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Commentary for 2017

Commentary from other years 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
Last update on April 20, 2017

Published Thursday, April 20, 2017

In a 45-minute trustee meeting on Monday, April 17, 2017, Fire Chief John Philips noted “evaluation” of the current sign situation, followed by the apparent abandonment of the current official fire department sign, which has been plagued with defective/non-operative light bulbs in the last several years. Per Phillips’ comment that he would not be purchasing a $28,000 electronic sign because “we wouldn’t do” that, Trustee Eberly asked those at the table whether a motion to approve the purchase of an electronic sign had ever happened.

“I think we did,” a confident Troyan responded as he directed his gaze toward Fiscal Officer, Fred May.
“I don’t remember,” said May.
P. J. Cavanagh stayed wisely quiet.
“I don’t think we did,” noted Chief Phillips.

Eberly quickly made the motion to approve the purchase of a $16,418 electronic sign and split the cost 50-50 between the Auburn Township Trustees and the Auburn Township “Volunteer” Fire Department.

It appears that, in addition to its Taj Mahal fire department and palatial service department buildings, the Auburn Township taxpayers will no longer have to worry about replacing a $10 light bulb in a boring sign.

Is this progress OR WHAT?
How about those great INTELLECTS behind the table?

Published Thursday, April 13, 2017

The next stage in the laboriously slow court proceedings against Geauga County Assistant Prosecutor Bridey Matheney has been announced. Bridey was stopped by Bainbridge police about midnight on the evening of November 19-20, 2016, after being observed veering left of center on Route 306 heading south at Tulip Lane. Bainbridge dash cam video demonstrated the presence of a Solo cup, which subsequently found itself in a different location when the arresting officer went to
retrieve it as evidence. Dash cam video also demonstrated Matheney saying, “I think I can” when given directions for performance of field sobriety tests. Viewers of TV Channels 8 and 19 and multiple other media stations across the country saw Matheney apparently unable to perform satisfactorily, with the result that she was arrested in handcuffs and her vehicle was towed.

Matheney declined the breathalyzer test, which she could have used to demonstrate her sobriety. This writer has examined twenty-two DUI arrests made between November 15-December 31, 2016, by various law-enforcement agencies in Geauga County: the sheriff, community police staff, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Those arrested individuals who refused a breathalyzer test were automatically sanctioned with loss of driving privileges. In all but three of the cases, the accusations against those charged with DUI-related offenses were dispensed with in a period of one-three months.

Matheney, who pleaded Not Guilty, has been able to suppress two pieces of the original five pieces of evidence presented to visiting judge, Larry Allen in Chardon Municipal Court Case 2016 TR C 06683, State of Ohio vs Matheney, Mary B. The next pre-trial hearing is in the courtroom of Judge Terri Stupica on Monday, May 1, 2017, at 2:30 P.M.

Matheney’s boss, Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz, announced to newsprint media that it is not the Prosecutor’s job to try Matheney’s DUI case. He noted that as Prosecutor he would deal with the outcome of the trial once it was completed. Examination of several letters bearing the names of the employees of the Geauga Prosecutor’s office have demonstrated that Matheney is no longer identified at the top of the page as administrator of the civil division of that office.

We remain committed to the prospect of justice being served in this DUI case. For anyone who has borne the pain and suffering of a DUI-related injury or death due to drunk driving, we urge you to monitor this case carefully. Most of those who are arrested in Geauga County do not have the privilege of being associated with high governmental office or special opportunities. Matheney, an employee hired by former Geauga County Prosecutor, David Joyce, about 2007, has actively sought judicial appointment, judicial election, and election to the post of Geauga County Auditor. She was a “graduate” of the Geauga Leadership program in spring 2015.

It is our hope that attorneys in general and public servants in particular have a special obligation in being role models for the “rest of us.” Time will tell, eventually, won’t it? When you say the Pledge of Allegiance, remember that it is “liberty and justice for all.”

