Council supports BOE incumbents 

November’s Orange school board race features incumbents Melanie Weltman and Beth Wilson-Fish, both key members of the school board. They are being challenged by a Hunting Valley resident who is backed by the same wealthy Hunting Valley residents who tried to sneak a last minute provision into the state budget this summer. 

House Bill 166 would have capped Hunting Valley residents’ portion of property tax payments to the Orange schools. This would have potentially immediately cost the school district $5.8 million had Governor DeWine not issued a veto. 

According to the Oct. 22 issue of Crain’s, Hunting Valley is the wealthiest community in Ohio with a median home value of close to $1.2 million. 

Hunting Valley does not want to pay their fair share of taxes as they have very few kids in the schools. By that rationale, any empty nester or non-user of the public schools would have an argument to lower their taxes.  

Whether you buy a $200,000 home in Orange or a $1.2 million home in Hunting Valley, you are entering into a social contract that you will be paying taxes to support the Orange school district, even if you do not send your kids to the schools.    

The administration released this document to respond to this attack by Hunting Valley and to their candidate’s questions regarding the district’s fiscal responsibility: tinyurl.com/OSDfinances

It is critical we elect candidates who care about our schools and who care about our students. Please re-elect Melanie Weltman and Beth Wilson-Fish on Nov. 5.   

Scott Bilsky

Herb Braverman

Alan Charnas

Brandon Duber

Jud Kline

Frances Kluter

Lisa Perry

Orange council representatives 

Vote Kristina Port for trustee

I would like to take this time to explain to the residents of Russell Township why I feel Kristina Port is the right person to vote for Nov. 5 for Russell Township Trustee. Ms. Port has the experience and knowledge having been a past Trustee. She will work with the residents to get matters resolved. Ms. Port does not believe in taking money from one department to build a structure that may not even be needed, let alone going behind the residents and spending our money without our knowledge. Kris is an honest, sincere person who will work for us, not for herself. Vote for Kristina Port on Nov. 5 if you want to have someone who’s willing to work for you.

Mary Beth Dale 

Russell Township 

Say no to Beech Brook rezone

Discussions between Pepper Pike city officials and the developer who wants to rezone the 68-acre wooded Beech Brook property into a retail, office and housing complex are ongoing. The developer is still considering a complex that could include as many as 360 attached and detached homes, rental apartments and duplexes, a multi-story garage and possibly a brewery adjacent to the Orange schools campus. This development will cause a significant increase in the already snarled traffic at Lander Circle and on Lander Road and Chagrin Boulevard. Keep in mind that there are already four major retail districts within 1.9 miles, or 3 minutes, from the Beech Brook property, and this development is larger than Pinecrest. Also, keep in mind that this ordinance would also allow for a retail, office and housing complex to be built on two other large parcels of land in this same high-traffic area.

The developer has not presented a master site plan, so who even knows what this development will look like?

This development cannot occur if the residents of Pepper Pike vote against it when it goes on the ballot, or we can stop this issue from going on the ballot if your voices are heard. Some members of city council have serious doubts about this development. Perhaps you do, too. It is imperative that you attend a public meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at Pepper Pike City Hall. Tell your city officials that you “Say No to Rezone.”

Manny and Judi Naft

Pepper Pike

Vote for Bill Koons

South Russell Village Mayor Bill Koons has done and will do an outstanding job leading, protecting and planning for our present and future needs in the Village of South Russell.

His willingness to assume responsibility, leadership and continuous improvement is demonstrated by seven years on South Russell Village Council, presidency of The Chagrin Valley Rotary and the Chagrin Valley Jaycees, attendance to Cleveland State University 2015 Leadership Academy and membership in the NOPE Board of Directors. Mayor Koons also has 39 years’ experience as a teacher and administrator, coupled with a Ph. D. from Kent State University, giving him a tool set few possess.

Looking back, he had three budget years administered in the black, received donations and grants totaling over $600,000 for a playground, bridge and two Ohio EPA grants to control stormwater. He passed a 1.5 mill, five-year road levy to pave the five longest roads in the village.

Looking forward, we understand some of Mayor Koons’ goals for the future are to develop a strategic plan with a vision for 2030, continue working with both the Chagrin River Watershed Partners and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy to protect our land and water resources and secure a grant from NOACA to provide walking and biking paths in the Village. He also hopes to continue a transparent leadership style of open communications with our fellow residents.

Jo and I are looking forward to the next four years working with and supporting Bill Koons as our Mayor.

Bob & Jo Royer

South Russell

Success beyond report cards

We are a family who moved to Orange City Schools from a neighboring district that has a better state report card. People thought we were crazy to move, but after touring the schools and visiting with staff and administrators, we knew that Orange was the right place for us. And we’ve seen many families who have followed.

