Letters to Editor Geauga Maple Leaf—Feb. 20, 2020


Wake Up Geauga Voters

The judge of the Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court is often touted as being a staunch Tea Party Republican that stands for limited government, lower spending and judicial restraint. Do the facts support such a claim? Let’s take a look.

In 2011, when Judge Grendell was first appointed, there were 1,541 newly filed juvenile/probate cases in his court. His court’s expenditures amounted to $1,757,309.82. That was then.

In 2018, there were 1,259 newly filed juvenile/probate cases in his court. His court’s expenditures in 2018 amounted to $2,685,969.67 and would have been (should have been) higher, but for a reduction of nearly $200,000 in the court’s contribution to the joint Portage-Geauga Juvenile Detention Center.

In the eight years Grendell has been responsible for the probate/juvenile court, the workload decreased, and court expenditures have increased by $1 million. What are we to do with these numbers, culled, from the court’s own annual reports? How can it be that such an allegedly frugal individual has allowed such runaway spending?

Perhaps it’s the money spent on a giant inflatable gavel for his personal booth at the fair, perhaps it’s the baubles, rubber gavels and bracelets that the court purchases with Grendell’s name emblazoned on them, or perhaps it’s the glossy “Court Newsletter” that serves as that judge’s propaganda.

Perhaps it’s the exorbitant salaries that Grendell rewards his “yes” men and women with.

Budgeting worksheets obtained through public records requests for 2020 even show a new line-item in the court’s budget: $100,000 for “Community Outreach!” An item that had never appeared before. And in an election year, imagine that.

As for someone who allegedly stands for judicial restraint, Grendell has done all he can to insert himself personally in a number of matters, as well as threatening those who question his actions. When Grendell threatened two Chester Township trustees with civil and criminal investigation after they refused to vote the way he wanted, a special judge was called in to review the issue. Judge John J. Lohn stated Grendell’s actions “violate the separation of powers doctrine and are premised upon an improper investigation.”

Judge Lohn also found Grendell’s orders unconstitutional and unlawful, stating “township trustees answer to their constituents, not the probate court.”

In 2014, Grendell threatened then Auditor Frank Gliha. A year later, he threatened to hold Chardon councilwoman Nancy McArthur in contempt of court and, in 2017, threatened to jail the assistant director of the Department of Job & Family Services and a then 75-year-old caseworker for reportedly questioning one of his orders in a child support case.

In 2019, two of Grendell’s court employees started a ruckus at the county auditor’s office and one of them snatched financial records and took the paperwork out of the building without authority or permission. Upon their return to the auditor’s office, they were asked to leave or be charged with criminal trespass and the Chardon police were called. Judge Grendell interjected himself into the issue, now on the sidewalk outside the auditor’s office, in his judicial robe, and threatened the police officer.

Wake up Geauga County! Grendell treats taxpayer dollars and the court budget like his own personal war chest to promote his own agenda, not to serve the people of Geauga County. It’s time for a change. Make your voices heard on March 17, 2020, and vote for Matt Rambo.

Rose Yaecker
Newbury Township


GOP Fully Backs Rambo

Being a young voter, I’ve recently realized the importance of democracy and using your voice for the betterment of your life and the community you live in.

It is astonishing to me the amount of people my age who have been discouraged against voting because they don’t believe their voices are heard. I am urging people of the younger generation to show up and place their votes because every single one does matter.

I know that this statement is overused, however, voting and taking a stand has never been as crucial as it is at this very moment in our lives. It isn’t rude to have an opinion; what’s important is how you use it.

I would also like to take a moment to mention the importance of voting for candidate Matt Rambo, who is running for judge against Timothy Grendell.

Rambo is fully backed by the Geauga Republican party and cares about issues deeper than just his own gain and recognition, which is exactly the opposite of Grendell. We, as a community, need to come together and recognize what is best going forward for Geauga and the Russell area, and who better than Rambo. He is a man who has shown nothing but integrity and a desire to be unbiased and honest in his personal and professional life.

When out at the polls, it is equally important to remember that Russell Township’s unique beauty and characteristics are derived from our commitments to keeping up the green spaces and parks. In fact, property values have increased due to the rural charm, open space and large lots in our community.

In order to keep Russell Township as charming and successful as it is, it is vital that we vote Yes to Issue 3 to replace the Russell park levy that expired two years ago. Though voting for Rambo to be the new judge is crucial, he won’t have any say over how the new park levy will be used. Unlike Judge Grendell who has interfered with Russell parks on many occasions and the eventual result being the loss of our parks to the Geauga Park district. If this levy is passed, our parks will now be left in the hands of us, the Russell residents, and not a probate judge with no vested interest in our community.

I am urging everyone, especially the large population of young people who maybe be disheartened, to please register to vote and go to the polls to make sure that the changes that need to happen do.

Cheyenne Falz
Russell Township


A Vote For Reason

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat is not the issue. The fact is that most sensible people simply want to have a say-so when it comes to electing community leaders. We want the best man or woman for the job.

This is why I have always voted for the most logical choice. Why be limited to a hard party-line vote if it does not feel right? Besides, I couldn’t care less if there is an R or a D by my name, if I know in my heart that I voted for decency over devious.

This March 17 is the day that I will ask for a Republican ballot even though I do not typically vote Republican in a primary election. Why? Because otherwise my vote will mean nothing when it comes to choosing the right man for the job of Probate/Juvenile Court Judge.

I have personally talked with both candidates. Matthew Rambo has years of experience in the courtroom and had good common sense answers to all of my questions. Timothy Grendell is very experienced at spending outrageous amounts of money on self-promotion, and uses threats to get his way from what is supposed to be an unbiased position as judge.

This seems to be an easy common sense choice. I will select a Republican ballot for the primary election and vote confidently for Matthew Rambo. This is your one and only opportunity to oust a self-promoting bully. Request the Republican ballot to make your reasonable vote count.

Rick A. Webb
Munson Township

Protect Geauga Parks endorses and supports Matt Rambo for Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge in the March 17 Republican Primary election.
Please request a Republican Party ballot and vote for Matt Rambo.

Protect Geauga Parks is a 501(c)4  non-profit corporation 
This communication is not authorized by any candidate, political party or campaign committee.

Categories: Commentary

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