Letters to the Editor
August 3, 2022 by Submitted

Narrow-Minded, Incendiary Tactics

Skip Claypool is documented in the Geauga County Maple Leaf twice in July for causing turmoil in local government.

The former assistant fire chief who served Chester Township for 34 years stated Claypool’s “misogynistic, narrow-minded thinking has impacted not only the fire department but the residents of Chester Township for years to come.”

Last week’s edition described the clash between Geauga County Commissioner Jim Dvorak and Claypool at a recent commissioners meeting. The clash stemmed from Claypool’s disrespectful treatment of a sheriff’s deputy at a Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services meeting on April 6. The sheriff’s deputy provided a presentation about the D.A.R.E. program and Claypool grilled the deputy with questions ‘above his pay grade.’ The treatment was disrespectful to the deputy because D.A.R.E. is a well-established and long-running program with which everyone is familiar, yet Claypool drilled the deputy with questions properly addressed to the sheriff.

I attended the subsequent GCBMHRS meeting, as did Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand. I was amazed at how the board, including Claypool, fawned over Sheriff Hildenbrand. Apparently Claypool and the board members saw fit to treat the sheriff’s deputy poorly, but when the sheriff was in attendance their sycophantic behavior was all they could muster.

Claypool did not ask Sheriff Hildenbrand any questions about D.A.R.E. Sheriff Hildenbrand’s closing statement was, ‘If you have any questions, call me.’ Sheriff Hildenbrand left the meeting due to another obligation and I remained.

I have attended, participated and presided over likely hundreds of public meetings over the past 30 years. The GCBMHRS meeting with Claypool as a board member was the most dysfunctional and ineffective I have ever observed. The GCBMHRS board members and especially the chair openly displayed contempt toward other board members and the public.

The board was an embarrassment to Geauga County and the members were there to serve their own egos and not the population needing their support. One-third of the Geauga County Commissioners recognizes Skip Claypool for his narrow-minded thinking and incendiary tactics; hopefully, the other two-thirds will evolve for the good of Geauga County.

P.S. Reference Claypool’s LTE in last week’s Maple Leaf: Skip, no one is asking you to just stop thinking, but for a change trying thinking about others and not just yourself.  Well, please do stop thinking that you know better than everyone else.

Tim Snyder

Wise to Consider Policies

In response to the letter to the editor in the July 28 Maple Leaf urging people to vote for Democrats, while the writer is entitled to his opinion, I hold an opinion much different than his.

Whatever you think of former President Trump, I think a great many people benefitted from his policies. We enjoyed the low inflation, affordable home loans, lower taxes, support for small businesses, the security of a safer border and safer cities.

Also, very importantly, we all enjoyed American energy independence and the national security of not relying on foreign adversaries (many hostile to us) for our energy needs.

I think it’s wise to consider which candidates stand for the policies which are most important to you and then vote those people into office.

Rita Sestokas Shine

Muzzling Citizens

Folks, this summer marks six years since the Geauga Park District Commissioners have refused to allow comments or questions at park commissioners monthly meetings.

This is the only park district in Ohio that muzzles citizens at commissioners meetings.

As many of you know, GPD commissioners positions seem to be musical chairs, with commissioners resigning or being fired by the good judge on a regular basis.

None of the current commissioners have indicated any previous particular interests in parks, natural areas, conservation or other interests that you might think would make them good candidates as park commissioners. So why the appointments? Friends of the probate judge?

GPD Commissioners do not allow park employees to attend commissioner meetings unless they are invited. The commissioners might be making decisions at their meetings that one of the park biologists or naturalists could comment on, but if they are not there — you guessed it — no input.

The audience often has folks present with a great deal of knowledge of parks, biodiversity, natural history, etc., but if they are not allowed to comment — you guessed it — no input.

So, why the muzzling? Perhaps the commissioners do not want to look ignorant when they cannot answer a question from a county citizen. Perhaps the commissioners do not wish to have intelligent comments or questions on the official transcript of their meeting.

Many of us present do not expect to have every question answered. We feel it would be perfectly acceptable and intelligent for a commissioner to say he or she does not know, but will come back with an answer at the next meeting. What is unacceptable is the continued muzzling of citizens at commissioners meetings. In the works of the Donald, “So sad.”

Unedited videos of park commissioners meetings are viewable at protectgeaugaparks.us.

John Augustine
Parkman Township

Democrats Have Destroyed Country

I must respond to letter in the July 28 edition.

Does this person not see what the Democrats have done to this beautiful country in the last 18 months?

Does this person not see how America is not first anymore with this administration?

Does this person not see that America’s enemies do not fear us anymore?

Did this person not see a booming economy, with record low unemployment, for four years under Trump?

Did this person not see how our economy started to plunge when Biden sat behind Trump’s desk?

Let’s not forget our rising gas prices when Biden sat behind Trump’s desk!

This person is worried about our constitutional republic will slide into an autocracy. It’s happening now with this Democratic administration. I will never vote Democrat. They have destroyed this country to the point of no return.

Pasqualino Ianiro
Munson Township

Not a Misogynist

I read with interest the article regarding the settlement with Chester Township Assistant Fire Chief Karen Moleterno. I worked at the fire house for about five years and know Ms. Moleterno. That’s all we will say about that.

I also know Mr. Skip Claypool and want to make it clear that he is not a misogynist as Ms. Moleterno falsely claims.

Mr. Claypool deals in truth and fairness, and is one of the few political figures I know who puts first the food of the people of Chesterland in all things both local and countywide. Future generations will be thanking him for his lifelong fight to keep those who would change our rural atmosphere, unlike his opponents.

Unjust and false accusations aimed at Mr. Claypool prompted me, after 43 years living in Chesterland, to write and set the record straight.

Paula Zeltz
Chester Township