction with the elections of Nancy McArthur and Blake Rear.

The presidential campaign has generated much regrettable rhetoric and is demonstrating the public is frustrated as it feels that government has not sensibly addressed the problems we face. While it may be satisfying for some to tear down government and lament that America has seen its best days, this does not address our problems and creates a level of cynicism that is unhealthy and counterproductive. Unfortunately, some of this rancor is trickling down to local politics.

Change, requires reasonable people from all parties to come together to implement solutions. This only happens if we put the right people in office and if we understand that many issues are complicated and require compromise. Neither party can dictate terms and voters must accept that change may require sacrifice and include provisions we may personally oppose.

When evaluating who to support in a political election, it is important for voters to consider not only the party affiliation or ideology of the candidate, but also his or her experience, judgment, integrity and temperament. Candidates with these qualities get things done and done well.

Nancy McArthur and Blake Rear fit the bill.

John T. Fitts
Chester Township

Valuable Asset for Geauga

I am writing to express my support for one of the Republican candidates for Common Pleas Judge, David Ondrey.

I have known David Ondrey for many years, having been employed at his law firm upon my graduation from college. I am now vice president of a successful flooring manufacturing company in Middlefield. David has worked for our company as legal counsel for the last several years.

We are excited to have David considering being a part of the Geauga County judiciary. I believe he brings the right mix of knowledge, character and experience to such an important position. I know him to be approachable, a sympathetic listener and a skilled attorney.

I also know his values match those of many of us in Geauga County, where we treasure our unique culture and our conservative traditions, within both the Amish and English communities.

I urge voters to choose him on the Republican Primary ballot. David Ondrey will be a valuable asset for our county.

Barbara Titus, VP
Sheoga Hardwood Flooring

Feeding at Public Trough

I read with interest the Honorable Judge T.J. Grendell’s justification for not renewing a long-standing, well-respected, highly-qualified local park board member and replacing him with one of the judge’s political prote?ge?s.

It seems the Judge believes that change is better than experience, that new faces are better than institutional memory, that people who will owe him something are better than people with knowledge.

Now, I must give the Judge credit for showing some political courage. Like many, I received a robo call from him endorsing the Sandy Hook Promise. His call focused on bullying and its prevention, but we all know that Sandy Hook’s primary focus is on gun regulation. One has to admire him for endorsing this group’s goals, some of which may be held in disfavor by many in the county.

However, that said, I have witnessed firsthand the disruptions caused by the judge’s constant changes at the Geauga Park District Board.

Board members do not know the history of issues and that matters have been previously decided and now are being rediscussed because the judge was unhappy with the first outcome; they do not understand the difficult budgeting process; they cannot make and implement long-term plans.

The result is there is no true oversight by the Board and the judge’s hand-picked director leads the Board down the Judge’s predetermined path.

If the Judge truly believes that random change is good and that, to quote him, “there are no lifetime appointments,” then he should resign his position. To quote a letter my wife wrote when the judge manipulated the Ohio House and Senate elections in order to avoid being disqualified by term-limit laws, “It’s time for the Grendells to stop feeding at the public trough.”

Ed Buckles
Troy Township

Stand Firm with Joyce

Tis the season of misinformation and false facts being spewed forth by many aspiring politicians. The poster child for the release of such toxic garbage is the perennial campaigner, Matt Lynch.

His quest for the 14th District Congressional House seat, currently occupied by Dave Joyce, is founded on throwing false daggers at his opponent and promoting policy that is unreasonable and misguided.

Lynch has criticized Congressman Joyce for being one of the top liberal Republicans, a statement that is extremely inaccurate. If you look at Dave’s voting record, it is clear that he is not remotely liberal, but is logical and believes in making informed decisions.

Taking an extreme, radical, far right position on issues is a good way to garner attention but in no way generates action or results.

Another false assertion is the Congressman Joyce voted to pay for Obamacare when, in fact, he has voted to defund, repeal or delay the bill every chance he has — which is 34 separate times. I guess that is not enough effort in Matt Lynch’s world.

