Vote by mail works

Voting by mail should replace voting at the polls in its entirety. The two

institutions that can definitely be trusted are the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections

and the United States Postal Service.  

The money saved by eliminating the need for poll workers could be used to offer free postage on the envelopes used to vote by mail.  The person voting would also have more time to consider what they are voting for and would not be confined to the hours

of the polling place. It would also prevent unwanted entry to schools and churches from anyone trying to harm someone.

In addition, the voter would not be harassed by someone trying to place unsolicited campaign literature into their hand. The additional revenue would boost the Postal Service and perhaps keep it afloat until we as a country are able to vote online.

Voting by mail would solve the registered voter problem and guarantee safe passage of the ballots to the elections board.  It might even prevent further spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Joe Bialek


Focus on policies

In my opinion, the news media has been very successful in getting the American public to focus on personality and not the very important issues facing our nation. He Tweets. He gives people names and, of course, he hates everyone. So now that we have that out of the way and you don’t like the man, can we focus on policy? What policies of the Democrats do you like? What policies of the Republicans do you like? Here are the policies I support.

A strong military, well equipped and disciplined to keep our nation out of war and able to help other countries when necessary.

A strong foreign policy and the backbone to implement strategies with nations like China, Iran and North Korea.

Effective national and local police, well trained and disciplined to act with compassion but who are able to defend themselves when necessary.

Smaller government and lower taxes.

A compassionate government that helps those who cannot help themselves with the basic necessities of life: shelter, clean water, nutrition and health care. A well-defined immigration policy that includes border protection.

Elected leaders who will always follow the Constitution but who will also support constitutional change when necessary to preserve “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.” Remember, our Constitution has been amended 27 times including one that negated an earlier one.

Development of a smart, sane, green energy policy that will not bankrupt our country or seek the total elimination of any one form of energy if it can be used in a cleaner, more effective way.

Rebuilding our great American cities into something all Americans can be proud of and where our citizens can live safely and prosperously.

A heath care policy that results in fair, affordable health care for all citizens.

A coronavirus task force that will make recommendations to lead us through this China-sourced plague and prepare us for the next one

When I consider the direction I’d like our nation to follow, I find one party that supports 90 percent of the policies I support for our country and our children, the other party, maybe 20 percent. Every voter makes a choice. What do you support?

James Kadunc


Solon needs sidewalks

Mayor Ed Krause wants to upate sidewalks in Solon so I suggested that he put sidewalks on Bainbridge Road between Kruse Drive and Harper Road so that people who live on that street could walk.  Right now they have to walk in the streets because there are no sidewalks.  In fact, the sidewalks that are in the city are so close to the street that it is scary when a large truck goes by and it is only a couple of feet away from me. And my dog doesn’t like it either.  But Mayor Krause told me “no” because it would be too expensive and he would rather put sidewalks in other places. That’s sad.  

Carolyn Giammaria


Thanks for support

The Board of the Geauga County Library Foundation wishes to thank and commend the many community organizations and companies that have donated and pledged to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library/Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library. This program is coordinated in Geauga County by the Geauga County Public Library Foundation. Our goal is to enroll all children in the county from ages 0-5 so that they will receive a free book in the mail every month. With the help of these generous donations we are getting closer to our goal.

Heartfelt gratitude to: Burton-Middlefield Rotary, Chesterland Rotary, Newbury Kiwanis, United Way Services of Geauga County/Women United, 100+ Women Who Care: East Geauga and Western Reserve and Bricker & Eckler.

Catherine B. Leary

Geauga Library Foundation

White privilege exists

For anyone that still isn’t clear about what “white privilege” is, simply witness the response by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to a white teenager approaching them with a rifle after he had just killed two persons and wounded a third. They simply let him pass undeterred and unquestioned.

I dare say that if he had been a black man bearing a semi-automatic weapon he’d have been gunned down by a thousand rounds without hesitation. The deference showed this killer says everything that needs to be said about white privilege. It exists, it’s real and the failure of many white people to comprehend it demonstrates their inability to get outside of their own head and walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Tony Festa

Russell Township

Suicide prevention lifeline needed

September is Suicide Prevention Month and it’s important that we are there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is to #KeepGoing, by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can all learn new ways to help each other save lives.

