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Conserve, Protect, Preserve Uses Metzembaum Center Lie to Garner Support!
Published November 6, 2014

On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, at the Geauga Park District park board meeting, Joseph Bastulli, a member of the “Conserve, Protect, Preserve” political action committee, stated that he was very upset about a modification made to a walking trail at Sunnybrook Preserve. He said that the change in this walking trail was a detriment to the clients of the Metzenbaum Center for the developmentally disabled who use the trail daily. In essence, he alleged that this change is now impacting Metzenbaum clients and families; to the point that some can no longer use the trail.

On Thursday, November 6, 2014 around 8:30 a.m., I contacted Don Rice, Director of the Metzenbaum Center and he told me, "At no time has anyone, not a staff person, family member or client of the Metzenbaum center complained about the trail at Sunny Brook Preserve." He told me they just had a big staff meeting and this issue was never brought up or discussed. He said he does not know what Mr. Bastulli is talking about.

“We don’t use the Sunnybrook Preserve park; we use the park next door to our center," Mr. Rice commented. "Mr. Bastulli is neither affiliated with Metzenbaum, nor does he speak for the board. Anything official from the board will come from the Superintendent or an official press release."

Preserve, Protect, Conserve has published a series of lies, but Mr. Bastulli's statement at the Geauga park board meeting is more than just a lie. Now the organization is using developmentally disabled residents to garner empathy and to elicit support for their agenda. (Conserve, Protect, Preserve gave Mr. Bastulli a resounding round of applause!)

In Mr. Bastulli's ranting presentation, he labeled residents whose opinions differ from his own as “extremists.” The Conserve, Protect, Preserve group may have recited the Pledge of Allegiance that evening but apparently do not feel the pledge applies to all. Anyone who would use developmentally disabled persons to garner sympathy or support for their campaign is resolutely vulgar.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Published October 31, 2014

It has recently appeared in print that Auburn Township Community Park, formerly revered as Cathan Farm and Cathan Park, was purchased by Auburn Township with saved “estate taxes.”

It is time to clarify John Eberly's syntax error. “Estate taxes” were never free money. They were paid by Auburn Township residents who died. Not every Auburn decedent kicked up funds to be distributed to the township for any project that the township chose to use them for. Only those decedents who accrued more than $ 337,000 in their estates had the privilege of paying Auburn Township their “death payments.”

At any rate, there are no more “estate taxes” because everyone in Auburn who chooses or is forced to die now gets to do so without giving Auburn Township a cut of his/her estate. Good for individuals and their families. Bad, soooo sad for Auburn Township.

Just remember, any purchase made with “estate taxes” saved by Auburn Township cost most families and individuals. Cathan Farm was paid for with money earned or saved by Auburn Township residents.

Must-See Video: Ohio Rep. Bows to Economic Wonders of Coal and Fracking
Anastasia Pantsios | August 22, 2014 2:55 pm

David Joyce
“I’m biased because my dad was a coal guy,” Congressman David Joyce says truthfully in a new citizen-filmed video.

See the full story and video at this link http://ecowatch.com/2014/08/22/david-joyce-coal-gas/

The following is a samling some of the comments this story has generated:

"The video is sad really,It is much like watching a crack head that knows that he is killing himself begging to you to let him take a few more hits off the stem before you ship him off to rehab..."

"One more example of the fact that one need not have a functioning brain to be elected to office in America these days."


"Joyce is an idiot "

"So much for the food basin.  
Who the hell needs corn and potatoes when this @sshole needs to make a buck murdering our environment."

"Oh please Dave....Just because 7000 people are as clueless about atmospheric chemistry as you are in no way proves your fantasy is correct...... People don't like Obama (he has been a disappointment) so the laws of physics no longer apply. Are you really THAT crazy?" sting in clean, sustainable energy.”

July 21, 2014

Dear Editor:
Why would anyone try to degrade the prestigious Geauga Park District using inaccurate facts?

I would like to take this opportunity to address legally and factually false assertions by Rob Roy and Jim Mueller aimed at defaming Geauga County’s treasured Park District. It is most unfortunate for the sensible citizens of Geauga County that Rob Roy and Jim Mueller have chosen to mislead the public. Their failure to verify the accuracy of their erroneous comments with the Park District or Geauga County Probate Court is totally inexcusable.

The assertions by Mr. Roy and Mr. Mueller include misstatements about the legality of the valid services contract between the Geauga Park District and O’Brien Leadership Systems, LLC (O’Brien LLC); and the authority of the Geauga County Probate Court with respect to its oversight over the Geauga Park District.

Simply put, Mr. Roy’s and Mr. Mueller’s “questioning” of the services contract between the Park District and O’Brien LLC and the Probate Court’s legal authority is totally spurious and unfounded, as a matter of Ohio law.

Here are the TRUE facts and CORRECT legal analysis with respect to the O’Brien services contract:

    1. The Interim Director of the Park District had the legal authority to sign contracts for services to the Park District for contracts up to $50,000. Under Ohio law, Park District contracts for services under $50,000.00 DO NOT have to be put out for bid. See Ohio Revised Code Section 1545.07.

    2. The Interim Director signed the services contract with O’Brien LLC for an amount well below the amount requiring bids.

    3. The then newly appointed Park Board, with the guidance of the Board’s attorney, approved by ratification the services contract with O’Brien LLC by action taken at a public meeting in full compliance with Ohio law. Ohio Revised Code section 1545.07 specifically states that a Park Board “may contract for consulting services.”

Therefore, as a matter of Ohio law, there is nothing to “question” about the Park District’s services contract with O’Brien LLC.

