Time for change

I read the letter to the editor this week from Russell Township Trustee Jim Mueller with some amusement. In it, he denigrates candidate Chris Hare for his lack of experience.

I have been attending Russell Township meetings of all types for over 20 years, so I have had a front row seat to Mr. Mueller’s efforts on behalf of Russell taxpayers, and those efforts have been nearly non-existent.

Mr. Mueller very rarely even brings a pen to trustee meetings, even though he frequently signs township checks at meetings, a chore that the other trustees actually go into the administration offices to accomplish. He can’t point to one significant project or accomplishment in the township over his tenure that he spearheaded or brought to the table. His most recent efforts involved trying to stop the demolition of the decrepit fire station with all its dangerous falling bricks and the expensive maintenance needed to even keep it upright. Good idea or grandstanding? Mr. Mueller’s other recent “accomplishment” was voting to put a new fire levy on the ballot without understanding the details of the budget, an oversight that the budget commission caught in the budget hearing when they wouldn’t certify that our fire department actually needed the money.

Back a few years, his efforts to keep the sewer line off the Route 87 and Route 306 corner was misguided and potentially harmful to the aquifer in that area. I could go on but space is limited. Mr. Mueller has been a good grandstander but when the rubber meets the road and you have to get real work done, he has been a real failure.

Another Russell resident and I were discussing trustee compensation. We calculated that based on the trustee compensation package of about $25,000, and what we see of his efforts and preparation for meetings, we estimated Mr. Mueller was putting at most about 4 hours per month into the job. That works out to about $500 per hour. Are we the taxpayers getting $500 per hour worth of value?

I have talked with Chris Hare and he’s a very accomplished young man at an early age. He has deep roots in the community, has lots of energy, and is willing to get involved and do the work necessary in running this township. The job isn’t that complicated if you have some financial background and are willing to work and study the details.

Charlie Butters

Russell Township

Change needed on board

We are losing our grip on the traditional values of merit, the good of man, the understanding that anyone can succeed, and common decency at the hands of the Chagrin Falls Exempted District School Board. We need a change.

Innocence and traditional teachings of STEM and history classes, the values of athletics, music, and other school activities are being replaced by division, anger, victimhood and activism. The latter is developing through “evolving” school district policies of CRT (Critical Race Theory) and DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion and justice). These new “evolving” policies are brought on by more radical-based school board members.

Based in Marxist ideology, these “new” teachings divide our students by race, portray some as victims and others as oppressors, and replace the true and historical norms of U.S. history with claims of white supremacy and vivid distortions of why and how our country was founded. These teachings breed racism, contempt and hatred of others in our community, and in our country.

This hatred and division does not belong in our Chagrin schools.

Our students need to learn the traditional teachings of math, science, English and history to develop a strong and accurate education and understanding of the country they live in. They need positive nurturing and development, not the teachings of hate, fear and division.

We need less radical district board members to set district policies. Three candidates deserve your vote. Meghan Kuenzig, Mandy Hilston and write-in candidate Erin Gooch. They are life-long Chagrin Falls residents with children of their own. Please vote for them.

Michael Canty


Support ‘for people’ act

I encourage U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, to do whatever it takes to swiftly get the For the People Act passed in the Senate and signed into law.

The freedom to vote is under attack by extremist state lawmakers across the country who want to put up deliberate barriers to make it harder to vote – especially for people of color.

Congress must act now to implement national standards for federal elections. The House of Representatives has already passed the For the People Act, a sweeping package to realize the promise of our democracy, get big money out of politics, ensure our freedom to vote, and guarantee that congressional districts are drawn to give fair representation for all. Now, it’s time for the Senate to act.

The same Republican senators who spread lies about our election and blocked a bipartisan investigation into a deadly attack on our capitol are blocking legislation that the majority of Americans across the political spectrum have overwhelmingly demanded to protect our freedom to vote.

This is a turning point for our nation, and the Senate needs to act now. Our democracy can’t wait. The Senate must let nothing, especially the Jim Crow filibuster, stand in their way of passing the For the People Act.

Senate Democrats and President Joe Biden need to outline their plans for removing the filibuster as an obstacle to ensure our freedom to vote, and the Senate must return to work and deliver the For the People Act.

Andrea Dunn

Oakwood Village

Skomrock, Zock best candidates

The upcoming election for Newbury Township Trustees is critical. Newbury is at a crossroads. We are facing the issues of upgrading our fire protection and creating a community center. We need Trustees that have a vision for the future but remain fiscally responsible. I believe that Bill Skomrock and Maggie Zock are the best candidates to lead us into the future. Maggie Zock faced tough decisions while on the school board and led us to a solution that is continuing to provide a quality education for our children while reducing our local tax burden by approximately 15 mills. Bill Skomrock has served as a township trustee for a number of years without ever asking for more tax revenues before this year.

As I attended a number of Trustee meetings this year, I was able to observe Maggie and Bill in action. They both ask the tough questions and have worked countless hours outside of Trustee meetings for the benefit of Newbury Township. Whether you vote ahead of time or are at the polls on Nov. 2, I urge you to vote for the candidates that have a vision for our future, but remain fiscally conservative, Bill Skomrock and Maggie Zock.

Dave W. Gifford


Why bother?

The news briefs announced the Geauga Park District Board commissioners’ meeting for Oct 12. The question is, why bother? Any real business for the park is discussed in the various back rooms around Geauga consecrated by Geauga Probate Judge Timothy Grendell. In fact, all any of the generous Geauga taxpayers need is a copy of the script which carries his red wax seal. Or so it seems.