Chardon Municipal Court
Monday, May 1, 2017,
2:30 P.M.
Courtroom of Judge Stupica

Published Thursday, April 13, 2017

We always encourage our readers to attend as many public meetings as possible in Geauga County.
Take a look at the contorted, inappropriate floor covering which greeted attendees to the Auburn Township Trustee Meeting on Monday, April 3, 2017. Unknown to the lady crossing this runner to gain access to a seat that would permit her to hear the proceedings, someone in the back row was doing twisties with his swivel chair positioned on the runner. As a result, a number of buckles and loops formed in the runner. The victim’s foot caught in the runner, causing her to scream and fall forward, just barely avoiding contact with the massive wooden Trustees’ table. Shocking display.

Many thanks to the Boy Scout who offered a strong, helping hand of assistance.

How important is it to YOU readers that your elected officials demonstrate responsible behavior to protect and promote YOUR health, welfare, and safety when YOU are visiting a public meeting in YOUR community?

Published Sunday, March 26, 2017

When this writer first moved into Auburn Township after a twenty-year residency in Summit County, she was immediately attracted to the two local weekly publications, The Geauga Maple Leaf and the Chagrin Valley Times. Although she abandoned the former after subscribing for several years, she has managed to renew the subscription to CVT for the last twenty years—until now. The purpose of this commentary is to try to get a handle on why the CVT no longer is engaged in objective reporting, the very reason for subscribing in the first place.

From the very outset the Times and its editor, David Lange, were of a liberal temperament, particularly with regard for fiercely espousing and protecting personal property rights. Shifting during various periods in life from Democratic to Republican registration, this writer has always strongly espoused the rights of the individual, particularly with regard to personal property rights. Thus, it should have been no surprise to anyone, least of all this writer, that back in 2010 when we were the horse farm that gained the opportunity to challenge Auburn Township on its stance that it could impose zoning and forbid our planned ten kilowatt farm wind turbine, we found ourselves in political alignment with Editor Lange.

As long-time researchers of and proponents for alternative energy (aka solar panels, wind turbines, and biomass production), we had found ourselves in agreement on that issue with the Democratic Party, only to find out that some local Democrats were proponents of alternative energy when it did not infringe on their aesthetic views. In short, some Geauga County Democrats were of a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) bent. For this writer, probably the biggest sin any individual can commit is hypocrisy.

At the time of the wind turbine chapter, Geauga County Democratic higher-ups seemed like some of the biggest NIMBY hypocrites ever. Consequently, at the next primary election, this writer registered Republican and simultaneously dropped the Maple Leaf because of the editor’s apparent fear of challenging the hypocrisy of the Good Old Boys in charge of governance of the county. Meanwhile, there was David Lange, the champion of the individual who dared to challenge the status quo like some David versus Goliath. Editor Lange, Democrat though he was, always saw both sides of an issue and permitted conflicting views and opinions, allowing the proponent of opposing views to grow in depth and perspective with the exercise of writing a letter to the editor. For this reason, Editor Lange was one of the best teachers to whom this writer has ever been exposed.

All good things, however, eventually come to an end, and the only permanence in the universe is change. So it was with David Lange, who came into a well-earned retirement in fall 2016. The role of editor apparently fell to longtime journalist, Barbara Christian. For awhile now, this writer has been observing comments from Ms. Christian that are not just partisan, but hatefully brewing radical division and sedition. The column of March 16, 2017, titled, “Trio spreading fear, distrust at discussion,” was the straw that pushed this writer over the edge for several reasons. First of all, Ms. Christian noted on one hand the presence of a staff reporter she identified as Krista Kano. At no point did Ms. Christian identify herself as present at the Tea Party meeting that was the subject of her editorial. It would appear, then, that the conclusions drawn by Ms. Christian were not based on her own observation or attendance at the meeting, but upon the opinions of a third party. Drawing personal conclusions based on the observations of someone else and not on one’s personal participation is a very shallow thought process, one that demonstrates lack of critical and rational thought and/or inability to reach one’s own conclusions. This writer misses the gentle, logical David Lange, who was always able to bring down thunder, lightning, and wrath with one well-placed, tongue-in-cheek word. This writer would caution Ms. Christian on demagoguery, such as her second paragraph. “Instead of demonstrating moral authority, these secular and religious leaders led a clinic on how to win a race to the bottom of rational thought by delivering misinformation and spreading fear, hate, and distrust.” Ms. Christian perhaps should be the first to set the example of delivering objective truth.

