Setting record straight

Recently, a member of our organization wrote a letter to the editor conveying their concerns about Timothy Grendell’s supervision of the Geauga County Park District. (Judge Grendell is a candidate for Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Court). After conferring with Rosemary Balazs, I am confident she intended this letter to be an expression of her personal point of view. However, given that she is an officer of the Geauga County League of Women Voters, a reasonable person could certainly construe her statements to be expressions of league opinion.  

We are reconstituting our organization and that process will include a thorough assessment of existing policies. While I cannot change the past, I can personally pledge that our non-partisan policy will be clarified and strengthened so that this does not happen again.  

I sincerely regret this incident and assure the citizens of Geauga County that our organization will do better.

I hope Judge Grendell will give careful consideration to participating in our candidates forums prior to the March 17 primary election. The citizens of Geauga County have an important choice to make, and they should hear from both candidates.

Shelly Lewis, co-president

League of Women Voters of Geauga County

Case closed on vote

 Elections are the essential connection between the people and those in government who represent them. If an election is compromised, democracy is weakened. For this reason, I’m very concerned when the truth is distorted to favor one candidate over another.

     Very likely, this is what has happened as the Ohio Republican Party accused the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives, 14th district, Hillary O’Connor Mueri, of voting twice in the 2008 primary election. She is accused of voting in California, where she was living at the time, and in Lake County where she grew up.  I have talked with her about this charge which she said is unequivocally false.

 I believe her.  It makes no sense that Mrs. Mueri would break the law and put her license to be a practicing attorney in jeopardy.  More conclusive is the fact that the Lake County Board of Elections has verified that she did not vote in the primary election in 2008 in Lake County.  I’ve seen the letter from the elections board.  For me, this closes the case.  

 There are more important issues to discuss as we decide how to cast our votes. Let’s move on to those.

Fred Welty


Matt Rambo has integrity

Recent campaign tactics by Judge Timothy Grendell are wrong. He is basing his race to continue as Geauga Probate and Juvenile Court judge on party and experience, not performance.

Judge Grendell has overspent, using taxpayer money and does not respect or work together with other Republican officials, so is he a true Republican?

Grendell had no experience with abuse or neglect cases prior to being appointed a judge. Juvenile cases (abuse, neglect, dependency, legal guardianship and delinquency) are confidential for important reasons, but that does not allow the public to know what happens in these cases. In my role as staff and director of CASA for KIDS from 1998 to 2015, I spent much time in court. Judge Grendell initially had little understanding of the complicated issues that were presented in abuse and neglect cases. For example, in a case where a father was legally mandated to receive treatment for alcohol addiction (he had violent incidents when drinking – another court ordered that he give up his guns), Judge Grendell told the dad to be sure to refrain from drinking when he had weekly visits with his children. This was not consistent with the treatment plan. Judge Grendell often did not respect or listen to the input and knowledge of the caseworkers from the Job and Family Services agency. Court decisions were influenced by Judge Grendell’s mood. In one case, he threw a 10-year CASA volunteer (recognized by the group for her thorough, outstanding advocacy) out of court and off a case because he did not like the recommendation she made regarding the best interest of the children. Grendell then dismissed the attorney representing that CASA volunteer from the courtroom. This attorney, who was a valuable legal consultant for the CASA program, quit the position as a result of the judge’s action.

I have been very disheartened to hear during the last few months of this campaign season of respected foster parents who will no longer foster children from Geauga County because they have been unhappy with decisions made by Judge Grendell. Unfortunately, due to confidentiality they cannot speak up. Enough. We cannot allow the lives of children and families to be negatively impacted.

Matt Rambo has knowledge of abuse and neglect cases as a guardian ad litem representing the best interest of children in the Ashtabula County Juvenile Court. He has a calm demeanor and a desire to serve the public, not himself. I will choose integrity (Matt Rambo) over so-called experience when I vote.

