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Commentary for 2017

Commentary from other years 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013

Published Thursday, December 7, 2017

Remember that horrendous windstorm on Sunday, November 5, 2017? The one that knocked out the power in Geauga County and northeast Ohio for hours and even days in some areas like Twinsburg? Remember all the trees that were uprooted, especially in Bainbridge and Auburn Townships? Remember the Auburn Township Trustee Meeting of November 6? The one where Trustee Troyan crowed about being up after midnight looking for an open gas station to buy gasoline for his generator? Remember Trustee Eberly cooing about the road crew being the Mighty Mouse heroes of the day? That ploy may have been the factor that elected Eberly by a whopping fourteen votes for 25.21% of the vote.

Fast-forward to the December 6 Auburn Township Trustee meeting, where the smell of fresh popcorn and a container of Christmas cookies with red and green sprinkles sitting smack-dab in front of Trustee Eberly lured some fifty high-school students to sit bumper-to-bumper. Fire Chief John Phillips, who in past days would have announced that the Administration Building could not hold that many bodies without being a fire hazard and would have ordered everyone to roomier quarters like Adam Hall or the town hall across the street, walked in, took a look around, and took his place as part of the standing-room only crowd without uttering a single word of concern for the health, welfare, and safety of the gathered masses. In the meantime, Fiscal Officer Fred May hustled to hand out free buttered popcorn fresh from the new popcorn machine that the township has just acquired to provide a circus-attraction for unsuspecting students required to learn the truth about local government.

Perhaps because the Christmas cookies with red and green sprinkles sitting directly in front of Mr. Eberly did not attract many takers, he got to eyeball them as he settled in on his chosen topic and creating its desired effect. Speaking again of the storm damage of November 5, he started crying the blues about the fallen trees. This time, though, he did not coo about the services provided in removing fallen trees on residential property, but the trees that the winds had blown down in the township cemeteries and on other township property. After Trustee Cavanagh reported how hard he and Bainbridge Trustee Lorrie Sass Benza had worked in an effort to collect monies from the township areas damaged by blow-downs, Eberly emphasized that the township had not been able to collect any monies from trees that had managed to miss landing on buildings.

The actual truth, not revealed to the high school students, was that the trustees referenced had appealed to the leadership of the Geauga County Emergency Management Authority (EMA) in an effort to collect money for alleged damage. It was the local EMA that set them straight about what was and was not collectible.

At the end of the meeting, which may have been one of the shortest in Auburn history, the container of Christmas cookies still sat enticingly in front of Jack Eberly.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Published Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Agenda Item 14 regarding chain of command in the Geauga Commissioners’ Office generated over an hour of heated discussion among the three Commissioners. Appearing to read from a script, Ralph Spidalieri provided the initial commentary about the need for in-house policy to “bring us together as board” and to promote unity.

Agreeing with Spidalieri about the cited policy resolving any lack of unity among the board of commissioners, Walter Claypool noted that when he first received the communication, he questioned, “What are we trying to resolve?”

Interrupted briefly by County Administrator David Lair, Commissioner Lennon observed with some apparent venom, “[Commissioner] employees are not under the leadership of one individual.” This comment appeared to be a criticism that Claypool was responsible for providing more assignments to the work staff than either of the other two commissioners.

Claypool responded without emotion, “There’s nothing I do that can’t be communicated with others. . .When Ralph is meeting with [County Planning Director] Dave Dietrich, we have no feedback from him [Spidalieri].” He further gave the example of Tim Lennon consulting with JFS Director Craig Swenson without interruption or intervention from the other two commissioners.

Responded Tim Lennon, “I don’t think anyone is questioning the practices of any one commissioner. . .[but] if it’s going to take more than a general decision,. . .we need to be more efficient. . .Going forward, it needs to go through Dave [Lair] and have it come back to the Commissioners.”

Claypool was in the middle of a sentence when Spidalieri heatedly interrupted and kept talking. Claypool was able finally to be afforded the courtesy to finish his first thought. In response to Lennon’s opinion that “decisions should be board-driven,” Claypool noted,” We don’t have a process to make a decision. None of us are bringing our facts to the table. We all need to play by the rules.”

Lennon quickly responded. “If you decide to pull board employees off-task, that’s our concern. I’m learning that employees are expressing concern about being off-task.”

When Claypool noted that “I asked Christie [Commissioner Clerk Blair] to reschedule my calendar.” He seemed to be raising the question if tasks assigned to Ms. Blair had been the cause of the alleged employee distress. As if to make certain that the complaint came from employees present other than Ms. Blair, Lair noted succinctly, “This is not initiated by Christie.” For those in attendance, the question of which employees had lodged the complaint seemed to focus in on the only two county employees present for the entire commissioner meeting: David Lair and Linda Burhenne.

There was a silence from the two employees while Commissioner Lennon provided more commentary. “I’m new to this, but there is a process to how we work. Dave is our trusted administrator.”

“Boards work in different ways,” inserted Claypool. “Staff support individual commissioners. . . I work for the people of this county.” At this point, he commented that he had not been aware that he had monopolized or unfairly utilized the services of specific employees.

Clearly impatient and not willing to continue the dialogue, Lennon retorted, “You’re getting off subject. This office needs procedure.”

From her seat in the audience, employee Burhenne spoke for the first time “When I was on the board of education, I read curricula and helped write retention schedules.” With seeming sarcasm she continued, “I didn’t revise calendars or rewrite job descriptions.” This comment was a seeming criticism of Claypool’s statement regarding Christine Blair and his admission that he sits in on interviews of prospective county employees.

Apparently dared to respond, Claypool continued calmly and logically. “If I am asked for an opinion, I will continue to give them. If you’re asking about trust, trust is a tricky thing. . . It is a common practice to create a common vision. We are required to do this in the public eye. To serve the people of this county. . .let’s put our egos aside. In terms of providing thoughts and opinions [all of] you have plenty of them. We all do.”

Lennon shot back. “I’m talking about the usefulness of the staff. . .” Before much more time had elapsed Claypool found himself heatedly interrupted again and again, although he exercised enough restraint and dignity not to interrupt anyone else present

Claypool responded, “Dave [Lair] knows everything I’m thinking.” For many observers, including this writer, the ability of one person to hold that much knowledge and power could be a very dangerous situation and a double-edged sword since the cited individual holds an appointed, not elected office.

The Commissioners recognized Dal Lanese, a Geauga resident, who questioned whether the authority for accepting or rejecting additional employee responsibility did not rest with the affected employees themselves in lieu of a written policy.

Mr. Lennon noted that if a board of commissioners does not agree about employee responsibilities, it should be apparent that time and resources should not be expended to overburden the employees in question.

At that point, having researched the topic in advance, County Administrator Lair produced a written letter/communication from Butler County noting that any employment decisions regarding that county’s employment staff result from the decisions of at least two of Butler County’s three commissioners. “One commissioner acting alone does not have the authority to commission individual tasks.”

On multiple occasions Lennon asserted that he was not taking sides with either Spidalieri or Claypool. Nevertheless, Lennon appeared to justify a pro-Spidalieri/anti-Claypool stance with the premise that “at the end of the day, life is moving fast and you have to jump in,” To this writer the comment appeared to explain Lennon’s apparent exasperation and lack of verbal fluidity. He was noticeably uncomfortable with his new responsibility.

Claypool, still cool-headed and rational, responded philosophically and in gentleman-like fashion. “I think we are in agreement and we need to send a letter to the staff [regarding delegation-of-employee-time policy].” He also noted the need to discuss everything in public meetings instead of “in the hallways” and to make clear decisions for which each commissioner could take responsibility within the framework of the public commissioner meeting.

Spidalieri was apparently not content to accept the olive branch. “When a job gets produced, there is a certain amount of feedback that each commissioner can contribute. . .These 10, 12, 18-week job postings. . I’m not going to stand for them anymore . .I don’t run my business or my household like that. Trying to make a masterpiece out of ‘sloppy putty’ is over. . . We have staff to do what they’ve been hired to do. . . It’s gotta be two against one even if I’m the one. . .to get slapped on the side of the face. I’m a big boy and I can take it.”

Inasmuch as Spidalieri did not go into more detail about his objection to job searches that were not immediately filled, perhaps because of scarcity of a candidate with appropriate background, this writer can only speculate that perhaps the commissioner objects to duties which infringe on his personal time more than he likes. Mr. Spidalieri has been observed leaving commissioner chambers multiple times in quite hurried and abrupt fashion as soon as the meeting is adjourned. For some observers, this behavior could speak to the commissioner’s preference for pursuing his own business interests rather than those of the electorate of Geauga County.

David Lair appeared embarrassed by the preceding comments. “This is the best board of commissioners I have ever worked with with regard to passion, intelligence, etc. . .[but] we have to trust employees. . .”

Chester resident and current Trustee, Michael Petruziello, was recognized by the board of commissioners. “The board has to trust its professional people. . .If you think they’ve made a mistake, you have to explain it to them” so they can improve themselves.

This time Mr. Lennon appeared compelled to soften his tone. “I respect both of them [Commissioner Spidalieri and Commissioner Claypool]. You don’t want employees unhappy. There are some things we’ve been talking about for a year. What I’m hearing from staff is the need for parameters for working with them.”

Mr. Petruziello agreed: “You are trying to establish protocols.”

David Lair noted, “The process is to do a better job everyday.”

At this point the meeting was approaching adjournment at 10:45 AM to initiate the scheduled meeting with two Richard L. Bowen Associates employees. These employees had been waiting in the hall at least fifteen minutes. At this point those who had felt compelled to express such anger and vehemence had apparently satisfied their vents so that the next step in the Bowen feasibility study could proceed.

Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Amidst Sunday storms, downed trees, and losses of power, the voters of Auburn Township are to be commended for the muster and courage they demonstrated on Election Day to make their wishes known. For the first time in decades, the electorate became aware of the carelessness, negligence, cover-up, and lies with which the incumbents have managed to slide by the seats of their pants. This election season saw challengers calling incumbents out for coarse and unethical behavior and for willingness to prevent transparency and accuracy in posting public documents so constituents can view records with ease. For the first time since this writer has been an Auburn resident, the incumbents were worried about their sloppiness and mediocrity.

For the record there were a total of 3244 votes cast at Adam Hall on Election Day with a total of 182 votes separating the highest vote-recipient from the lowest, a 5.61% difference. Neither candidate received any kind of plurality. Troyan received 902, or 27.80%. of the total vote cast. Eberly received 818, or 25.21%. Quay received 804, or 24.78%. Richter received 720, or 22.19%. Mrs. Quay and Mr. Richter, the challengers, did not have the benefit of more than twenty years of government experience for Eberly nor fourteen years for Troyan. For all the bluster, bloating, braggadocio, and chest-thumping performed by the incumbents, neither one was able to gain more than a 3.02% advantage over Mrs. Quay or the 5.61% over Mr. Richter. The results, which are preliminary, should be a wake-up call for the two old boys that they are expendable if they do not learn any lessons from their close encounter. What happens in Auburn depends entirely on the voters of Auburn.

The residents of Auburn may be the beneficiaries of this election, but only if they remain alert and vigilant and keep the feet of their public servants to the fire. Without that persistence, the two “victors” will neglect again their responsibility to provide transparency to their employers. Clearly, based on past performance, these victors without a mandate expect that their constituents will become complacent again so that the mischief of so many past years may resume. For those who remember the oaths of office taken by Trustees Eberly and Troyan at the opening trustee meeting of January 2014, it will be necessary to watch their ongoing behavior. The days of chest-puffing and arrogance on the part of officials known for mediocrity and malaise should clearly be at an end.

We applaud Auburn voters for their passion in deciding this close, close race. We have no doubt that many voters will be watching and keeping score. Keep up the vigilance, Auburn voters!! Take back your township and make it work for you, not just for the few good old boys.

Published Saturday, October 7, 2017

Readers may recall that editors of this website informed Auburn Township Trustee P.J. Cavanagh (who is not standing for re-election until 2019) at the Chagrin River Watershed Partners meeting of September 19 that multiple newly-installed floor tiles (job done by Interfinish of Garfield Heights) in Adam Hall under project manager Jim Dixon were defective. These tiles are lifting up and appear to have discolored grout. Readers will recall that it was the brainchild of Trustee Michael Troyan (up for reelection on November 7, 2017) to install ceramic tiles. Readers will recall that Mr. Cavanagh made the excuse when informed of the defective tiles that he did not do the final approval. Mr. Troyan did the final approval earlier in 2017.