As to Mr. Mueller’s misguided assertion that the Probate Court’s authority over the Park District is limited solely to appointing the Park Board Commissioners, Mr. Mueller is flat out WRONG!
The Probate Court, over which I have the privilege of presiding as Judge, has far more legal authority and statutory responsibility concerning the Park District than simply appointing the Park Board Commissioners.

The Probate Court’s legal authority and statutory responsibilities with respect to the County Park District is multifaceted, including:

    1. The Probate Court has the sole discretion to appoint and remove the Park Board Commissioners. Ohio Revised Code Section 1545.05 and 1545.06. The Court’s discretionary power to remove Board Commissioners for any reason provides the Probate Court with much greater responsibility for Park District oversight.

    2. The Probate Court is statutorily required to approve all donations to the Park District. Ohio Revised Code Section 1545.11.

    3. The Probate Court is statutorily required to approve the sale or transfer of the Park District’s property. Ohio Revised Code Section 1545.12. In fact, the Probate Court’s statutory Park responsibilities are very broad and covered by numerous statutory provisions.

Moreover, the Probate Court has the specific legal authority to issue declaratory orders or judgments. Ohio Revised Code Section 2101.24. It is obvious that Mr. Mueller has NOT read Chapter 1545 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Finally, Mr. Roy and Mr. Mueller apparently do not understand that the Park District continues to operate under an open and ongoing Probate Case (Case No. 13092). As such, the Park District and its many actions that require Probate Court statutory oversight are fully within the ongoing jurisdiction of the Geauga County Probate Court.

Geauga County Prosecutor James R. Flaiz was absolutely right. The Geauga County Auditor had no legal basis to withhold payment of the O’Brien LLC services contract.

While there is no reason for the State Auditor to waste his valuable time looking into Mr. Roy’s and Mr. Mueller’s legally baseless assertions, I am confident that the State Auditor would agree that Ohio Law has been fully complied with in this matter.

The Geauga Park District is one of our County’s greatest assets and does not deserve to be falsely maligned or defamed.

Timothy J. Grendell

So here we go again
What are your expectations of Congressman Dave Joyce?

At the beginning of Mr. Joyce's first term nearly two years ago, he informed us that he talked to his constituents and learned they want him to reach across the aisle and get something done. In keeping with this highly suspect finding, Mr. Joyce did very little to advance a conservative limited-government agenda. Instead, he pleased the big-government Republican leadership by going along to get along. His voting record proves this. Is that what you expect of him?

In the primary last spring while running against conservative Matt Lynch, Mr. Joyce held himself out as a "tried and true conservative." Apparently, Mr. Joyce was thinking those who pay somewhat close attention expect him to be just that, an outspoken and unbending advocate for American values by doing such things as advancing free-market solutions to health care and standing against unconstitutional executive amnesty for illegal aliens. Does that describe what you expect of him?

In his general-election campaign, you may recall Mr. Joyce changed course yet again. He decided to present himself as "Just Dave," a man placing no expectations upon himself whatsoever, except to be regarded as one of us, a darn good guy who cares about his neighbors. Is that what you expect of him?

Now Mr. Joyce is back to square one. After winning his second term last month as part of the historic anti-Barack Obama election, Mr. Joyce released a statement which said in part, "The voters made it clear it is time for the White House to work together with Congress to get things done in DC." Amazing. Mr. Joyce was able to draw the same conclusion after the 2014 tsunami-wave election that he drew after the stalemate election of 2012, an election in which the balance of power did not change at all. His cynicism defies belief.

So here we go again. The liberal Mr. Joyce just voted in favor of a 1,582-page $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, money we do not have which finances Obamacare through next September and funds Mr. Obama's dictatorial amnesty for at least the next three months. Only God knows what else is in the bill.

This is what we should expect of Mr. Joyce. He is a cynical, big-government, anti-liberty Republican who has demonstrated he will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear to get your vote then stabs you in the back with his votes. Shame on him for sure. But shame on us if we continue to put up with this.

Just Dave has a phone number. If he is not meeting your expectations, I recommend giving him a call and letting him know what those expectations are.

Kevin L. String
Pepper Pike

Quasi nature lovers, anything but respectful and loving...

It has been my personal experience that nature lovers and members of the Audubon Society were generally caring and respectful individuals. Not so much with the Protect Geauga Parks group.

Dr. Steven Vieira, Assistant Professor of Biology at Lakeland Community College wrote to his fellow "Protect Geauga Parks" members, “As others have noted it is of the upmost (sic) importance to remain reasonable and respectful.” And then Dr. hypocrite goes on to write, “I teach environmental science and evolutionary biology in a conservative county… so I'm use (sic) to arguing with irrational thinkers.”

Not only is Dr. Vieira upset with Geauga County’s Probate Judge, he has disdain for “conservatives” as well.

Speaking of hypocrites, Pat Leech pretends to be supportive of Park Commissioner Shumway, and then from the other side of her face tells the Protect Geauga Parks members that she supports their passion?

Protect Geauga Parks member Debbie Mayo feels comfortable lying, and in writing! She wrote that Auburn Township resident Tom Jones is a spokesperson for Judge Grendell. Tom Jones is not now and never has been a spokesman for the Judge.

And Sandra Buckles who in my opinion has been disrespectful of the Judge and vicious in her approach and criticism of the park board members and park staff, has the nerve to add this quote to her letters:

"We must strive to touch the land gently and care for it as true stewards that those who follow us may see our mark on the land was one of respect and love....."( From a trail marker at Settler's Cove, near Ketchikan , Alaska.)
Robert B. Oetting

Sandra Buckles mark is anything but gentle and loving. However, as a member of the Audubon Society, she gives new meaning and real definition to the term, Cuckoo Bird.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Filthy heritage alive, not well
Published June 26, 2014

Thanks to breathing in such hazardous pollutants as hydrochloric acid, mercury, arsenic and sulfur dioxide, which are spewed into the air by the coal industry, about 1,200 Ohio residents suffer premature deaths each year, second only to neighboring Pennsylvania's grim statistics. That's more than the number killed with firearms, including suicides, homicides and accidents. State legislators, including those who represent the Chagrin Valley, and Gov. John Kasich are perfectly fine with that.

