Quickly uncovering tricks

We all know how some politicians like to play dirty tricks the week before an election, knowing that their opposition will have difficulty exposing the “dirt” to the public on short notice. Well, true to their character, the Grendell re-election folks tried two dirty tricks just before March 17 but were tripped up by the election being postponed.

The first dirty trick involved Kim Laurie, the judge’s court administrator, filing four complaints with the Ethics Commission of the Ohio Supreme Court against Matthew Rambo. Three of those complaints were immediately thrown out by the Ohio Supreme Court appointed panel of judges and the fourth was thrown out after a hearing on March 13. The three-judge panel issued a blistering condemnation of Ms. Laurie for filing a “frivolous” grievance against Mr. Rambo, “for the purpose of obtaining an advantage for a judicial candidate,” namely Judge Timothy Grendell. Ms. Laurie was severely sanctioned for her action and was ordered to pay the cost of the hearing.

At virtually the same time that the complaints were filed, the Grendell campaign sent out a countywide mailing stating that Mr. Rambo was “facing an ethics complaint disciplinary action.” Do any of you believe that the good judge did not orchestrate this? 

The ruling against Ms. Laurie also stated that any mailings or other media statements about the accusation against Mr. Rambo must be withdrawn unless accompanied by an explanation of the ethics commission ruling that the accusations were frivolous. Judge Grendell himself violated this provision of the ruling at a League of Women Voters candidates’ night event the very next day.

The second dirty trick was a mailing sent out by Geauga Park District Executive Director John Oros. The letter was obviously meant to promote the candidacy of his boss, Judge Grendell. An internal e-mail from park district staff shows that the printing and mailing of this letter was specifically requested to be timed to arrive just before election day. The public paid nearly $10,000 for this mailing.

Once again, the postponement of the election has allowed sunlight to illuminate the dirty deed. Your vote can send a message to the dirty tricksters. You will now need to request an absentee ballot. Please vote for Republican Matthew Rambo who will return honor to the probate and juvenile court.

John Augustine

Parkman Township

Beech Brook’s legacy

The citizens of Pepper Pike were hoping that Beech Brook would exit our community in harmony with the residents who in many ways have supported the noble cause of Beech Brook’s mission.

On March 26, Thomas Royer of Beech Brook, submitted a letter to the Times. We implore the Beech Brook Board of Directors and its president to revisit the insensitive statements and lack of concern regarding the negative impacts their actions will have on our city and our environment.

Beech Brook’s plan if rezoning is not approved should significantly have changed on Aug. 13, 2019 when a land conservancy announced that it is interested in acquiring the Beech Brook property. A statement in the letter reads, “First and foremost, this land will not remain vacant, nor will it become a park.” Thus, Beech Brook is not willing to entertain any conversation or negotiations that would result in an alternate solution.

Beech Brook has been able to complete its mission for over 100 years through the gracious and generous support of the residents of our community and has grown its endowment fund to $17 million. For decades, it was able to complete its mission of dealing with older children with behavioral issues by calling upon the police and other city services of Pepper Pike on a weekly basis. The residents of Pepper Pike paid for these services with their own tax dollars as Beech Brook, a nonprofit agency, does not pay property tax.

Royer says, “This is not community green space, nor will failure to rezone the property mean it will become community green space. Whatever happens with rezoning, Beech Brook will pursue a use that will generate revenue to support our mission … And yes, these uses would also increase traffic in the area, something the city must address.”

The 68 acre property was donated by the Wade Family in 1917. At the same time, the Wade Family was donating land for the Cleveland Museum of Art with the stipulation that the land be used “for the benefit of all the people forever.” However, the property which Beech Brook is marketing as being ideal as a mixed-use district is not zoned for mixed-use nor does this type of use align with the original intent of this land gift from the Wade Family. In 2016, then Board Chair Philip Dawson said the board would like to find a use that fits with Beech Brook’s mission. How does a retail mixed-use development fit with Beech Brook’s mission? Hopefully, the current Board uses the land with a much broader perspective of the good of the community that has supported it for so many years.

Our letters to Mr. Royer (Dec. 20 and Feb. 5) have gone unanswered. We sincerely hope Mr. Royer reaches out to us now to develop a serious dialogue regarding the best use of this property as there are many alternatives which we would like to share with him that will allow Beech Brook to exit our community on a very positive note.

Manny and Judi Naft

Pepper Pike

Working to fight COVID-19

Getting our priorities straight doesn’t mean large or even small government; it means efficient and effective government. As President John F. Kennedy so aptly put it, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” We are all facing and fighting a common enemy. Instead of banding together, some in the media are constantly trying to tear down what this president is doing for all Americans.

Do we really want to go back to eloquent speaking politicians that talk in platitudes and don’t and can’t walk the talk?

They criticize the president for not listening to science, yet he has assembled a cadre of top scientists and financial personnel to fight this virus. Your big government politicians are the ones who held up the relief package to try and game the system and add all sorts of wish list political priorities.

Is this really the time that we should be disparaging our leadership? Does anyone believe that our frontline health care doctors and nurses consider what political party of the people that they are treating? They are our heroes.

Please, let’s all be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Tony Franceschini

Russell Township

Residents would pay toll

I read with interest the recent letter to the editor from Beech Brook CEO Thomas Royer. I understand and fully support the stated mission of Beech Brook. However, I would respectfully take issue with some of Mr. Royer’s statements. 

When the property was first put on the market, the majority (if not all but a few) of the citizens of Pepper Pike were unaware of the intent to sell. Had that been made public, efforts to approach donors and/or land conservation groups could have been made at that time as alternatives to rezoning. Whether this information was deliberately withheld is conjecture at this point. These efforts are currently underway but may clearly be too late.

I also understand that Beech Brook wants to maximize the revenue brought in from the property’s sale. But this must be weighed against the subsequent toll it may take on our city (as eloquently expressed in the accompanying letter in that issue by Mr. Saikus), in both financial terms as well as environmental issues. It is not the duty of Pepper Pike citizens to extract an extra pound of flesh for Beech Brook, no matter how noble its mission.

Howard Nearman 

Pepper Pike

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