One action I’m taking is to urge my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health. When someone is in acute crisis, it’s hard for them to think clearly, and even reaching out for help can be a struggle. For this reason, it is vital that Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (H.R.4194/S.2661) to make a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a reality. This legislation will provide the funding and resources needed by crisis centers across the country that support those struggling with their mental health and thoughts of suicide.

In this time of uncertainty, we all need to find new ways to connect and support each other.

Together, we #KeepGoing.

Rany Tan


Vote against mixed-use rezoning

“Mixed-use district could benefit city” or more realistically “would” not benefit Pepper Pike. We are “over-retailed” with empty store fronts right on Pinetree Road along with a ready-made for lease restaurant. The expert said the area “should” ultimately bounce back from the current economic downturn, but there is no guarantee. He also said the future demand for office space is unknown and that too, is already available on Pinetree above the retail.

We have Heinen’s Grocery Store, (you would need to buy groceries) also on Pinetree, and minutes away down the street is Eton Collection for upscale retail which also has Barnes & Noble Bookstore with a coffee shop inside. A little further west on Chagrin is the Village Square Shopping Center.  You will not lack for restaurants, ice cream, fast food, car wash, gasoline, banks, and more.  Pepper Pike has it all, we don’t need it, we don’t want it, and I won’t even mention the traffic. Vote No.

Maryanne Lutjen

Pepper Pike

Why that expert?

Recently, I sat in on the Pepper Pike City Council Zoom meeting. The main issue was Ordinance 2020-25: An Ordinance Amending Certain Sections of the Zoning Code of the City of Pepper Pike to Modify Requirements of the U-2 Public Building District and Enacting New Chapter 1275, Site Development Plans. George Smerigan presented the update to the U-2 zoning ordinance and why the update was necessary. I’m not a city planner or civil engineer and his explanation made sense to me. I understood the motivation behind the current moratorium and how the proposed language tightened up the zoning language purportedly to protect Pepper Pike.

Next, a representative from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University gave a development presentation on two Pepper Pike U-2 properties. The presenter is a community planner who works with urban, suburban and rural communities to provide decision support on development, economic development, land and conservation issues with areas of expertise include development planning; retail, housing and commercial market evaluation; small town and main street planning; fiscal and economic impact analysis; and planning for parks, natural areas and working lands, according to the website.

How and why a community planner was included in the mix is confusing to me. I thought the meeting was to discuss the ordinance, tightening the U-2 zoning language. The presentation appeared to be more of a strategy on how Pepper Pike could best urbanize our remaining green space. Nowhere in the description of the College of Urban Affairs is stated their zoning expertise. Isn’t that what George Smerigan does? By definition, the College of Urban Affairs help cities who want to develop and urbanize. The data used for the presentation was from 2019, pre-pandemic. It was admitted that it will take years to know what the effect will be on brick and mortar retail and office buildings.

I don’t want Pepper Pike to become a concrete desert of retail and office buildings. Are the elected Pepper Pike officials using this study to measure the interest in and ensure that the U-2 properties go to the highest bidder thus creating precedent for future development after development after development until we are no longer a tree city but a retail/commercial destination? Are they interested in protecting the quiet suburban lifestyle we chose when selecting Pepper Pike as our home? It’s like the U-2 properties are Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf is City Hall.

Lou Ann Graham

Pepper Pike

Here’s a suggestion

Don’t worry Newbury, the school property you already paid for is in good hands. It’s hard to even type that sentence with a straight face. On a recent Wednesday night was the Newbury Trustees Board Meeting at the town hall. At this meeting, Maggie Zock represented the task force and once again asked for suggestions. Why? What purpose does it serve? If the task force wanted a wide range of opinions on uses for the property, it would have been comprised of five people that have differing opinions in the community. Instead, we received the majority members of the prior Newbury School Board. The same people who gave away the school, the property and millions of dollars for, what appears to be now, a very short tax reduction. The same school board that divided this community forever. My question is: Why do they need our suggestions? Wasn’t the Task Force put together specifically for the purpose of coming up with a plan to use the property for community purposes? Aren’t they the chosen experts that represent the community? Considering over 1,200 citizens IN the community they represent signed a referendum to not transfer the school, are these five on the committee really a true representation of those that live here? I don’t think so.

