The following article appeared on Chagrin Valley Today, the website of the Chagrin Valley Times. Our thanks to the Chagrin Valley Times for permission to republish the article here. Visit Chagrin Valley Today for a wide range of local news coverage.
Chagrin Valley Times
Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:45 pm
BY DAVE LANGE
Dear County Line: We, the residents of Russell Township, have an incredible opportunity to purchase the 52-acre Modroo farm property on Hemlock Road and preserve it as parkland for current and future generations. The people of Russell choose to live here because we love our semirural atmosphere, and we want to keep it that way.
If we do not take advantage of this opportunity, this farmland will be sold to a developer, and who knows how many houses will be built there? Instead of beautiful scenery, we’ll have new roads that require maintenance and snowplowing with our tax dollars. Instead of wildlife, we’ll have more children attending our schools, which surely will mean higher property taxes.
We, the township voters, repeatedly have supported a tax levy for the Russell Park District with the unequivocal stipulation that it be used exclusively to purchase parkland. But a new majority on the three-member park commission is refusing to honor our wishes.
— Tim Bertrees, Russell
Dear Tim: What is it with people who think government autocrats give a whit about the voters?
In 2013, the voters rejected Linda J. O’Brien when she ran for a seat on the Russell Township Board of Trustees, and they defeated her bid for the Ohio House of Representatives in 2014. So Geauga County Probate Judge Timothy J. Grendell appointed her to the Russell park commission this past January.
Charles Butters ran for Russell Township trustee in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2009, and the voters gave him the boot all four times. It wasn’t even close. So Judge Grendell appointed him to the park commission this February.
Obviously, the judge likes losers. Don’t be surprised if you lose your beloved semi-rural atmosphere.
Dear County Line: It’s hard to believe that the owners of a small, 4.6-acre lot in a residential neighborhood on Bainbridge Road in Solon are allowed to have a farm there with horses, goats, chickens and other animals. Now they want the city to approve a farmland designation for their property, which would entitle them to a lower tax rate.
Solon is a city, not a cow town, and we shouldn’t have to put up with noisy, smelly animals in our neighborhoods. And we need people to pay their fair share of taxes. If they want to be farmers, they should move to Geauga County.
— Billy Ghote, Solon
Dear Billy: Having lived most of my adult life in Geauga County, near the noisy, smelly Route 422 freeway that Solon politicians forced into our neighborhood, I’m not sure I appreciate the implication.
However, it may surprise you to know that Geauga County Commissioners Walter “Skip” Claypool and Ralph Spidalieri share your concerns about farms and taxes. When they declined to approve a conservation easement to protect a 57-acre farm in Munson Township from future housing development recently, one of their objections was the impact it would have on the county’s tax base.
Some politicians in Geauga County don’t want farmers to have lower taxes. I think it’s their liberal, Marxist ideology.
Dear County Line: Gates Mills, where I live, is a quiet, peaceful, safe community, and we want to keep it that way. But the Cleveland Metroparks and Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency are conspiring to build a $75,000 biking, horseback-riding or some other kind of trail between the North and South Chagrin Reservations right through our village. Don’t these government bureaucracies have anything better to do with our tax money?
— Sol Ittude, Gates Mills
Dear Sol: I’m not sure. Are there any farms for sale in Gates Mills?
Categories: On a Lighter Note...
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