Four years later, our kids are thriving and we couldn’t be happier. The things that Orange schools offer extend far beyond what a state report card can measure, and even what some neighboring “better” districts offer. We have foreign language and science lab in the elementary school, guidance as a part of the general curriculum, registered nurses in all buildings at all times, door-to-door bussing and small student-to-teacher ratios.

Our family has happy kids who feel supported both in and out of the classroom. We see happy, enthusiastic teachers who have the ability to be flexible in their teaching, reaching students who are gifted, have learning challenges and everyone in between. We see amazing opportunities outside of the classroom that enrich the academic experience and support the social and emotional growth of our kids.

Cutting spending endangers losing all that Orange schools has achieved and puts all of our kids at risk. When a candidate runs for the Board of Education from a community that wants to pay less, that’s what we will get – less. Less than what our kids, teachers and administrators deserve.

As parents, we know that our kids are more than just the grades on their report cards. Orange schools got the “A” and for that, we should be proud. But let’s remember that the success of any school district goes beyond the report card as well. We’ve seen both sides and can tell you that you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Do your homework. Vote for Beth Wilson-Fish and Melanie Weltman to ensure that Orange schools continue in the right direction, providing a quality, well-rounded education for every student in our community.

Laurie and Rob Engel

Orange Village

Orange needs Bond

To ensure the long-term success of our district, we need leaders who focus both on educational excellence and the prudent management of taxpayer dollars.

Fortunately, in Meredith Bond we have a candidate for Orange school board who believes we can provide outstanding education while effectively and efficiently managing our expenses. Dr. Bond knows that educational success requires constant attention to shifting needs, innovative thinking and the ability to respond to economic pressures while maximizing student outcomes.

The Ohio Board of Education recently ranked the Orange City School District at No. 24 in the state, lagging behind neighboring No. 1 Solon, No. 3 Chagrin Falls and No. 6 Beachwood. Orange is No. 1 in only one category – annual cost per pupil.

We can do better – much better. We need leaders like Meredith Bond who are dedicated to uncovering inefficiencies and promoting innovative ideas that will enhance student achievement and preparedness for success. This November, I am voting for Meredith Bond.

Jamie Schorr

Orange Village

Right candidate for Orange schools

This is in response to Susan W. Luse’s Oct. 10 letter “Re-elect current Orange BOE Members.” I don’t know Melanie Weltman or Beth Wilson-Fish. But I do know Meredith Bond and I am outraged at Ms. Luse’s assassination of her character, motives and qualifications for Orange school board member.

Dr. Bond cares deeply about educating children – this has been the motivating force of her entire professional life both as teacher and administrator. For the last eight years she has served as Dean of College of Sciences and Health Professions at Cleveland State University. She knows better than most how a well-grounded education in a child’s early years is the key to success in college and beyond.

Dr. Bond is not “the candidate of Hunting Valley.” She’s the right candidate for all residents who want to see their beloved Orange schools deliver the best possible education for its students.

Ms. Luse alleges that Dr. Bond doesn’t care about Orange schools because, unlike her opponents, she never had children in the schools. My first job out of college was as a teacher of English at Orange High School. I had no children in the school then, but that didn’t deter me from working as hard as I could to provide my students a valuable learning experience. Dr. Bond, far more qualified and experienced than I ever was, would do no less for the entire school system.

Cynthia Dettelbach

Pepper Pike

Cast vote for returning BOE members

As a member of Moreland Hills Village Council for 12 years, the council president and a current candidate for mayor, I’ve learned many things. Good roads are essential and expected, emergency services must receive critical attention and the services a municipality provides define good stewardship. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t relate that one of a community’s most important attributes, and one that defines us all, is the quality of its school system.

I have taken the time to meet Melanie Weltman and, without a doubt, she has the experience and skill set to continue in her capacity as an Orange school board member. Since 2013 (two of those years as president), Melanie has shown an ability to reach out to elected officials for input on issues and to relate important details that we need to share with our constituents. Her name and reputation are well known within the district, which is why she was recently endorsed by four mayors. As council president I can be added to that list of endorsements as well.

Beth Wilson-Fish is a resident of Moreland Hills and is the proud mother of an Orange graduate. Beth was a teacher with the district for 17 years and fully comprehends the requirements in the classroom and how those requirements must fit within the budget. Currently, Beth works with various local school districts in her capacity as an educational consultant for gifted programs. It’s hard to find someone more qualified than Beth. Again, the four local mayors agreed as they also endorsed Beth for Orange school board.