Answering the beck and call of the electric utility monopolies, Ohio legislators approved Substitute Senate Bill 310 and the governor signed it this month to retreat from the advances in clean-energy and conservation that were instilled with near-unanimous support from the General Assembly in 2008.

Instead of moving forward with the rest of the nation toward reducing the impact of coal burning on climate change and human health, Ohio's leaders are clinging to the state's filthy heritage. They also are shunning potential job growth associated with wind turbines, solar panels and other clean-energy innovations.

Of the 187 hazardous pollutants identified as threats to human health and the environment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 84 of them are emitted by coal-fired power plants. Those plants send 386,000 tons of pollutants into the air annually. Nationwide, according to the Clean Air Task Force, that results in an estimated 13,200 premature deaths, 9,700 hospitalizations and 20,000 heart attacks per year. Politicians may be able to live with that. But many human beings do not.

While political leaders, including U.S. Sen. Robert Portman, R-Ohio, continue to support billions of dollars in tax breaks and other federal subsidies for coal and other fossil fuels, similar considerations for renewable energy are decried as government give-aways.

It could be somewhat reassuring to believe that local government officials are more receptive to alternatives that are healthier for people and the environment, but the record does not reflect that.

Auburn Township and Geauga County officials wasted unaccountable thousands of dollars in taxpayers' money over several years in a losing legal battle against a township couple's plans to install a wind turbine at their horse farm because of a few complaints about aesthetics. It took two years for Moreland Hills Village Council to pass restrictive zoning regulations that allow homeowners to install solar panels on their roof because of hyper-sensitivity over their appearance.

This is no time to breathe easy for progress in Ohio.

Chagrin Valley Times
Dave Lange


Puiblished Feb 19, 2014

Commissioners this week received an electronic petition and emails from biking enthusiasts (the majority of whom do not live in the county), seeking approval of a bike trail easement, even though the existing trail is sparsely used. By Samide's own admission, she has never seen this kind of outcry, and certainly not over Geauga County's debilitating heroin crisis.

“In the 10 years that I have been a Geauga County commissioner, I have never seen that many emails come to the county about any issue,” Commissioner Mary Samide said. “I have never seen this kind of an outcry about something.”

Geauga County law enforcement is reporting an increase in heroin related deaths, heroin related crime has increased by 800% in some areas, young children are suffering as a result of caregivers abusing heroin, etc., and by all indications, the crisis is growing.

Commissioner Spidalieri proposed a cross-functioning, comprehensive and pro-active plan to address our heroin epidemic, but the plan was thwarted by the ego of former Commissioner Tracey Jemison. Tragically, by his own staff's admission, Sheriff Dan McClelland had no plan.

At the August 2013 Commissioners' meeting, Samide openly stated that she had no idea how bad the heroin crisis was. And I believe her.

People are dying from heroin in Geauga County, but Mary Samide chooses to be impressed by an exaggerated outcry over a bike trail.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts
Chesterland, Ohio

Endorsement of Skip Claypool for County Commissioner

This letter is in support for Walter “Skip” Claypool, candidate for Geauga County Commissioner. Not only has Skip championed a respectful and fair campaign, but he has remained professional in the midst of unfair and vicious attacks by the supporters of his opponent.

Skip Claypool is a proud American, a Vietnam veteran and a family man. He stands for everything good and right about our county. He is a strong defender of the U.S. Constitution and not only does he talks the talk, he walks the walk.

As already demonstrated while he was a commissioner, if Skip sees a potential problem, he researches it and then takes appropriate actions to address the issue in order to represent the majority interest of the people in the county. He is financially conservative and will do everything within his power to prevent wasteful spending.

I sincerely believe he deserves your vote on November 4.

Dal Lanese

Geauga Democrats have talent and heart, but poor leadership.

Geauga Democrats have never really had a voice in county elections. And it’s not because they don’t have heart or talent, they just have leadership that continuously sells them out.

Sheriff Dan McClelland is a Democrat, but strongly allied with Ed Ryder, Tracey Jemison, Mary Samide and now Blake Rear. He sidles with Republicans when he needs to, after all he is, in my opinion, the textbook politician securing his job and taking care of himself. And if a majority of Democrats get sidelined or stepped on in the interim, oh well.

Over the past ten years, Sheriff Dan McClelland has vehemently opposed retire-rehire. He is on record taking a strong stand against retire-rehire; until his good buddies needed this benefit then he turned his back on the community and other employees of the Sheriff’s department to take care of his friends.

Geauga County is in a life and death battle against the heroin epidemic. When our community came together to hear how law enforcement would address the heroin crisis, the Sheriff had no plan. He had no plan. Tracey Jemison, Commissioner at the time asked him to put one together.

Apparently, Dan McClelland has spent more time marveling at a “bottomless” picture of Midge, his dog, in Playboy magazine, than he did putting together a plan to combat heroin.

Democrat Sheriff McClelland had no plan, and proudly declares that Republican Blake Rear has been supportive of his law enforcement efforts.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Courage, Integrity, and Honesty

I have known Geauga Commissioner candidate, Walter “Skip” Claypool since 2011. The very first quality I noticed about Skip was his willingness to step out of a comfort zone to assess and resolve problems. I have marveled at Skip's ability to ask questions of current and former Commissioners about serious ongoing problems facing Geauga County. In addition to possessing a gift for assessing situations which sap the county's financial stability, he is skillful enough to propose practical solutions.