At the October 2, 2017, Auburn Township trustee meeting, in the presence of two local reporters and several high school students attending to complete course requirements, the subject of the defective Adam Hall tiles were not mentioned once during that meeting. This behavior raises several questions during the 2017 political campaign for two trustees:

1) By remaining silent on the subject of defective tiles installed in 2017 at taxpayer expense under the supervision of project manager Jim Dixon and after the sign-off of incumbent trustee Michael Troyan, running for reelection, is it the hope of the trustees that the subject of defective workmanship can be hushed up and buried until after the election?

2) By remaining silent on the topic of defective tiles installed in 2017 in Adam Hall at taxpayer expense under the supervision of project manager Jim Dixon and after the sign-off of incumbent trustee Michael Troyan, running for reelection, is it the hope/expectation that the opportunity to have the damaged floor repaired under warranty will expire to the disadvantage of Auburn township?

3) By remaining silent on the topic of defective tiles installed in 2017 in Adam Hall at taxpayer expense under the supervision of project manager Jim Dixon and after the sign-off of incumbent trustee Michael Troyan, running for reelection, is it the hope/expectation that all three trustees will quietly approve the cost of repair work without ever informing the public at trustee meetings?

4) Doesn’t it become apparent to intelligent voters that the current elected administration of Auburn Township operates with little or no transparency and no respect for the voters?

5) How can the good voters of Auburn Township restore transparency in township government and respect for the will of the voters?

Published Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A little over a year ago, on September 19, 2016 (see video below), Steven Matsko of Interfinish, LLC, in Garfield Heights, Ohio 44125, presented an “analysis” of the ongoing problem with the concrete floor of Adam Hall, Auburn Township’s quirky white elephant “gifted” by the late Auburn resident, Mr. Padagemus. We have written about Adam Hall before, identifying it as “Padagemus’ Revenge” because of all the problems it has presented and the monetary expense it has cost Auburn taxpayers. The saga is just in time for the Halloween witching season with the two incumbent trustees Eberly and Troyan each seeking another four year term in the face of some very poor accountability to the taxpayers of Auburn Township. This is a spooky story worth remembering.

Mr. Matsko, who identified himself as the child of former Auburn Township residents, was introduced by Eberly as having tested the concrete floors of Adam Hall for about 1 ½ years, since March 2015. Two Auburn Township residents, Mary Ruth Shumway and Carl Schneider, each made suggestions about how to circumvent damp concrete floors without the expense that Interfinish’s solution would cause. Mrs. Shumway went so far as to suggest the implementation of a French drain to divert water problems. Mr. Matsko, as revealed in the video, did not address Shumway’s suggestion, but instead noted that roof damage identified during that time period could be a
contributing factor to tiles that “curl up” on the ends and adhesives that “don’t adhere.” Mr. Matsko talked about “products that tolerate higher moisture,” noting that on six different testing occasions, moisture in the floor measured 81%, 86%, 94%. 96%, 95%, and 94%. Mr. Matsko reported that the normal moisture content for flooring was 75%. The original “testing” had begun on June 2 and July 1, 2015, and involved both acidity testing and moisture testing. He was careful not to relate the cost of each of these tests during the public meeting, and the trustees were equally careful not to touch that topic. Fire Chief Phillips noted that Mr. Matsko had reportedly done an excellent job with floor problems in the recently-built Fire Station. Trustee Cavanagh related that the floor problems “have been going on for a little more than a year.”

Adam Hall has been a lucrative place for helping contractors gain long-term employment in Auburn Township, often even without the need for the bidding process. Several years earlier, for example, circa 2011-2012, an individual named Jim Dixon analyzed an expensive infra-red test in Adam Hall to see why there were “hot areas.” Thereafter, the same Jim Dixon apparently ingratiated himself so much with Auburn Township hotshots that he managed to become the reigning “project manager” for all construction jobs that occurred in Auburn, starting with Adam Hall, extending to the Auburn Fire Department, then the Auburn Service Garage, and most recently the repair of the Adam Hall floor plus a 1200 square foot addition in 2017. For every task done by Interfinish and in the 1200 square foot addition, Dixon collected a bird-dog fee as the “project manager.” It just goes to show you that if the right guys take a shine to you in Auburn, the goodies will be extended to you for a long time.

As shown in the video of the September 19, 2016, Auburn Township meeting, Mr. Matsko noted that “everything is up front” with two proposals that involve sealant and smoothing out the affected concrete so that “the floor should be flat,” not raised and buckling. He noted that he would be “trying to achieve a certain look” with a “two-part urethane adhesive.” The “product,” Matsko said, would “tolerate higher moisture” so that “ten years from now you won’t have these conversations again.”

Resident Mary Ruth Shumway asked how long the new floor would last. Matsko’s response was “15-20 years life” because the process would “change the percentage of moisture from 95% to 75%.” It was during this same dialogue that Trustee Troyan suggested his preference for “large ceramic tiles” as the product of choice for Adam Hall’s new floor.

The topic of the Adam Hall floor came up again in the next several months: January 2017 and February 2017. Auburn Township residents have seen the 1200 square foot addition to Adam Hall and the new ceramic tiles installed following the sealant process described by Matsko on September 19, 2016. During this time Jim Dixon was collecting his regular check for being project manager. Trustees have not discussed the status of the ceramic tiles since their completion.

Fast forward to September 19, 2017, when the Auburn Township trustees hosted Heather Znidarsic, the director of the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, many staff members of CRWP, and CRWP members from many locations in northeast Ohio, including Greg Studen, Mary Samide, and others who enjoyed the refreshments and coffee, presumably at Auburn Township taxpayer expense. All the notables sat around a large table set up in the middle of the new ceramic tile floor recommended personally by Trustee Troyan, who is seeking another four-year term.

This writer, always interested to learn, showed up for the meeting as well, as did her spouse. Both of them noticed, with the help of the bright sunshine coming through the windows of Adam Hall, that there was something obviously wrong with the new ceramic tiles, installed under the supervision of Jim Dixon, project manager. Multiple ceramic tiles parallel with the windows were obviously raised, clearly revealing darkly-stained grout. This demonstration clearly contradicted the testimony of Interfinish’s Steve Matsko on September 19, 2016, that the floor would be flat and that “you won’t have this conversation again.”

When Trustee Cavanagh returned from the refreshment table this writer’s husband immediately informed him of the raised and defective tiles.

“You mean over there?” Cavanagh said, pointing to the western side of the floor. "I wasn't the one over here that went through the walk-through." It was becoming apparent that Cavanagh knew all about the imperfections in the new floor that was not supposed to have any issues. En route to his seat at the big table while munching the delicacies, Cavanagh brushed one foot over the raised tiles and then quickly moved on to his seat, apparently hoping not to attract attention from CRWP members from all over northeast Ohio. Nevertheless, some clearly noticed his examination of the uneven surface.

And so the spirit of Mr. Padagemus continues to reign in Adam Hall. This writer has referred to Adam Hall on several occasions as “Padagemus’ Revenge.” It is a nightmare that continues to have its most lasting impact during Halloween season because of all the repair charades that have occurred there for the last fifteen years and which continue to cheat Auburn taxpayers blind while apparently lining the pockets of a few “contractors.”

There is a logical solution to the stupidity and madness which reign in Auburn Township: to unseat the two incumbent trustees who apparently delight in circumventing the bidding process while pretending to observe it. Why do they escape culpability for all the waste and excess resulting from the Adam Hall experiment?

This is an election year for two trustees. The same problems occur over and over and over and over again. The same two trustees never admit any responsibility or shortcomings. The only thing they seem to know how to do is to steal more money from the pockets of voters with very short memories.

How many times do elected servants get to fail their constituents before voters finally turn out the old bums? The time is NOW to elect Brian Richter and Karen Quay. Let’s retire those two old incumbents to the assisted living home and finally give Auburn a chance for fiscal, ethical, and moral success for the first time in over twenty years.

Published Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Auburn Township resident David Scalf felt motivated enough to notify the Auburn Township office staff that he would be coming to the September 18 trustee meeting, asking to be put on the agenda. Mr. Scalf, when introduced, addressed the trustees from his chair. He noted that he would be discussing the resurfacing of Stafford Road. He explained that “chip seal” of the road began on August 11. The road, he said, “went from paved to gravel” as a result of the chip sealing process. “The road surface is not like when we moved in in 2014.” Mr. Scalf said that his research led him to conclude that although the road project ended on August 17, “the road surface does not look completed.” There are “numerous speed bumps” so that Stafford Road “does not look properly flattened.” Moreover, in spite of several rainstorms, the dust on the road surface has not abated and there are”piles of debris” and “lots of residue on vehicles.” With great diplomacy and evenness of tone, Mr. Scalf asked his question: “Is there some way the township can address the issue?”

That question would have afforded an astute elected official running for re-election the opportunity to examine the actual “chip-seal” in question. John Eberly, who “plays them like he’s got them” and urges other Auburn elected officials to do the same, made no such offer to the resident who made it his business to attend the public meeting to address the problem. In fact. Eberly insisted that he knew a bit about the issue because he has been involved with chip seal “for the last 25 years.” Moreover, Eberly added, “Your road has always been gravel.”

When Mr. Scalf felt compelled to respond politely to some of Eberly’s comments, Mr. Play’em Like Y You Got ‘em” became particularly defensive and condescending. “Let me finish! Let me finish! I know a little bit about chip seal.” Maybe so, John, but a thoughtful elected official in your position would have done better to listen than to resort to the old Eberly know-it-all routine. Some would term the Eberly routine as the need to make it up as you go along. Others would term the Eberly routine as the need to convince himself by putting everyone else down.

Well, Mr. Scalf, I guess that Eberly dude managed to do his show-off routine again while trying to convince you of his humility: “That’s the best we [in Auburn] can afford,” even though Auburn has one of the highest tax rates (behind Bainbridge) in Geauga County. “Chip seal costs more than asphalt,” continued Eberly. The one truthful conclusion Eberly may have drawn was, “I know you’re not happy.” Well, Mr. Eberly, if you know a tax-paying resident is not happy, how might you resolve the issue without putting him down? After all, it is common knowledge that one of the Auburn trustees is not in compliance with paying his taxes. Is it possible that it may never have occurred to this particular elected trustee running for re-election that at least part of his job is to serve compliant taxpayers?

Mr. Scalf noted that he has been a federal official. Welcome to Auburn Township, Mr. Scalf. You have met the misanthropic Eberly. Now you know why Auburn Township trustee meetings are not well-attended and why it is necessary for some other residents to videotape the proceedings to insure the transparency of the Auburn Township regime. We look forward to seeing you again. We hope you participate in the November trustee election.

Thank you for standing up and telling the truth, Mr. Scalf. We like your grit. You might need it if you live in Auburn Township. For the record, we have included in this entry a photo showing chip seal from Franks Road from about 2015 on the left and the new “chip seal” from Stafford Road on the right. Those Stafford Road agates look like mighty big gravel instead of traditional chip seal to us. Some folks just try “to play ‘em like they got ‘em” so the rest of us have to keep our eyes and ears open with video and documented evidence.


Published Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Recently an Auburn Township acquaintance related that a house in The Meadows subdivision was sporting a new accessory building for which no zoning permit had been pulled from Auburn Township Zoning Department. Viewing a photo of the property as well as visiting it demonstrated the apparent truth that a new free-standing garage extended in front of the house. In other words, the garage extended into the front yard, a situation which violates the zoning premise that no accessory building shall extend into the front yard of a residence. When this writer asked Auburn Township Fiscal Officer Fred May about the possibility of such a violation, he submitted a zoning complaint form, which this writer did not complete. To this writer, receiving such a form gives rise to the theory that our zoning inspector investigates only possible zoning infractions which are submitted in the form of complaints. When given the address of the alleged infraction, would it not have been logical for the zoning inspector to take a run over in his trusty puddle jumper? If the violation were visible from the street, which this one certainly is, wouldn’t that observation have been enough impetus to check for the required zoning permit? Fred May wrote on July 20, that in reference to the free-standing garage, “A zoning permit has not been obtained for this addition.”

As far as this writer can ascertain, there has been no further action taken by the Auburn Township zoning department under Frank Kitko to rectify the problem of an accessory building (garage) constructed without a necessary building permit. Who needs a zoning permit anyway except honest Auburn residents who seek to follow the rules? Why have a zoning code if it isn’t going to be impartially enforced according to the written code? For the record, there have been multiple reports of accessory buildings in The Meadows constructed without the proper zoning permits. If this non-enforcement/selective enforcement of Auburn Township seems like an issue worth eradicating, make certain to vote in the upcoming Auburn election, which features incumbents Troyan and Eberly running on some sort of “record” but apparently unaware of the ‘sucking sound’ of Auburn Township zoning going down the toilet. . . again.