Please join me on Nov. 5 as I proudly and confidently cast my vote for Melanie Weltman and Beth Wilson-Fish.

Daniel Fritz

Moreland Hills

Moreland Hills and urban sprawl

In July of 2015, Moreland Hills Village Council hired John Jackson and his employer McKenna Associates, a Michigan company, specialists in cracking open communities for development. In December of 2015, a village meeting was held about retirement homes near Hiram Trail and SOM Center Road. Planning Commission Chairman Paul Stanard, Councilman Dan Fritz and Mayor Susan Renda promoted this scheme. Mr. Jackson pitched the project. Little interest was seen, but Mayor Renda declared interest and created the Master Plan Review Committee chaired by Mr. Fritz.

At the Feb. 22, 2016 Planning Commission meeting, Richard Stone, owner of the OMNI Group, presented a plan and six contracts to purchase 21 acres in the northwest corner of Moreland Hills (opposite Orange schools), the contracts contingent upon rezoning by Moreland Hills government. The Planning Commission eagerly accepted this project.

Sometime between meetings on April 25 and May 11, 2016, the project was expanded to include all properties along Chagrin Boulevard west of the new strip mall. Councilman Gary Scherck had questions when the 19 acres were added and Paul Stanard replied, “Why not?” Owners of these seven homes were never notified by the village that their homes were “on the chopping block.”

Attending a Master Plan Review Committee meeting April 19, 2016 were the committee members, the Moreland Hills council, Mayor Renda and Mr. Jackson. Mr. Fritz began his report with this statement: “In the spring of last year I was honored and tasked by Mayor Renda to identify areas of Moreland Hills that are ripe for development.” Mr. Fritz praised the committee, and they and Mr. Jackson praised him.

At the final meeting on July 13, 2016 to approve the rezoning for the November ballot, the citizens whose properties were at risk arrived with their lawyer. When they asked why they had not been notified, Stanard answered, “I put it on the internet.” Dr. Alexopoulos replied, “I am a physician at the Clinic, I treat the sick and dying. I have no time for internets. When we moved here we were counting on you to protect us from developers.”

The 19-acre addition was hastily removed. This revision should have triggered a new public inspection period.

Why were Renda, Fritz and Stanard so generous to the Stone family and the OMNI Group?

On the ballot, Issue 70 was labeled “U-5 zoning for the Northeast Chagrin Conservation District.” An accurate description would have been “Zoning for 64 units of quarter-acre spots.” Some people thought they were voting for a new park! What motivates such deception?

Three weeks before the election, the specification for the U-5 rezoning was removed from the Moreland Hills website. Printed copies were not available at the front desk.

In 2007, Mr. Fritz pushed for the clusterhouse rezoning of 590 acres (Hiram House and the CVCC), the new strip mall in 2015 and in 2016, the retirement homes and the ONMI project.

Expect more of this when he becomes mayor.

John Kehres

Moreland Hills

Support Ethan Spencer

We have known and personally worked with Ethan Spencer for many years. Mr. Spencer possesses the leadership, analytical and collaboration skills necessary to excel on Moreland Hills Village Council. Mr. Spencer’s business career at American Greetings afforded him the opportunity to demonstrate many of the skills necessary to be successful on Village Council. We witnessed first-hand how Mr. Spencer transformed a 12,000-employee sales service organization by listening to the employees, partnering with other functional areas and tactfully introducing industry best practices. Mr. Spencer’s cooperative and common-sense approach resulted in increased employee satisfaction and improved productivity, while reducing costs.

Besides being a well-respected businessperson, Mr. Spencer believes in taking time to serve and give back to his community. He has been a youth soccer coach, a nonprofit board member and a volunteer math tutor. He and his wife Elizabeth have lived in Moreland Hills for 20 years and have raised their three children here.

We are confident that Mr. Spencer will use his talents and his enthusiasm on Village Council to help further improve an already beautiful and friendly community. Please join us in voting for Ethan Spencer for Moreland Hills Village Council on Nov. 5.

Seth Gottlieb and Bob Norwick

Moreland Hills

Vote for fresh perspective

Our community faces new and unprecedented changes, and it is important that we elect council leaders with both the experience and the diversity of opinions to address these complex issues. As the surrounding suburbs evolve and add new retail, office and apartment complexes, the shifting traffic patterns, tax base and growing security concerns are just some of the items which will have a dramatic impact on our community. We need leadership that is prepared to react and ensure that Moreland Hills remains a place that reflects the needs and priorities of its residents.

