Letters to the editor: Chagrin Valley Times—March 28, 2019

Commitment important
If the business of the Geauga Park District is not important enough to the commissioners appointed by Geauga County Probate Judge Timothy Grendell for them to attend all meetings of the board of commissioners, then they should be replaced. If a candidate for commissioner has business or other activities that are more important to him or her than attending the meetings, they should decline the appointment.
Every township in Geauga County has three township trustees. How many of them don’t attend every township meeting. If they didn’t, would they get re-elected? Do we need to get the Ohio State Legislature to change the laws to allow more than three trustees per township? Sen. John Eklund?

Donald E. Dozer
Munson Township

Letters to Editor re: Judge Grendell’s most recent publication to Geauga residents

Learn about family first act
This letter is in response to use of taxpayer money for self-promotion that was delivered to my mailbox. If people wanted to know, the information about the court budget is public. If our newspapers did regular critical analysis and performance checking, without some crisis popping up, we might be routinely informed about the specifics of agency budgets and actions. The U.S. Congress had to pass a federal law to fix the way Geauga County, and Ohio, treats families and children, signed by the president last year called the Family First Prevention Services Act. Fact is we have been hurting children and families.
What people want to know who care about those issues and are knowledgeable is
1. How many children in county custody were placed in institutions instead of with family last year, last month, last week, today?
2. How many kids were put in juvenile detention who could have been served by private or community agencies?
3. How many extended family members were shut out because of having complained about the way members of our flawed county juvenile systems act?
4. How many people and children were punished directly for complaining? There are counties, like Cuyahoga, that provide some of that information, on their agency websites.
5. How will Geauga County work to comply with the FFPSA? Or will people in charge continue to be in denial and brag about themselves when the FFPSA and Ohio’s statistics are proof there has been harm done?
6.Will Geauga County be taking advantage of the matching funds offered by the federal government to provide attorneys for the children in the court system? The funding for the family members? Or will our county continue to simply offer a “help desk” and tell them to hire attorneys with money they likely do not have? Or, is that a wrongful use of federal matching funds?
7. What do those who work in Geauga County juvenile systems, all of them, know about why the FFPSA was necessary in the first place? I wonder.

Robin Neff

Judge launches newsletter
It seems the National Enquirer wasn’t enough for the potentate of probate. Nope, Geauga County Probate Court Judge Timothy Grendell put on his reporter’s fedora hat, grabbed his reporter’s pad and went to work. With the help of his trusty patronage staff and our public money he created “Grendell’s Grandstand News.”
By now every house in Geauga has received a copy. This guy is amazing. With so much work to do shuffling papers and banging his gavel he still finds time to take on this new project. And it’s a good thing for all of us. If it wasn’t for this self-celebratory compendium, how would we know how wonderful a jurist he is? Grendell tells us that his newsletter is “outreach” to the community. Well sort of, if he means he’s reaching out and taking your public money to pay for publishing it.
When you mail to the 35,000 Geauga households it gets pricey. Similar mailings cost over $20,000. But since we are paying, he’s OK with it. So as Grendell begins work on the next edition of the “Grandstand News” we know he is following the time-honored journalistic advice to “never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” So enjoy! You paid to be told how brightly the stars shine down on his premier probate presence.

Dave Partington
Munson Township

Categories: Commentary

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