Published Sunday, August 6, 2017

If you don’t pay your real estate taxes twice each year to the county treasurer, what do you think will happen? In 2016, when this writer posed that query to an employee at the Geauga County Treasurer’s Office, she responded that 1) after three years of non-payment of taxes, the county treasurer will initiate legal action to foreclose on delinquent tax properties in order to receive the tax monies that are owed; and 2) the county treasurer does not get involved until the dollar amount of the unpaid taxes reaches $8,000. That explanation does not seem to hold true for some delinquent properties in Auburn Township owned and/or farmed by one of the township’s long-standing trustees and elected member of the Geauga County Republican Committee. The four parcels not titled to him belong to his father, whom the Geauga County Auditor’s Real Link identifies as living at the same address as his trustee son. The Auburn properties in question were first delinquent in 2013 and have been delinquent since 2015. Do Auburn voters want to trust public officers who are deadbeats?

Although said trustee paid his taxes on a 33-acre parcel in 2016, one year later he owes $3592 for missing both real estate collection dates in 2016. On a two acre parcel said trustee paid off only $540.80 but has an outstanding tax balance and his tax balance is now $8785, substantially in excess of the $8000 debt that should put the county treasurer into foreclosure mode.
Deadbeat farmer
There are four other Auburn parcels with which the trustee in discussion has great familiarity because they are titled to his father but they may one day fall to the trustee—if the real estate taxes are paid. The county auditor’s website, Real Link, indicates that the father lives with his trustee son. An 11-acre parcel so titled to the father is in arrears for $654. That’s not a big deal, you may say. How about a 62-acre parcel in arrears for $4235 with no payment whatever since July 2015 or the 75-acre parcel in arrears since 2015 with no effort to make any payment whatsoever, now in arrears for $8548.05, a number which should be spurring your Geauga County Treasurer into foreclosure mode. The final parcel, nearly 55 acres, has been delinquent as well since 2015, with a previous delinquency noted by the Geauga County Auditor in 2013. It is in tax arrears for $5962.94.

Is it fair to demand the County Treasurer to intervene any time soon to prevent deadbeats from burdening other Geauga County taxpayers? The fact is that deadbeats who don’t pay their real estate taxes cause the financial burden to other taxpayers to increase. Geauga County residents who pay their taxes to support their schools, their county offices, their local roads and bridges (three levies every five years in Auburn), and other local improvements do not deserve to be burdened by deadbeats, especially when one of them is an elected trustee.

Would the Geauga County Treasurer be so lenient with you if you, like the deadbeat just described, were more than $19,000 in debt for real estate taxes and delinquent more than once? The Auburn trustee, his son, owes more than $12,000 in back taxes himself. Interestingly, back in 2010, one of the two remaining trustees, then and now running for re-election, noted to local papers that Bernie Kozar, then owner of parcels that Auburn Township subsequently purchased at foreclosure auction in 2011, was a terrible human being for not paying his real estate taxes. Ironically, neither of the two trustees now running again for re-election in November 2017, has ever publicly mentioned the chronic tax delinquencies of the other trustee or of his kinsman? If Bernie Kozar was a deadbeat so are the latter two individuals. The problem is that one of them is in charge of township government and management of public funds. If the two trustees seeking re-election do not have the balls to admit that their third trustee is a deadbeat, then they are the problem, not part of the solution. They are also despicable hypocrites who are not telling their constituents the whole truth. With a tax collection in Geauga County at the rate of about 98%, aren’t these deadbeats really a drag on the entire Geauga County community?


Published Sunday, July 2, 2017

At the June 19, 2017, Auburn Trustee meeting, Trustee Cavanagh, noting his absence from the
June 5th public meeting, initially noted that those minutes “appeared correct.” When he expressed his ambivalence about voting approval of those minutes, Trustee Eberly assured him, “Sure, you can [vote to approve rather than abstain].”
Cavanagh was heard to say, “No, I can’t.”
Eberly responded, “Sure, you can,” almost reminiscent of some musicals of the 1940’s.
“Anything you can do, I can do better. . .Anything you can do, I can do better. . .”
“No, you can’t. . .”
“Yes, I can. . .”
“No, you can’t. . .”
“Yes, I can. Yes, I can. Yes, I can.”

Did Cavanagh really let Eberly convince him what he could do? Was this proper behavior coming from Auburn Trustees for two consecutive meetings?

Voters will have to be the final judges this election year.

Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Having followed the actions of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency for several years, this writer has been particularly concerned and angered with the appearance in March of this year of a forty-page NOACA-produced document styled Water Quality Strategic Plan. For those readers who have followed the dialogues at this website, there may be memories of earlier accounts of how NOACA actions ignore the unique needs of Geauga County.

As a brief review, this writer offers the information that NOACA was formed more than 40 years ago to include voting members from Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Medina, and Lorain Counties. NOACA is formally known as a Municipal Planning Organization (MPO), of which many exist in the state of Ohio in order to receive federal tax monies that have been paid by consumers buying gasoline. Although there are a few municipalities and counties who do not belong to an MPO and manage to survive without the assistance of federal gas-tax money returned to them by an MPO, the bulk of Ohio’s political subdivisions are members of MPOs with the intention of receiving moneys for highway or multimodal traffic projects.

Although most members of NOACA have one vote, with e Cleveland City carrying multiple votes on each issue. Today’s NOACA is so constructed that even if the voting members of Geauga, Lake, Medina, and Lorain Counties drop out of the organization out of protest, the preponderance of weight of Cleveland City and Cuyahoga County assures that any issue approved by the latter two entities will pass, even though four of the five represented counties object to procedures or outcomes by NOACA. It is this writer’s understanding that NOACA voting structure was not originally formulated this way. Indeed, NOACA was apparently formulated in the beginning to give each voting entity equal representation and power in the five-county regional structure. Somewhere along the way, Cleveland and Cuyahoga County efforts to provide special power to themselves was successful, and the weighted system of voting permits Cleveland/Cuyahoga County to retain the majority of the 45 votes.

For those who have visited NOACA headquarters at 1299 Superior Avenue at the corner of 13th Street, the building exterior does not conjure any special images. Once inside, however, the visitor who has seen the main meeting room where all the voting representatives gather remembers the opulence, the collection of monitors and electronic communications, and the sense that those gathered here are part of some bureaucracy reminiscent of the galactic council of dignitaries portrayed in Star Trek. At least some of the voting members may think so, too. The biggest problem with the plush surroundings is that the acoustics do not lend themselves well to the presence of video/sound equipment. That handicap may not burden NOACA paid-staff, although it disappointed us when we sought a permanent electronic record of the proceedings.

At any rate, this reviewer has read the NOACA-formulated Water Quality Strategic Plan three times. Quite frankly, she has been stunned by the large number of times that NOACA staff have apparently added undefined terms to the text. The average reader, it would seem, would become so frustrated trying to understand that he/she might consider dumping the document down the nearest toilet or metropolitan Cleveland sanitary sewer.

As if fostering this level of s frustration were not enough, the document presents a number of allegations which the reader is supposed to accept on the premise that the word of the NOACA staff is supposed to be accepted without skepticism or question. It is shocking that a paid staff would assume the readership to be so uninformed and gullible that it would accept such allegations on face value without demanding to see documentation accomplished in at least a scholarly, informed manner.

Lastly, the document is riddled with phrases that appear to be included for snob appeal to create the impression that the authors, whose names are not provided individually but are identified only as “NOACA staff,” know or think they know more than the individuals who pay for their salaries by buying gasoline in the first place. A little more humility and dedication to presentation of the “whole story” might better serve those on the NOACA staff, who collect a healthy dole without demonstrating either scientific method or scholarly diligence. For instance, page 2 of the NOACA report reads in part, “ There was a brief period of modest growth across the region during the 1990s and early 2000a, but this ended with the onset of the Great Recession in the mid-2000s. Since then the regional population and employment numbers have slowly declined to reflect an image of regional population and employment stability over the past 25 years.” The conclusion is one which lacks consensus of opinion. Consequently, presenting such a conclusion requires “NOACA staff” to provide an endnote or footnote to demonstrate whose idea or conclusion it is. That demonstration of scholarly research is missing.

On the same page, the report reads, “The past decade has witnessed the evolution of population and employment trends from the familiar post-World War II pattern of urban decline/suburban growth fo a more complex pattern of overall decline dappled with pockets of growth in both urban and suburban communities. This shift in trends also implies a shift in land use and development patterns. Changing patterns affect water quality” The final two sentences are not logical conclusions derived from any data/facts presented within the paragraph, so how did the “NOACA staff” arrive at these allegations? If these conclusions are not logical deductions, where are the endnotes/footnotes to demonstrate the source of the idea?

Noting that there was an endnote attributed to Policy Guide on Water Resources Management, a 2002 publication of the American Planning Association, this writer accessed the 22-page document only to discover that the two sentences cited were lifted word-for-word without providing the proper quotation. Hence, the first paragraph should have included the cited information as :water resource issues should be integrated into the comprehensive land-use planning process. Urbanization increases runoff from impervious surfaces, causing storm water flooding and nonpoint source pollution problems.” Additionally, the “NOACA staff” should have credited page 5 of the APA report. The apparent lack of expertise regarding citation of published works demonstrates the shallowness of the “research” undertaken by the “NOACA staff” and highlights the lack of credibility of this entity as researchers.

Probably the least thought-out allegation in the draft document is the following quote, which appears on pages 3 and 31:
For watersheds. Most impairment is related to modification of the landscape by agriculture and urban development.” To attempt to attribute pollution to farms [Geauga County is recognized by many as the Ohio County with the greatest number of agricultural venues] seems to demonstrate an effort to kick the can down the road and to avoid the fact that Cleveland developmental activities have contributed and continue to contribute immensely to pollution issues.

At any rate, many members of NOACA fully expected the document to win approval at the June 16 NOACA Water Quality Board noon meeting. In apparently unprecedented events, five individuals provided written comment. George Warnock, the Land Steward of the Eastern Region of the Western Reserve Conservancy in Moreland Heights wrote, “As a member of the Water Quality Subcommittee, I would like to applaud the NOACA Staff and others who contributed to the current draft. . . The plan is well designed and the process to draft the plan was thorough and well executed.” Four other individuals, including the Director of the Geauga County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Director of the Geauga County Health District, expressed very specific objections to the methodology and content of the plan. In addition, four Geauga County residents took the time to appear before the Water Quality Subcommittee to express their specific objections during the June 16th meeting at NOACA headquarters located at 1299 Superior Avenue in Cleveland. As a result of the written and oral criticisms, the members of the Water Quality Subcommittee voted to postpone any further action on the draft document until the September 15 Water Quality Subcommittee meeting. Stepping up to the bat and voicing one’s objections to a flimsily-constructed planning document such as the Water Quality Strategic Plan made a difference in the outcome after all.

Published Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Auburn Township Trustee meeting narrowly missed happening at all. Trustee P.J. Cavanagh and John Eberly were apparent no-shows. Then Office Administrator Nancy Dolezal, filling in for the evening for Fiscal Officer Fred May, made a phone call to Eberly. Admitting that he had no knowledge of a 6:30 P.M. public hearing regarding the third such meeting for the proposed Auburn Township Noise Amendment, Eberly vowed to be there after brushing his teeth. It is no great surprise that he had no knowledge of the hearing, inasmuch as he had not been in attendance for the May 15 trustee meeting,
the time and place of the second public hearing of the Noise Amendment. That being the case, we noted that John Eberly seconded the motion to approve the trustee and public hearing minutes from May 15, 2017, even when it was obvious to many in attendance that he should have abstained because of his absence, thereby forcing the approval to the next trustee meeting when both Cavanagh and Troyan could be there. Although some might view the event as just a very small tennis-shoe print in fresh concrete, it is just one more example of the sloppiness with which Auburn Trustees conduct their public business. Let’s all cry in our beer—again-- because this kind of stupid disregard for protocol has happened before. Check the video clip.

