No need to expand board
The Grendell-appointed Geauga County Park Board does not need to expand to five members, from its current slate of three. Just because one commissioner forgets to attend, one commissioner misses two meetings in a row and one has, in my opinion, an appearance of conflict of interest, does not mean that the whole wheel needs to be re-invented. The park board has operated just fine for many many years. Perhaps it is time to replace the commissioners who do not see the monthly meeting as a priority, with residents who would make as a priority their dedication to spending their time advocating for preservation, conservation and protection of the parks with integrity and transparency.
Let public speak
It’s clear that most of the folks in Geauga County are rather conservative in nature. Typically that means they don’t want their hard earned tax dollars wasted by government agencies. Strange then that they have given the good Judge Timothy Grendell as much support as they have over the years. He’s currently sending out a news letter to county residents apparently at taxpayer expense to the tune of likely $20,000 or so a crack. Likely no other probate judges in the entire country do this.
The park commissioners that the good judge has appointed to the l545 Russell Park District have spent about $60,000 in the last six months on attorney and accountant fees. Keep in mind that these are the park district commissioners that claimed they had no money so they had to lease most of their land to the Geauga Park District. Could it be that they are doing the judge’s bidding and trying to bankrupt the 1545 Russell parks so the good judge can then declare the system bankrupt and transfer all of that park system to the ownership of the Geauga Park District? Another power or land grab? Another waste of our tax dollars?
The good judge claims it’s up to the commissioners how they run the parks. Ha! He’s likely fired or not renewed the appointments of more park commissioners than any probate judge in history. A freedom of information request to the Geauga Park District showed that he even requires the park newsletter to be approved by him before it is allowed to go out to the public. Now there is an effort to increase the number of Geauga park commissioners from three to five members. Some might say that this will increase the diversity of views on the board and be a good thing. Likely not so in this case as the good judge will likely appoint more of this friends who have shown no interest in natural areas in the past, have had no involvement with parks in the past and will continue to not allow public comment and questions at public park commissioners meetings. Public comment would be a real way to add a diversity of views on issues before the board.
John G. Augustine