Commentary

What’s this all about anyway?

Submitted by Frank Gwirtz

March 9, 2020


 

Despite all the headlines, the social media posts and the letters to the editor that have been published since Tim Grendell was appointed Probate/Juvenile Court Judge, many people just don’t have a good understanding of what all the fuss and turmoil is about around the Park District. In a news story by WKSU Radio, broadcast in July of 2017, Judge Timothy Grendell made this statement.

“Our parks don’t address the kids under 30 very well. We’re putting in an action park. It’s going to have a BMX bike trail, fishing docks on the ponds, and a zip line. And it’s geared to get younger people, who someday will have to vote for levies, interested in coming to parks.”

wksu.org/post/ohio-gives-power-over-local-parks-probate-judges

This is the rationalization he and his appointed board members have been using to explain why the Geauga Park District has spent millions on new buildings, playgrounds, ball fields and parking lots over the past six years, all the while allowing the naturalist staff to dwindle, ignoring the need to protect rare and endangered species in the parks and even refusing to accept a donation of a small plot of wetland because, “It’s just a swamp.”

He failed to mention, and probably doesn’t know, that the parks have numerous education and cultural programs that are attended by every school student in the county. There are also summer camps that serve hundreds of kids and nature programs of all kinds that serve people of all ages (yes, even “kids under 30”) from all over the county and the northeast Ohio region.

Perhaps the Judge should have consulted the Geauga Park District website before making such a statement. The website lists 37 different programs available to the public in the current month alone—all of which are appropriate for children and five of which are specifically targeted to children.

Over the years, the naturalists at the Geauga Park District have done a truly excellent job of developing programs for school students and attendance at these programs has been outstanding.


This trail is closed to anyone not holding a snowmobile permit regardless of the fact that conditions are, shall we say, less than optimal for snowmobiling.


To suggest that the parks need to develop specialized extreme sports venues and other installations that result in the removal of hundreds of trees and the destruction of many acres of wildlife habitat is foolhardy and simply arrogant. There are many ways in which the land preserved in our parks can be used for recreational, educational and cultural purposes without inflicting severe damage to the ecosystem and without removing so many of the people who worked for years to build the parks into the public treasure that they were the day Grendell was appointed. In addition, experience has shown that allowing activities in the parks that are incompatible with the mission to preserve, conserve and protect is just an open invitation to abuse.

Grendell’s real purpose has been simply to use the Park District and its independent, tax funded budget to pass out a few goodies to his cronies and open the parks to exploitation by the few who would use them for activities that shatter the silence and disrupt the ecosystem. Some people refer to this as “one hand washing the other.” In fact, it is just corruption.


These tracks, in less than two inches of snow, are totally off any trail on the grassy area south of the McCullough Center.

More snowmobile tracks on the solar system trail beyond the McCullough Center. These are

as much as a half-mile from the clearly marked snowmobile trail.


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  not-for-profit corporation 

This communication is not authorized by any candidate, political party or campaign

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