I wonder how much she (or any of the past) board members, have enjoyed the 22-minute drive to Lindsey Elementary School. I wonder how much they will like it in the winter. I don’t think it matters. In fact, for at least three of the former board members, I know it doesn’t matter because they don’t have kids in the West Geauga School District. That’s right. Those that worked so hard to close the school and convince everyone how “many opportunities” and how “great” the new school would be, do not even have children in the school district they “sold” to everyone. I guess the education it will provide was good enough for our kids but not theirs.

However, having said that, the committee wants ideas. They want suggestions on what “will benefit the community” on this property. They only want “positive input” on what to do with it. OK, I will give them a suggestion. How about a school? A nice, small school where kids are treated with respect and teachers really care about the well-being and growth of the children in it. Where you can attend parties and plays and no matter where you live in the township, you can get there in 5 minutes. Where class sizes are small, like family units, and people “hang out together” on a Friday night at the local football game. Could we get something like that? Oh yeah, we had something like that, exactly like that, and it was taken away. Thanks a lot.

Phil Paradise


Pepper Pike more than statistics

Who knows Pepper Pike better – a few “experts” recently hired from Cleveland State University or a few hundred residents who have lived here for at least 30 years?

The CSU “experts” who were quoted in the Aug. 27 Times article about the benefits of mixed-use on the Beech Brook property obviously do not realize that Pepper Pike is more than a list of statistics. It’s a quiet community of long-time residents who treasure its bucolic ambiance and its green environment. Here are just a few of the erroneous statements made in the news article:

“We’re over-retailed in general” – Robert Simons got that one right.

“One benefit is its walkability” – You must drive to get there and choose one of 725-900 concrete parking spaces.

“They won’t go many miles for food anymore” – There are 50 (pre-pandemic) places to eat within 1.9 miles of Beech Brook. Of course, we’ve recently seen many of those places close permanently, even before the pandemic.

“Pepper Pike is a bedroom community and needs commercial operations to keep property taxes low” – Our city already receives 41 percent of its revenue from commercial operations, the city has over $12 million in its general fund and is in good financial shape during the pandemic because it does not rely on rapidly disappearing commercial revenue to survive.

“The location at Chagrin Blvd. and Lander Road is ideal. Dr. Simons did not expect traffic to be a problem” – This is the most ludicrous statement of all! Lander Circle already has an “F” rating and will only get worse with a nearby mixed-use district. The developer has stated on numerous occasions that he will not be paying to resolve the traffic problems.

“There may be a little too much retail and office space in (the developer’s) proposal” – The conceptual plan shows 195,500 square feet of retail, commercial and office space and the language of the proposed rezoning ordinance, which is what residents will have on the Nov. 3 ballot, has no limit on the amount of commercial and office square footage.

“Beech Brook is a big site and it would not feel crowded” – Of course it won’t feel crowded because after you strip the land and cut down almost all of the trees there will be lots of room on the now green and wooded 68 acres.

“This type of mixed-use district would be supported by the community” – Obviously, the “experts” from CSU have not driven through the traffic at Lander Circle and along all the residential streets to see the 500 yard signs opposing mixed-use.

“The future demand for office space is unknown” – Even before the pandemic, quality available office spaces are abundant in the area. The same is true of retail spaces.

Pay attention CSU experts. We don’t need it, we don’t want it, it will hurt us.

Manny and Judi Naft

Pepper Pike

Upset with school chief

To Michael Hanlon, the Chardon Local Schools superintendent, I cannot put into words how disappointed I am. Not just because of our schools special relationship with officers and first responders, but the principle of this argument. Some busy bodies from mostly outside our city throw a hissy fit about our football team carrying a thin blue line flag onto the field pre-game and you practically do a flip bending over backwards for them.