I have personally observed Skip develop his understanding of critical Geauga issues-- the heroin crisis, the “good old boy” retire-rehire policy, the waste of taxpayer dollars, and the removal of certain real-estate parcels from the county tax base to the detriment of remaining Geauga property owners. Skip spent the last several years investing mental energy, time, and personal finances to become incredibly knowledgeable about the shortcomings of Geauga County governance. A refreshingly honest and resilient critical thinker, he acts decisively. He will not evade difficult issues because “that's the way we have always done it.”

A leader is an individual who is willing to ask difficult questions and decisively engage in responsible solutions. Skip Claypool is an unmistakable leader, willing to take on the tough, lasting challenges that confront Geauga County families and their posterity. This is Skip's golden time. He will not hide from the tough challenges because he is morally and ethically committed to facing the difficult realities, not sugar-coated fantasies being fed to Geauga voters. I am overwhelmingly proud to endorse Walter Skip Claypool for Commissioner on November 4.

Diane J. Jones
Auburn Township


I recently received a mailer from Blake Rear (Republican?), paid for by the Ohio Republican Party in Columbus, with a picture on it showing him and Sheriff Dan McClelland (Democrat) together, both staring at the ground. It appeared to be a posed for picture. A quote from Sheriff McClelland stated how Mr. Rear has been extremely supportive of law enforcement efforts and narcotics enforcement funding. The mailer also states how Blake Rear has been leading the charge to keep Geauga families safe and through strategic budgeting he has ensured that our sheriff and prosecutor have the tools and resources they need. We have two other commissioners who vote on this also, not just Blake. None of this is true! Whatever charge Blake is leading, it is in his dreams! He was never a leader. Before Mr. Rear was even appointed, commissioner Ralph Spidialeri was the ONLY one who put together a plan with funding that involved the whole community, to combat the heroin problem in Geauga. Commissioners Mary Samide and Tracy Jemison stonewalled Mr. Spidialeri for two weeks, giving our embarrassed Sheriff McClelland time to hurriedly put together his own plan, that no one saw, so he could get the credit instead of Mr. Spidialeri. During a special public meeting addressing the heroin problem, which Sheriff McClelland missed because he was “on vacation”, his own chief deputy Hilldenbrand stated the Sheriff has known of the problem for several years and admitted he had no plan until after Spidialeri announced his. So here you have a Democratic Sheriff, whose lack of action caused the heroin problem to escalate, on Republican candidate Rear’s mailer endorsing him, with Mr. Rear claiming to be leading a charge, that was started by someone else, way before Mr. Rear was appointed to Commissioner. Can anyone explain this to me? Brian Johnston (Independent) running against Blake Rear, has a long history as a Geauga Deputy Sheriff Sergeant, now retired. He would be the most informed, sensitive, and action oriented to this issue, not Blake. Brian Johnston was voted officer of the year by the Geauga Bar Association and given a letter of high recommendation from Sheriff McClelland upon his retirement. I find all the hypocrisy here nauseating! Blake Rear seems to have no problem stealing someone else’s thunder and claiming it for his own.

Ed Corsi
Munson Twp.

Larry, Curly, Moe and Blake Rear

Geauga County is in a life and death heroin epidemic and unfortunately, Commissioner Blake Rear has offered nothing of significance to respond to the crisis. There is an upcoming election and we need a leader, not another political hack, “go along to get along” appointment from Ed Ryder’s old boys’ club.

One of the most important things that a community can do to battle heroin is to focus on prevention. Judge Timothy Grendell has taken powerful steps to battle the heroin crisis from a prevention perspective by providing the community with vital information on how to protect our children from exposure to heroin and by personally speaking with students and their families about the crisis. And Judge Grendell even takes time out of his hectic schedule to play basketball with the kids at the Juvenile Detention Center.

Judge Terri Stupica is also focusing on prevention and the students are responding to her as they are to Judge Grendell, and I for one am very grateful to both of our Judges for their efforts.

But do not wait for Blake Rear to take a stand against heroin. He is non-committal and on his best behavior after he viewed taped commissioner meetings at which he appeared to be flustered and out of control when questioned by residents.

As a member of the Chardon School Board, Blake Rear actually would take his tie and pull it up above his head, like he was pretending to hang himself, when bored. He did this more than once, until he was reminded that the meetings were being videotaped.

Blake Rear brings little if nothing to the table; however, his Three Stooges-like impersonation of pretending to hang himself with his tie at a school board meeting should bring big concern.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Brian Johnston and Walter “Skip” Claypool are running for two separate seats of Geauga County Commissioner this November 2014.

Skip Claypool is a Republican who beat Mary Samide in the primary and running against the Democratic candidate in November.

Skip already has previous experience as a Commissioner having filled a vacant seat for an interim period. More importantly, he is a very strong Constitutionalist and conservative, not just in words but also actions. Skip Claypool has repeatedly demonstrated having the backbone to stand up against the “good old boys club” and the self serving grip they have on Geauga, exposing wrongdoing, waste and misspending of YOUR money.

They hate him. I consider that to be a PLUS for Skip.

Considering himself not to be a politician, Skip Claypool is not the “go along to get along” type like most of your other politicians in Geauga. He really is a servant of the people.

Brian Johnston is an Independent and currently serving as a Geauga County Park District Commissioner. He too is a conservative.

Anyone elected has to raise their hand and swear to a constitutional oath upholding their office. That’s called “being sworn in”, or they cannot take office. That is just a mechanical function for most, then forgotten. Brian Johnston has stated he will take his Oath seriously, doing what is right for the people and I believe him, especially after getting to know his character over the past two years.

