School board members supported

We, four mayors of the Orange School District, enthusiastically endorse and support the re-election of Melanie Weltman and Beth Wilson-Fish in this coming election. Ms. Weltman and Mrs. Wilson-Fish have been essential leaders on our school board throughout their tenure. They have led in establishing fiscal responsibility while raising our educational standards. Each understands the necessity of outreach to all constituencies in the district to keep our schools strong. Ms. Weltman and Mrs. Wilson-Fish have spent years working in the schools to become experienced board members who know how to listen to all concerns and engage people to work together towards a common goal. We agree with them that excellent schools attract new residents and taxpayer support because great schools make great communities.

This is a critical time for our district, when despite celebrating our rising test scores and fiscally prudent expenditures, it has had to overcome an assault by certain groups to cut essential funding for our schools by unfairly and un-constitutionally favoring one community at the expense of our other four communities. Through standing strong together and with a vital assist from Governor DeWine, that assault was turned back. Disturbingly, the opponent of Mrs. Wilson-Fish and Ms. Weltman is closely aligned and supported by that group which attacked our schools. We enthusiastically support Ms. Weltman and Mrs. Wilson-Fish’s re-election and likewise urge you to cast your vote for them.

Pepper Pike Mayor Richard Bain

Orange Mayor Kathy Mulcahy

Moreland Hills Mayor Susan Renda

Woodmere Mayor Ben Holbert

Re-elect Justin Madden

I have served as a Russell Township Trustee for many years and have worked with a number of different fellow Trustees. I welcome the chance to support the re-election of Justin Madden this November.

Justin has been a pleasure to work with. He is open to all suggestions, does his homework on any issue before the board, is stern when needed and firm in his belief that Russell Township should continue as a restricted commercial, premier residential and green community. As our current chairman of the board, Justin runs an efficient meeting, thoroughly covering the agenda items and allowing time for public comment at each meeting. As an attorney, his legal knowledge is consistently astute, knowing when the board needs to reach out for legal assistance. He makes himself available when needed, even during the day, keeping the welfare of the township a high priority in his life.

Township government is the simplest form of government in the country; it is non-partisan, relies on the Ohio Revised Code for specific township law and is able to control the direction of growth by its zoning regulations. Justin has fought and defended our zoning to keep Russell a unique place to live, where residents can enjoy their property. He has consistently supported our excellent safety forces to provide the ability to stay current and employ the best personnel around. His abilities with budget management in the face of decreased state funding, the plan for on-going township road maintenance and government grant acquisition have all been proven. Keeping Russell green has also taken on an additional meaning, with the conversion to all LED lighting in all township properties and a continually improving recycling center.

Russell Township is a great community, and the need for consistency in defending the lifestyle our residents have chosen is paramount. A vote for Justin Madden on Nov. 5 will assure that the legacy lives on.

Gary G. Gabram

Russell Township

Vote for the future of business

Orange barrel season will soon come to an end and the voters of Ward 1 should act to make Solon City Councilman Douglas Magill’s tenure on Solon City Council come to an end. For years, Solon residents have complained about the empty storefronts and lack of food options in town. No knock against the current Solon businesses, but it’s disappointing that we have to travel to Beachwood, Macedonia and other areas to find a reasonable variety of retail shopping and dining options.

Not everyone enjoys fast food, now called “quick service” restaurants, but Chick-fil-A is a great addition to Solon. I was surprised to learn that Ward 1 Councilman Doug Magill voted against Chick-fil-A although the company agreed to the numerous changes the city requested. Solon’s legacy is that it’s a difficult place to open a business. It appears we’re starting to break through that as more store fronts are remodeled, sites are redeveloped and new businesses move in.

There are people like Doug, however, who continue to vote against progress and we should vote him out of office while we have the chance. There’s a noticeable economic vibrancy in the city over the past couple of years. Some credit goes to Mayor Kraus and his administration since the 2016 election. Doug Magill was a candidate for mayor that year and the residents of Ward 1 rejected his candidacy then. The residents of Ward 1 would be well served to reject his candidacy again. There is a better option to represent Ward 1 and his name is Macke Bentley.