This election sees a transfer of leadership for our village, but with a familiar team. Council President Dan Fritz is running unopposed to replace retiring Mayor Susan Renda. While I have no complaint with the leadership and experience of either Mayor Renda or Councilman Fritz, it does concern me that they have jointly endorsed candidates for the open seats on Village Council. I believe the best government comes from healthy discourse and debate, and I believe our village would be best served by a council comprised of a diverse set of opinions and experiences rather than hand-selected, like-minded individuals.

Ethan Spencer, a 20-year resident of the village, would bring a new perspective that our community needs in these dynamic times. Having known Ethan both professionally and socially for more than 10 years, I can say with confidence that he has both the experience and character to excel as a member of the Moreland Hills Council. His 15 years of leadership at American Greetings will provide a wealth of experience, financial acumen and perspective that our community can draw on, and his integrity will help ensure that our community does right by every one of its residents.

Our community needs strong voices to help us face the dynamic times ahead, and Ethan Spencer is the right choice to provide that representation. Please join me in supporting Ethan Spencer for Moreland Hills Village Council on Nov. 5.

Brian Stein

Moreland Hills

Give back to Chardon Schools

I’m asking for your support of Issue 21 on Nov. 5. The passage of this bond issue will provide for the replacement of our 68-year-old high school – a facility that is woefully inadequate for the youth in our community in so many ways. It has outdated classrooms, technology, restrooms, you name it. I graduated in 1965, and it’s the same school. Nothing has changed. How many of you have a house or business that you’ve been in for 55 years and not made major improvements to?

My oldest granddaughter plays on a variety of sports teams. I attend all their games, and have been to numerous schools in the surrounding areas over the last eight years. Many of these communities have new, spacious, student-friendly facilities with all the amenities. When I return back to Chardon High School for home games, I marvel that so many other cities can build new non-state-funded schools (Kenston, Chagrin Falls, Willoughby-Eastlake, Painesville-Riverside, and the list goes on). Why not Chardon?  What’s different about our voters? We have lower unemployment than most, and our tax rates are comparable to surrounding school districts. Could it be that we have taken for granted one of the most important institutions given to us to steward?

After 58 years of living in Chardon, I still believe it to be the finest small city in Ohio – a family friendly community, a great place to raise our children. So why can’t we as voters support these students and their families? As a business man, I’ve learned over the years that the greatest use of my life is to spend it on something and someone that will outlast me. I’ve had the opportunity to observe successful business men, and many possess this same perspective.  I’ve found that gratitude creates a vision for tomorrow and that greatness is not deposited in us to keep, but rather should flow through us into others. 

For me, there are three keys to abundant living: caring about others, daring for others and sharing for others. I’ve always felt you’d have everything you want in life if you help others get what they need. In Winston Churchill’s words, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

We have an opportunity to provide the next generation with a valuable and enriching environment in which to grow and learn. They can’t vote, but we can. We can impact a generation and carry forward a high school that will last for decades.

We owe it not only to them, but to the community to do the right thing. Please join me in voting yes to Issue 21. 

Keith J. Landies

Chardon

Consider new leader for council

By almost any measurement, we live in one of the most wonderful places in the country and have a great history dating back to 1844. Our community has always relied on new leaders stepping forward to help govern Chagrin Falls Village. In November, we have the chance to elect yet another new leader – Darren Wyville – to Chagrin Falls Village Council.

Mr. Wyville grew up here, had success away from here and came back with his wife Lynn Wyville to work and raise their four kids. He has jumped into Village issues and has great ideas about economic development, infrastructure and quality of life.

You likely already know Mr. Wyville or a member of his family and are supporting his efforts. If you do not know Mr. Wyville, please give him serious consideration for Village Council. Chagrin Falls has solid leadership and Darren Wyville will be a nice addition to that team.

Mike Wise

Chagrin Falls

Give Spencer a ‘seat at the table’

My wife and I had an occasion recently to meet Ethan Spencer and his wife, and the opportunity to discuss his background and desire to serve on the Council of Moreland Hills. I believe his background in finance will bring some fresh thoughts to the allocation of our tax dollars. For example, I think better attention needs to be had towards the maintenance of our roads. 

I am also a term limits advocate, and after I served my eight years on Council in the early eighties, I did not seek a third term. I believe the job should be a service to the community, not a career position.

 I will not tell you who else to vote for, but I do recommend that voters consider Ethan Spencer for a seat at the table.

Walter S. Peckinpaugh, Jr.

Moreland Hills

Doug Magill offers vision for Solon

Thanks to the students in a good government Civics Club led by Bryan Ashkettle, Solon High School teacher, for putting on a great debate on Thursday for all of the Solon City Council candidates. The event was run well by the students and also was very informative.