Concerning you die hard Republicans, even though Brian Johnston is Independent, he is more conservative Republican than all the RINO’S you have been deceived by and voting for in the past.

Johnston is running against Blake Rear whom I consider to be one of those RINO’S and part of the good old boy club.

I guess it’s a matter of who you want representing your rights, people who really will, or liars.

Ed Corsi

Protect, Conserve, Preserve… or Nature Nazis
September 13, 2014

At the Tuesday, September 9, 2014, Geauga Park District Board Meeting, the room had a number attendees who wore “Protect, Conserve, Preserve” t-shirts or carried logo signs. And I for one was happy to see them. After all, it has been my experience that people, who love nature, are generally loving and peaceful.

This group was far from loving or peaceful; they were unkind and arrogantly disrespectful.

It appeared, anyone who spoke contrary to their “ultimatum” belief that the bylaws cannot be changed or amended was heckled and criticized, sometimes severely.

I sat behind a bearded man who was snorting like a barnyard wash hog every time Commissioner Lou Mucci spoke. There were others who were chattering and criticizing board members for asking questions. There was an undercurrent of cackling and faces twisting in horror at comments they disagreed with. Whoever referred to this bunch as “elite” was misinformed.

This is a small group of people, but they want to dictate how the parks are used and enjoyed by Geauga County residents. They only want to permit hiking, bird watching, and more hiking and sitting and observing nature. No children are welcome. The “Protect, Conserve, Preserve” people will put their lives on the line to prevent someone from horseshoe throwing or roller-skating in the park, God forbid. In my opinion, they are manic in their stance, and Adolf Hitler was of the same mindset, “it will be my way, or else…”

Some of the participants wore shirts that read, “I am a Geauga Park District Trail Animal…” And I could not agree more.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Geauga has enough land for all
August 18, 2014

When did the Virginia Rail (a bird) and the coyotes (varmints) start paying taxes to acquire and maintain our Geauga County Parks?

Geauga County's hardworking men and women pay more than $6,000,000 per year in taxes for the county's parks. Geauga County has more than 9000 acres of county parkland. By comparison, Lake County, which is 2 ½ times more populated than Geauga County, has 4000 acres of county parks, including two golf courses and a Lake Farmpark.

Isn't there enough parkland in Geauga County to allow all of the residents the opportunity to use the parks for recreational purposes, while still preserving and conserving thousands of acres in the county?

Why does a negligible group of environmentalist-elitists think that they can dictate their special interest limits on how the county's taxpayers use their own publicly-funded parks? Some of these environmentalist-elitists even complain that the sound of children playing in the parks will disturb them or the birds from Virginia. Yet, they do not mind the hoots of the owls or the howls of the coyotes. Seriously?

There is plenty of parkland in Geauga County to accommodate recreation all while still preserving and conserving.

Thomas Jones
Auburn Township

NOACA and the gas tax
August 4, 2014

There is no mystery or mischief to NOACA and the gas tax. The diversion of gas tax funds to non-highway projects is the biggest cause of highway underfunding in America. Less than eight dollars of every ten dollars collected is actually spent on highways. The Safe Route to School project in Chagrin Falls cost $571,000. Funding for non-highway projects across America have found MPO’s Municipal Planning Organizations directly or indirectly supporting the 15 cents a gallon tax increase. Over a 3 year period if approved this will result in an 83% gas tax increase. Wow! Would taxpayers in Chagrin Falls prefer to fund this project on a county level through an elected county engineer, or pay 15 cents more per gallon of gasoline for life?

The Director of NOACA would like to limit my movement to Summit County. Omitted from this suggestion is her involvement as Chairwoman of the non-profit Vibrant NEO. Vibrant NEO has proposed 41 initiatives across a 12 county region, including Summit County, that would divert much-needed highway money into transportation that the majority of people will not use, bus and rails. Both forms of transportation are highly subsidized with tax payer’s dollars.

Nationwide, Federal Bureaucracies are taking autonomy from local government. No one is held accountable or responsible because non-elected bureaucrats control the process. Senator Rob Portman just voted against a short term $10.8 billion transportation bill because he would like to empower states to set their own infrastructure priorities.

Lastly, taxpayers across America are tired of encountering bureaucrats who are condescending towards individuals who question how tax dollars are being spent. A case in point; non-answers to Skip Claypool’s questions at NOACA meetings.

Paul Schweiker

Dear Editor,
Strange games are afoot at the County Commissioners' office.

The Commissioners' meeting of July 22, 2014, resulted in some apparent breaches of conduct in the handling of mail addressed specifically to Commissioner Ralph Spidalieri. It seems mail private or otherwise addressed to him specifically, even registered mail, is being opened, copied, and distributed to the Administrator and the other two Commissioners.

County Administrator David Lair reportedly stated that it was policy to sign for and accept any private mail for a Commissioner not present. It is unclear whether David Lair responded about the right of office personnel or elected officials to read the private contents of mail specifically intended for another party.

The Commissioners and their staff need to be aware of U.S. Postal Service regulations in the U.S. Constitution about the handling of mail. These regulations speak to the ethical issues concerned with delivery or lack thereof to an individual. TITLE 18, Sections 1701, 1702, 1703,and 1708 and Section 274.2 of the USPS Administrative Support Manual (ASM) speak to the criminality of tampering with private communications.

And if that were not enough there are missing mail and email communications that Commissioner Ralph Spidalieri is not receiving. These are necessary for the performance of his duties as Commissioner. Many times now he has complained about not receiving information necessary for his vote on issues.

What will it take to make these games stop?