Anthony Brown

Solon

Profiles in cowardice 

In 1957 John Kennedy released a book titled “Profiles in Courage.” It was about eight U.S. senators and their political courage. It described how each in their own way and in their own time withstood enormous pressure from their parties and constituents. At considerable personal peril, they stood up. 

Today, it appears that a number of writers are working on what might be called sequels to that book, but they are chronicles of political cowardice. Current U.S. senators who know what is right fear the consequences of taking a stand. Their silence may be expedient but should trouble their conscience and ultimately their place in history. 

As these new writings come out, let’s hope that the senators we elected are not earning a place on that list of cowards.

Mike Carlton

Chagrin Falls

Keep Glen Quigley as Newbury trustee

I have a “Glen Quigley for Trustee” sign in my yard. I’ve lived in Newbury over 25 years and am thankful to have a trustee like him in office and encourage voters to keep him. Mr. Quigley has not only made Newbury his home for over 40 years, he knows why you live here. He understands firsthand what residents want, because he wants it too. He protects our home values with solid zoning to keep aesthetics a top priority. Mr. Quigley has experience, something we need to retain.

In the past he has championed many issues for the residents. I hope everyone remembers the way he fought hard to keep the asphalt plant out of Newbury, protecting those homes which could have been impacted negatively. Thanks to Mr. Quigley we have a park that honors our veterans, something that is very important to him and should be to us all.

He understands government having not only been our trustee, but also Geauga County Recorder, on the Newbury Board of Zoning Appeals, Newbury Volunteer Fire Department Trustee and Department Officer. He knows the Sunshine Laws, Ohio Revised Code and researches all agenda items to be able to make informed decision that impact us. It’s not enough to just show up at meetings, sit there and vote.

Mr. Quigley is far too often the voice of reason at these meetings, and lately they have been volatile at times. He keeps a clear head and is thoughtful in his words and action, even when publicly threatened on social media. Mr. Quigley does far more than show up; he pours his heart and soul into his position as trustee. He takes the extra time to understand what is going on, researches grants, learns about the history of Newbury and Geauga County and is always mindful of his “home.”

Keep Glen Quigley – he knows why you live here!

Kate Musick

Newbury

Courtesy for school bus stops

I’m writing to convey my aggravation with the driver who felt compelled to continuously honk their horn at a school bus one recent morning as it was stopped to board a student. The responsibility of bus drivers is to safely transport all students in our community to school, a responsibility which significantly outweighs the need this individual felt to get to their destination as quickly as possible. This individual was waiting for no more than two minutes, a small detour in the scheme of things.

It seems like the student boarding at the time requires parental support to board the bus. Please know that not all handicaps are visible, and I am glad that this bus driver was taking the necessary time to ensure they were accommodating any and all the students who require support. Again, the right of these students to attend school trumps your right to get to wherever quickly as possible. I encourage the “honker” to take an alternative route, leave a few minutes earlier, or develop a sense of compassion and decency for others in our community.

The mother who was assisting her child in boarding the bus later went onto the Village Blog to apologize for the disturbance this incident may have caused others. Shame on us for having a community where a parent feels guilt for doing what their child requires them to do, and shame on the honker for broadcasting their ignorance.

Michael Berg

Bainbridge

Honor first responders

The Chagrin Valley Chamber was honored to again appreciate our local First Responders during We Salute our First Responders Week. Thank you to all the residents and businesses that “Lit it Up” to show their support.

I personally drove around with South Russell police Chief Rizzo to view some of the neighborhoods that showed support, and I can say they are extremely moved by the community’s show of support. A special shout out to Southwick Dr. in South Russell, Tanglewood and Pilgrim Village in Bainbridge for really going all out for our First Responders. They deserve it all. And a huge thank you to the young residents who made posters, cookies and mailbox decorations to say thank you.