Moreover, later in the piece Ms. Christian wrote, “And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t God supposed to love all people? Who knew he [sic] played political favorites. Church attendance will surely suffer when news of this gets out.” Ms. Christian should cease to be the judge of who or what God is supposed to be or where God can be found. Ms. Christian’s narcissistic egotism has demonstrated, again, her lack of objectivity and rationalism as a journalist, trained or otherwise.

As a postlude to the discovery that the editorial content of The Chagrin Valley Times has taken a nosedive into the depths of Hades or even deeper into the pits of Hell itself, this writer has concluded that, if we are “demonstrating moral authority,” the only option available is to terminate the periodical when the subscription is up.

David Lange, may you enjoy a blissful, well-earned retirement. You are, apparently, an impossible act to follow.

Published Saturday, March 18, 2017

Both the State of Ohio’s and defense team’s final briefs for 2016 TR C 00683 were due for examination by visiting Lake County Judge Allen on Monday, March 13. By joint motion, briefs were submitted on March 15, 2017.

Noteworthy about the defense brief was the in limine motion to suppress evidence submitted by Police Prosecutor James Gillette. The written closing argument submitted by defense attorney, Kenneth Bossin, on March 15 is a motion to suppress the entire pre-trial hearing held on February 27, 2017, apparently to block the testimony of both the arresting police officer and the driver of another vehicle who said he called the Bainbridge Police Department because the vehicle he witnessed was weaving on Route 306 heading south. The memorandum submitted by defense purports to demonstrate errors committed by the arresting officer and questions the credibility of the other driver. In response, the State of Ohio, represented by Prosecutor James Gillette, on March 16, 2017, filed a memorandum in opposition. The judgment is in the hands of visiting judge Allen. Should the defendant, Bridey Matheney, have her motion granted, it would appear that there is no case whatsoever and she will be dismissed. It is expected that Judge Allen will take up to 30 days from the later filing, presumably April 15, 2017, to render his judgment.

The turn of events raises some important questions for the Geauga community. When an individual refuses the opportunity to take a breathalyzer, as did Matheney, it is the understanding of this writer that the consequence is an automatic suspension of the right to drive. For readers who have had some personal or family experience with the DUI arrest process, how many of you would have been permitted to suppress the fact that you or a family member or friend refused the breathalyzer?

The State’s case began from a position of strength when the evidence noted that Matheney refused the breathalyzer. If she had nothing to hide, why wouldn’t she take the breathalyzer? More importantly, Prosecutor is no neophyte. If he thought he held the stronger case, why would he agree to suppression of the fact of Matheney’s refusal to submit to the breathalyzer? How could his case be any stronger without the evidence of the breathalyzer? Is it possible that Gillette’s concession had been arranged beforehand with the expectation that members of the Geauga community would not be any wiser for the giveaway to the Matheney team? How many Geauga residents could expect the same treatment? That answer brings forth a laugh of derision and scorn for the expression, “liberty and justice for all.”

Once Matheney was gifted with the suppression of the breathalyzer information, how big a step could it be to envision the defense team, flush with its little victory, now reaching for the big enchilada?

Could the outcome of Matheney’s DUI arrest on November 19 have been determined already? Yes.

Could Justice, as practiced in the Chardon Municipal Court, be slithering into a swamp that needs to be drained? Yes.

Could Chardon Municipal case 2016TR C 06683 (State of Ohio v. Mary B Matheney) be another case where the Geauga Good Ole Boys come out on top? Fill in your best answer.