Then since the Noise Amendment public hearing was based on the sole testimony of Zoning Commission member, Mike Guyer, the whole public thingy was ended in about ten minutes with a great deal of time to kill until the public trustee meeting was to begin at 7:30 P.M. John Eberly, apparently forgetting about an Auburn Township base of voters that consistently approves of three road levies every five years, chose this time to shake his head and ridicule those in the township who chose to discard their unneeded goods at Adam Hall in exchange for a $5. $10, or even $15 charge to those in charge, including Eberly, on Saturday, June 3. On one occasion during the meeting Eberly was
heard to ridicule those members of the community who chose to take advantage of an opportunity because “it’s free.” On a second occasion, shaking his head, he chose to ridicule a particular Auburn husband and wife who claimed that the merchandise to be discarded was only about one and one-half feet tall, when in reality, according to road chief, Emerick Gordon, the merchandise to be discarded was in fact to the top of the trailer. “Why do they lie about that?” Eberly asked, after admitting that he charged the individuals in question $15 when he might only have charged $5.

All in all, we had just another stellar performance from a publicly-elected official who was himself uninformed of public business. Nevertheless, in the absence of more stimulating topics, he chose to ridicule Auburn Township constituents in a year when Auburn Township voters will be deciding if they want more of Mr. Eberly and Mr. Troyan.

Published Saturday, June 3, 2017

Attending a NOACA meeting held at the Burton Library in Burton Village, Geauga County, at 9:30 A.M. on May 18, 2017,we heard about a survey process which inputted 802 individuals, according to NOACA testimony recorded on video. At that meeting,we listened to several NOACA officials, who outnumbered the Geauga residents, praise the flawlessness of a survey that had allegedly measured the levels of satisfaction of residents in five northeastern Ohio counties with the roads and bridges and transportation systems in their neighborhoods. At this meeting were two Geauga County residents, two Geauga County Commissioners, one Geauga County Engineer’s employee, and one Chardon employee. The rest of those present were staff members of NOACA, including Executive Director Grace Gallucci, Bill Davis, Marvin Hayes, and several others not introduced to Geauga residents. As a matter of fact, we were surprised to see so many NOACA people and so few Geauga County people.

Although we had expected the hour-long session to be directed toward answering questions from Geauga residents about NOACA programs, we were surprised to hear most of the time occupied by prepared speeches from Ms. Gallucci, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Hayes. It seemed that by the time there
was any opportunity to ask questions, only about fifteen minutes remained. It was particularly disheartening to hear the Director talk about the importance of public input and then hear a Geauga County Commissioner belittled and attacked for views unsupported by the rest of his county every time he tried to make a comment or ask a question. Mr. Hayes noted that the surveys referenced were “scientifically” conducted. Ms. Gallucci noted that 802 people were “randomly selected” by the company arranging the survey. Mr. Hayes noted that there was a margin of error in the survey of +/-3.5%.

As it turned out, the information highlighting survey methodology appears on NOACA’s website. The survey was undertaken by a corporation that identifies itself as Triad in October 2016. Per page 3 of the company’s own explanation, Triad noted, “Of the 808 interviews completed, 407 were completed by telephone, using both land-line and cell phone numbers and 401 were completed using an online panel. The results from the two survey modes were morphed and were weighted slightly on age and race. . .

If the survey(s) in question were random, then they raise many concerns:
Why did one sample contain 407 responses and the other sample contain 401?
Was NOACA staffer Hays confused about the number of responses? Did he assume that the 802 he cited came from the “merging” of two equal samples of 401 each?
And why was it necessary to have both a telephone interview and an online interview?
Did Triad rule out the possibility that some respondents participated both by telephone and online?
Is there a possibility that the telephone interviews became necessary because otherwise a large enough sample would not have been available(i.e., the small number of Geauga respondents cited by Triad)?

Triad noted (page 3) that the “telephone interview” occurred October 5-13, but the “online interview” occurred October 5-17, raising some serious questions:
Why wasn’t the time period for BOTH survey modes exactly the same?
Again, was the time discrepancy a result of knowing that ending the interview process on October 13 would not have resulted in a large enough sample to provide reliable and valid data?
Was the discrepancy a possible result of some carelessness?
Why were the results from the two survey modes “merged and . . .weighted slightly on age and race to more accurately reflect residents in the five county area”?
Don’t the practices noted by Triad raise the possibility of flawed or skewed results?

Page 45 of the Triad methodology purports to quantitatively catalog the responses according to location by county, by age, by race, and by gender. The single-biggest question that such methodology raises is that of the 808 (not 802, as identified by NOACA staff at the May meeting), 522 of the 808, or nearly 65% of the responses, came from respondents who identified themselves as Cuyahoga County residents. Only 67, or less than 9%, were from Medina County. And 107, or 13%, were from Lorain County.

The worst travesty of all, from the standpoint of Geauga County residents, was that the survey identified 112 respondents as residents of Lake OR Geauga Counties without bothering to quantify exactly how many of the 112 were from Geauga and how many were from Lake. Explained Triad on page 3, “For geographical analysis, we combined Lake and Geauga Counties since the number of respondents from Geauga County is small.” During the May 18 “question-answer” period when one Geauga resident attempted to get an answer about the specific number of Geauga County responses on the survey, the response from NOACA staff appeared vague, with the impression that Geauga County responses were not that unique from the responses from residents in the other four counties. Instead, the Triad data confirms that there was simply little regard for Geauga County input because “the number of respondents from Geauga County is small.” Why were the number of respondents small? Was there the possibility that Geauga County residents had no knowledge of such a survey?
Why was it that there were so few contacts either by phone or online?

Triad further seemed to imply that Lake and Geauga Counties were of similar enough demographics to be combined, but anyone who has lived in Northeastern Ohio for even a short period of time knows that Lake County and Geauga County residents share few qualities. There are few areas in Lake County of sparse population, whereas in Geauga County there are few areas that have dense population, perhaps only Chardon City and the Bainbridge-to-Chesterland Townships corridor. So, how many respondents were there from Geauga County? In reality, Geauga County residents comprise only 4.59% of the total population of northeast Ohio’s five counties, said in the Triad overview to total 2,053,122.

Additionally, the 112 computation for Lake/Geauga Counties, using one of many online programs to compute survey error, works out to a 9.26% margin of error, not the 3.5% noted in writing by Triad or by Marvin Hays or Grace Gallucci. If one uses a “scientifically-derived” or “statistically significant” sample calculator, such as RAOSOFT (available at http://www.raosoft.com/samplesize.html), the populations of the five NOACA counties can be represented by “statistically significant” samples derived as follows:

Geauga94, 295778 4.59%
Medina 176,029781 8.59%
Lake229,230782 11.16%
Lorain304,216782 14.81%
Cuyahoga 1,249,352784 60.85%
Given the documentation we have provided here from multiple sources, it might become apparent to many readers that either the Triad-NOACA survey reporting is hopelessly erroneous because the survey methodology is flawed or because NOACA claims are outrageously unjustified. Either way, how can discerning readers and thinkers accept the accuracy or truth of the information provided by NOACA? Isn’t it time our area legislators took a closer look to get the true picture?


Having learned of a public meeting to be held by the Northeastern Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency at the Burton Public Library half-an-hour before its inception, we flew out the door with a camera and attempted to arrive at the library by 9:30 A.M., a virtual impossibility with traffic. When we found the meeting room, we noted a sign-in sheet offered by a representative of NOACA, a projection screen already in progress with a speaker reading bullet points instead of communicating.. We noted about 20 chairs, with only about three available because the rest were occupied by NOACA employees/appointees themselves. The speaker, who sported a gray beard, identified himself to his cohorts only as Bill, followed by a man identifying himself as Marvin (Hays), followed by a woman who identified herself as Grace Gallucci, the Director of NOACA herself. Having seen the woman and heard the name of Grace Gallucci before, we knew that this “public input meeting” had brought a lot of apparently big names eager to hear each other talk. The five others in the room at the same time were Geauga County employees/administrators.

Although we had arrived at 9:40, it was well after 10 A.M. until the NOACA contingency was quiet long enough to even permit any members from the public (all two of them) to comment or ask questions. Instead, Grace Gallucci noted that she wanted to compare the inputs that had been received about a year ago with the wishes of the community today. If Grace Gallucci was aware that only two members of the entire Northeastern Ohio population were present, she wisely pretended not to know and went through a charade. The most noticeable characteristic of the NOACA clan was how they grinned approval at each other, as though they were interested in scoring goals to win the game. This hardly seemed like a philanthropic adventure.

Grace Gallucci kept being the center of attention, not asking for anyone else’s opinion or questions. Geauga County Commissioner Claypool, himself, unlike Commissioner Lennon both appointed members of NOACA, managed to interrupt her long enough to express his wish to comment. Although she permitted him that wiggle room, she immediately slapped her hand on her own waist and looked for ways to to counteract his contributions with Gallucci zingers. Often the Gallucci cohorts noted that Claypool stood alone without any support.

It was at that point that the two sole members of the public insisted on putting putting our hands in the air to be able to ask questions. Gallucci kept talking, in spite of the comment from Marvin Hays that the “woman in the back has a question, and she has been waiting a long time.” She was to wait longer because Gallucci kept talking, seemingly to get the last word from Claypool while resting her own hand on her own hip.

At last I was recognized. I asked about “scientifically significant surveys.” Marvin Hays had thrown out that information without defining the term, or explaining the margin of error or he size of the sample necessary to insure the integrity of the sample. It was supposed to be a lot of data, but there was not even the slightest documentation for the source of the surveys, the company(ies) that had organized the surveys, etc. If we were supposed to be impressed with the unsubstantiated data, we were not. We asked for the size of the sample that claimed to represent the 95,000 residents of Geauga County that might have responded to the “online survey.” Even so, no one could tell us how many of the respondents had come from Geauga County to represent Geauga County interests. After about ten minutes of wiggling all around the data, Marvin Hays noted that the total number of samples that represented Cuyahoga, Lake, Medina, Lorain, and Geauga Counties had been 802 with a 3.5% plus or minus error.

Quite frankly, we had the impression that the NOACA notables had expected to prattle through their slides and print talks without even having to hesitate for any questions. Instead they found three individuals, the two of us and County Administrator David Lair, who asked how NOACA officials intended to deal with the Route 422 truck traffic that snaked after Lake LaDue en route to Pittsburgh. Gallucci assured Dave Lair that as a result of her new knowledge of his expertise, she and the old NOACA gang would hogtie him into some involuntary servitude. It sounded a bit like sour grapes with an arm on a hip.

Director Grace Gallucci seemed jubilant to inform that this meeting was to be the last of the public-oriented meetings before implementation of the NOACA “scientifically significant surveys.” On a particularly upbeat note she promised one of us to present all the raw data from the “scientifically significant surveys” at the NOACA website. We will hold NOACA to that promise. We think a week is sufficient to produce the evidence before we start having a rip roaring great time getting NOACA to keep its hastily-made promise. We won’t easily forget.

Published Monday, May 8, 2017

For those of us who attend public meetings with frequency, it is important to check the posted sign that tells the maximum number of human beings permitted at one time in the building. We understand that such posted signs inform about the maximum number of people permitted at the same time. We have supposed that such established limits have been researched by township and municipal fire chiefs in order to prevent trampling and suffocation just in case, God forbid, the building should catch fire.

Different buildings can hold different numbers of people. For instance, the West Geauga Public Library meeting room can hold a maximum 51 individuals before the building becomes unsafe and/or inescapable. In the case of the Auburn Township Administration Building that number is 20.

Can some reasonably intelligent person explain, then, why the Auburn Township Trustee meeting, in the presence of the Auburn Township Fire Chief, was permitted to go on when the number in attendance at the Auburn Township Administration Building exceeded 50 and might have approached 75? Isn’t one of the most important duties of a township trustee to preserve the “health, welfare, and safety” of residents of the township?

Apparently not, as the video of the May 8 Auburn Trustee meeting can clearly attest. This is not the first time that the welfare of citizens has been disregarded at recent meetings. As many already know and as Trustee Eberly attested, he has told attendees to “go home” when it has suited him. Had anyone taken him seriously, death by trampling and being burned alive would be of far less concern.

Published Thursday, May 4, 2017

Geauga County Assistant Prosecutor Matheney’s DUI case in Chardon Municipal Court was resolved this week. With the cooperation of Chardon Police Prosecutor James Gillette, achieved an outcome of pleading guilty and getting only 2 points on her driving record.

An expensive victory, it appears.

Hey, Bridey and Jim, is it time for another party?