It was clear, though, that Doug Magill was head and shoulders above his opponent in his ability to communicate a comprehensive and intriguing vision for the city. He was far beyond his opponent’s weak repetition of our mayor’s “nothing but development” mantra that implies a giveaway to developers who are not interested in the city’s long term. It also indicates no regard for the culture, community life and livability that defines a thriving city. Mr. Magill gets it and expressed it beautifully.    

Magill knows we need to do more, has lived here many years and has sent five of his seven children through our excellent school system. His energy, experience and passion showed why he is the only council candidate worth considering for Ward 1 Solon City Councilman.                 

Marilyn H. Matia

Solon

City Council needs a new face

The Solon City Council races are coming at an interesting time for Solon, especially in Ward 1.

It’s obvious that there’s a lot of development, construction and improvements going on, and none of that happens by chance. In a few months, we’ll be enjoying new roads and businesses and hopefully a new representative on Council for Ward 1, Macke Bentley.

In his capacity on the Planning Commission, Mr. Bentley works hard to create fair and amicable solutions for projects in Solon and has made a positive impact on our lives. He played a key role in the Chick-Fil-A project while the incumbent councilman from Ward 1 voted against it. Mr. Bentley’s engaging personality and interpersonal skills make him an ideal replacement.

Many people also know him as a youth sports coach, whether that’s for lacrosse, football or hockey. Many more know his wife Pam Bentley as a soccer coach. His two kids are products of our excellent schools, and Macke Bentley knows how to preserve and leverage the city infrastructure to move the city forward.

His skills as an architect and business owner help make him the right candidate at the right time. We need people like Macke representing us. We need a new face. Vote Macke Bentley for Ward 1 on Nov. 5.

Don Miller

Solon

Candidate a natural step forward

My family and I have known Macke Bentley since we moved to Solon over 10 years ago, and we support him as the next City Councilman for Ward 1 in Solon. We chose Solon as a place to raise our family for many of the same reasons Mr. Bentley did – the community, the opportunities and the first-rate school system, as well as a diverse community filled with hard-working individuals who look to support their families and serve their clients and employees.

First-hand, we have seen Mr. Bentley spend years as a volunteer youth sports coach with many children benefitting from his coaching of many different sports throughout the city. His wife Pam Bentley also served as a coach for many years in the Solon youth soccer program. Like many of us, Mr. Bentley balances the demands of having children in both high school and college, yet he still finds the time to serve his community beyond volunteering in youth programs, as he is also a member of the Solon Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission reviews and recommends zoning changes and discusses issues with City Council and the Mayor. Mr. Bentley has taken his professional training as an architect and combined it with his collaborative skills to bring resolution to many residential, commercial and industrial zoning issues that Solon has faced in the past years. More than 10 years of experience with the Planning Commission, of which he is currently the chairperson, has given Mr. Bentley the breadth of knowledge that not many in Solon possess – just ask him anything about any project over that time and he’ll be able to answer in detail.

Macke has the high-energy, can-do positive attitude and experience that will be of great benefit to Solon. His past volunteerism demonstrates his dedication to serving the community, and his current actions continue to support the same selfless service – progression to City Council is a natural step forward. His service-oriented approach will be a welcome addition and a breath of fresh air for all.

Please vote Macke Bentley for City Council in Ward 1.

Natalie Mandry

Solon

Vote ‘no’ on Issue 24

I read in earnest the letter to the editor from Don Rice concerning why everyone should vote for a renewal levy for Metzenbaum. In the first paragraph he states, “I would also like to point out that the renewal of the Metzenbaum levy does not increase taxes.” I talked to Mr. Rice at one of the ESC Meetings since he too is a resident of Newbury. I talked specifically about a renewal of a 1.3 mil levy for the Newbury school, and he said that asking for a renewal is asking for tax money that the people of Newbury don’t have. It’s funny how they only have the money for his school, but not our local school. I think maybe he is right, we should not ask the people of Newbury for money they don’t have. Therefore, everyone should vote “no” on Issue 24. You can spin it any way you like but, in the end, you are paying taxes, and everyone here wants a tax break. Therefore, you can get a real tax break by voting “no” on renewal levies like Issue 24.

Phillip A. Paradise Jr.

Newbury

Madden supports varying viewpoints

Since being appointed as Fiscal Officer in 2018, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Russell Township Trustee Justin Madden on numerous matters, both large and small, and I urge voters to re-elect Justin Madden on Nov. 5.