Published Sunday, March 12, 2017

Recently we explored Auburn Township’s “bid” methodology for contractors seeking to break through the concrete ceiling to do business here. Recently we highlighted the apparent fact that in spite of going through the motions of a legitimate bid process, Auburn “elected” trustees continue to pick and choose their favorite buds by means of some “meeting” that is neither public nor transparent. For the last several years the “chosen ones” in Auburn Township have been Architect Jim Larson, “Project Manager” Jim Dixon, and Hummel Construction. Together, this “team” has constructed a fire station and a service garage, and now will go full steam ahead on a 1200-square foot “addition” for storage coupled with a redo of the parking lot valued in excess of $250,000/

The track record has been less than stellar. You may remember that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spent about six months from late March until nearly September 2016 looking into violations of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) (see pages 46 and 47) plan/contract that “project manager” Jim Dixon apparently ignored or did not know about in the construction of the service garage. Apparently, Dixon, who collected, in his words, about a five per cent fee for his “supervision,” forgot that Larson's architectural plans called for a silt fence and a “skimmer” on the drainage pond as arranged through the Geauga County Soil and Water Conservation District. Although we highlighted the 40 page report from the EPA on this website, Trustee John Eberly insisted that the trustees and Assistant Prosecutor Dirty Birdie all Curdly, now fighting a charge of DUI, had to review over 400 pages of records from the EPA. Man, that must have been some NPDES violation!! Luckily for township elected personnel, the EPA could not state with 100 per cent assurance that problems with private drinking water systems were not the direct result of township error or abuse of oversight.

Now that the Auburn trustees are moving on to the next money pit project at Adam Hall, the Dixon-Larson team chose to participate with the trustees in some kind of “bargaining charade” at the March 6 public meeting. Both Dixon and Larson, with half-smiles on their lips, stated their individual needs to receive $35,000 apiece because as Dixon noted, “It’s not the percentage.
It is the details. There are a lot of unknowns in this small of a project. I’m hesitant to go beneath ten per cent. We want to do this job. . .so I’d consider $30,000.” Larson let Dixon do his talking and bargaining, but you could almost see him nod and hear his brains rattling.

Then came Eberly’s time to perform with the little branded Eberly half-smirk: “How about $25,000?” All of this was right according to pre-arranged plan.

Next came Dixon, with Larson perfectly silent and willing to let Dixon perform the piece de resistance. Dixon magnanimously offered to”split the difference” at $27,500 apiece for Larson and himself. Larson identified the arrangement as “good fellowship.” If the project comes in at $250,000, both Dixon and Larson will collect eleven per cent each.

So in five minutes, Auburn trustees agreed to pay $55,000 to “plan” a 1200-square foot enclosure in Adam Hall. Think about that, readers, the next time you contemplate an addition to your own domicile. For $55,000 you could get the consulting services of the dynamic duo.

Stay tuned for the next pre-arranged money pit business plan engineered by the Auburn Trustees for the Dixon-Larson team. It just goes to show, there still are Chosen Ones.

Published March 8, 2017

Those of you who have lived in Auburn Township for a while undoubtedly were familiar with the large parcel of land near the corner of Munn and East Washington Streets as Cathan Farm. There is no Cathan Farm any longer because the owners, James and Ruth, have passed on to their greater rewards.  Both James and Ruth were “locals,” but they did not know each other until their college years at Kent State University. Both born about 1918, they married in 1939, acquiring over 50 acres in Auburn Township to raise livestock, particularly dairy cows, and to grow crops. Not too many years after their marriage, they were raising five lively youngsters: John, Joanne, Edic, Janet, and Michael.

Unknown to James Cathan’s children, he was living a secret life of developing mathematical and chemical formulas that led to the completion of World War II’s Manhattan Project. What was the Manhattan Project? It was the employment of thousands of skilled workers under scientists Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi, and others, to find a way to end World War II. In August 1945, the Manhattan Project came to fruition when two bombs were dropped on the wartime enemy, Japan. The first bomb, composed of 120 pounds of the uranium isotope, U235, was dropped on Hiroshima by an American B-29 aircraft. The explosion of August 6, 1945, resulted in 40,000 immediate deaths and tens of thousands of additional fatalities from the effects of the bomb’s radiation, in total 90% of Hiroshima’s population. The plutonium bomb dropped from a second B-29 on Nagasaki on August 9 killed an estimated 40,000 people. Those two cataclysmic events brought a surrender from emperor Hirohito of Japan and a return to peacetime. Without the efforts of the over 13,000 individuals, like Auburn’s Farmer James Cathan, World War II might have dragged on for several more years.