Published Monday, May 1, 2017

Chardon Police Prosecutor Jim Gillette appeared to wring his hands and blame the Bainbridge Police Department for failure to have a 100% chance of conviction in the long-drawn out DUI trial against Assistant Geauga Prosecutor, Mary “Bridey” Matheney. Gillette acknowledged that Bainbridge Police Chief was more than willing and able to testify against Matheney in a real-life trial with twelve jurors who would likely find Matheney guilty based on the Bainbridge Police dash cam video of November 19, 2016, when people all over the county, the state, and the entire country observed Matheney fail the sobriety tests by almost falling down while trying to walk a straight line. Gillette, speaking to visiting judge, Larry Allen, noted that he was afraid that such a trial with the evidence collected, especially after Matheney’s motion to suppress the fact that she refused to take the breathalyzer the night of the arrest, would perhaps end in an appeal by defendant Matheney. So
when was the last time that anyone you know arrested for DUI with the evidence of a refused breathalyzer test and video showing a defendant nearly falling-down-drunk was able to plead to two lesser charges? This time.

Showing up looking gaunt and tired and unwilling to make eye contact with hearing observers, Matheney sat while Gillette handed a pink sheet to defense attorney, Steven Bossin, said by observers to be “the best DUI lawyer in the business.” The two had obviously worked out an arrangement beforehand so that the charges of violation of ORC 4511.19 (A1)(a) and ORC 4511.22 were amended to violation of ORC 4511.22 and ORC 4511.39, respectively.

How interesting to see Police Prosecutor Gillette wimp out and sell out the arresting officer. What do you suppose his motivation might have been while his feet were trying to negotiate the green slime of collusion? Could his failure to climb out of the slippery, slimy slope have anything to do with his working and social connection to County Prosecutor Matheney? Should readers remember that Gillette’s job is an elected one? Has he been in his job too long, and do qualified contenders need to come forward to challenge him in both primary and general elections? You betcha!! Do you think Brindle Baby will come forward yet again (she has a $28,000 campaign war chest, largely the result of contributions from legal associates to be the challenger, touting herself to be “the young, qualified Republican” to carry the party banner? Ask County Auditor Frank Gliha and Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Paschke about the experience of sustaining such a challenge from the neophyte Matheney, who managed to “serve” Geauga County during the first quarter of 2012 in the Ohio House of Representatives. Geauga County taxpayers were paying for a prosecutor appointed to the seat now held by Sarah LaTourette. Who made that appointment? Take your pick: 1) Geauga County Prosecutor Dave Joyce, himself now a Republican In Name Only (RINO) U.S. Representative said to have a penchant for attractive women and strong liquor and/or (2) the Republican Central Committees of Lake and/or Geauga County. The Lake County chair still maintains his seat. The Geauga chair has been replaced by an individual said to be even more political insidious and ambitious than her predecessor.

Ah, but there is a lesson from Chardon Municipal Case 2016 TR C 6683. Chalk this lesson up to Quantum Physics rather than the guiding hand of either a Supreme Being or the balanced scales held by Lady Justice. The element of Chance played significantly into the outcome of this case. What were the chances that Matheney, who did not make her first court appearance for more than three months after the offense, would be found out by the Geauga County public who pay her significant salary of more than $72,000 (figure cost of living raises and perks from the Geauga County Prosecutor)? What were the chances that the Bainbridge Police dash cam video would go viral on you tube, to be viewed and shared by countless individuals and television news stations across the country? What were the chances that Matheney herself would break under the pressure of a six-month trial ordeal? What were the chances that the Geauga County Prosecutor would put in his own two cents to spare embarrassment to his department and to his own politically ambitious intentions? Figure that Quantum Physics accounted for one or all of the sticky fly paper upon which Bridey’s writhing legs stuck. She almost managed to beat the system, especially with the incompetence of Jim Gillette.

Had Matheney done the right thing and ‘fessed up quickly to the charges, no one from the public might have been the wiser. Her fine(s) from Judge Allen most assuredly would have been more than those assessed by the court today, but she would have saved herself thousands of dollars in legal bills from two lawyers. The most interesting part of this conclusion is that Matheney’s license is still suspended for a year, though she is granted the privilege of being able to drive to her job under the elected Geauga Prosecutor (one of the highest paid county employees at over $115,703). Will anyone monitor whether Matheney violates her driving privileges? Will she have to be caught again by an arresting officer in order to prove violation of her limited driving rights?

Most importantly Matheney is sentenced to three days in jail. She has the option to take a driver training class. Do you think she will opt for the prison sentence at the Geauga Safety Center with a “private” or “shared” cell? Do you think she will opt for the prison menu? Or will she get to take her driver training course at some hotel with a spa and swimming pool, getting her retraining in between rejuvenating facial treatments? She did receive fines of at least $600 for her “bad” plus court costs
of course.

Judge Allen had the last words: “Good luck to you, young lady. See ya.” Lady Justice be damned. Bridey pleaded guilty due to the random chances of Quantum Physics.

See ya, Bridey, but not in any position entrusted to you by the voters. You have NOT been a role model .

Published Thursday, April 20, 2017

In a 45-minute trustee meeting on Monday, April 17, 2017, Fire Chief John Philips noted “evaluation” of the current sign situation, followed by the apparent abandonment of the current official fire department sign, which has been plagued with defective/non-operative light bulbs in the last several years. Per Phillips’ comment that he would not be purchasing a $28,000 electronic sign because “we wouldn’t do” that, Trustee Eberly asked those at the table whether a motion to approve the purchase of an electronic sign had ever happened.

“I think we did,” a confident Troyan responded as he directed his gaze toward Fiscal Officer, Fred May.
“I don’t remember,” said May.
P. J. Cavanagh stayed wisely quiet.
“I don’t think we did,” noted Chief Phillips.

Eberly quickly made the motion to approve the purchase of a $16,418 electronic sign and split the cost 50-50 between the Auburn Township Trustees and the Auburn Township “Volunteer” Fire Department.

It appears that, in addition to its Taj Mahal fire department and palatial service department buildings, the Auburn Township taxpayers will no longer have to worry about replacing a $10 light bulb in a boring sign.

Is this progress OR WHAT?
How about those great INTELLECTS behind the table?

Published Thursday, April 13, 2017

The next stage in the laboriously slow court proceedings against Geauga County Assistant Prosecutor Bridey Matheney has been announced. Bridey was stopped by Bainbridge police about midnight on the evening of November 19-20, 2016, after being observed veering left of center on Route 306 heading south at Tulip Lane. Bainbridge dash cam video demonstrated the presence of a Solo cup, which subsequently found itself in a different location when the arresting officer went to
retrieve it as evidence. Dash cam video also demonstrated Matheney saying, “I think I can” when given directions for performance of field sobriety tests. Viewers of TV Channels 8 and 19 and multiple other media stations across the country saw Matheney apparently unable to perform satisfactorily, with the result that she was arrested in handcuffs and her vehicle was towed.

Matheney declined the breathalyzer test, which she could have used to demonstrate her sobriety. This writer has examined twenty-two DUI arrests made between November 15-December 31, 2016, by various law-enforcement agencies in Geauga County: the sheriff, community police staff, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Those arrested individuals who refused a breathalyzer test were automatically sanctioned with loss of driving privileges. In all but three of the cases, the accusations against those charged with DUI-related offenses were dispensed with in a period of one-three months.

Matheney, who pleaded Not Guilty, has been able to suppress two pieces of the original five pieces of evidence presented to visiting judge, Larry Allen in Chardon Municipal Court Case 2016 TR C 06683, State of Ohio vs Matheney, Mary B. The next pre-trial hearing is in the courtroom of Judge Terri Stupica on Monday, May 1, 2017, at 2:30 P.M.

Matheney’s boss, Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz, announced to newsprint media that it is not the Prosecutor’s job to try Matheney’s DUI case. He noted that as Prosecutor he would deal with the outcome of the trial once it was completed. Examination of several letters bearing the names of the employees of the Geauga Prosecutor’s office have demonstrated that Matheney is no longer identified at the top of the page as administrator of the civil division of that office.

We remain committed to the prospect of justice being served in this DUI case. For anyone who has borne the pain and suffering of a DUI-related injury or death due to drunk driving, we urge you to monitor this case carefully. Most of those who are arrested in Geauga County do not have the privilege of being associated with high governmental office or special opportunities. Matheney, an employee hired by former Geauga County Prosecutor, David Joyce, about 2007, has actively sought judicial appointment, judicial election, and election to the post of Geauga County Auditor. She was a “graduate” of the Geauga Leadership program in spring 2015.

It is our hope that attorneys in general and public servants in particular have a special obligation in being role models for the “rest of us.” Time will tell, eventually, won’t it? When you say the Pledge of Allegiance, remember that it is “liberty and justice for all.”

Chardon Municipal Court
Monday, May 1, 2017,
2:30 P.M.
Courtroom of Judge Stupica

Published Thursday, April 13, 2017

We always encourage our readers to attend as many public meetings as possible in Geauga County.
Take a look at the contorted, inappropriate floor covering which greeted attendees to the Auburn Township Trustee Meeting on Monday, April 3, 2017. Unknown to the lady crossing this runner to gain access to a seat that would permit her to hear the proceedings, someone in the back row was doing twisties with his swivel chair positioned on the runner. As a result, a number of buckles and loops formed in the runner. The victim’s foot caught in the runner, causing her to scream and fall forward, just barely avoiding contact with the massive wooden Trustees’ table. Shocking display.

Many thanks to the Boy Scout who offered a strong, helping hand of assistance.

How important is it to YOU readers that your elected officials demonstrate responsible behavior to protect and promote YOUR health, welfare, and safety when YOU are visiting a public meeting in YOUR community?

Published Sunday, March 26, 2017

When this writer first moved into Auburn Township after a twenty-year residency in Summit County, she was immediately attracted to the two local weekly publications, The Geauga Maple Leaf and the Chagrin Valley Times. Although she abandoned the former after subscribing for several years, she has managed to renew the subscription to CVT for the last twenty years—until now. The purpose of this commentary is to try to get a handle on why the CVT no longer is engaged in objective reporting, the very reason for subscribing in the first place.

From the very outset the Times and its editor, David Lange, were of a liberal temperament, particularly with regard for fiercely espousing and protecting personal property rights. Shifting during various periods in life from Democratic to Republican registration, this writer has always strongly espoused the rights of the individual, particularly with regard to personal property rights. Thus, it should have been no surprise to anyone, least of all this writer, that back in 2010 when we were the horse farm that gained the opportunity to challenge Auburn Township on its stance that it could impose zoning and forbid our planned ten kilowatt farm wind turbine, we found ourselves in political alignment with Editor Lange.

As long-time researchers of and proponents for alternative energy (aka solar panels, wind turbines, and biomass production), we had found ourselves in agreement on that issue with the Democratic Party, only to find out that some local Democrats were proponents of alternative energy when it did not infringe on their aesthetic views. In short, some Geauga County Democrats were of a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) bent. For this writer, probably the biggest sin any individual can commit is hypocrisy.

At the time of the wind turbine chapter, Geauga County Democratic higher-ups seemed like some of the biggest NIMBY hypocrites ever. Consequently, at the next primary election, this writer registered Republican and simultaneously dropped the Maple Leaf because of the editor’s apparent fear of challenging the hypocrisy of the Good Old Boys in charge of governance of the county. Meanwhile, there was David Lange, the champion of the individual who dared to challenge the status quo like some David versus Goliath. Editor Lange, Democrat though he was, always saw both sides of an issue and permitted conflicting views and opinions, allowing the proponent of opposing views to grow in depth and perspective with the exercise of writing a letter to the editor. For this reason, Editor Lange was one of the best teachers to whom this writer has ever been exposed.

All good things, however, eventually come to an end, and the only permanence in the universe is change. So it was with David Lange, who came into a well-earned retirement in fall 2016. The role of editor apparently fell to longtime journalist, Barbara Christian. For awhile now, this writer has been observing comments from Ms. Christian that are not just partisan, but hatefully brewing radical division and sedition. The column of March 16, 2017, titled, “Trio spreading fear, distrust at discussion,” was the straw that pushed this writer over the edge for several reasons. First of all, Ms. Christian noted on one hand the presence of a staff reporter she identified as Krista Kano. At no point did Ms. Christian identify herself as present at the Tea Party meeting that was the subject of her editorial. It would appear, then, that the conclusions drawn by Ms. Christian were not based on her own observation or attendance at the meeting, but upon the opinions of a third party. Drawing personal conclusions based on the observations of someone else and not on one’s personal participation is a very shallow thought process, one that demonstrates lack of critical and rational thought and/or inability to reach one’s own conclusions. This writer misses the gentle, logical David Lange, who was always able to bring down thunder, lightning, and wrath with one well-placed, tongue-in-cheek word. This writer would caution Ms. Christian on demagoguery, such as her second paragraph. “Instead of demonstrating moral authority, these secular and religious leaders led a clinic on how to win a race to the bottom of rational thought by delivering misinformation and spreading fear, hate, and distrust.” Ms. Christian perhaps should be the first to set the example of delivering objective truth.