The world has gone verifiably mad, where it’s now a racist or political statement to say I support the men and women who willingly run into violent and dangerous situations to protect and serve. And when the slight breeze of faux outrage hits us we crumble like a house of cards. Absolutely disgraceful. Do I have to remind you that people of all races serve their communities as first responders? Must it be said that even in majority non-white communities the residents want more patrols to keep them safe? The very idea that a person’s skin color makes them adversarial or scared of the police is inherently racist! And if you think you’re protecting us from potential “peaceful protests” in our town, you can forget that. Cowering to the outrage mob has proven countless times to only embolden these thugs and they will be back to brow beat us again and play that singular clip of our football team to demand more capitulation. Bullies pick on cowards, we need to set our shoulders back, firmly state we know our intention are moral and honest, and thumb our nose at anyone who would lie about us.

All we had to do was say we support the people who put their lives on the line for us daily, but even that was too hard.

Alex Lavrich


Questions to ask

Here are some questions voters should ask themselves before the Nov. 3 election.

1. Do you think it is right for Republicans to restrict voting? Require government ID (not everyone drives)? Defund Post Office? Don’t you believe in democracy?

2. Is it right to purge voter rolls, so people need to re-register?

3. Why is Donald Trump hiding his tax returns?

4. Do you think it’s fair that Michael Cohen is in jail for Trump’s crimes?

5. Do you think any government will ever trust Trump after the way he treated the Kurds?

6. Do you think giving a huge tax break to the super rich was right?

7. Do you think Trump is right to ignore climate change, cancel treaties?

8. Do you agree with separating children from their parents at the border?

9. Do you think Trump is right in telling black Congresswomen to go back were they came from?

10. Do you think Trump should believe Putin instead of our Intelligence Service?

11. Do you think drilling in National Parks is a good idea? Alaska?

12. Trump doesn’t seem to be able to develop a plan to defeat COVID-19 the way other countries have. Agree?

13. Is describing African countries as sh-- ho--- countries helpful?

14. Do you know using government property in a political campaign is illegal (Hatch Act). Did you notice Trump used the Rose Garden for a political rally? Is that OK?

15. Is Trump a good role model for your children?

Richard L. Hansler

Pepper Pike

Floundering GOP

An area company recently refused to create a sign for me stating “Save the GOP, Vote for Biden.”

As a regular customer, it was a most disappointing experience. The reason the gentleman cited for his refusal was the U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case where the baker refused a wedding cake for a gay couple based on his religious beliefs.

Because the company manager based his refusal on religious beliefs, I wonder what his religion is. Whatever his religion is, he has a right to it under our Constitution. He may not care about another part of our Constitution, freedom of speech.

The reason for my requested sign is that as a Republican and a Christian, I am concerned about the GOP’s refusal of presenting a thoughtful platform of guiding principles at the Republican Party’s National Convention. A first in my lifetime.

The revered GOP has abdicated its responsibility and has accepted to become a cult of personality. In the absence of integrity, conspiracy theories with a religious flavor thrive. Worthy conservative values have been abandoned.

Jacqueline M. Samuel

Troy Township

Editor’s note: When contacted by the Times, the manager of the company said no political signs were being printed for customers for the Nov. 3 general election.

Our children are watching

As every parent knows, much of what our kids learn comes from their observing behaviors of parents and other influencers. They grow to model what they see.

I normally don’t share my thoughts about political candidates. But this is such an extraordinary presidential election I find myself asking the question: What kind of models are the candidates presenting to our kids and grandchildren?  What are the values and norms being absorbed? And what are the consequences?

Character counts.

I believe that we all want our kids to embrace the values of character and a respect for the dignity of others.  If that is our parental goal we need to ask ourselves about the influence of political candidates. What kind of character is being modeled? What about the respect for and dignity of others?  Is winning the only thing that counts? Is lying OK? Is bullying OK?  Is cheating OK?

This is not about politics. It is about our kids. And we need to always remember that our kids are watching.

Mike Carlton

Chagrin Falls

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