Dan Hercik


Politics vs. science

It is not politics, it is science. A beloved Alabama auctioneer died from a heart attack in a Mississippi hospital, after searching 43 hospitals in three states for a cardiac emergency bed. That’s because all of the Alabama hospitals were full of COVID-19 patients.

The personal decisions of the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers are impacting others.

Patrick Henry did not say, “My liberty for your death.”

Protect our children. Get vaccinated. Wear the mask. Don’t need a mandate. Just do it.

Mabel Kopp


Don’t divide Solon

On Sept. 15 the Republican members of Ohio Redistricting Commission, including Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Auditor Keith Faber, passed new state legislative maps that divide the City of Solon across two House and two Senate districts beginning with the elections next year.

The new process was supposed to keep communities together, but Solon appears to be the only city in the entire state that has been divided in half. Solon Wards 1, 3, 4 and 6 will be in House District 23 and Senate District 27, and Wards 2, 5 and 7 in House District 22 and Senate District 21.

Contrary to the views of the Republican mapmakers in Columbus, in Solon, we define ourselves as a single, strong community. We share a top school district, public library, municipal services and a strong local economy.We have a proud history of working together and coming together as a community. Why divide us in half?

The Ohio Supreme Court is certain to review these maps on constitutional grounds and it’s imperative that our citizens and especially our elected leaders speak out now to ensure Solon residents are fairly represented in the Statehouse.

These new maps will have a significant and lasting impact on Solon’s resources and representation in Columbus. This issue merits a strong response from our community today and at the ballot box next year. Solon residents deserve better.

Tom Jackson


Set record straight

We would like to correct some misstatements in a recent article in the Times about revitalization on West Street in Chagrin Falls.

First it stated that Bret Adams purchased the property from Tom Lutz and Erik Heatwole. We in fact did not own the property but were long-term tenants of Carl and Beverly Vessele and most recently the Visconsi Group. The inn was forced to shut down over 120 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During that period, we were able to negotiate an amended lease that included a 90-day notice of cancellation. On June 1, we received a notice from the Visconsi Group that the lease was being canceled effective Sept. 1. Consequently, we accepted an offer by Mr. Adams to purchase the remaining assets of the Inn of Chagrin Falls.

Secondly, the article stated we took over the Inn in the late 80s. In fact, the space was an open floor retail space. With inspiration from a tour of country inns in New England and collaboration with the Vesseles, we opened the inn in January of 1991.

Many guests came through the doors and most importantly left having had a great night of rest while enjoying the hospitality provided by a wonderful staff.

We thank both from the bottom of our hearts.

Tom Lutz & Erik Heatwole

Chagrin Falls

Vote for Nairn

We are writing to give our enthusiastic endorsement of Cindy Nairn for South Russell Village Council. As a councilwoman, Cindy Nairn has tirelessly pursued service to our village using her impressive skill set. As a former kindergarten teacher, she is organized, articulate and compassionate. She is an approachable independent thinker who is good at consensus building and conflict resolution. Cindy Nairn is a woman of her word. If she says, “I will look into that,” she will, and she will get back to you with a detailed and truthful answer.

When our village needed its own cemetery, expanded green space and water run off investigation, Councilwoman Nairn took on these issues and was instrumental in their development. When our village experienced a problem with vicious dogs, Cindy Nairn, a dog lover herself, did extensive research to determine how we might protect ourselves from those dogs who posed a danger to residents. We are grateful for her dedicated service to the Village of South Russell. For the benefit of all our residents, we need to re-elect Cindy Nairn.

Tom and Sandra Meyer

South Russell

Health board deserves support

I recently attended several Geauga County Health Board meetings and wanted to thank the board members and the staff for not only their participation in the meetings but also their professional conduct in the face of some harsh criticisms.

The health board is comprised of volunteers. It is easy to stand in judgement and criticize, but much harder to do something about it. I commend David Gragg, Richard Piraino, Lynn Roman, Ashley Jones and Patty Levan for their unsung and underappreciated efforts during these tumultuous times. I also thank the staff of the Health District, interim Health Department Administrator Adam Litke, and acting Health Director Dr. Reid for their efforts as well.

At the last meeting, I was glad to see an ‘engaged citizenry’ (and respectful conduct) and wish more people took it upon themselves to become more informed and involved in their local government. Whether it be a trustee meeting, board of health, park board or county commissioners, there are things to learn and questions to ask.

Many people who spoke, including myself, spoke of our Constitutional liberties and freedoms. One person recited sections of our Declaration of Independence. It is important that we all refresh ourselves with the content and meaning of our Founding Documents from time to time.

It is up to us as individual citizens to push back against unconstitutional federal mandates and the best place for ‘We the People’ to start is at the local levels of township, city and county government. We must also remind our state and especially our federal elected officials of their Constitutional obligations and require them to refuse to support unconstitutional laws and mandates.

Regarding the federal vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees, I would ask that our health board educate, defend and support our county businesses and their employees in opposition to this unconstitutional order.

Liberty, freedom, individual choice and individual responsibility are the hallmarks of our republic, and we need to be vigilant against the ever-encroaching dictates of the federal government.

Would businesses be making this vaccine mandatory if it weren’t for this federal order? If not, then don’t do it. If businesses and employees comply now and it is found to be unconstitutional later, what recourse do people have, especially those who get an adverse reaction?

If the federal government believes it can “inject” itself into the very personal health decisions of a citizen, where is the limit on their intrusions into our civil liberties?

Businesses and their workers need our support and I ask that our Geauga County Health Board to do what is necessary and within their power to object to this order and support ‘We the People’ and our businesses.

Ken Radtke, Jr.

Chester Township

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