Thomas Jones
Auburn Township

Open letter to Congressman Dave Joyce

Dear David Joyce
What is your status w/the $0.15 increase on gasoline /tax?
The impact on the working class is catastrophic the poor running & of the roads/infrastructure is a problem of poor oversight, greed, & irresponsibility that is an accountability issue on every level ...
My hope is that your intelligence weighs reason in this matter vs unjust cost to average taxpayers.

Claudine Sherman Steinfurth

Chester Township Road Department Struggling with a $300,000 Deficit...
published June 29, 2014

Something interesting happened at the Thursday, June 26, 2014, Chester Township Park Board meeting.

For no reason at all…, without invitation or planning…, about 34 residents, all on the same evening, mind you…, came to make overwhelmingly emotional and passionate statements praising the life-changing work of Chester Park Board Commissioners Clay Lawrence, Joe Weiss and Lance Yandell. Terri Stupica spoke so fervently about the park, I’m not sure, but I think I heard Kate Smith singing, “God Bless America” in the background.

Tragically, we have lost war heroes in Geauga County, men have given their lives in battle, and families have lost their loved ones in defense of our freedom, but we have not witnessed this type of emotional outpouring or heard such life changing and dramatic statements made about them at a town hall meeting. I attended the funeral of a Geauga County WWII veteran, a man who earned two purple hearts. There were no trustees, residents, or judges at his funeral. There was no meeting held to praise him and thank him for his contribution to our country.

Many residents besides me believe that this Chester Township Park meeting was concocted not only to promote Lance, Joe, and Clay but more importantly to pressure Chester Township Trustees to provide a blank check for Chester park spending. The sad truth is that Chester Township is struggling with a $300,000 deficit left by former Trustees Mike Joyce, Judy Caputo, and Clay Lawrence. The Chester Road Department is in desperate need of more funding, and I am certain a new road levy is in the offing. Why would we spend more money on a cash-cow park project when a vital department needs funding?

I think that if Clay Lawrence, Joe Weiss, and Lance Yandell want to be recognized for their efforts, those who turned out for Thursday's meeting to praise them may be able to provide a very lovely certificate of appreciation signed by Mike Joyce, Pat Mula, Judy Caputo, Terri Stupica, and perhaps some well-meaning others. Such a certificate presented by such dignitaries must be worth its weight in gold.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts
Chesterland, Ohio 44026

Auburn Trustees,

I am unable to attend the Township meeting tonight. Is there another appropriate way to communicate an issue? We live on Bridge Creek Trail and well versed in the illegal activities that have occurred on our street. Now that there has been an arrest and the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office has boarded up the residence on our street what are the options for the residents? Can the Auburn Trustees provide support to file with the state to have this house designated as a drug nuisance? What are our options to have the house maintained and eventually sold?

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated.

Jeff McConnell

Bridey Matheney, not so much the prosecutor as the persecutor.

In a previous Geauga Recorder’s Office election campaign, Sharon Gingerich staged a big fundraiser with a fairly expensive program brochure. Sharon took $500 from a loyal and ardent supporter (the advertised amount) but told him that she could not put his name anywhere on the program because Ed Ryder would be upset with her.

This man had been a loyal friend and ardent supporter of Sharon starting way back when she was unemployed and volunteering at the courts. He always encouraged her and when she ran for office, he was front and center with support. Ed Ryder was upset with this resident because he criticized the Geauga County Republican party, and rightly so. Sharon should have stood by her friend and defended his constitutional right to free speech. She did not.

Sharon Gingerich doesn’t like the way Frank Gliha treats his employees. Well, I don’t like the way she treats people either. And when I worked with Sharon on a small project she was so fearful about being politically correct, that it was almost shameful.

Sharon has been bad mouthing Frank Gliha behind his back for quite some time but she didn’t come out against him in this campaign, until there were others to hide behind. Sharon didn’t do the right thing, what she did was politically expedient for herself. If I witness an injustice I take an immediate stand, in person and in writing and I sign my name. I would risk everything to protect someone.

How interesting that Sharon Gingerich went against Ed Ryder's endorsement of Frank Gliha. Actually, it's not that interesting, she conveniently turned on Ed Ryder now that he is stepping down and won't be around for Sharon's next campaign. For Sharon, “the vote” comes before everything, even loyalty and the U.S. Constitution.

Chris Hitchock, the Geauga County Treasurer came out against Frank Gliha in support of Bridey Matheney as well. In my personal dealings with Hitchcock I can tell you that he could not have been more arrogant and condescending. And if he doesn’t like the way Frank manages the Auditor’s office, he has only his own office to look at to find that residents feel the same way about Chris Hitchock. It comes as no surprise that Hitchcock would support Matheney, they have a lot in common.

Residents told me that they voted for Matheney because they voted against incumbents and did not know Matheney. Not a good voting plan, people!

What they did not know is that while Matheney criticized Frank Gliha for his management style and for not following the law, Matheney is the true offender.

Bridey Matheney conveyed a manic, and in my opinion, malicious prosecution against two local farmers and a ten-kilowatt windmill. With absolutely no regard for the taxpayers hard earned money, Bridey Matheney and Congressman David Joyce, then Prosecutor, spent nearly four years and close to a million dollars fighting the installation of this windmill. There is a current mandamus seeking financial damages as a result of the township's illegal actions.

Mind you, while Auburn Township officials participated in this misguided prosecution, Joyce and Matheney were fully aware that during the same time period, Auburn Township officials permitted the installation of two 100 KW windmills in close proximity to the residents property.

Congressman David Joyce and Bridey Matheney's massive and virulent legal action against these two farmers and a 10 kw windmill ended in the Appeals Court when they were informed that farms do not fall under the Ohio Revised Code enforcement.

A paralegal student could have told Joyce and Matheney that farms are exempted from zoning laws.

