Summary of Parks Board Meeting—Sept. 20, 2016

Geauga Park District Board of Commissioners Meeting Tuesday September 20, 2016Meyer Center  Big Creek ParkSummary

by B. Partington

All three commissioners present – also present in audience Dave Ondrey, GPD Attorney, 11 residents, GPD staff members, no Ranger


Approval of agenda with addition requested by Mrs. Dottore and voted on unanimously, the addition of an Employee Evaluation to take place during Executive Session

Approval of August minutes, Financial Statement and Vouchers.  Of note, in the financial statement, there is now $485 in the K-9 donation fund and a donation of $7750 from the Foundation for Geauga Parks for Observatory Park Phase III was noted in addition to other smaller donations.

New Business

John Kolar, Chief Naturalist made an excellent presentation on the NatureScopes program. 

Matt McCue gave brief Planning and Operations Update, including updates for work in progress or planned for Nassau Station Observatory (Hummel Construction), Rookery (Chagrin Valley Paving), Orchard Hills (Ohio Paving), Ruth Kennan Asphalt Trail (Chagrin Valley Paving), Welton’s Gorge Barn Demolition

Budget Amendment request made and approved to increase line item for auditor’s fees charged to GD for Real Estate tax collection

Certification of Tax Levies Resolution – accepting amounts and rates as determined by Budget Commission and authorizing necessary tax levies and certifying them to auditor

Maple Highlands Trail Resolution – 50-Year Agreement Middlefield Village and GPD.  I asked for the Resolution to be read aloud – Mrs. Dottore said no, that it was too long (3 pages)  I offered to read it for her – request declined – it was not read for the audience.

The most alarming paragraph in my opinion, in this resolution is Article I, – 1.1

 “1.1.  In the year 2017, District will make improvements to Maple Highlands Trail (South) in order to establish a recreational trail to serve multiple user groups.  Permitted uses will include horse and buggy, horseback riding, bicyclists, walkers, runners, motorized or non-motorized mobility devices, and snowmobiles, and/or any other uses mutually agreed to by District and Middlefield throughout the 50-year term of this agreement, so long as both parties amend this agreement in writing.  All user groups will comply with Federal and State Laws”


This was approved with 2-1 vote with Mr. Gertz voting no due to the inclusion of snowmobiles and “motorized mobility vehicles”(not defined) to be allowed on trail along with bikes, horses, buggies, pedestrians.

(There remains a question as to whether Middlefield Village has approved this agreement, Mr. Oros stated that it had been approved – documentation will be sought to verify this.) 

Commissioners Time

Mr. Gertz proposed that the new park recently authorized for purchase in Hambden Township be named for Carl Stapel, who owned the dairy farm on that property beginning in 1957.  He asked that it be named Staple’s Meadow.  He brought documentation and research about the original farm.  This was voted on, with Mrs. Dottore voting no and Mr. Gertz and Mr. Barker voting yes.  Passed.

John Oros read a complimentary letter from the Geauga Library

John Oros spoke about the Wall that Heals and about Park Appreciation Day (1st annual)

Executive Session – for purchase of property and employment evaluation

Returned from Executive Session – no further business or votes

Announced next meeting:  Tuesday October 11

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