Cindy Nairn best candidate 

I am writing to express my strong support for Cindy Nairn, who is running for South Russell Council on Nov. 7. I have known Cindy for almost 30 years, both as a close friend and as a neighbor, and can attest to her integrity, dedication to principles and community pride, among many other admirable personal qualities.

Cindy has lived in South Russell for 26 years. As a South Russell resident, Cindy was a member of the Cemetery Committee for more than eight years and saw the project of building that cemetery through from beginning to end. I am particularly grateful for her efforts in that endeavor in that, as the result of the unexpected death of my husband in June, I was able to have him buried there in a plot just a mile from my home.

Cindy has always advocated for the importance of communication between village officials and residents. To that end, she was appointed in 2015 to fill the vacant spot on council left by

William Koons when he was elected mayor. One of her many contributions since that time has been to work diligently with Chief Rizzo and the Safety Committee to add village ordinances addressing numerous incidents of out of control dogs. Again, I can personally attest to the importance of this ordinance as my own dog had been viciously attacked by an aggressive, unrestrained neighborhood dog two years ago. I felt very supported by both Cindy and Chief Rizzo during a council meetting.

Please join me in voting for Cindy Nairn.

Charlene Hartson, South Russell

Help us help you  

The Chagrin Falls Suburban Fire Department is a nonprofit organization that has provided fire protection and emergency medical services to six communities in the Chagrin Valley -Bentleyville, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Chagrin Falls Township, South Russell and the Village of Chagrin Falls since - 1934.   It has been and continues to be a cost effective regional approach for these Chagrin Valley communities to work together to receive emergency services.

CFSVFA responds to more than 1,500 emergency calls each year within these communities ranging from heart attacks, car accidents, carbon monoxide incidents, medical emergencies, animal rescues, gas leaks and house fires.

We have an impressive 83 year history of helping you.  Now we need your help.

 The current fire station was built in 1986 when we did not have on-duty staffing.  Times have changed and so has the demand for our services.  We now staff your station 24 hours a day with four  firefighter/paramedics.

 While we have been creative with the current space, we can no longer solve our functional and storage issues with “quick fixes.” The upgrades we are asking for primarily center around improving our response times when you call for help. We kicked off a private donation fundraising campaign on Oct. 21 and with your help we can complete the necessary renovations to our existing fire station.

 Each resident and business owner we serve in the Chagrin Valley will be receiving a letter from us this November.  The letter will outline the project details and will also respectfully solicit your support.

 We are the first people you call when you are experiencing an emergency and we respond with a steadfast sense of purpose and compassion that has come to define your fire department.  We hope you feel that we are worthy of your support and that you will consider contributing to our project.

 As always, we remain proud to serve.

Fire Chief Frank M. Zugan,                                                                 

Lt. Andrew Boylan, President of the Chagrin Falls Fire Department 

Clarifying park issue 

I would like to respond to the letter by Linda O'Brien published in the Oct. 26 issue of the Times.  

I was one of the many concerned citizens involved in organizing the effort to clear the way for purchase of the Modroo land by Russell Township.   For many months, impediments to this purchase were created by the Russell 1545 Park Board, a body which was intended to serve the interests of the people of Russell but whose commissioners were appointed by the probate judge rather than by our elected representatives.  This situation created significant problems. 

While no issue has 100 percent support in any community, the Modroo acquisition was favored by a great many people; people who were willing to post lawn signs, write letters to the local papers, and attend park board meetings in unheard-of numbers.  In order to gauge community interest, we created an online survey open to all and publicized on Facebook.   Of the 525 responses we received, 85 percent of respondents said that acquisition and preservation of new open land in Russell was important to them.  Just 12 percent felt that Russell had enough open land and should stop acquiring more, with 88 percent supporting such acquisition.  Finally,  88 percent supported the Modroo purchase.  

In the face of a large and vocal public interest in the Modroo acquisition, the 1545 Park Board responded by creating barriers and by terminating public comment on Modroo and all other matters at its meetings.   It was only through persistent and organized grass roots efforts that we were able to make our voices heard.  We certainly did not feel represented by our park board.  All of the commissioners who served at that time have since either left the board or have been removed.  

