Letters to the editor—Geauga MapleLeaf, March 9, 2017

‘Sham of Inclusiveness’


It is interesting that the judge wants to put together a handpicked committee “to ensure that all community perspectives are heard” on the Geauga Park District’s operations.

It seems a bit duplicitous to have a new handpicked committee to review the existing handpicked board.

The announcement says the chairperson of the committee will report to the judge, so with this new committee there will be two boards to reverberate one judge’s opinions.

After the recent ruling by the visiting judge assigned by the Ohio Supreme Court this seems to be quite a ‘thumb in the eye’ to those who hope for less judicial overreach.

The Probate Court Judge is to appoint Park Board members and let them do the appointed job, not to make executive decisions on park matters.

In this country we have had a pretty effective history of “providing community input” by actual public input at public meetings. Oddly, the current board and director (chosen by the judge) have squelched all public input from public park board meetings. Perhaps it is just too hard to micromanage the actual public.

There are many good-hearted citizens of Geauga County who may be taken in by the sham of inclusiveness inherent in the plan for this committee.

Conservation of natural resources was clearly the purpose of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1545, so condescending to “give” two out of nine slots on the committee to conservationists cannot be logically construed as equitable. Nothing in ORC 1545 establishes a land bank for various user groups to claim.

Unfortunately, it appears that the impetus for this committee has more to do with an attempt to salvage the popularity of the judge, rather than arising from any real need from the community.


Kathryn Hanratty

President, Protect Geauga Parks

Chardon Township



Much in the news recently indicates that so many of the people with responsibility for our natural areas just don’t have a clue.

It seems that the Claridon Township Trustees feel their park land is just a place to grow trees for lumber production. News reports indicate they contracted to have all trees over 16 inches diameter lumbered out and all beech trees lumbered out.

Don’t they realize the importance of old growth trees for many wild species? Is this how Claridon residents want their park land treated?

In addition, it seems the lumbermen went beyond the contract in  lumbering “willy nilly,” cutting whatever they felt like. Where were the trustees, the people citizens entrust to care for the township? Shame on them for what they have done. Shame on us for voting them in.

Russell Park District Commissioners recently appear to be conniving to sell some of the magnificent Russell park land.  They refuse to answer questions or allow public comment. Citizens were up in arms! Shame on them for their actions. Shame on us for allowing them to be in power.


John G. Augustine

Parkman Township


Grendell’s Irony


Most folks who know Judge Grendell think he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.

They say he can be terse, abrupt even to the point of being grumpy. Well that’s not so. He just has an incredibly well developed sense of irony in his humor. Take for example his latest joke on Geaugians.

He said he was going to start an advisory board for the parks so he can figure out how they need to be run.

Now never mind he is supposed to appoint park commissioners to do that job.

But he thinks he needs to have an advisory board. Now you’re beginning to get the joke. The judge will appoint a diverse group of syncophants who will meet three times a year and nod their heads up and down, agreeing with whatever he says. Then, the judge will announce that everyone is in agreement and everything’s fine. Don’t worry.

Well, if you aren’t laughing with big guffaws by now, then it’s you, not the judge, who has no sense of humor.

What’s the matter, can’t you take a joke?


Dave Partington

Munson Township


Confused by Grendell


I am confused. The Honorable Judge Timothy J. Grendell says he has nothing to do with running the parks. He holds private meetings with the citizens, where he told me he wasn’t involved and, furthermore, he said he knows what the people of Geauga want and that I don’t.

The parks have conducted two surveys, costing approximately $15,000 each, which indicate the public wants compatible, quiet, passive recreation and conservation of water and green space.

He appoints, terminates, appoints, terminates willy-nilly park board commissioners (who rubber-stamp in 12- to 15-minute meetings multi-million dollar financial statements that are subsequently corrected and again rubber-stamped without question, and who approve everything? The Honorable Judge Grendell’s handpicked park director does).

Further, a visiting judge has recently ruled the Honorable Judge Grendell has overstepped his authority in supervising a local township park.

Now, His Honor announces he wants to create a new Park District Advisory Committee to report to him (even though he has nothing, he says, to do with running the parks).

His current handpicked board won’t let the public speak; they and he ignore the professional surveys; they and he ignore the history of the park.

Were I cynical, I would think that this is a P.R. stunt to put more cronies in place to kiss his … ring, and I would not treat it as a serious endeavor by applying to serve on such a farce of a committee.

I’m glad I’m not cynical. Are you cynical?


Ed Buckles

Troy Township

Categories: News

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