Pledge to Tell the Truth
Meetings of the Geauga Park District Board of Commissioners begin with all rising for the Pledge of Allegiance.
In light of Commissioner Lah’s apparently deliberate misrepresentation of a letter from a Geauga resident for his purpose of maligning an innocent group of citizen activists, perhaps the Pledge should be followed by the Commissioners raising their right hands and solemnly swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
If Mr. Lah had sworn an oath to tell the truth, his false statements would be considered perjury.
The Commissioners may benefit from a serious reminder of the sacred trust they owe to the people of Geauga County to preserve, conserve and protect the legacy of lands, habitats and watersheds that previous generations have placed in our care.
Honesty and transparency are among the values that Geauga citizens expect and deserve.
Promoting Killing over Conservation
Geauga Park District seems to be on a mission to train children to hunt and to provide our public park lands as training grounds for them to practice their skills.
So far in 2018, at least three activities devoted to children hunting have occurred or are planned. In March, a two-day course “to train young and beginning hunters” was held at the Meyer Center in Big Creek Park. In April, the GPD Facebook page celebrated “youth turkey hunting season” with a picture of a boy and his father with a turkey that was stated to have been killed by the child on April 21, presumably in a Geauga County Park.
On May 5, GPD rangers will hold a “Wild Turkey Clinic for Beginning Hunters” for children of all ages. The registration page for the May “clinic” states the rangers have been certified “to teach clinics sponsored by the National Rifle Association using updated training manuals supported by the highly acclaimed NRA Hunter Skills Series books.” The description of the program states it is provided with the “goal being to make attendees more effective hunters.”
Teaching children to be effective hunters, and closing Geauga County parks to the public to turn them into training grounds for hunting, is not consistent with the Geauga Park District’s mission to “conserve, preserve, and protect.”
However, it is more in line with the mission of the NRA, a heavily politicized organization with an aggressive mission to promote gun use via “youth programs . . . a cornerstone of the NRA” (home.nra.org/about-the-nra/). At a time when other organizations are severing ties with the NRA, the current leadership of the Geauga Park District is aligning our county with its agenda to promote hunting by children.
As of this writing, 6 of 10 spots for the hunting clinic were still open, whereas spots for the Timbertots Flower Fun and Nature Explorer children’s programs were on waiting lists. This comes as no surprise, since results of surveys conducted by the GPD since 2008 indicate that residents overwhelmingly support more passive use of park lands, and specifically object to using them for hunting. This is consistent with the mission to conserve, preserve, and protects, and should be respected by the park board and administration.
The current board does not permit public comment at their meetings, where a resident such as myself might wish to express concerns about the GPD promotion of killing over conservation.
South Russell Village