Christine Steigerwald


Unbelievable? Not really

I just attended the first official joint school board meeting between the Newbury Local School District and West Geauga schools. This last-minute meeting was held to show the West Geauga school board members around the school and facilities. It was as if vultures were circling fresh roadkill. I can’t really blame them for doing this. The Newbury school board gave away the buildings and properties that the citizens of Newbury paid for at no cost. Eventually, it will be sold off in pieces and the remainder of it auctioned off to the highest bidder. I guess that’s what building a community is all about.

The hardest part about sitting in this meeting was the hypocrisy of the Newbury school board members. One board member was “moved to [crocodile] tears” over the closing of the school. Considering her entire MO from the start was to close the school, asking for pity on behalf of the citizens of Newbury was hard to take.

Now, we will have “town hall” meetings to toss out ideas about what we, the citizens of Newbury, think should happen to the school and its properties. I emphasize “think” here since we have absolutely no say in the final disposition of the school or its properties. We will no longer own them. I thought it interesting to hear a West G board member say, “We like the auditorium but don’t know if our parents are willing to drive all the way out here.” Funny, they have no issue with our kids on a one-hour bus ride to Lindsey Elementary School or our parents driving “all the way out there” for events, but only Newbury students and parents should be inconvenienced I suppose.

In the end, the buildings will be gone, the community will remain divided and Newbury will simply become a town that people pass through on their way to somewhere else.

Phil Paradise Jr.


Support Issue 19

On election day, March 17, we have an opportunity to do something extraordinary: approve zoning in Solon that is unique in Northeast Ohio that would take us as a community to another level of inclusiveness.  Issue 19 will allow the development of special needs housing and create not only an opportunity for those who have special needs to lead an independent life, but also provide an affordable chance for parents to know that their adult children are safe, nearby and members of a wonderful community.  This issue does not involve taxes or expenditures by the city – only your vote. Please help Solon become an even more forward-thinking city, and a showcase for an even richer definition of inclusiveness. Vote yes for Issue 19.  

Doug Magill


Vote for Rambo

Matt Rambo is running against Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Judge Timothy Grendell. We have met with Matt and reviewed his credentials and experience.  We are voting for Matt Rambo and hope you will too!  

Pat and John Leech


Mullins best choice for recorder

Please vote in the March 17 primary. This is a very important race for our local elected officials.

I would like to express my support for the election of Celesta Mullins for Geauga County recorder. Experience does make the difference. Sharon Gingerich will be retiring at the end of 2020 and Celesta Mullins should replace her.

I have known Celesta for 21 years since she has been working in the recorder’s office.

She is honest, hard-working and knows every aspect of the office. She has worked for four elected officials since her employment in this office.

She is a member of the Republican Central Committee, co-president of the Republican Women’s Club and is a volunteer and member of many organizations. As the chief deputy recorder, she goes above and beyond to be helpful to the staff and residents of Geauga County.

My office interacts with the recorder’s office on a regular basis, and she has proven herself to be professional and easy to work with. She is a paralegal and has a background in real estate and as a title examiner before her employment in the recorder’s office.

Along with her day-to-day responsibilities in the recorder’s office, Celesta helps with issuing veterans ID cards, the Good Deeds Program and the Century Farm Program, which has been a great success implemented by Sharon Gingerich.

Please join me in supporting Celesta Mullins for Recorder on March 17. She will be a working recorder, and Geauga County residents deserve the best person for the job. Experience makes the difference.

Denise M. Kaminski

Hambden Township

Celesta Mullins best choice

There are two candidates on the Republican ballot for Geauga County Recorder. One presently serves as chief deputy in the recorder’s office and has worked in the recorder’s office under four different recorders. Celeste Mullins is this person. She has earned your vote based upon her qualifications.

Her opponent, who lacks any such experience, has run twice unsuccessfully for Auburn Township Trustee and now is seeking a county position.

I urge voters to vote for Celesta Mullins for Geauga County Recorder.