First and foremost, I have found Trustee Madden to be honest and true to his commitment to transparency. Not only in his insistence on open meetings by all Russell Township entities, but also his availability to our residents regarding specific issues, problems, questions or comments. This extends to his spirit of cooperation with the other elected officials in the Township. In his capacity as chairman of the Board of Trustees and one of three elected trustees, I have observed both Trustee Madden’s passion about issues for which he cares deeply (local control of Parks, protecting our zoning, fiscal responsibility) as well as his openness to respectful dialog of opposing views with his fellow trustees.

In my experience, a township form of government works best not because everyone agrees, but when everyone feels they have a voice. In Trustee Madden, our residents can be confident that all views are considered. Russell Township also benefits from Trustee Madden’s collaborative management style, in which he seeks recommendations of our experienced department heads, as well as guidance, when necessary, from our township’s legal counsel. In this way, Trustee Madden looks at the whole picture, so as to not only understand and comply with the requirements of law, but also to understand the operational aspects associated with implementation.

It takes a lot of effort to fulfill our resident’s desire to keep the character and nature of Russell the way it is. As the world and our communities evolve, change is inevitable. With Trustee Madden’s support, Russell Township has adopted a five-year planning and budgeting process, which not only ensures that Russell Township remains in sound financial condition, but that our important assets, history and zoning that make up the fabric of our special community are preserved and protected.

As a practicing attorney, Russell Township benefits from Trustee Madden’s experience in legal matters. But as Russell’s Fiscal Officer, I can also attest to his dedication to ensuring that the approximately 20 cents of every tax dollar that funds our township government is spent responsibly. I urge all Geauga County residents to exercise their right and privilege to vote, and I urge Russell Township voters to re-elect Trustee Justin Madden.

Karen Walder

Russell Township

Doug Magill offers vision for Solon

Thanks to the students in a good government Civics Club led by Bryan Ashkettle, Solon High School teacher, for putting on a great debate on Thursday for all of the Solon City Council candidates. The event was run well by the students and also was very informative.

It was clear, though, that Doug Magill was head and shoulders above his opponent in his ability to communicate a comprehensive and intriguing vision for the city. He was far beyond his opponent’s weak repetition of our mayor’s “nothing but development” mantra that implies a giveaway to developers who are not interested in the city’s long term. It also indicates no regard for the culture, community life and livability that defines a thriving city. Mr. Magill gets it and expressed it beautifully.    

Magill knows we need to do more, has lived here many years and has sent five of his seven children through our excellent school system. His energy, experience and passion showed why he is the only council candidate worth considering for Ward 1 Solon City Councilman.                 

Marilyn H. Matia

Solon

City Council needs a new face

The Solon City Council races are coming at an interesting time for Solon, especially in Ward 1.

It’s obvious that there’s a lot of development, construction and improvements going on, and none of that happens by chance. In a few months, we’ll be enjoying new roads and businesses and hopefully a new representative on Council for Ward 1, Macke Bentley.

In his capacity on the Planning Commission, Mr. Bentley works hard to create fair and amicable solutions for projects in Solon and has made a positive impact on our lives. He played a key role in the Chick-Fil-A project while the incumbent councilman from Ward 1 voted against it. Mr. Bentley’s engaging personality and interpersonal skills make him an ideal replacement.

Many people also know him as a youth sports coach, whether that’s for lacrosse, football or hockey. Many more know his wife Pam Bentley as a soccer coach. His two kids are products of our excellent schools, and Macke Bentley knows how to preserve and leverage the city infrastructure to move the city forward.

His skills as an architect and business owner help make him the right candidate at the right time. We need people like Macke representing us. We need a new face. Vote Macke Bentley for Ward 1 on Nov. 5.

Don Miller

Solon

Candidate a natural step forward

My family and I have known Macke Bentley since we moved to Solon over 10 years ago, and we support him as the next City Councilman for Ward 1 in Solon. We chose Solon as a place to raise our family for many of the same reasons Mr. Bentley did – the community, the opportunities and the first-rate school system, as well as a diverse community filled with hard-working individuals who look to support their families and serve their clients and employees.

First-hand, we have seen Mr. Bentley spend years as a volunteer youth sports coach with many children benefitting from his coaching of many different sports throughout the city. His wife Pam Bentley also served as a coach for many years in the Solon youth soccer program. Like many of us, Mr. Bentley balances the demands of having children in both high school and college, yet he still finds the time to serve his community beyond volunteering in youth programs, as he is also a member of the Solon Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission reviews and recommends zoning changes and discusses issues with City Council and the Mayor. Mr. Bentley has taken his professional training as an architect and combined it with his collaborative skills to bring resolution to many residential, commercial and industrial zoning issues that Solon has faced in the past years. More than 10 years of experience with the Planning Commission, of which he is currently the chairperson, has given Mr. Bentley the breadth of knowledge that not many in Solon possess – just ask him anything about any project over that time and he’ll be able to answer in detail.