And finally, Lynch has criticized Joyce for his vote in favor of the Omnibus spending bill. The facts are the bill funded the men and women in our military, our border patrol agents and our intelligence community. We need to keep our country safe. Again, the facts coming out of the Lynch camp are continually distorted and baseless.

At the end of the day, Congressman Joyce’s actions speak louder than the words of a rogue, outspoken attorney with a checkered past. Although Lynch’s ultra-right wing rhetoric has gained him some attention, the reality is that we need to support and stand firm with Dave Joyce. He is a true leader, is honorable and will proudly represent the 14th District.

Tony Visconsi
South Russell Village

Exciting, Innovative Opportunity

There is currently an extraordinary opportunity for four Geauga County school districts. Presently, it appears three of these will be on board to realize the enormous benefits for our children and communities.

With the combining of the Ledgemont and Berkshire districts, the addition of the Newbury families and the partnership with Kent State University, the new district will operate out of a new building and have a STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) program as well as a full partnership with the Auburn Career Center.

The potential for lab schools for early education in conjunction with KSU is a very real and exciting probability. Furthermore, students of the new school will be able to graduate with an Associates Degree and can then complete their last two years of college for $6,000 per year — a four-year degree for $12,000.

For those not destined for a college degree, students will graduate technically ready for meaningful employment, due to the liaison with the Auburn Career Center, the Geauga business community and the Geauga Growth Partnership.

Public education as we have known it in the past is just that, in the past. It’s time for us to come of age and provide the highest quality and variety of educational experiences.

As a person having spent 12 years as a teacher, coach and administrator, as well as 12 additional years serving on the Berkshire Board of Education, and a grandfather of five elementary school age children, it is my hope and prayer that the parents and citizens of the Cardinal School District join us in this truly exciting and innovative opportunity.

This is not about the Badgers, the Black Knights, the Huskies nor the Redskins; this is about a wonderful future for our children. Time is of the essence. Please encourage your school board and superintendent to join us in this first of its kind system in the state of Ohio.

Don Hornak
Burton Township

Says What He Means

If you want a candidate who talks the talk and walks the walk, vote for Matt Lynch on March 15.

Matt stands for Life. When Matt was in the Ohio House of Representatives he voted and supported the Heartbeat Bill, a bill which states life begins when you can hear an unborn baby’s heartbeat. Matt is not afraid to stand outside an abortion clinic to pray for unborn babies or speak out publicly for life.

Matt and his first wife Janie, who has since passed, volunteered at Womankind in the mid 70s and early 80s. They used their home as an emergency host home for pregnant woman. These women had either been kicked out of the house by their parents or boyfriends. It was then that I formed a deep respect for Matt Lynch. The Lynches’ sacrifice and commitment hit home for me.

It hit home because when I grew up in the 70s I had a friend whose parent threw her out of the house for being pregnant when she was 16. Her mother didn’t want her to corrupt her little brother. My friend didn’t want to abort her baby and ended up with a very rocky start to her life with a small child. She sure could have benefited from a loving and caring couple like the Lynches.

I have known Matt for several years. He has a special quality as an individual. He is not afraid to stand up for what is right. He is not an establishment candidate. He is true to his Christian values. He truly says what he means.

More importantly I know he is concerned about the future of our children, my child and the direction are country is heading. That is why on March 15 I am voting for Matt Lynch for Congress.

Jeannine M Soltis
Claridon Township


Some people have responded to my recent letter defending Judge Tim Grendell for hiring his campaign manager as his Juvenile and Probate court constable, and the no-bid contract he awarded to Tea Party candidate Linda O’Brien. They ask why I didn’t mention Kim Laurie, like I was trying to hide that one.

It is true that the Judge fired some employees, created a new position of Budget Coordinator and Liaison for the Juvenile and Probate court, and then gave failed Lake County Tea Party candidate Kimberly Laurie the job.

As I see it, that’s only three examples of when Judge Grendell used the power and the budget of his office to help out loyal friends and political allies. That doesn’t mean that it’s cronyism. He’s simply helping friends have good jobs until their next opportunity comes along.