Chris Horn


Rambo best choice  

I am writing in response to a letter from Russell Township titled, “Don’t Be Deceived.”   Respectfully, I am going to vote for Matt Rambo, and I am not deceived. Nor am I dishonest, which is what this reader wrote about me and others who have been writing in against the judge over these years.  When our current judge was appointed by Gov. John Kasich, there was much objection to it by our Geauga Republican Party. I did not know about all of that until someone told me after I complained to her about him. I went into Google and pulled up the documented history in the newspapers.  What had been described to me was true.  Gov. Kasich, it was written, wanted Grendell out of Columbus because he was known for acting like “a bull in a China shop.”  Grendell was not known for practicing juvenile law. He was known for winning a big zoning case against the City of Mayfield Heights. Then he bought a bakery.  Then he got into politics.  He had been in politics when he was appointed, not practicing juvenile or probate law. Matt Rambo is a practicing attorney. 

I take issue with being called dishonest. I am honest, and I challenge you to get to know me and others personally before attacking character.  The citizen from Russell is one of the ones fooled by a dishonest politician.  The children and families the judge has harmed are afraid to come forward. He is known for scaring people in his court.

What difference does it make if a person claims to be a Republican, who supposedly has family values, if that person does not value all the families that come before him?  The Protect Geauga Parks people speak for the elements of nature that have no voice. I have been speaking out for families and children who have no voice, for years. I am not dishonest. 

I am a Trump supporter.  President Trump tells it like it is.  His presidency has brought out how corrupt things are in the U.S. government. He has changed the Republican Party for the better and called out those who were members of the swamp in Washington. The corruption in the FBI has come forth for all to see. I experienced agent indifference to what is right when I reported the Judge you are bragging about to the FBI for misconduct.  They did nothing. 

I feel sorry for all the people who have been duped by the Grendells.  They do not stand for liberty and fairness.  I would rather give Matt Rambo a chance to lead than cast my vote for a phony. Rambo wants to bring integrity, real integrity, back to our court bench.

Robin Neff


Campaign ad unsuitable

I was very disturbed by the full-page ad in last week’s Times for Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Tim Grendell in which his opponent, Mr. Rambo, was disparaged because he has voted as a Democrat. The notion that partisan loyalty prevents us from voting one way or the other is a singularly unsuitable campaign tactic for a judicial candidate. Even worse though was the characterization of Democrats as the “Democrat/Socialist” party which is a term commonly associated with the Nazis. In any event, this sneering reference to Democrats makes me wonder whether everyone, regardless of party, can get a fair shake in Judge Grendell’s courtroom. If Judge Grendell does not agree with this PAC ad, he should disavow it.

Aimee Gilman


Open letter to council

This is a note to Pepper Pike City Council. Mayor Richard Bain’s priorities are out of control. We have just received the sponsorship email for Taste of Pepper Pike on June 28, 2020. Really? Yet he can’t announce a new date for the public hearing and give a 30-day notice for a public hearing?

His first email concerning rezoning was Dec. 17, 2019, 10 months after the proposed rezoning and sale of Beech Brook became known to the public. But the email for the Taste of Pepper Pike arrives four months before the event.

Isn’t there anything any of you can do to get him to realign his priorities and be more responsive to the residents that elected him – again and again and again? The residents are counting on all of you, as our elected representatives, to be responsive and to get the mayor to lift the apparent “gag order” he has on all of you.  Shouldn’t each of you be publicly speaking out during council meetings?  Your continued silence indicates that you are in agreement with the way the mayor is communicating.  

How can we be sure that once he finally announces the new public hearing date that every resident will be notified?  In the past, the mayor felt that email and the Chagrin Valley Times was sufficient notice; however, a significant number of residents are not on the email list and not every resident subscribes to the newspaper.  Those who have subscriptions, don’t always have time to read the paper and certainly don’t read the public notices printed in tiny font on the back page.  Council, please do something.

Manny and Judi Naft

Pepper Pike

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.