I would also like to thank our amazing members who brought food to the stations to help feed the force. We arranged drop-offs of over 95 meals to the 13 communities that the Chagrin Valley Chamber serves on Monday through Friday.

Thank you to our amazing members who helped us say thank you in a big way: Dunlop Health Insurance Services, ML Tavern, The Mintz Company, Affandi Architecture, Give Chagrin Valley, Kobella Plumbing, Geauga Savings Bank, The Goddard School, Panini’s, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Perfection Landscapes, Burntwood Tavern, Chagrin Yoga, HG Agents, Cathy Hattenbach, The Lantern of Chagrin Valley, Mazzulo’s Market, ServPro Geauga, Yours Truly, Highway Garage, Cowboy Food and Drink, Falls Floor Gallery, Gionino’s Pizza, Valley Art Center, Ageless Mens Health, Bergansky Real Estate Team, B Spot, Club Pilates, Hamlet at Chagrin Falls, Northcoast Residential Relocation Services, Homewood Suites Solon, Jekyll’s Kitchen, Mary Kay-Amanda Neff, Lemon Falls, M Italian, Valley Lutheran Church, First Federal Lakewood, The Popcorn Shop, Paris Room, Murphy Funeral Home, Bull and Bird Tavern, Lyndall Insurance, Chagrin Pet and Garden, Inn at the Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care, Sirna’s Pizza, Progressive Building Supply, The Cleveland Clinic Chagrin Falls, Texas de Brazil, Hotel Indigo, Blazin Bills, The Weils- A Montefiore Senior Living Community, The Woodhouse Day Spa, Sara’s Place, Orange Community Education & Recreation, The Woodhouse Day Spa, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Floh Vodka, Carnegie Investment Counsel, Althans Insurance, ReSet Lounge, Bell Market Express, Aurelia Honest Food and Drink, NovaCare Rehabilitation, Bill the Bartender, Chagrin Falls Library, Luczkowski Insurance Agency, Bada Bing Pizza and Congressman Dave Joyce.

We are proud to call you members. Also a big shout out to our local schools – Chagrin Falls Exempted Village, Orange City Schools, Kenston School and Newbury Schools – for their continued support during the football games. And again, to our first responders, thank you. Thank you for your selfless efforts everyday and keeping us safe. We appreciate all of you!

Molly Gebler

Executive Director

Chagrin Valley Chamber

Support Chardon schools 

I have lived in the Chardon area for 28 years. My children were raised here and attended the Chardon Local Schools. Though I do not currently have children in the schools, I support Issue 21 and the plan to build a new combined high and middle school.  

The state has assessed our buildings. They concluded it was not cost-effective to renovate the buildings but better to replace them. Over the years the buildings have seen repairs and maintenance. All this comes from our permanent improvement fund. But the demands on this fund have grown due to reductions in state funding for items such as buses. The fund could never cover the costs of extensive renovation nor new buildings.

The way we educate students has changed a lot over the years. So, it makes sense that the places where they learn should change as well. Continuing to create buildings with inflexible classroom spaces for lectures does not make sense. We need to create a space where teachers can work with our students, and up-to-date teaching methods can be more effective.

Please vote for Issue 21 on or before Nov. 5.

Guy Wilson

Hambden Township

Support for Berger and Canton

Please join us in supporting the election of Christopher Berger and the re-election of Gerald Canton to the South Russell Village Council.

Chris Berger has been our friend for 20 years and we know him to be an honest, hard-working person. He has been a resident of South Russell for 25 years and is president of the Whitetail Run Homeowner’s Association. If elected, Chris would bring his extensive business knowledge to the council. He is an attorney and international business consultant and currently works as an adjunct professor teaching global business and management at Lakeland Community College and Lake Erie College. Chris also volunteers as a court appointed special advocate for children in Geauga County.