It was the intransigence of the 1545 Park Board that led to the idea of creating a new board, appointed by our own elected trustees and therefore answerable to our own voters.  A yes vote on Russell Township Issue 23 (which is unfortunately rather obscurely worded) will allow that board to come into existence.  No levies or monies are attached to your vote.   The hope is that someday Russell will be able to merge the two boards into a 511 format and bring all Russell park land under the control of one entity whose commissioners are appointed by our own elected officials.   The argument that this new board threatens tax increases or that it is supported only by environmental extremists is specious.   When Russell residents want to express their beliefs, values and desires, they should be heard. To do this, our local government must remain in local hands. It is that simple. 

Barbara Berkeley, MD, Russell Township 

Respect the flag  

I write this with a heavy and saddened heart.

You would think, being a government  establishment, named for a fallen American soldier, a resident of Chagrin Falls, a graduate of Chagrin Falls High school, that they would have just a small amount of respect for our American Flag.   

As I came to the Chagrin Falls Post Office around 10 p.m. to retrieve my post box mail, I was greatly surprised to see the American flag in the dark.

My father, my brother, several of my uncles, and all four of my grandfathers served for our United States, in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.

WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, even a great-grandfather in the Spanish-American War.

They would be appalled to see this lack of respect, as am I.

I wonder if the post master ever served?

Maybe we can do better.   

Dennis Grabowski, Chagrin Falls 

Auburn transparent to all

Transparency is always an important issue for local government.  Auburn Township's minutes and expense reports are uploaded to our website twice a month under the "What's New?" tab.  Financial reports are always available by email. I am currently working with the Ohio Treasurer’s Office to voluntarily post our expenditures to so that residents have another source for fiscal information and will be able to see the township’s spending trends in a visual format. Information requests can always be sent directly to me at and I will timely respond through e-mail. Copies are available at ten cents a page. Meetings are held the first and third Monday of each month. Residents can always reach me by phone (440-543-7028) or e-mail if they have a question or public record request. 

Fred May, Auburn Township fiscal officer 

Against the ‘Skip Tax’

Of all the things I thought we'd see from a full Tea Party Geauga County Board of Commissioners, a tax increase certainly was not one of them (Commissioners OK $15 hike in license plate fee).

The recent approval by The Board of Commissioners of a $15 "user fee" ($1.7 million total) is an additional tax on Geauga county residents. It's equally surprising to have Commissioner Skip Claypool's assertion that this new tax will not harm a Chardon area rental car company. He assures they can absorb the increase.

 Certainly not Tea party doctrine, it sounds more like a Nancy Pelosi statement than that of a good conservative. It amazes me that a worthwhile county agency like the tourism bureau or the nonprofit Geauga County Historical Society have had their monies zeroed out, yet commissioners are all in on the Geauga County Engineers' over arching road development policy. I guess county monies are only worthy of anti-rural and anti-environmental uses.  I hope Geauga County residents will join me in naming this the Skip Tax. 

Mike Nolan, Chardon Township

Signs are accurate

It is necessary to respond to the false allegation in the Oct. 26 Kip Botirius letter that appeared in the Times. He alleges that my political signs that state “Re-elect John Scott” are very deceptive because I was out of office for a period of time before being re-appointed by a majority of the current Solon City Council to fill a vacancy in the Ward 3 seat. 

The use of the word re-elect is hardly deceptive in light of the fact that the residents of Ward 3 elected me to the Ward 3 council seat no less than four times.  If Mr. Botirius had taken the time to check with the Ohio Election Commission and especially the Ohio Ethics Commission,   he would have found out that under the aforementioned circumstances, the use of the word re-elect is ethical, legal and appropriate. 

Mr. Botirius states that Solon “has been a great place to raise my family as the community has many things to offer.”  As a 15-year councilman who chaired every single council committee, I played an important part in making Solon such a desirable place to live and raise a family.  This was accomplished by honest, ethical, responsive and dedicated leadership by me and others with whom I served. 

The above reasons are why I feel it necessary to rebut the letter of Mr. Botirius.  

John T Scott, Solon


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