Yes, I know Ms. Laurie is running for Lake County Commissioner again. But if that doesn’t work out for her, she’ll still have her Geauga County job. What’s so wrong about that?

Todd Ray
Munson Township

35 Years of Trial Work

As a careful observer of Geauga County politics and candidates, I want to share my opinion regarding one particular race; namely, for the Republican Primary for Common Pleas Court.

The past year has taught us just how important it is to thoughtfully select our judges. Fortunately, I believe there is an outstanding candidate in this year’s Primary, namely David M. Ondrey.

When you compare his long track record of excellent legal work, repeated selection as Solicitor for several Geauga County communities, leadership positions on the the hospital, United Way, Ravenswood and Bar Association boards, and others, he emerges as someone this county can count upon to serve as a fair, impartial and knowledgeable jurist.

No other candidate approaches David’s 35 years in trial work and other types of litigation.

Let’s get someone seasoned and capable to handle this critical post of being a trial court judge.

Bill Miller
Russell Township

Vote Honesty, Strength

Nancy McArthur has earned my respect and endorsement for Geauga County Commissioner. Her seven years elected to serve on Chardon City Council, five years on the City Planning Commission and current position as Mayor of Chardon makes her a very qualified candidate.

Nancy and her family are long time Chardon residents. She understands the importance of balancing the preservation of our Historic Architecture with a strong economic development plan that upholds Geauga’s unique characteristics.

Nancy helped create the 20-year plan that has improved quality of life for the community.

Nancy McArthur is also able to get things done because of her experience and well earned respect from the Republican Party as well as the community as a whole. Unlike her opponent, Ralph Spidalieri, who seems to think using cronyism and bullying tactics are good ways to govern a county.

Spidalieri doesn’t take the job of County Commissioner seriously enough to show up at even the minimum number of required meetings. Last year, he skipped out on nine meetings, which makes him look like an absentee Commissioner. He’s right about one thing: We can do well without him and his inexperience, lack of respect for Geauga voters and intimidating attitude. Our County is stronger than one man or bully.

Nancy McArthur has proven through her 30 years of business experience and more than 11 years of community service that she is qualified, and she is the strongest candidate who will lead through honesty and respect, not by bullying tactics.

To vote for a wiser and stronger Commissioner, vote for Nancy McArthur.

Rick Webb
Munson Township

Valuable Legal Service

Mary Brigid Matheney, Assistant County Prosecutor, was assigned to the County Engineer’s Office in 2008 as legal counsel during my tenure as Geauga County Engineer.

As a prudent and sagacious attorney, she rendered a valuable service to my office and contributed significantly in guiding and representing my office.

Bridey’s high professional standards, expertise, fervent personal commitment, and her remarkable ability to develop resourceful solutions not only enabled her to be very effective and highly valued, but earned her the respect and trust of my staff and me.

I sincerely endorse the candidacy of Mary Brigid Matheney for Common Pleas Judge for Geauga County without hesitation.

Please join me in voting for Mary Brigid Matheney on March 15, 2016.

Robert L. Phillips
Former Geauga County Engineer

Strong Commitment

The Geauga County Recorders website states the following: “It is the County Recorder who has the important and indispensable task of keeping vital records pertaining to ownership in real estate (land) and to all encumbrances or liens upon it. Without the work of the Country Recorder in recording, safekeeping and organizing all documents in a competent and logical manner, it would be nearly impossible to purchase land and be assured of a clear title or to lend money with land as security.”

Sharon Gingerich has worked side by side with her employees, verifying, indexing and monitoring daily work for accuracy. It is vital to have a staff who is dedicated to quality public service and accuracy in recording.

She has remained fiscally responsible and generated revenues for county disbursement.

Sharon Gingerich has a strong commitment to the residents of Geauga County. Her accomplishments include Veteran ID Cards, The Century/Bicentennial Farm Program and the Good Deeds Program. She initiated eRecording and is putting the indexes online.

Sharon has worked hard for the residents of Geauga County and I ask you to join me in supporting her re-election to the position of Geauga County Recorder on March 15, 2016.

Anne Patram
Bainbridge Township