Jerry Canton has lived in South Russell for 10 years and has already served one four-year term on the council. During that time, he spearheaded the development of the new playground in South Russell Village Park, worked with the Streets Committee and served as chairman of the Properties Committee. He was also the council’s representative to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners. If re-elected, Jerry can continue his work on improvements to the village park, maintenance of village roads and solving the storm water runoff issues.

Chris Berger and Jerry Canton are running as a team for the two available council seats because they share similar values. Chris’ business knowledge and Jerry’s experience on the council combined with their concern for our community makes them both excellent candidates for the South Russell Village Council. We know they will work together to improve South Russell for its residents. Please vote for Berger and Canton on Nov. 5.

Bruce and Patrice Hendricks

South Russell

Re-elect current Orange BOE members

Both Melanie Weltman and Beth Wilson-Fish are current members of the Orange City Board of Education, and under their leadership the school system has prospered, the school’s financials have never been in better shape and the transparency that is the district’s hallmark has been maintained. Both are parents of children who were educated in the district, and thus know the strengths of the schools and where improvements are needed. They have earned the additional terms they are seeking.

In contrast, their opponent, who has never had children in the district, knows little and cares less about the Orange Schools and the children they are educating. This is not a “good faith” candidate who is running because she wants to improve the schools. She is the candidate Hunting Valley has put forward in retaliation for the failure of their underhanded maneuver to exempt themselves from paying taxes to support the school district in which they reside. Please do not support this candidate and allow her to undermine our schools. Please re-elect the candidates who have proven their dedication to the integrity and excellence of Orange Schools – re-elect Melanie Weltman and Beth Wilson-Fish.

Susan W. Luse

Moreland Hills

Vote yes to park district levy

Geauga County is blessed to have the exceptional Geauga Park District. Having lived in three counties in Northeast Ohio, plus California and Florida, I can attest to the fact that the Geauga Parks are by far superior to any others I’ve experienced.

There is no better way to learn about our land, solar system, waterways and creatures big and small than the hands-on programs that are offered almost daily in the 25 managed parks. As a result my 8-year-old granddaughter can name any bird that comes to our feeders, identify all the local butterflies and many of the insects and point out the visible planets and constellations. We hike, kayak, fish and even camp at the parks. There is no better way to gain appreciation for our environment and to pass on to the next generation the need to preserve and protect it. We learn and create memories together that will be forever remembered.

Geauga Parks are a treasure worth investing in and the cost is just a few pennies a day. I encourage all Geauga voters to vote yes on the Geauga Park District levy (Issue 23) on Nov. 5.

Linda J. O’Brien

Russell Township

Mayors support re-election of Koons

In 2013, eight communities formed a Council of Governments to create a regional dispatch agency, Chagrin Valley Dispatch (CVD). Seven mayors from Chagrin Valley communities and one trustee from Chagrin Falls Township worked together to create policies, recruit new members and help guide the growth of this agency.

South Russell Village Mayor Bill Koons was one of the seven mayors on this council. The undersigned elected officials appreciated working with him and regarded him as a valuable asset to our team. He is honest, reliable and incredibly hard-working. Furthermore, Mayor Koons is an impressive problem solver who is always able to address complex issues strategically and confidently. He immediately understood and supported the mission of providing our residents with excellent safety services and, at the same time, saving tax-payer dollars. He worked collaboratively and respectfully to expand and improve dispatch services.

When we started in 2013, CVD served eight communities, had a budget of $745,000, eight full-time employees and one facility. CVD now serves 31 communities, has a budget of $11,921,456 and employs 120 people at three different facilities. Nick DiCicco spearheaded this growth and was the driving force behind it. However, members of the COG, including Mayor Koons, played a significant role in this success.

We believe Mayor Koons is a talented manager and a creative leader. He is dedicated, informed and experienced. We urge you to vote to re-elect Mayor Koons in November.

