Attend district park board meetings
The January Geauga Park District board meeting, usually held in one of the park facilities, was moved to the Geauga Probate and Juvenile Courtroom for the Jan. 10 meeting. While no reason was offered to citizens who called earlier this week , John Oros was quoted in a local paper that “the board meetings have been disruptive at times.” Evidently, asking questions is “disruptive” to those who want to conduct public business secretly.
About 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting all park board members were in the meeting room with the door closed – members of the public were refused admittance. Approximately 30 citizens waited in the corridor while the board discussed unknown topics.
Refreshingly, new board member Andrej Lah asked pertinent questions about plans that he had evidently had the opportunity to study prior to the meeting. We applaud his questions but wonder when he was given the documents…having only been sworn in that morning.
Once again there was very little question or comment from the other board members, even when presented with a replacement for the financial report that they had approved in less than 8 minutes at last month’s meeting. Director Oros mentioned a formatting error that moved sections of the financial document out of place – leading members of the public to wonder if the board members had even looked at the financial document that they so quickly approved at the Dec.13 meeting. The entire public part of the meeting was completed in 17 minutes.
Responsible citizens must ask, “How and where are park decisions being made?”
Protect Geauga Parks encourages all citizens to exercise their right to attend these public meetings despite the fact that Judge Grendell’s handpicked Commissioners have eliminated all public comment. Public meetings are meant to be open so that the public can understand how decisions are made concerning our tax dollars and public property. It is more important than ever for responsible citizens hold this public board responsible to the public.
Please attend the next Geauga Park District board meeting. I suggest you check the park website (for time and date) to make sure it has not been changed again.
Kathy Hanratty, Chardon
Paramount to protect parks
My wife and I visited the American Northwest in September, visiting three national parks. As a result, our appreciation of the beauty and awe inspiring natural wonder that parks provide is strong. The history of parks in this country reveals that all parks, national, state county and city, require the wisdom and foresight of dedicated private and public sector leaders to establish and then protect parks for the enjoyment and life-enriching qualities that these natural places provide. Unfortunately, there have always been, and will continue to be, those who would prefer short-term economic gain over the long-term preservation of natural spaces for current and future generations. This was true when John Muir worked with President Teddy Roosevelt over 100 years ago, and it is still true.
Geauga County for many years has enjoyed farsighted leadership resulting in a wonderful park system. Unfortunately however, at this time its current leadership, appointed by Geauga Probate Judge Timothy Grendell has taken steps to subvert the mission of these parks. This phenomenon is not unique to Geauga County. Today there are many existing parks, including those in the National Park Service, which need to be protected from short term economic and political thinking.
While we should think globally, we should act locally. Therefore I encourage all citizens of Geauga County, as well as those of surrounding counties, to get involved with protecting the Geauga Park system from the current, short-sighted, efforts to undermine its true mission.
Dr. Nelson Mostow, Moreland Hills
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