Letters to the Editor—Chagrin Valley Times, March 23, 2017

New park district needed

Well folks, it seems once again the Russell Park commissioners have slinked away with their tails between their legs after the last public meeting in Russell.    Russell resident en mass have made it clear they are not willing to put up with park commissioners who are incompetent, Judge Timothy Grendell minions intent on destroying a park system or using  it for their own personal goals.   At their last meeting they stated they would not be selling one of the Russell parklands.   It seems they had been plotting in secret to do this but residents got wind and made their displeasure known.    Perhaps Judge Grendell was feeling the heat in consideration of his next reelection bid and ordered them  stop the attempt to sell the land .

When purchasing parks land, secrecy is indeed necessary as negotiations on a purchase is a delicate process in order to get the best value for the taxpayers.   But secrecy in public sale of property is inexcusable.   The Russell Park Board was questioned on their reasons for secrecy in planning to sell and then not selling the property but their responses were really not understandable.   See their last park board meeting videotaped for yourself on the Protect Geauga Park Website (  

Indications are that the Russell Township is working to start a new park district designed to replace the existing Grendell controlled so called park district.   Folks, soon won’t be soon enough!!!

John G. Augustine, Parkman Township

No need for oversight board

As an occasional contributor to the letters to the editor regarding our Geauga County Park District, I am continually intrigued by “the opaque decision making mind set” of this probate judge, director and board of commissioners. It demeans the ideas of fairness, due process and the law which the judge obviously does not embrace.

Several weeks ago, I read that volunteers were being sought to give the park board “input.” I’m not clear why the citizens of Geauga County would not consider this request to be disingenuous or that it would have any real input or value. Who would be the final arbiter of the committee’s membership? Why not utilize the public survey of 2013 for which the park district spent $11,000 and unfortunately was never reviewed or discussed publicly.

The continued lack of transparency on the part of the probate judge, park director and commissioners shows no sign of abetting. The apparent climate of “overreach” of this probate judge continues to reach new lows.

Please support the efforts of Protect Geauga Parks and their efforts to shine light on the continuously opaque and sad park board.

Bill Franz, Bainbridge

Protect, preserve vital park mission

It appears that the Geauga County Park District Commissioners, along with Executive Director John Oros, suffer collectively from some form of adult attention deficit disorder, one symptom of which is distractibility.

The mission of the park is Protect, Conserve, and Preserve. The activities of the park, one would think, would therefore be consistent with that mission.  At the March 14 board meeting, there was discussion of initiating a firearms safety program under the auspices of park security personnel.

This program would be specific to school-age children, with the goal of teaching firearms safety, but also with the possible added benefit of increasing respect for law enforcement officers.  This presentation was linked to the Chardon School shooting and implied that a gun safety course could have made a difference. The perpetrator of this horrific event most likely suffers from mental illness, and no amount of gun safety instruction would have altered the course of events.

Be that as it may, I strongly support firearms safety instruction for everyone, but feel that for the park district to sponsor this is a departure from the mission of the parks and an overreach into an inappropriate area.

Gun safety instruction should be under the aegis of law enforcement, local and county, or otherwise certified instructors.

The park commissioners should keep their focus on what the residents of Geauga County want in our parks – Protect, Conserve, and Preserve – and not be distracted. Let’s keep our eyes on protecting endangered and cherished species, promoting clean air and water, and providing a space for reflection, renewal and peace for all of us

Carolyn Morrow, Chardon

Categories: Commentary

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