Orange Mayor, Kathy Mulcahy

Gates Mills Mayor, Karen Schneider

Solon Mayor, Eddy Kraus

Moreland Hills Mayor, Susan Renda

Bentleyville Mayor, Leonard A. Spremulli

Chagrin Falls Township Trustee, John Finley

Woodmere Mayor, Benjamin I. Holbert, III

Let’s keep what works

Glen Quigley not only brings years of township knowledge and zoning experience to the table, but years of professionalism and tact. Newbury does not need to elect people who seldom or never attended a township meeting. Newbury needs a township trustee who knows what’s what. Glen will work and fight for the township residents as he did when he kept the asphalt plants out of Newbury as well as worked to “Save Munn Road” from a county takeover. Newbury needs a trustee that has township knowledge and – most of all – zoning experience. This is very important in order to keep our semi-rural atmosphere, safeguarding our biggest investment – our property! Please join our family and friends by re-electing Glen Quigley as Newbury Township Trustee, the trustee of the people. Let’s keep what works!

Joanne and Bill Majeski

Newbury Township

Support Justin Madden for re-election

I urge Russell Township voters to support Justin Madden for re-election as Trustee on November 5. During my 35 years as a Russell resident, I served 13 years on the Zoning Commission and eight years as Township Trustee, working with many concerned citizens to maintain Russell as a low-density, semi-rural community, with excellent quality and low-cost township services. In his time as trustee, Justin has shown that he is dedicated to the values that we all work for and that have made Russell what it is today. He is hardworking and always responsive to the needs of residents. Please help to maintain good government in Russell Township by voting for Justin Madden.

Greg Studen

South Russell

Vote for the clear choice

Community: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common; a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.

If ever there was a time to exercise your right to vote as a community member of the Orange City School District, it is now. Recently, the Orange City School District community was blindsided when lawmakers attempted to defund our schools. Administration and Board of Education members worked tirelessly for 36 hours to prevent that from happening. While their efforts halted what would have been detrimental to the schools and community, the fight is not over. Hunting Valley officials are and will continue to seek tax relief. Now there is a candidate running for our school board from Hunting Valley, being supported and funded by the same people who attempted to strip funding from our schools.

We need to come together and support the candidates that know and love our community. Support the candidates who are passionate about our schools, our kids and the quality programming they receive. The candidates who attend sporting events, concerts, open houses and countless other campus activities. The candidates whose own children have attended our schools. The candidates who are active members of our school community. On Nov. 5, vote to re-elect Beth Wilson-Fish and Melanie Weltman for Orange City Schools Board of Education.

Melissa Mayher-Lynch and

Robert P, Lynch Jr.

Moreland Hills

Thanking families of law enforcement

People understand that the day-to-day work of a police officer can be full of potential risk. Nearly every day, we are seeing news reports of another police officer somewhere in the United States who is hurt or killed. Tragically, it seems to be escalating, and for me, it is hitting close to home. 

I’m so proud of Jimmie Lee and Donna Holden’s five wonderful children. Both Jimmie Lee and Donna served in law enforcement for many years, and I cannot imagine the stress and concern their children and extended family experience because of their parent’s dedication.  

And I’m so proud of Mary Ruth Shumway whose amazing daughter serves now as a police officer in central Ohio. I see firsthand the toll this takes on a loving and dedicated mother.

On Nov. 16, “Ride with Valor” is coming to Chester Town Hall. This event will foster support for our local Veterans and sponsor a tribute to our first responders. All are welcome. 

I’m proud of our veterans and police officers and thank them and their wonderful families for their service to our country.

 Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts

Chester Township

Why is Metzenbaum levy continuing?

In response to Suzanne Kral’s letter to the editor last week, I would like to point out that there are several things that go into setting the term of a renewal levy. I would also like to point out that the renewal of the Metzenbaum levy does not increase taxes. Our primary mission is to meet the needs of the almost 1,000 clients that we serve. Our board is constantly balancing the tension between being fiscally responsible to the taxpayer while meeting the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Why choose a continuing rather than a limited term levy? We did it to avoid asking for new money in 2023. In March, when we were deciding the term of the levy, our financial forecast showed us being stable into 2023. If we renewed the levy for three years, we would have needed to renew the levy in 2023. In 2023, our financial balance would be low enough that we would have had to increase the levy to cover another five years.