And while Bridey Matheney was so concerned about the way Frank Gliha managed his office and his treatment of employees, her treatment of the residents in this case was personally cruel. Bridey Matheny even pulled a party to the case, a senior citizen, aside and angrily scolded her, “You will never be a role model.” What did that have to do with the legal case at hand or anything? Matheney's statement was inappropriate and her behavior was more than unprofessional, it was unnatural.

Bridey Matheny espoused great concern for the treatment of Frank Gliha’s staff but while serving under David Joyce, she proved herself to be not so much the prosecutor, as the persecutor.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts
Chesterland, Ohio 44026

Please vote for the Geauga County Mental Health Levy on May 6, 2014

Geauga County residents are expressing concern that the May 6, 2014, mental health renewal levy may fail because of recent actions taken by our county commissioners. But I would say if this levy were to fail…, Jim Adams and the Geauga County Board of Mental Health are the only ones to blame.

In 2013, Director Jim Adams and the Mental Health Board warned if the additional levy were to fail, services and programming would be cut. The levy did fail, services were cut, but salaries for the director and his staff were shamefully increased.

At the April 22, 2014 commissioners meeting, Mary Samide displayed absolute disgust and outrage over the exploitation of tax dollars by Director Adams and the Mental Health Board. Two days later, Samide was a “no show” for the April 24, 2014 commissioners meeting and her cowardly absence caused the tabling of pending motions that were proposed to address this crisis.

Samide was more concerned about losing votes in her upcoming election, than standing up for the residents of Geauga County.

We can deal with Samide and Adams, and the Mental Health board in the upcoming year, but residents and their families who need mental health services deserve our support, right now.

Please vote for the May 6, 2014 mental health renewal levy.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts
Chesterland, OH 44026

Rights vs Loss Of Rights

The Geauga Commissioners race is not really about Mary Samide or Skip Claypool. It is really about Rights vs Loss Of Rights. Do you want Geauga to continue in a downward spiral of more government subsidized housing, more crime, more loss of property and water rights, more government control, or do you want to reverse this and correct the damage Mary Samide has already done? If you look at the voting record of Mary Samide, President of NOACA, plus past articles in the paper of her giving away tens of thousands of dollars of your tax money to government subsidized housing inhabitants in Geauga, you will clearly see that she supports a Socialist agenda which equals loss of rights. Our founding fathers gave us a Free Republic, not a Socialist government. If you check out the NOACA platform and goals, then look up the word Communism in the dictionary, you will find many frightening similarities pertaining to planning your community for you, redistribution of your money, government subsidized housing and more. Skip Claypool is a staunch, outspoken Constitutional supporter and not just because this is election time, he always has been. Skip wants to get us out of NOACA, eliminate wasteful spending, and bring us back to a more Constitutional way of running our county. As for me, I wouldn’t think twice about whether or not I wanted to lose my rights and have more crime.

Ed Corsi
Chardon Twp

Published April 17, 2014

It was surely a happy ending when Julius the boxer was rescued from the lake at Beartown Park.
However, the article did not report if he was on a leash and fully controlled, as required by park regulations. If he was, the unfortunate event would not have occurred.

As reported, at least five firefighters and a park ranger responded, likely incurring hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of cost for Auburn and the Park District. There is also the thousands of dollars of medical costs incurred when one of those rescuers required treatment and several days in the hospital.

If Julius chose not to wear his leash that day, will he be reimbursing the taxpayers of Auburn and Geauga County for their services?

Frank Schultz

Give Congressman David Joyce the Boot!

Chester Township residents lost their “voice” at town hall meetings when Congressman David Joyce was the GeaugaCounty Prosecutor. Under the direction of Joyce’s office, Chester Township Trustees Mike Joyce and Judy Caputo informed the residents that there would be no discussion during town hall meetings and if anyone spoke up, the police would be called.

When I emailed David Joyce and asked him how he could support this abuse of our constitutional right to free speech, he said that he did not know what I was talking about and denied accountability for the actions of his office.

Election Day, November 5, 2013, Chester Township residents once again “found their voice” by resoundingly defeating Judy Caputo and Mike Joyce booting them out of office.

On May 6, 2014, we have another opportunity to defend and protect our constitution, by giving Congressman David Joyce that same boot.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts
Chesterland, OH 44026

The Two Faces Of Mary Samide

Mary Samide sits on the board of NOACA (Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency) as President. She votes in favor of everything they do. For those of you who don’t already know, NOACA is a board of unelected bureaucrats who think they know what is best for you and your property. A socialist, un-American agency whose agenda and goals are to regulate and manage how you live and all property and development in Geauga and other counties, resulting in loss of your property and water rights, besides bringing in government subsidized housing. This is all just the tip of the iceberg that is ruining Geauga County. Again I repeat, when Mary presides over the NOACA meetings, she votes in favor of everything they do. After Mary Samide is finished selling you out at NOACA, she comes back to Geauga and sits on the board of Commissioners leading you all to believe she is a conservative Republican looking out for your best interests. This could not be further from the truth. Mary is the worst kind of liar and depends on you not paying attention. Don’t take my word for any of this. It is all a matter of public record if you would like to take the time to investigate. In my opinion, anyone voting for Mary Samide is either related to her, fooled by her, or just plain ignorant. Stop the damage she has done to Geauga County by voting for Skip Claypool who is an outspoken voice for your rights.

Ed Corsi
Chardon Twp
Who Would You Choose ?

Skip Claypool is running against incumbent Mary Samide for Geauga County Commissioner. I have known them both for many years. They are registered as Republicans. One of them really is a conservative Republican and the other is a liar, a RINO. You should be able to clarify who is which after reading this.

Some people say Skip Claypool is way too outspoken. I SAY THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED! Skip is very outspoken about our constitutional rights, preserving them, wasteful spending in Geauga, NOACA, loss of property rights, etc. He is passionate about these things.

