Vote for Cindy Nairn
It is with enthusiasm and firm resolve that we urge all South Russell Village voters to support and re-elect Cindy Nairn to Village Council on Nov. 2. In her own words, Cindy “is a cheerleader” for our village and strives to assure that the residents always have safe neighborhoods, outstanding services, well-maintained streets and roads, and thoughtful and prudent tax money management and spending.
Cindy Nairn has worked tirelessly for the past 13 years as an outstanding public servant. Cindy served on the Village Cemetery Committee for eight years from 2008-2016 to plan, build and open our beautiful new Cemetery. After completing that huge endeavor, she was appointed to South Russell Council in January 2016 and elected in November 2017 for a four-year term. During these six years as our councilwoman, Cindy has worked nonstop on her committee assignments and projects. Over the years, she has chaired many committees such as Finance, Human Resources, Properties/Parks, Building Department and Safety. She also served for several years on the Emergency Operations Planning committee.
Cindy Nairn is an ardent supporter of green space and well water quality and quantity. She helped relocate a Tea House from the Chagrin Herb Society to our Village Park earlier this year and serves on the new Butterfly Garden Committee for our park. Cindy is in support of flooding and storm water mitigation in South Russell and has met with many residents in various neighborhoods this spring and summer to problem solve for future resolution to water and flooding issues. Her love of our young village residents is evident as she attends and assists at Shop With A Cop and Cops and Kids Fishing every year.
Cindy Niarn has no political agendas and takes pride in being “resident-centric” 100 percent of the time. Cindy considers it an honor and a privilege to serve you. Please join us along with so many others and vote to re-elect Cindy Nairn to South Russell Village Council on Nov. 2.
Dr. and Mrs. Clark White
South Russell Village
Thanks for support
On behalf of the Chagrin Falls Police Department, I would like to say thank you to all the individuals and businesses that provided food and other treats to our department last week. I would also like to specifically acknowledge Jessica Debeljak with the Chagrin Falls Chamber of Commerce for all the effort she put into organizing the many meals received by our department, as well as many other departments throughout the valley. We are truly so blessed to be first responders in this community. The support we continue to receive from you year after year is amazing. It is our honor to serve you, and we will continue to do so to the best of our ability.
Police Chief Amber Dacek
Village of Chagrin Falls
Speak for yourself
Speak for yourself, Jim Mueller. Recently a current Russell Township trustee wrote a blatantly and hypocritically wrong letter in regard to myself. I am Chris Hare, candidate for Russell township trustee. In this article, Jim made mention of my inexperience in finances an issue of the campaign. To begin, let me clarify that he is purely incorrect about where I live and my resume (conveniently leaving out my financial licenses and four years of university); quite frankly these basic assumptions by Jim were cheap shots that I hope he considers retracting. However, I’d like to focus on the reason I am running against him in this race, which is that important issue of budgets.
I am running in this election because of my knowledge on Russell township’s finances. I have been present at both of our most important budget meetings of the year in regard to making sure our tax dollars are appropriated wisely. Why weren’t you there, Jim? Jim, you are paid roughly $23,000 a year by the taxpayers, and you nor our opponent were present at either meeting. Why is Russell paying you not to do your job? Not to mention the other candidate in this race has yet to show up to the regularly scheduled trustee meetings. A question for both of you: How well do you and our opponent really know the township’s finances with your lack of budget meeting and overall meeting attendance?
Jim, let’s set the record straight. You are paid to attend budget meetings you do not attend. You attend regularly scheduled meetings in which you shout out simply irresponsible ways of handling tax dollars, hardly boosting confidence in your fiscal decisions while retirees can no longer afford new tax appropriations. Russell township residents like myself have lost faith in people like you not making an effort to carefully manage our budget. I am not being paid like you are Jim, and I’m at these meetings hearing how our township budget is being handled. I’ve requested our budget and sat down with knowledgeable people who do in fact know it better than I do, and I’m at every meeting, work permitting, to hear fiscal decisions that our township faces. Jim, you quoted Churchill in saying, “Life experience is the foundation of leadership.” Act the part.
I think you have some questions to answer, Jim. I think 12 years is enough.
Win well deserved
Congratulations to Michael Kan on his win in the primary for Solon’s Ward 4 council seat. I am grateful that Michael stayed positive throughout the race, focusing on ideas to make Solon an even better community. He had many opportunities - even invitations - to go down a negative track. His refusal to do so and his commitment to positive change was a much-needed breath of fresh air. It bodes well for what he can do as a member of Solon’s City Council.
Know the job
It is paramount for all elected officials to accurately and honestly communicate with the public they serve. As Russell Township’s elected fiscal officer, I hold the unique responsibility of being the township’s statutory record keeper. I also have the duty and obligation to follow the Ohio Revised Code pertaining to certification of revenue, submission of appropriations and issuance of warrants for the township.
In a Sept. 16 letter to the editor entitled “Trustee candidate lacks experience,” current candidate James Mueller stated that budgeting experience is “a most important skill for anyone in public office.” While I do not disagree with Mr. Mueller that budgeting skills are important, it is important to note that government budgeting and accounting is very different from the private sector. Length of service alone does not ensure expertise in that regard.
Further, Mr. Mueller stated that Russell Township has a “$7.6 million operating budget.” I am uncertain where Mr. Mueller obtained this figure; he did not reach out to the township’s fiscal office. Per Ohio law’s definition of budget, Russell Township’s budget is actually $14,459,298, as determined by its July 22, 2021 Official Certificate of Estimated Resources. This represents the total amount of money that Russell Township has available to spend. Contrast this to the township’s latest Total Appropriation Measure at $8,412,996, which represents what the trustees have appropriated or allocated to spend.
