Council candidates interviewed

Chagrin Falls Village Council met in executive session last Saturday to interview four candidates vying for a council seat empty due to the resignation of Karl Maersch who moved out of the village.

The four candidates interviewed included Bob Williams, Martin Sallach, Bryan Schwartz and Bob Humphrey, according to Council President Nancy Rogoff.

“They’re very good candidates, any one of them would be well qualified,” she said. “We spent a lot of time interviewing and we felt we needed to think about it a little more.”

According to the Village Charter, the council has 30 days from the date of a resignation to appoint a new member or the mayor will fill the position by appointment. The deadline for council to vote on an appointment is April 10.

Ms. Rogoff said Council will hold another special session within the week, although a date has not been confirmed yet. She added that while the Council may go into executive session, which is not open to the public, the meetings are open to the public and people are welcome to attend.

Chagrin interviews school candidates

The Chagrin Falls Board of Education met Tuesday and Wednesday nights to conduct interviews for their open treasurer position.

Superintendent Robert Hunt said Monday that seven treasurer candidates were set to be interviewed over the two days. Tentatively, he said he expects second round interviews for finalists to take place around April 13 with a final selection by the board shortly after the second interviews.

Former district treasurer Anne Spano resigned in December after 11 years with the district to take a treasurer position at Hilliard City School District near Columbus. District resident Candi Lukat has served as interim treasure since December as the search continues.

Harvest for Hunger drive

Pepper Pike is inviting residents to join its annual Harvest for Hunger Virtual Food Drive. The city employees are also responding to a challenge to participate in the drive, Mayor Richard Bain said, and help the city reach its $6,000 goal. A $1 donation helps provide four meals to needy families, according to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Residents can visit to make a donation online. Those wishing to donate can also send a check made out to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to Pepper Pike City Hall, located at 28000 Shaker Blvd., to the attention of Katy Zippert.

Newbury employees’ future uncertain

Newbury Local School District employees can expect to lose their jobs before any territorial transfer takes place with West Geauga Local School District.

Kristin VanderMaas, vice president of Newbury Educational Association, representing certified and classified employees, addressed the Newbury Board of Education Monday to discuss what she said could result in 87 percent of the district becoming unemployed. Ms. VanderMaas noted that an attorney representing school employees had threatened West Geauga officials with litigation if reductions in staff occurred before West Geauga officially took over Newbury.

Newbury Superintendent Dr. Jacqueline Hoynes said the district will notify employees about their employment status when the district votes on new contracts. She said cuts in staff will be due to declining enrollment, not the territory transfer. “We’re meeting the needs of the district,” she said.

County OKs senior center lease

A new Bainbridge Senior Center was approved by Geauga County Commissioners Tuesday.

Commissioners unanimously approved an $835 a month lease with Bainbridge Community United Church of Christ for use of the sanctuary, social hall, lounge and classrooms for the new center.

Jessica Boalt, director of the Geauga County Department on Aging, said the new location offers 7,125 square feet of space that will be available to seniors Monday through Friday.

She noted that the new location on Chillicothe Road (Route 306) is more convenient for delivering meals than Chagrin Falls Park, the location for the previous senior center, which closed in December.

Newbury discussion planned

The fate of Newbury Local School District buildings will be the topic of discussion in May.

Newbury Board of Education President Maggie Zock said Monday a joint meeting between Newbury school officials, Newbury township officials and West Geauga Local School District representatives is being planned for May.

Mrs. Zock said officials at that meeting will develop an agenda for a second joint public meeting on the issue.

Mrs. Zock also noted that the school’s newsletter, Knightlines, was delayed in printing. The newsletter, she said, is intended to provide monthly updates to the public on the district’s transitional plans for joining West Geauga through a territory transfer.

Chagrin family helps grant a wish

The Lifextraordinary Foundation, a local nonprofit organization founded by Bob and Shannon Hunt of Chagrin Falls, is donating a portion of proceeds from the Chagrin Film Fest 5K to A Special Wish Foundation to help fulfill the wish of Wickliffe 7-year-old Emily Raddell.

The Hunt family started The Lifextraordinary Foundation after their son Hawken was diagnosed with Burkitt leukemia at 7 months old and was the only known infant with this form of leukemia. Now that Hawken is in remission, the family is giving back to ASW after they helped fulfill Hawken’s wish to throw a first pitch with the Cleveland Indians last month.

Emily was born with a rare disease that is commonly referred to as Hurler Syndrome, which causes organ and soft tissue damage as well as bone and joint abnormalities, and her big wish through ASW was to have a playground built in her backyard, according to a press release.

Jason Beudert, an ASW boardmember, said the playground was set to be installed Wednesday in the Raddell family’s backyard thanks to the contribution of the Lifextraordinary Foundation.

The Chagrin Film Fest 5K will begin Sunday, Sep. 30 at 9 a.m. at the Chagrin Falls High School football stadium, 400 E. Washington St. in Chagrin Falls.

Partnership names new president

Geauga Growth Partnership Board Chair John Epprecht announced Tuesday that Kimm Leininger will succeed Tracy Jemison as President of GGP on July 1.

Mr. Jemison, who began his tenure as president in November 2013, informed the board of directors of his intention to retire last November, according to a press release. Mr. Jemison previously served as Geauga County Auditor and as a county commissioner before succeeding GGP’s first president and founding member Frank Samuel in the position.

“I want to thank Tracy for his exceptional leadership, and passion during his six-year tenure,” Mr. Epprecht said in the release. “Our organization has grown in membership and programs and has earned the respect of the business and educational community as a vital asset under Jemison’s guidance.”

Ms. Leininger has worked as Executive Director of United Way Services of Geauga County for the past 16 years, focusing on engaging community leaders and professionals in developing solutions to meet the needs of the local community and encouraging residents’ self-sufficiency, the release states.

“I am beyond excited to have an opportunity to continue to serve Geauga County, our business community and our residents through this outstanding organization,” Ms. Leininger said in the release. “I know that I have big shoes to fill; both Frank and Tracy left their mark on this community and I look forward to continuing the great progress they made in strengthening the economic climate within Geauga County.”

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