Skip Claypool is not afraid to go against the grain and the “Good Old Boys Club”. He is for the people and not afraid to stand up against any agency (federal, state, or county) that is trying to usurp our rights.

At this time we have never seen a more rapid erosion of our freedoms by an out of control tyrannical government and you cannot stop this by being afraid, being a moderate, or going along to get along. We must have someone who is outspoken and aggressive concerning these things and Skip Claypool is.

On the other hand we have Mary Samide, the exact opposite of Skip. Mary has been caught lying so many times over the years that it would make other liars blush. She will tell you one thing then do another.

Mary pretends to be a conservative Republican but her actions and voting record show she is more of a Socialist than anything else. Mary is part of the “Good Old Boys Club”, going along to get along. She is president of NOACA, a worse than Socialist agency whose agenda promotes regionalism, erosion of your property rights and more un-American things. Mary votes in support of everything they do. She has supported Socialism and government subsidized housing in Geauga for years. She has been selling Geauga out, right under your noses and getting away with it because she is slick and you have not been paying attention.

If you want more lies, more Socialism and government subsidized housing in Geauga County, then support Mary Samide.

If you want a strong constitutionalist who will represent YOU, and has the backbone to stand up against all this Socialist crap then support Skip Claypool.

Ultimately the choice is yours. Make a wise one.

Ed Corsi

Walter “Skip” Claypool is a veteran and a fierce defender of the U. S. Constitution.

The rights that many have fought so hard to earn and defend are in dire jeopardy today. The right to bear arms is under constant attack. The right to secure communication has been trashed by the NSA. The right to freedom of speech at town hall meetings has been severely abused by local public officials.

Mary Samide has spent her entire career selling out the rights of Geauga County residents. Her blind and solicitous support of NOACA, (Northeast Ohio Area wide Coordinating Agency), H.F.A., (Ohio Housing Finance Agency), H.U.D. (Housing and Urban Development), has made a devastating impact on our property rights along with fostering an exponentially growing population of residents who have come to expect and demand generational public assistance.

In 2005, County Commissioner Mary Samide developed and approved the CHIS, (Community Housing Improvement Strategy). This plan insisted on implementing subsidized housing and handouts. The CHIS plan was required by the Ohio Office of Housing and Community Partnership in order to pave the way for the biggest influx of unconstitutional expenditure of federal funding and loss of legislative control in Geauga County's history.

Mary Samide stands for Section 8 Housing, grants that erode the control we have over our property rights, rental subsidies for individuals waiting for Section 8 housing, funding the purchase of homes for non-residents who want to transition to home ownership in Geauga County, NOACA funded projects and regionalism, etc.

In her own defense, Mary Samide stated, “Sheriff Dan McClelland is in front of the Commissioners all of the time asking for grants, why doesn’t anyone criticize him?”

Sadly, Mary Samide has made her mark on Geauga County. I hope residents will support a candidate who will help our community recover and reclaim what Samide has given away. My family and I are supporting Walter “Skip” Claypool, a veteran and a fierce defender of the U.S. Constitution.

Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts
Chesterland, Ohio 44026

A Good Neighbor is Needed in Government

Dear Editor,
In our ever expanding society, people have become more distant and isolated from one another. Although technology has brought us the ability to see and talk to people thousands of miles away with a click of a button, relationships have become less intimate. It is less common to see strangers greeting one another on the street or a co-worker taking time out of a busy day to ask how you are doing and take the time to listen to your answer. Yet, the concept and the importance of a good neighbor still holds significant value to each and every one of us. One of the most well-known advertisement slogans that has spanned generations is the one that begins “Like a good neighbor, BLANK BLANK is there!” We all know words that fill in those blanks. Why has this slogan remained so popular through the years? The answer is that even though lives have become busier and personal relationships have become less personal, we still cherish the idea of being able to depend on someone who will always be there in a time of need. The same holds true of our government officials. We elect individuals who we believe best represent our ideals and interests. We believe these individuals will stand up for us and give us a voice that will be heard by those who lead us. Unfortunately, we have been able to depend on our elected officials less and less. Often, they have their own agendas on the forefront of their minds and have forgotten their promises to the people who helped them achieve their position. It is time to bring back the principles on which this government was founded…by the people, for the people.

We moved to Ohio about two and a half years ago. It is always difficult leave familiar surroundings and people with whom you have built close ties to and start a new life in a strange place. We searched long and hard for a place we could call home before we found ourselves settling down in Novelty, Ohio. Shortly after moving in, we met our neighbor, Linda O’Brien. Linda is the epitome of what being a good neighbor means. She welcomed us into our neighborhood and has shown us genuine friendship and concern since. Linda lives her life by following the fundamental principles of her faith. She is sincere, honest, friendly, trustworthy, reliable, and dependable. She has a generous heart and an open mind. She always puts others before herself. Linda is always there to lend a helping hand when we are in need. She is one person that we can always count on in a time of crisis. I believe that our society and government are in a state of crisis right now. We are in desperate need of help and I believe that we need someone like Linda O’Brien to help bring our community back to the basics and to ensure that the fundamental principles upon which our country was founded are not lost. Linda is running for a seat in the Ohio House of Representative District 76. I believe that our community will be well served with Linda representing us and fighting for our concerns. Linda is passionate about her beliefs and will never back away from a challenge even when the risks can be great. She can help bring the true meaning of community back into politics and bring the government back to the people for the good of the people.

Please stand with me in support of Linda O’Brien as she endeavors to make a difference in our community and in our country. Please vote for her as a write-in candidate in the upcoming election and help her help us live a better tomorrow.

Ellen W. K. Rosenquist
Novelty, Ohio