I likewise find the Ohio Revised Code to be the guide for eligibility for public service. In that regard, “[a] candidate must be a qualified elector and a resident of the township. Article XV, Section 4, of the Constitution of Ohio, O.R.C. 3.15(A)(3), O.R.C. 3503.01.” Chris Hare has reached out to my office for fiscal information, he has attended many township meetings, and he was present at the recent Geauga County Budget Commission Hearings for Russell Township.
Theodore Roosevelt said that “[w]henever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
United for education
Over the last year we have seen schools across the country become inundated with divisive ideology. Whether you have children in the public school system or not, it has become more important than ever to be informed on what is being taught in the classrooms in your community. Your children and the children of your neighbors will form the future of our society.
Our own community has faced turmoil in the past year over contracts with the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio and their implementation of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Task Force. Many of the people on this committee had the positive intention of making Chagrin Falls a more inclusive and diverse place. This task force, however, focused on the concept of categorizing people by their differences and viewing the world through a racial lens. A better way of achieving a fair and balanced view of the outside world, would be for Chagrin Falls to partner with a “sister school.” A school in an underserved community that we could fundraise with and for, and use those funds for joint field trips to STEM focused activities. Rather than teaching our students divisive ideologies, we would like them to have life changing experiences.
After a year of disrupted learning, our students need us to prioritize their well-being and give them the best tools possible to recover both mentally and academically. These kids spent the last year separated from friends and family, learning via online classes, not even allowed to see the faces of their neighbors without them being obscured by masks.
It is with these concerns in mind that we, Mandy Hilston, Erin Gooch, and Meghan McClain, formed the Unite for Education team. We are running for the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District Board of Education with the goal of reallocating funding and focus from divisive curriculum back to the traditional learning that has resulted in the previous academic excellence of our schools. For the betterment of all community members, regardless of their personal ideologies, we must cultivate a more inclusive environment for all students and remove divisive or political content from the classroom.
You can trust us to provide transparency for the entire Chagrin Falls community on curriculum and spending decisions approved by the BOE. The focus of our budgeting and time commitments will be STEM, foreign language, music, art, and athletics. We will work with staff and administrators to create programs that teach our students about the world without invoking content inappropriate for their innocent ages.
We ask that you vote for us on Nov. 2 (or earlier using an absentee ballot.) and write-in Erin Gooch.
Mandy Hilston, Meghan McClain
Moving Russell to future
I am writing in response to a letter published in your paper last week by one of the other candidates for Russell Township trustee. I fear that the tone of that letter and the tone of several Facebook posts threaten to pull this race into the mud. Those that are familiar with me, and my past campaigns, know that I do not campaign negatively. Rather, I prefer to highlight the attributes and ideas that I will bring to the office I seek. The voters of Russell deserve nothing less.
For the fiscal year beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Russell Township’s certificate of estimated resources from the Geauga County Budget Commission is $10.7 million. The two trustees selected by Russell residents on Nov. 2, 2021, will be entrusted with managing these resources in a competent and fiscally responsible manner.
I run out of a desire to serve Russell Township and to preserve the best parts of Russell for my family and all Russell residents, such as our low commercial development and ample park/green space. However, I also see that Russell needs to look to the future, particularly in terms of our fire and police forces.
In the end, Russell voters should be choosing their trustees based upon their qualifications, experience, and ideas for moving Russell Township into the future.
Training benefits all
I am writing to voice my strong support for the exploration of diversity, equity, inclusion and the full range of social justice issues by the board of the Chagrin Falls Schools. I appreciate the proactive decisions made by our school board members to explore best practices and to ensure all students feel welcome, safe and accepted in our schools. I believe a Chagrin Falls education should facilitate development of adaptive citizens of the world. I look forward to learning more about how these goals will be achieved. I am glad that early attempts at politicizing these proactive efforts were clarified and corrected. We all know that Critical Race theory is not a part of the K-12 educational plan.
All three of our children thrived in the Chagrin Falls Schools, benefitting from academic, athletic and arts programs. We were a traditional family. The most diverse things about our family in the 80s were my status as a working mother and my Eastern European heritage. Our family has grown and changed. Our seven grandchildren include two biracial children and two children with Asian Pacific heritage. Due to my background as a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist, I have been particularly sensitive to curriculum issues which impact our diverse family. Consider how important it is for young children to see themselves in the books they read. That has been a non-issue for our Caucasian grandchildren. When our biracial grandsons entered first grade in their school district there was not a single book on their reading list that included characters of color. No one deliberately diminished our grandsons. Nonetheless, this kind of subtle exclusion can be very harmful. I believe this is the kind of thing that might be addressed by greater sensitivity to issues related to all types of diversity.
Similarly, at our July 28 school board meeting, a parent related a difficult experience her child had due to an ink stamp that had been used as a reward. The stamp did not show up well on her child’s darker skin. This was noticed by other children. Comments were made. Feelings were hurt.
The educator in me wondered how that might have become a teachable moment.
Might the kids have become a part of creative problem solving? What are teachers allowed or encouraged to do? How can we help our excellent teachers expand the tools in their educational tool box? What guidelines are in place to help teachers decide how to respond to situations as they arise? At that same board meeting, some parents suggested that issues related to diversity should be taught at home. While every world religion speaks to values of kindness and social justice, our teachers are in an environment that requires a response in school. While parents most definitely have a pivotal role in instilling social values, teachers are in a position of making sure every child is welcome, safe and respected at school. I believe policy development and training in this area will be beneficial to all.