Who will guard the henhouse?
I recently read a poll that claimed that 94 percent of Americans believe that Air Force One (the president’s plane) is qualified to be an airplane, but only 21 percent believe that Donald Trump is qualified to be president.
So far his choices for cabinet members remind us that while Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot, he promises a fox for every henhouse.
Elliott Berenson, Chester
Speak up to protect parks
Thanks to all of you who called and wrote to object to the Observatory Park snowmobile program that was set to allow snowmobile use from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week to the complete exclusion of other users. Today we were informed that the policy has been amended to allow snowmobiling only in daylight hours. It appears that Geauga Park District Director John Oros was forced to alter the policy to prevent bad publicity for Judge Timothy Grendell.
Unfortunately, this move to alter the hours does not make the decision to use snowmobiles at Observatory Parks less damaging. Snowmobile use frequently damages trails, trees and vegetation as property owners throughout the county will attest. Extra ranger hours and maintenance will be required, incurring extra cost. Wildlife habitat will be jeopardized.Plus there are safety and liability issues. But at least the Dark Sky Designation is safe, for now.
This change was not announced at the park board meeting. The board and Mr. Oros declined to discuss the snowmobiling issue (or any issue) during this public meeting, leading the public to ask repeatedly “where and when are discussions taking place?” No answer was given by the board or director.
If you are outraged by the decision to allow snowmobiles in our parks, or by the deliberate lack of transparency employed by this board regarding decisions made about our public parks,please contact the Geauga Park District board and director as well as the judge, through phone calls and letters.
Kathryn Hanratty, Geauga Protect the Parks president
Give public voice at park meetings
“I respectfully propose that now would be a time for the Geauga Park Board to resume the public comment at monthly meetings. We, the public, want to have dialogue with you and would like to do that publicly, rather than through the media.
It would be a positive and respectful move to begin that dialogue. Let us resume the tradition of these great parks of welcoming communication between the public and the board."
I made this statement to the commissioners of the Geauga Park Board and Director John Oros just prior to the beginning of the board meeting last week. No, I did not have permission to speak, but felt that it had to be said. The meeting lasted a record 8 minutes before adjourning to executive session.
Since the appointment of Jackie Dottore to the position of board president, the board members lips have been sealed – not only is there no public comment from the audience, who are active supporters of the Geauga Park District, the board members themselves do not comment on any park business, ranging from approval of a multi-million dollar budget, to monthly expenditures, to even making positive comments about the many wonderful programs that take place at the parks.
What is it about this (Judge Timothy) Grendell appointed park board that gives itself permission to operate without public input? Are decisions being made behind closed doors or is it that these commissioners just do not care about the preservation of the natural resources to which they are appointed as stewards?
Bring back public comment to the park board meetings and take the time and interest to return phone calls and emails – our questions and comments remain unanswered.
Barb Partington, Munson Township
Keep rural character of Munson roads
Munson Township Trustees meeting (earlier this month) was more calm than the
previous one, that is, until out of the blue, Trustee Irene McMullen
responded again to residents’ concerns about keeping all the roads with
"rural character" to remain as is, as described in the township "Land Use
Plan" adopted in 2003.
Her comment to this concern was: "I don't know how to put this, but I
just, hope that everyone will keep in mind that regardless of how
you feel about what's going on with your road or someone else's
road where someone else lives, we're all neighbors and there has
been a lot of ill will and I'm hopeful that people will treat each
other with respect regardless."
The shocked audience reacted, asking what brought that up? Many of us
are united against the road rebuilding. The attendees recalled that they
had seen this type of reaction in several of the previous meetings where
Mrs. McMullen had also brought up that there have been threats and
intimidation. She stated she has received calls from residents who are in
favor of the road project, but are quiet as they have been reportedly threatened and/or intimidated. When asked if she has reported these threats to the sheriff, she would not comment nor has she offered any proof of such calls. Isn't it her responsibility to report threats to law enforcement?
So then we ask, why do Mrs. McMullen's reactions appear to always
be related to mentioning Sherman Road? The only connection we see is
that Mrs. McMullen lives on Sherman Road in a section that is rated
"poor" and has not been repaved since 1999. Maybe she doesn't want
her road done.
Neither road should be reconstructed. Both Fowlers Mill and Sherman are on the "rural character" list and accordingly should remain as is and only be repaved. Why then did neither Trustee Jim McCaskey nor Mrs. McMullensecond a motion to apply for a grant to repave both roads which is far less costly to the township.
Neither even wanted to discuss the option during the meeting. Again,
we asked why and received no factual answer. Trustee Andy Bushman
continues to be dedicated to the residents and inform us that Munson
does not have the money to rebuild either road. This is so
Debbie Roche, fowlersmill.org
Is this win really massive landslide?
Repeatedly the president elect and his staff have referred to the “massive landslide” he received.
Of course 2,800,000 more people voted for his major opponent.
In the Electoral College he got 54 more votes than the Democrat. Of the 29 presidential elections since 1900, that's the fifth smallest victory margin. Is this really a landslide?
In fact, in the seven presidential elections since 1992, the Democratic candidate got the majority of the popular votes in six of them.
Scott Baker, Bainbridge Township
Lend hand to help homeless
On Jan. 14, HandsOn Northeast Ohio will be conducting a homeless stand down at Public Auditorium in the City of Cleveland. I have been involved with the stand down for several years and from my own personal experience, it is emotionally devastating to witness first-hand the level of poverty and struggle of the participants.
I am extending an impassioned request to my neighbors in Geauga and Lake counties to support this critical care event for those who are in such great need.
Also, I’m hoping to put together a small group of donors who will join me in sponsoring lunch for the volunteers. It’s an all-day program and requires a tremendous amount of volunteer time, effort and participation. It takes an army of volunteers to support this event, and they need to be cared for as well.
If you are looking for a way to make the Christmas and holiday season special this year, please consider volunteering or donating by contacting the HandsOn of Northeast Ohio organization at: www.handsonneo.org.
Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts, Chester