By asking for a continuing term on our renewal, we hope to push the request for additional funds out until 2025 or beyond. We don’t want to ask the voters for new taxes until it is absolutely needed.

We faced this same situation in 2008 when we renewed that levy to a continuing levy. We promised that we wouldn’t come back until at least 2011, but we were able to stretch that time out to 2015. We pushed the levy from five-year coverage to 11-year coverage. Eventually, inflation caught up with the revenue and used up the levy balance. In 2015, we asked for the new 1 mill levy which now needs to be renewed.

If you have any further questions or want more information, please feel free to call me at 440-729-9406.

Don Rice

Geauga County Board of

Developmental Disabilities

Support for Issue 21

I strongly support Issue 21 to build a new school for grades six through 12 in Chardon because I believe it is the proactive, financially-responsible choice, one that will only strengthen our community.

Chardon Schools’ education is top-notch, but our facilities are actually working against our staff & students. The classrooms don’t provide a learning environment that supports modern teaching best practices. The electrical systems can’t handle the widespread use of the latest technologies. Leaky roofs, bad plumbing and drafty or sweltering classrooms are the norm. Fire and security systems aren’t up to date. And worst of all, each year the district is forced to divert funds from educational opportunities and resources to band-aid fixes for these outdated, energy-inefficient facilities that no longer meet the state’s minimum standards.

It is fiscally irresponsible to keep pouring money into these 60-plus-year-old buildings. The costs to maintain minimum standards in these buildings are nearly as much as the costs to build new ones – and those maintenance costs are only going to grow over time. That’s not my opinion, that’s the conclusion of the State of Ohio’s assessment of Chardon Schools. Voting against Issue 21 is short-sighted and only delaying the inevitable, while wasting millions of dollars in the process.

A strong school system is a cornerstone to a strong, vibrant community. That’s why so many of us have decided to raise our families here. A new school for grades six through 12 in Chardon will attract new families to our area, increase our property values and ultimately help our community thrive in ways that benefit every single resident. Please join me on Nov. 5 in voting “yes” for Issue 21.

Michelle Fisher

Chardon

Meredith Bond for Orange board

I am not one of “those people” who supported Hunting Valley’s efforts to provide more reasonable funding from property owners in the Orange City School District. However, I am a resident who believes that new school board members with fresh eyes and proven budget/cost management skills are needed. Why? Simply because Orange City schools are overfunded given the results.

According to Ohio Board of Education 2019 rankings, Orange is not among Cuyahoga County’s top 10 districts and, in fact, is ranked #24 in the state. This is despite per pupil spending costs exceeding $21,000 per year and average teacher salaries among the highest in Ohio. It seems that we are paying for almost the equivalent of a local private school education for Orange students without private school benefits and outcomes. Consider also how much of the spending directly benefits students vs. pension costs, salary increases and hiring more administrators. It is time for voters to seriously reflect on this. I believe in supporting public schools, but not at this price tag.

Furthermore, it is lying to imply that candidate Meredith Bond is not part of our community, does not know our district and is not passionate about our schools and children. She is a professional educator, school administrator and researcher. And, while serving as Dean of the College of Sciences and Health Professions at CSU, Ms. Bond has managed a sizeable staff and budget in the crucible of public education. This more than compares to the resumes of current Orange board members.

By the way, what makes someone “part of our community?” Residency is the requirement; attending Orange schools, being employed by Orange schools or having children educated there is not. Frankly, I am suspicious of current board members who have such a vested, personal interest in Orange schools that they cannot see clearly and restrain spending. Their obligation is not only to the families and children, but to every taxpayer in the district. It is time their voices are heard and respected.

The future of Orange schools does not depend on re-electing existing board members; it depends on leaders who are open-minded and responsive to all district residents, not just those with ties to our schools and positions to protect.

Renee Gerhart

Hunting Valley

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