Macke has the high-energy, can-do positive attitude and experience that will be of great benefit to Solon. His past volunteerism demonstrates his dedication to serving the community, and his current actions continue to support the same selfless service – progression to City Council is a natural step forward. His service-oriented approach will be a welcome addition and a breath of fresh air for all.

Please vote Macke Bentley for City Council in Ward 1.

Natalie Mandry

Solon

Doug Magill advocates for economy

This is in response to a letter last week that claimed Ward 1 Councilman Doug Magill is anti-business because he voted against the site plan for Chick-fil-A. He voted that way as he felt there was insufficient space in that area. He did not vote against Chick-fil-A as a business.

Anyone who knows Mr. Magill realizes a claim like that is nonsense. Mr. Magill has worked in the corporate sector for most of his career and was, in fact, a vice-president at Nestle. He has also owned small businesses in Solon and is a vocal and passionate advocate of economic development in the city. 

He is not a rubber stamp and analyzes everything that comes before the city on its own merit and votes accordingly. It is also a fact that over 95 percent of the issues that come before the city are passed unanimously by city council.

Mr. Magill has also been a thoughtful and responsive councilman for the past four years. And unlike his opponent, Macke Bentley, he pays his debts as well as his taxes and has no court ordered liens against him.

Bobbi Sommer

Solon

Join in voting for Irene McMullen

We are long-time residents of Munson Township and love living in this community. We are pleased with the many services provided, such as road and bridge maintenance, snow removal and an incredible EMS and fire department. These services are all provided in an intentional, frugal manner.

The trustees have been excellent and truly care about our township; however, Irene McMullen stands out. Ms. McMullen’s value to Munson Township goes beyond her required trustee duties. She shows up and helps in a variety of volunteer activities and community events; she even had a big smile on her face at last year’s Easter egg hunt despite the cold rain!

Most impressive are the special skills she brings to the office. As an accomplished attorney, she was able to negotiate a better insurance settlement when one of our fire trucks was damaged in an automobile accident. She’s a talented mediator who looks for win-win resolutions to disputes. We appreciate Irene’s thoughtful manner and astute listening skills.

We need people like Irene McMullen, and we will be voting for her this November.

Mike and Peggy Saxon

Munson Township

Keep Berkshire great

I am proud to be a business owner, a resident and a graduate of the Berkshire Local School District. Our children are also graduates of Berkshire. Now is the time to prepare for our grandchildren’s quality education. Therefore, I am endorsing whole-heartedly Bryan Wadsworth, Linda Stone, Mary Hipp and Jody Miller for Berkshire School Board.

Bryan Wadsworth brings his experience as a current school board member. His quality work ethic has helped the success of our students. He works extremely well with the administration, faculty and staff. He also has plenty of time to talk with residents within the district about their concerns and needs. His business background adds to the district being fiscally responsible.

Linda Stone has been involved with the school district for the years I’ve known her. She served as a teacher within the district, and her work ethic has always been to encourage a strong academic program for our kids. She was a great teacher for my kids. Ms. Stone promotes opportunities for our children and the schools to succeed. She is very involved within the Berkshire community and has the respect of local leaders, families and business owners.

Mary Hipp brings a working mother perspective to the board. She has served on other boards within the county. While maintaining a career in marketing, she works diligently as a mother to her children, who attend Berkshire, by being involved in various school programs. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ms. Hipp. I know she is a hard working, self-motivated individual that loves the community she and her husband live in. Her organizational skills and her ability to work with others will complement her as a board member. She is a doer.

Jody Miller was a great choice to fill the unexpired term vacated by the resignation of a former board member. Ms. Miller did a fantastic job being chairperson of the bond levy committee. Her work resulted in the passage of the bond levy to build a new K-12 campus. Ms. Miller became very popular during the bond issue campaign by being honest, upfront and precise with her facts and maintaining open channels of communication between residents, business owners and board officials. She is a business owner, mother, wife and an asset to the Berkshire community.

All of these candidates are highly qualified to serve on our school board. I ask that you join me by supporting these qualified candidates for Berkshire School Board to work along with longtime board member John Manfredi as we work to continue to be a leader for quality education within the Berkshire communities.

Jerry Hiscox

Burton Township

Ensure future of Chardon students

In the early 70s, my family of six moved to Chardon. From that time on, our four children attended Chardon schools where they actively participated in activities, sports (our son Hank was the last state wrestling champion from Chardon) and academics.