Moreover, later in the piece Ms. Christian wrote, “And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t God supposed to love all people? Who knew he [sic] played political favorites. Church attendance will surely suffer when news of this gets out.” Ms. Christian should cease to be the judge of who or what God is supposed to be or where God can be found. Ms. Christian’s narcissistic egotism has demonstrated, again, her lack of objectivity and rationalism as a journalist, trained or otherwise.

As a postlude to the discovery that the editorial content of The Chagrin Valley Times has taken a nosedive into the depths of Hades or even deeper into the pits of Hell itself, this writer has concluded that, if we are “demonstrating moral authority,” the only option available is to terminate the periodical when the subscription is up.

David Lange, may you enjoy a blissful, well-earned retirement. You are, apparently, an impossible act to follow.

Published Saturday, March 18, 2017

Both the State of Ohio’s and defense team’s final briefs for 2016 TR C 00683 were due for examination by visiting Lake County Judge Allen on Monday, March 13. By joint motion, briefs were submitted on March 15, 2017.

Noteworthy about the defense brief was the in limine motion to suppress evidence submitted by Police Prosecutor James Gillette. The written closing argument submitted by defense attorney, Kenneth Bossin, on March 15 is a motion to suppress the entire pre-trial hearing held on February 27, 2017, apparently to block the testimony of both the arresting police officer and the driver of another vehicle who said he called the Bainbridge Police Department because the vehicle he witnessed was weaving on Route 306 heading south. The memorandum submitted by defense purports to demonstrate errors committed by the arresting officer and questions the credibility of the other driver. In response, the State of Ohio, represented by Prosecutor James Gillette, on March 16, 2017, filed a memorandum in opposition. The judgment is in the hands of visiting judge Allen. Should the defendant, Bridey Matheney, have her motion granted, it would appear that there is no case whatsoever and she will be dismissed. It is expected that Judge Allen will take up to 30 days from the later filing, presumably April 15, 2017, to render his judgment.

The turn of events raises some important questions for the Geauga community. When an individual refuses the opportunity to take a breathalyzer, as did Matheney, it is the understanding of this writer that the consequence is an automatic suspension of the right to drive. For readers who have had some personal or family experience with the DUI arrest process, how many of you would have been permitted to suppress the fact that you or a family member or friend refused the breathalyzer?

The State’s case began from a position of strength when the evidence noted that Matheney refused the breathalyzer. If she had nothing to hide, why wouldn’t she take the breathalyzer? More importantly, Prosecutor is no neophyte. If he thought he held the stronger case, why would he agree to suppression of the fact of Matheney’s refusal to submit to the breathalyzer? How could his case be any stronger without the evidence of the breathalyzer? Is it possible that Gillette’s concession had been arranged beforehand with the expectation that members of the Geauga community would not be any wiser for the giveaway to the Matheney team? How many Geauga residents could expect the same treatment? That answer brings forth a laugh of derision and scorn for the expression, “liberty and justice for all.”

Once Matheney was gifted with the suppression of the breathalyzer information, how big a step could it be to envision the defense team, flush with its little victory, now reaching for the big enchilada?

Could the outcome of Matheney’s DUI arrest on November 19 have been determined already? Yes.

Could Justice, as practiced in the Chardon Municipal Court, be slithering into a swamp that needs to be drained? Yes.

Could Chardon Municipal case 2016TR C 06683 (State of Ohio v. Mary B Matheney) be another case where the Geauga Good Ole Boys come out on top? Fill in your best answer.

Published Sunday, March 12, 2017

Recently we explored Auburn Township’s “bid” methodology for contractors seeking to break through the concrete ceiling to do business here. Recently we highlighted the apparent fact that in spite of going through the motions of a legitimate bid process, Auburn “elected” trustees continue to pick and choose their favorite buds by means of some “meeting” that is neither public nor transparent. For the last several years the “chosen ones” in Auburn Township have been Architect Jim Larson, “Project Manager” Jim Dixon, and Hummel Construction. Together, this “team” has constructed a fire station and a service garage, and now will go full steam ahead on a 1200-square foot “addition” for storage coupled with a redo of the parking lot valued in excess of $250,000/

The track record has been less than stellar. You may remember that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spent about six months from late March until nearly September 2016 looking into violations of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) (see pages 46 and 47) plan/contract that “project manager” Jim Dixon apparently ignored or did not know about in the construction of the service garage. Apparently, Dixon, who collected, in his words, about a five per cent fee for his “supervision,” forgot that Larson's architectural plans called for a silt fence and a “skimmer” on the drainage pond as arranged through the Geauga County Soil and Water Conservation District. Although we highlighted the 40 page report from the EPA on this website, Trustee John Eberly insisted that the trustees and Assistant Prosecutor Dirty Birdie all Curdly, now fighting a charge of DUI, had to review over 400 pages of records from the EPA. Man, that must have been some NPDES violation!! Luckily for township elected personnel, the EPA could not state with 100 per cent assurance that problems with private drinking water systems were not the direct result of township error or abuse of oversight.

Now that the Auburn trustees are moving on to the next money pit project at Adam Hall, the Dixon-Larson team chose to participate with the trustees in some kind of “bargaining charade” at the March 6 public meeting. Both Dixon and Larson, with half-smiles on their lips, stated their individual needs to receive $35,000 apiece because as Dixon noted, “It’s not the percentage.
It is the details. There are a lot of unknowns in this small of a project. I’m hesitant to go beneath ten per cent. We want to do this job. . .so I’d consider $30,000.” Larson let Dixon do his talking and bargaining, but you could almost see him nod and hear his brains rattling.

Then came Eberly’s time to perform with the little branded Eberly half-smirk: “How about $25,000?” All of this was right according to pre-arranged plan.

Next came Dixon, with Larson perfectly silent and willing to let Dixon perform the piece de resistance. Dixon magnanimously offered to”split the difference” at $27,500 apiece for Larson and himself. Larson identified the arrangement as “good fellowship.” If the project comes in at $250,000, both Dixon and Larson will collect eleven per cent each.

So in five minutes, Auburn trustees agreed to pay $55,000 to “plan” a 1200-square foot enclosure in Adam Hall. Think about that, readers, the next time you contemplate an addition to your own domicile. For $55,000 you could get the consulting services of the dynamic duo.

Stay tuned for the next pre-arranged money pit business plan engineered by the Auburn Trustees for the Dixon-Larson team. It just goes to show, there still are Chosen Ones.

Published March 8, 2017

Those of you who have lived in Auburn Township for a while undoubtedly were familiar with the large parcel of land near the corner of Munn and East Washington Streets as Cathan Farm. There is no Cathan Farm any longer because the owners, James and Ruth, have passed on to their greater rewards.  Both James and Ruth were “locals,” but they did not know each other until their college years at Kent State University. Both born about 1918, they married in 1939, acquiring over 50 acres in Auburn Township to raise livestock, particularly dairy cows, and to grow crops. Not too many years after their marriage, they were raising five lively youngsters: John, Joanne, Edic, Janet, and Michael.

Unknown to James Cathan’s children, he was living a secret life of developing mathematical and chemical formulas that led to the completion of World War II’s Manhattan Project. What was the Manhattan Project? It was the employment of thousands of skilled workers under scientists Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi, and others, to find a way to end World War II. In August 1945, the Manhattan Project came to fruition when two bombs were dropped on the wartime enemy, Japan. The first bomb, composed of 120 pounds of the uranium isotope, U235, was dropped on Hiroshima by an American B-29 aircraft. The explosion of August 6, 1945, resulted in 40,000 immediate deaths and tens of thousands of additional fatalities from the effects of the bomb’s radiation, in total 90% of Hiroshima’s population. The plutonium bomb dropped from a second B-29 on Nagasaki on August 9 killed an estimated 40,000 people. Those two cataclysmic events brought a surrender from emperor Hirohito of Japan and a return to peacetime. Without the efforts of the over 13,000 individuals, like Auburn’s Farmer James Cathan, World War II might have dragged on for several more years.

One of James’ and Ruth’s children, Janet Cathan Giunto, noted several years ago that as a child, she remembered her father’s interrupting his farming routine to answer questions on the phone. Unknown to her at the time, those questions involved scientific/mathematical questions regarding her father’s work on the Manhattan Project. It wasn’t until his death, however, that the children found the paperwork connecting their father with the Manhattan Project. Participants in the project received certificates from the Secretary of War at the time identifying “work essential to the production of the Atomic Bomb, thereby contributing to the successful conclusion of World War II.” Mrs. Giunto noted that her father’s farm work, for example milking the cows, was a way to relieve the stress of his wartime efforts.

For most of Auburn Township, “Cathan Farm” came to symbolize the rural farm effort. James Cathan died in 2006, followed by the death of wife Ruth in 2014. For many people, the purchase of the farm parcel in 2005, not from the heroic Cathan family, but from the entity now known as the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, seemed like less than the most honorable treatment. To add insult to injury, Cathan Farm, without public input, became known as Auburn Community Park, cutting off all association of the parcel with a brave farm family that helped ensure American freedom.

At the Auburn Township March 6, 2017, trustee meeting, P. J. Cavanagh apparently felt compelled to provide another name for “Auburn Community Park.” Then the boastful egotism of John Eberly took over as he publicly ridiculed Cavanagh for having such thoughts. Cavanagh may have felt compelled to do something honorable and decent during the 200th anniversary of the founding of Auburn Township. And then the moment was all over, John Eberly gloated triumphantly, and the importance of one of Auburn Township’s most selfless citizens and protectors of freedom became buried once again. Too bad, P.J., that you just didn’t have the fortitude, the passion, or the persistence to do the right thing. If history does not remember Farmer-Hero Jim Cathan, it certainly won’t remember an Eberly, a Troyan, or a Cavanagh.

Published Friday, March 3, 2017

Back in 2012 U.S. Representative Steve LaTourette came “home” from Congress, as it turned out, to become a grim statistic when he passed away in 2016 from metastatic pancreatic cancer. With the blessings of the Geauga and Lake County Republican Central Committees, then Geauga County Prosecutor, David Joyce, was named to finish out LaTourette’s 14th District U.S. Congressional seat until December 31, 2014.

Already the subject of some newspaper articles referencing his sexual and alcoholic dalliances, he remarked upon his party’s appointment, “I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.” For those in Geauga County who have been paying attention, Just Dave has been caught more than once saying one thing and doing just the opposite. Within the last week, this website has shared just one of the latest examples: giving voice acceptance to constituents’ concerns about unrestricted immigration from Syria and then casting a vote that has identified him as a two-faced liar.

As early as two years ago when this writer asked to meet with Representative Joyce on a matter, his personal aides stepped in to protect him from being exposed to a potential rabble-rouser. When Joyce did show up to Republican functions, he always brought handlers with him to sort through questions submitted by attendees on index cards and to ferret out the inquiries that might catch Just Dave unprepared or unqualified to respond. The other tactic that handlers like the Lake County Central Committee Chairman utilized was limiting Just Dave’s responses, apparently to avoid the impression that the Congressman might actually demonstrate that he did not present himself well under spontaneous debate situations or thinking on his own feet. Those who kept track of the Congressional elections in 2014 and 2016 witnessed opponents, fellow Republican Matt Lynch, and Democrat Michael Wager, debating with an empty chair or wall because Just Dave chose with arrogance or terror to avoid dialogue with other human beings.

That revelation came into play again when the candidate who asserted that “I say what I mean, and I mean what I say” refused to meet with a large delegation of constituents who wanted Just Dave to look them in the eye when they spoke and to speak in “live time.” Like Matt Lynch and Michael Wager, these voters were ignored by a “representative” who avoids direct contact with the public as much as he possibly can.

Ron Hill’s graphic in the Chagrin Valley Times edition of March 2, 2017, tells the whole story.
Many people who sought the “opportunity” to converse directly with their elected Representative were disappointed when, oh gee, they were not chosen to participate in the “Tele-Town Hall.” A vast number of others were not even made aware of the event. What else is new, Geauga County? You live in a U.S. and Ohio legislative district that has historically been under-represented because the voters apparently are perceived as willing to put up with complacency and status quo. Wake up, Geauga County voters. There is far more talent out there than the raspy whimper of Just Dave.

Published Saturday February 25, 2017

During a recent telephone Town Hall, 86% of his supporters said that they favored stopping the relocation of Syrian Refugees to the United States. Congressman Joyce GUARANTEED them he
would continue to fight.