Our children were average to above, no valedictorians. The education my children received while attending Chardon schools prepared them so that they all graduated from college, three with graduate degrees, and have been successful in their chosen careers. Although I am almost 80, I will vote “yes” on Issue 21. Let’s ensure that future generations of students will continue to become productive members of society.

Please join this retired teacher in voting “yes” in November. Good schools and good communities go hand in hand.

Barbara D. Inderlied

Chardon

Call for Chardon community support

What’s in a school? Students, teachers, staff, textbooks, lab equipment and technology are all necessary components that make a school a school. Perhaps the better question is, “What is a school in?” The answer: a community.

As the former superintendent of the Ledgemont Local School District, I understand all too well the importance of community and the outcome of a once proud school district that did not receive the support it needed to stay viable. Friendships were lost. Families were strained. All in part because the community at large was unable or unwilling to support its strongest bond: its school. For Ledgemont, this lack of support did not occur overnight. It lingered and waned for years, even decades. To some degree, the community historically did not support its school. The list of levy failures shows that, as well as the fact in its last throes, Ledgemont was taken over by the state fiscally.

The entire staff of Chardon schools is committed to providing the best education for the district’s students with limited funds. They are passionate about improving education and learning opportunities for kids. Personally and professionally, my goal has always been to educate children in a supportive, kind, loving environment where they are able to express themselves, dream for the future and learn about the world, their community and themselves. Having two children in the district, I can attest that all of the teachers, support staff and administrators strive to provide as many programs and opportunities as possible, despite the limited funds available to them.

To the Community of Chardon: Our school facilities do not meet the needs of today’s teaching methods. The State of Ohio has determined that replacement is more cost-effective than renovation. A dedicated committee worked to ensure that this plan meets the needs of the children and community. It is important that everyone works together to ensure that Chardon stays a strong and viable school district.

Support and strengthen your school, the lifeblood of your community today. Support Issue 21. The time is now. The plan is right.

Julie Ramos

Concord

Support for Berkshire BOE candidates

On Nov. 5, we’re voting for the team of Bryan Wadsworth, Mary Goff Hipp, Linda Stone and Jody Busby Miller for the Berkshire Local Board of Education and we’re respectfully asking other Berkshire voters to do so, too.

All four of the candidates have been active in our schools for years, with Mr. Wadsworth and Ms. Busby Miller presently serving on the board of education. We appreciate how all four have been willing to give their time and energy on various levy committees, the elementary PTO and the Berkshire Booster Club. Ms. Stone is even a retired Berkshire teacher. They have shown time and time again that they are willing to do the work that has to be done if we want great things for our kids.

They also understand the PRIME Initiative and its tie into project-based learning and the construction of the new all-grade school that was recently approved by Berkshire voters. The transition for the students and staff to this new school is so important, and Mr. Wadsworth, Ms. Goff Hipp, Ms. Busby Miller and Ms. Stone want to help make that transition as smooth and positive as possible. Their aligned vision, working towards academic excellence while being fiscally responsible, is something we all can get behind.

So please join us on Nov. 5 and vote for Bryan Wadsworth, Mary Goff Hipp, Linda Stone and Jody Busby Miller for Berkshire Local Board of Education.

Ellen and Mark Edeburn

Burton

Keep Chardon’s voice

Deb (nee Lehmann) Chuha is running for re-election to Chardon City Council. She is Chardon born and bred – a lifelong resident, a mother and grandmother. Ms. Chuha is aware of the importance of local history and places, and knows well what the monthly water and sewer bills mean to a Chardon family.

Ms. Chuha consults with local residents and business owners to discuss upcoming issues before council, and with that critical input, forms her vote. She is truly a voice of the people in Council.

As Chardon continues to grow and change, improvements are many – including things like single-hauler trash disposal, road repair and sidewalk installation. At Chardon City Council, we have an ally in investigating funding options to keep costs to a minimum and delivering citizen input, tempered with our remarkable history.

Keep our voice for the people – re-elect Deb Chuha.

Dennis Killeen

Chardon

Vote for Chardon school improvements

The staff and students of the Chardon Local Schools, which earned a “B” grade for the third year in a row from the Ohio Board of Education, deserve the facilities and environment in which to learn for generations to come.

Chardon is a very proud community in which to live, and we need to have the best schools that can provide academics, athletics and all phases of the education process, preparing our children for their futures.

All students in the Chardon school district, whether they attend the public schools, parochial schools, special education classes or schools outside the district, are transported by the Chardon schools’ transportation department.

Thank you for your support on Nov. 5; please vote “yes” for Issue 21.

Dr. Walter W. Sargent

Joyce Bican Hummel Sargent

Chardon

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