Three days later he joined Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and 164 other Democrats and voted for a $1.1 Trillion spending bill that includes millions for bringing Syrian refugees.

I believe the people of Northeast Ohio deserve a Representative who is honest with the people he is supposed to represent.

If you agree, please visit MattLynch.com, pledge to vote, sign-up to volunteer and donate to help me fight the phony Republicans in D.C.

~ Matt

Editor’s note: Matt, I am confused. Last week David Joyce’s office in Painesville was picketed by radical left wing protesters. Don’t they know Just Dave is one of theirs?

The following is from: Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus

"CCPC Resist Trump Tuesday visit to the offices of Congressmen Jim Renacci (District 16) and David Joyce (District 14)

Tuesday, February 21 from 11:30 am to 1 pm @ 7335 Ridge Rd. Parma 44129 or 1 Park Center Drive Wadsworth 44281 (Renacci offices) or 10075 Ravenna Rd. Twinsburg 44087 or 1 Victoria Place Painesville 44077 (Joyce offices). These are simultaneous event’s. Go to the closest one near you. Plan is to gather at 11:30 outside with signs (suggested sign: Why no Town Hall during your recess?) and chants and then have constituents go in around noon to ask the staff whatever might be on your mind. Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and find Jim or Dave themselves at one of the offices. If you do not live in District 14 or 16 please come along to add to the outside signs and chants presence.
Source http://www.progressohio.org/event/ccpc-resist-trump-visit-joyce-painesville-office/

Published Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Auburn Township’s legal ad appearing in local newsprint media on 1/12/17 and 1/19/17 noted that “[i]t is now necessary to engage a construction manager. . . Proposals will be received on or before 4 P.M., February 6, 2017. The opening of proposals will take place at the Regular [sic] meeting of the Board of Trustees, at the above listed address, at 8:00 P.M on Monday, February 6, 2017.”

Well, so far so good; the Trustees haven’t screwed around with the truth yet. . .Read on. In a recent commentary entitled “Auburn’s Chosen One,” we noted the three bids that were opened at 8:00 P.M. at the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees on Monday, February 6, 2017. We noted that at odds of 1-2, we expected Jim Dixon, who may have cast some Rasputin-like spell over three elected officials, to get the job of construction manager. Forgive us; we described the job as “project manager.” Same deal. Well, by golly the February 20 regular meeting of the Trustees came, and golly gee, they picked out Jim Dixon. You don’t suppose they had their minds up ahead of time, do you now?

Funny thing about the February 22, 2017, meeting. Two of the original bidders from February 6 showed up in person to address attendees at the regular meeting of the Auburn Trustees: Lawler Construction and Northeastern Inc. Both entities had well-prepared presentations and even took the time to answer questions. Since Jim Dixon wasn’t there, he couldn’t address any questions cold-turkey from those in attendance, could he? So, Lawler and Northeastern knew, as did all the attendees, that the interview process was nothing more than a sham from three Trustees who had been told ahead of time they had to demonstrate some facade of fairness. In the old days, these Trustees would have made their choice without even announcing “candidates,” using the argument that by virtue of O.R.C., the project that cost $50,000 or less didn’t even have to be bid out. The problem this time, though, is that the 1200 square-foot Adam Hall addition is budgeted for $200,000. With that much money involved, they have to look quasi-legit. After all, two Trustees (guess which ones, faithful readers) will be running for re-election in November 2017.

Hang in there. It gets better. Suddenly, there were two more companies invited to the meeting to participate in the game: DeSalvo Construction Services and Legacy Construction Services, both as “Design and Build Team.” Hmm, When did they submit their bids? Who knows, who cares, because the Trustees had already apparently decided on Hummel Construction, builder of both the Fire Department and the recently-completed $2,000,000 service garage. Apparently, Eric Hummel, President, knew that information as well. Keep in mind that Hummel Construction was not invited to speak to Auburn Township residents either. Nevertheless, on the last page of the Hummel
“Design and Build Team Proposal,” dated February 10, 2017, Mr. Hummel wrote, “we are very interested in joining forces once more with Larsen Architects as part of a Design & Build Team for this project.”

Huh?? Larson Architects? They weren’t even one of the bidders identified on February 6 or on February 20. Nevertheless, on February 20, 2017, out of the blue, Trustee Cavanagh announced the hiring of Larsen Architects. What’s wrong with this scheme?

Conclusions: None of the invitees stood a chance in hell for serious consideration. Moreover, those who got the positions of “construction” manager and “design & build team” apparently knew ahead of time that they were entitled to the latest “design & build project” in the cushy country known as Auburn Township, where tax dollars hang from the trees like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Oh, one more thing: The $200,000 project does not include the 5-10% fees to be collected by the “construction manager.” Would you pay $220,000 for your 1200 foot addition? You would if you are three Trustees cuddling up to the same old Good Old Boys.

Election of two Trustees comes in November. Keep reading here for more information.

Published Tuesday February 21 2017
Taken from: “The Ozarks Sentinel” Editorial –June 18, 2012

Missouri has no illegals, go figure…shouldn’t the other states do the same?

Missouri’s approach to the problem of illegal immigration appears to be more advanced, sophisticated, strict and effective than anything to date in Arizona . Does the White House appreciate what Missouri has done? So, why doesn’t Missouri receive attention? Answer: There are no illegals in Missouri to demonstrate.

The “Show Me” state has again shown us how it should be done. There needs to be more publicity and exposure regarding what Missouri has done. Please pass this around.

In 2007, Missouri placed on the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment designating English as the official language of Missouri . In November, 2008, nearly 90% voted in favor! Thus, English became the official language for ALL governmental activity in Missouri . No individual has the right to demand government services in a language OTHER than English.

In 2008, a measure was passed that required the Missouri Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of any person arrested, and inform federal authorities if the person is found to be in Missouri illegally. Missouri law enforcement officers receive specific training with respect to enforcement of federal immigration laws.

In Missouri , illegal immigrants do NOT have access to taxpayer benefits such as food stamps or health care through Missouri Health NET. In 2009, a measure was passed that ensures Missouri ‘s public institutions of higher education do NOT award financial aid to individuals who are illegally in the United States .

In Missouri, all post-secondary institutions of higher education to annually certify to the Missouri Dept. of Higher Education that they have NOT knowingly awarded financial aid to students who are unlawfully present in the United States.

So, while Arizona has made national news for its new law, it is important to remember, Missouri has been far more proactive in addressing this horrific problem. Missouri has made it clear that illegal immigrants are NOT welcome in the state and they will certainly NOT receive public benefits at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.


Published Friday, February 17, 2017

If you have been following Auburn Township Trustees’ “business” choices over the last several years, you may be aware that James Dixon, recently of Newbury, Ohio, has managed to be in the catbird seat. He has been chosen the “project manager” for the Auburn Township new fire department building as well as the $2,000,000 service garage completed in 2016.

Now Auburn Trustees have decided that Auburn’s white elephant, Adam Hall, has another problem to be solved by the addition of about 1200 square feet. They have decided that this new construction requires the services of a project manager.

On February 6, 2017, Trustees opened letters of interest from three entities interested in being project manager. If there was a dollar amount identified by each of the three parties, trustees did not identify it.

On February 8, this writer asked for contact information and any dollar amount identified by each of the three “candidates” from Fiscal Officer Fredrick May, who provided no reply or note of clarification. Consequently, on February 14, a week later, this writer requested the information again with the note that it was now a second request. To date (February 17, 2017) there has been no reply.

The three candidates, based on the oral announcement made on February 6, were Lawler Construction, Northeastern, and James Dixon. This writer was able to identify the location of both Lawler Construction and James Dixon, but there appears to be no listing on the Secretary of State’s page for Northeastern.

So, now there are several questions: Who/what is “Northeastern”?
In the end does the question really matter, since Jim Dixon likely has yet another Auburn job sewn up in the bag?
Is this even a competition at all?
Why has there been a non-response to the public information request? Is it because the flavor of the day is Jim Dixon?

The Auburn Trustee meeting of February 20 may provide a vote on ZC2016-01 (third hearing on the “noise amendment”) as well as the expected choice of project manager. The odds on Dixon are 1-2.

Published Sunday, February 12, 2017

In the midst of immigration questions facing President Trump, at least one Geauga County resident believes it appropriate that not only a city, but the entire Geauga County, set itself up as an area of “Sanctuary” to receive immigrants. On the morning of January 31, 2017, shortly after the imposition of a ban on immigrants from seven countries, the Geauga County Commissioners received the following request in writing from Sandra Buckles:

“Please propose that Geauga County be declared a Sanctuary County for refugees. As a compassionate community we should welcome those in need. . .”

Perhaps unbeknownst to Ms. Buckles, Geauga County, through the services of the Geauga County Job and Family Services, is financially supporting Mexicans and other immigrants, all from Cuyahoga County, whose residence has been the Geauga County Jail for the previous year. Did you know that as residents in the county jail for a year, these individuals are considered Geauga County residents. This writer is told that such residency entitles indigents to free rent, to food subsidies, to financial support with utilities, all at a cost to Geauga residents who support Geauga County government with their real-estate tax payments. As real-estate taxpayers know, the most recent Geauga County real-estate collection closed on February 8, 2017,

If Geauga County were to become a “Sanctuary County,” as requested in the above request, by how many times would we have to multiply the current “immigrant” population to determine the correct number of incoming “refugees”? Assuming that many of these individuals face handicaps such as lack of language skills, lack of current employment, lack of housing, lack of educational opportunities, lack of adequate food and clothing, what would be the estimated cost to the taxpayers and to charitable organizations to undertake the financial responsibility of being a “Sanctuary County,” without sacrificing the jobs and welfare of Geauga County residents?

Since Ms. Buckles made the magnanimous request of offering Geauga County as a “Sanctuary County,” can we count on her as a role model to provide financial assistance, moral and ethical training, and educational opportunity to the first fifty refugees that arrive in Geauga County?

Meanwhile, in Geauga County from Facebook RE: Bridey Matheney
Published January 22, 2017
Updated January 27, 2017   This commentary will receive updates frequently.

Matt D Fioritto I guarantee she won't have to go thru what people (who don't get paid by the court system) in the same scenario have to go thru... Is it wrong to drink and drive? Absolutely. Will she be forced into paying GEauga County for jumping thru their illegal racket obstacle course? I'm gunna say those odds would be slim to none. Justice is blind, unless it feels the need to open its sleepy eyes and find some prey

Mike Shimek
Geauga will drive you to drinking.

Jeffrey E. Romito
Government employees should get double the punishment. Sad.
            Michelle Weaver Herron
Curious...why is this?
            Jeffrey E. Romito
Too many times employees with Government jobs either get a
           free pass or a lighter sentence. If you are sworn to obey and uphold the law,
           your oath should be taken seriously and there should be serious consequences.
           Used to work for a small Municipality and the level of abuse by some of the
           employees was obscene.

Lucas Kujala And, this person will only get a slap on the wrist. They should be fired immediately with no questions asked.

Buckeyes Against Drunk Driving Shame on her! She knows first hand the devastation that drunk driving causes. Thankful she didn't kill anyone.

Anne Burke Well this is embarrassing for our County.........

Allen Reinke Maybe she is a alcoholic. Needs to go to a treatment center.

Charlotte Jean
Please Mr. prosecutor treat this as if it was one of us committing this crime! Someone needs to step up and show an example even when it's one of yours!
            Charlotte Jean
Like he's even going to read this.

Jason Wells
The "Good OL Boy" system will take care of that..she will probably get a raise and promoted

Beth Hayes Schabel
Hmmmm...this is the prosecutor in our winery case
            Kellie O'Neil-Gullo
But, but... your winery wasn't open. Who do you think she
           blamed for this?
            Beth Hayes Schabel
So funny!
            Marilyn Hayes
Oh my. And she lied, what a shock.

Valerie Lyn
It's been 2 months, and she doesn't even have a pretrial date set yet? Why? All my experience pretrial has been within 30 days or so.. even with a time waiver. But 60 days and it hasn't even been set? Is this because she works for them & they have to bring in outside people to work all aspects? Hm just curious..
            Michael O'Brien
I'm sure she has a great lawyer who is purposely working
           the judicial system and taking advantage. People with the right legal counsel
           can drag cases like this out for more than a year.
            Valerie Lyn
You still get dates. You just get them rescheduled or get a
            Thomas Jones
She is or was aiming for Judge Burt's job when he steps down.
           She has ambitions. Need to keep an eye on her.

Phyllis Stephens Perkins
Well for Starts she was Arrested Nov 19th and they are just announcing it 2 Months later so that should say something as to How Many Slap's on the hand she will get !!

Ashlee Kay
Remember she plans to run for judge. Do not vote for the drunk driver for judge. Not sure how one can hand out DUIs if one is guilty of it them selves. I dealt with her first hand as assistant prosecutor and she is a nasty piece of work, she did not care that Auburn zoning was violating my rights
            Beth Hayes Schabel
We have a similar story! Same township. Same prosecutor.
          And I know others in our same boat.
            Ashlee Kay
Auburn made me remove my goats from my property after i had goats
           here 6 years and tear down my barn.
            Beth Hayes Schabel
Ashlee Kay I am so sorry. And they are supposedly pro
           agriculture. We are moving to get out of Auburn.
            Ashlee Kay
Beth Hayes Schabel yes between that and Trump we are planning
           to leave the country. I raised goats for 15 years. It is sad our trustee has the
           nastiest looking falling down farm with major back taxes owed.

Noah Mcgowan
Better get the same sentence as everyone else

Danielle Marie
You guys do realize that she's probably going to lose her job? You don't get to keep a position like this with an OVI convictions.
Source I worked with a county prosecutor and asked what happens if u get an OVI and he said he'd be fired.
            Jaymee Soto
She'll get a lesser charge and keep her job. But you or me - we'ld
          get the book thrown at us
            Shad Sipes
This person new this before they decided to drink and drive...They
          obviously did not care about they job.so y should I..?

Todd Rasmussen
I'm sure she will get special treatment.

Dusty Gerlosky
This stupid bitch is my prosecuter. Why does she get special treatment that's fucked up.

Blake Frederick
Let's make sure she gets treated like everyone else.

Jesse T. Nash
They are all human beings even though they are condescending and hypocritical.... the difference is is they can afford expensive lawyers.

Julie Kaufman Munn
What an idiot...

Trent Anderson
Probably a friend of Mary Briggs... Drag it out for a year or more and get a slap on the wrist. Naughty, naughty!

Lee Mark Sipos
Give her the Orange license plate and see how it feels.

Ashlee Kay
Mathaney is a bitch.

Steven Hurd
What goes around ... comes around.

William Ray
Not good!

And 44 more comments as of January 24th

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Published January 18, 2017

Are Auburn Trustees playing games again? After the public hearing on Noise Amendment 2016 ZC 01, Trustees have opted for a third public hearing on Monday, February 20, 2017, at 6:30 P.M. Trustees have already laid the groundwork for the failure of this amendment by letting the buck stop with Assistant Prosecutor, familiar to many as Brindle Matheney. Matheney has reportedly questioned who would have standing to bring litigation in the event of a mandamus regarding noise violation against a commercial venture.

Many Auburn residents showed up at the Monday, January 16, 2017, hearing to express their unhappiness and distrust of Eclipse Companies, a landscaping excavating venture that won a conditional land use from the Auburn Board of Zoning Appeals at a hearing on August 13, 2013. The former occupant of the property, Wheeler Landscaping, was a long-term good neighbor well-respected in the Auburn community. Mr. Wheeler appeared at that BZA meeting, where attendees heard purchaser Tom Agresta proclaim that he would run Eclipse “like Wheeler.”

The biggest complaint that surfaced at the January 16 public hearing was the excessive noise that begins, residents attested, as early as 6:30 A.M. at Eclipse seven days a week, with the exception of Father’s Day. Those who followed the Geauga County Common Pleas Judicial race of 2016 knew that Eclipse owners, the Agrestas, were large financial and psychological supporters for then Common Pleas primary contest candidate Matheney. It has been widely rumored that in exchange Matheney was able to gain some favors for Eclipse. Matheney lost that race to Judge Carolyn Paschke, who succeeded David Fuhry on January 1, 2017.

Additionally, the mention of Eclipse’s noise transgressions brought on a couple of snide remarks from Trustee Eberly. When Auburn resident David Fiala referenced loud explosions occurring at Eclipse, Eberly retorted with a foolish smile, “ In spite of those explosions, you were able to make it here [to the Trustee meeting.]”

“This isn’t funny. . .You’re not listening,” Mr. Fiala responded to the cocking-off Big E, as he identified two significant noise events from Eclipse on December 18, 2016, and January 16, 2017.

Expressing reservations, both Troyan and Eberly acknowledged that in the case of a noise violation ordinance, the township may not have any defensible grounds in court. “ Will the guidelines hold up in court?” Troyan asked. “Businesses in residential districts are grandfathered. Then, what are the ramifications? Who has standing to make a complaint?” According to the above-referenced Matheney, the subject of a pending DUI charge in Chardon Municipal Court, the zoning amendment is not clear about who has the legal right to bring complaints against business/retail entities. With another Eberlyesque smirk, the Big E apparently thought he had the final answer : “The complainant [about alleged noise amendment violations] bears the cost of any testing.’’ Smiling some more, Eberly seemed to radiate the conclusion that most complainants would shut up rather than elect to pay for the cost of any testing to validate their complaints against business/industrial property owners creating noise issues in close proximity to Auburn residents.

Edie Fiala, her voice breaking with emotion, asked for forgiveness and understanding when she spoke about her perception of being violated on her own property. “Every morning at 6 A.M., I hear noise from Eclipse: loudspeakers and dump trucks.. . Wheeler [Wheeler Landscape, the former owner of the property] had so much respect. This man [Tom Agresta] has no respect. . He even kept migrant workers in his barn. We moved here to enjoy it. We don’t enjoy it.” Her husband noted that the township should pay deference to the complaints of residents about business/industrial indiscretions.

Zoning Commission member Albert Tien added, “I’ve heard the noises personally from Eclipse.”

David Fiala noted, “There are high volumes of noise. We talked to this guy [Agresta] for six months. He wasn’t interested.”

Trustee P. J. Cavanagh drew a conclusion for which he could produce no logical rationale: “There is no way a Geauga judge will uphold this amendment for us.” What’s your basis for that blanket conclusion, P.J.? Aren’t you just shooting off your mouth without any facts. . . .again?

David Fiala said, “It [the BZA Conditional use hearing on Eclipse from August 13, 2013] is all on video.”

Cavanagh: “Russell is the only territory in the county with a noise ordinance authorized by trustees, but Russell has a police department.”

Fred May, fiscal officer, offered what sounded like legal advice: “We’re trying to box ourselves in. If we say specifically ‘this,’ we’re going to be held to ‘this.’ ” Is there something wrong with exact language, Fred, so that EVERYONE knows the limits and the consequences just from reading the ordinance? Geometry is a high school class in which students learn that statements beginning with the word if have a conclusion beginning with the word then. Students still learn logic in geometry classes. Local policy makers, it appears, often shy away from such clear thinking.

David Fiala: “We filed complaints against Eclipse [with Zoning Inspector, Frank Kitko,] for which there weren’t any citations [issued].”

Tom Jones, Geauga County Planning Commission member, noted that if the Trustees vote down the new zoning amendment, which was already approved unanimously by the Geauga County Planning Commission, there will remain on the books an unenforceable noise amendment which will need to be removed.

The dialogue from the Trustees Monday evening appeared to be a well-rehearsed verbalization of decisions they have already made. Trustees, it appears to this writer, do not want an enforceable noise ordinance that would require them to use Prosecutor Jim Flaiz to defend them against a mandamus order. Essentially, it would appear that the trustees would rather be “toothless tigers,” a term used recently during a public presentation before newsprint media by Prosecutor Flaiz.

Stay tuned. There will be more to say about zoning amendments that, according to Mike Troyan, are not ordinances relating to Ohio Revised Code, but “land use” terms. You’re playing with moving targets, Troyan, . . .again. And, as John Eberly, the Big E, has been known to say a few times with his trademark smirk, “Play ‘em like you got em.”

Published January 11, 2017

Many Geauga County residents are becoming more aware of the horribly dangerous intersection of Route 306 and East Washington Street in Bainbridge Township. We have witnessed plenty of “near-miss” accidents as drivers fail to stop for the traffic light or follow too closely. In 2016 we had our own bad experience as a driver failed to stop for the red light while traveling south along 306, slamming into the passenger side of our vehicle while we had the right of way. The impact totally destroyed our vehicle and left this writer with a right collarbone broken in four places, a collapsed lung, a concussion, a hospital stay, and a second medical event requiring the surgical installation of a steel plate that necessitated learning how to handle horses and horse maintenance with left hand and arm. The experience required immense patience and dedication and exacerbated a spouse’s already existing knee problems, resulting in an unplanned-for knee replacement.

Most of 2016 was spent learning to adapt to these physical setbacks and keeping up with the rigors of our farm operation. In spite of these setbacks, we know we are fortunate to be alive. So many Geauga County residents, including Bainbridge Trustee Lorrie Benza, have said the same thing. We remain ever grateful for the diligence of the Bainbridge Police Department in supervising the intersection of Route 306 and East Washington Street. Were it not for this supervision, God knows how many more hospitalizations and funerals would result. We are not cats with nine lives; nevertheless, we have been granted a second chance that makes the following information ever more heinous to Geauga County residents.

Recently, this writer learned that at approximately 11:55 P.M. on Monday, November 19, 2016, two Bainbridge Police officers supervising Route 306 near East Washington Street observed a brown Ford SUV heading south toward Lake Lucerne. They turned on their siren and blinkers when they observed the vehicle going widely left of center and stopped the driver at 306 and Tulip Lane. The driver, who denied having imbibed from the open container smelling of beer, was identified as 43-year old Merry Oaks resident, Assistant Prosecutor Mary Brigid Matheney, who reported coming from Cleveland. She asserted that she had not drunk from the open beer container in her vehicle. Many remember that Matheney waged a very active campaign in the March 2016 Republican primary contest for common pleas judge. This writer thinks that Matheney was fortunate not to have damaged private property or injured anyone, including herself, in an apparently impaired state of awareness. To see the full 40 minute video of this traffic stop and arrest click this link. https://youtu.be/i8rZHGm7h3k or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8rZHGm7h3k&feature=youtu.be

For a candidate who communicated through several oversized glossy postcards the importance of her prosecutorial role as “Civil Division Supervisor” as well as her work with “criminal prosecution” concerned with convictions on legal offenders “that threaten our communities,” we find her recent experience unconscionable. Given her statement of morals that she desires to “provide closure to victims,” we find that her arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol a threat to the Geauga community and an insult to the health, welfare, and safety of both Bainbridge Township and Geauga County.

We are grateful that no one got hurt this time out. When apprehended by the Bainbridge Police Department, Matheney did not lose her license, though she already had six points for previously impaired behavior. According to the online docket, she also had to post a bond to insure that she would not leave town as the charges are handled in Chardon Municipal Court. The charges allege violation of ORC 4511.33 for weaving, a minor misdemeanor, and violation of ORC 4511.19A1A, a first degree misdemeanor, carrying the possibility of a prison sentence of 180 days and/or a monetary fine of up to $1000. Per Ohio law, we understand that there is an automatic ninety day suspension of driving privileges imposed by the state. It has been further reported that she did not submit to the courtesy of a breathalyzer analysis, with the result of an automatic loss of driving privileges for a year. The docket of her court case, which is identified as 2016 TR C 06683 (State of Ohio vs. Matheney, Mary B), indicates that she has retained two DUI attorneys, Kenneth Bossin and Meredith O’Brien, both of the Saia Law Firm of 1392 SOM Center Road in Mayfield Heights, because she has pleaded Not Guilty to the two charges.

According to her campaign literature, Matheney “works to convict the worst of the worst, like the Chardon high[sic] school [sic] shooter and anyone who victimizes our children and community.” Given the events of November 19, were Matheney true to her campaign rhetoric, “ as our next Judge, . . . committed to justice and Geauga County values,” she would have to work to convict herself for threatening the safety and welfare of residents in Bainbridge Township.

We are grateful that Chardon Municipal Court Judge, Terri Stupica, has chosen to recuse herself from presiding over 2016 TR C 06683, which is available for viewing online at the Chardon Municipal Court website. The presiding judge is retired Judge Allen, formerly of the Wickliffe Municipal Court. We are told that he is a strict jurist.

We are aware that the long-scheduled pre-trial hearing of January 9, 2017, was continued again as a result of a phone decision on January 9 that did not appear on the docket until the actual date of the hearing. Since the police dashboard video was obtained as a result of a public information request, we have provided a very brief snippet of the arrest. The entire forty-minute video is available at youtube

Now about that cryptic Latin title: “quae seminaverit homo et metet.” It is roughly translatable as, “You reap what you sow.” We conclude that such a translation is a proper definition of justice, even in Geauga County.