One of James’ and Ruth’s children, Janet Cathan Giunto, noted several years ago that as a child, she remembered her father’s interrupting his farming routine to answer questions on the phone. Unknown to her at the time, those questions involved scientific/mathematical questions regarding her father’s work on the Manhattan Project. It wasn’t until his death, however, that the children found the paperwork connecting their father with the Manhattan Project. Participants in the project received certificates from the Secretary of War at the time identifying “work essential to the production of the Atomic Bomb, thereby contributing to the successful conclusion of World War II.” Mrs. Giunto noted that her father’s farm work, for example milking the cows, was a way to relieve the stress of his wartime efforts.

For most of Auburn Township, “Cathan Farm” came to symbolize the rural farm effort. James Cathan died in 2006, followed by the death of wife Ruth in 2014. For many people, the purchase of the farm parcel in 2005, not from the heroic Cathan family, but from the entity now known as the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, seemed like less than the most honorable treatment. To add insult to injury, Cathan Farm, without public input, became known as Auburn Community Park, cutting off all association of the parcel with a brave farm family that helped ensure American freedom.

At the Auburn Township March 6, 2017, trustee meeting, P. J. Cavanagh apparently felt compelled to provide another name for “Auburn Community Park.” Then the boastful egotism of John Eberly took over as he publicly ridiculed Cavanagh for having such thoughts. Cavanagh may have felt compelled to do something honorable and decent during the 200th anniversary of the founding of Auburn Township. And then the moment was all over, John Eberly gloated triumphantly, and the importance of one of Auburn Township’s most selfless citizens and protectors of freedom became buried once again. Too bad, P.J., that you just didn’t have the fortitude, the passion, or the persistence to do the right thing. If history does not remember Farmer-Hero Jim Cathan, it certainly won’t remember an Eberly, a Troyan, or a Cavanagh.

Published Friday, March 3, 2017

Back in 2012 U.S. Representative Steve LaTourette came “home” from Congress, as it turned out, to become a grim statistic when he passed away in 2016 from metastatic pancreatic cancer. With the blessings of the Geauga and Lake County Republican Central Committees, then Geauga County Prosecutor, David Joyce, was named to finish out LaTourette’s 14th District U.S. Congressional seat until December 31, 2014.

Already the subject of some newspaper articles referencing his sexual and alcoholic dalliances, he remarked upon his party’s appointment, “I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.” For those in Geauga County who have been paying attention, Just Dave has been caught more than once saying one thing and doing just the opposite. Within the last week, this website has shared just one of the latest examples: giving voice acceptance to constituents’ concerns about unrestricted immigration from Syria and then casting a vote that has identified him as a two-faced liar.

As early as two years ago when this writer asked to meet with Representative Joyce on a matter, his personal aides stepped in to protect him from being exposed to a potential rabble-rouser. When Joyce did show up to Republican functions, he always brought handlers with him to sort through questions submitted by attendees on index cards and to ferret out the inquiries that might catch Just Dave unprepared or unqualified to respond. The other tactic that handlers like the Lake County Central Committee Chairman utilized was limiting Just Dave’s responses, apparently to avoid the impression that the Congressman might actually demonstrate that he did not present himself well under spontaneous debate situations or thinking on his own feet. Those who kept track of the Congressional elections in 2014 and 2016 witnessed opponents, fellow Republican Matt Lynch, and Democrat Michael Wager, debating with an empty chair or wall because Just Dave chose with arrogance or terror to avoid dialogue with other human beings.

That revelation came into play again when the candidate who asserted that “I say what I mean, and I mean what I say” refused to meet with a large delegation of constituents who wanted Just Dave to look them in the eye when they spoke and to speak in “live time.” Like Matt Lynch and Michael Wager, these voters were ignored by a “representative” who avoids direct contact with the public as much as he possibly can.

Ron Hill’s graphic in the Chagrin Valley Times edition of March 2, 2017, tells the whole story.
Many people who sought the “opportunity” to converse directly with their elected Representative were disappointed when, oh gee, they were not chosen to participate in the “Tele-Town Hall.” A vast number of others were not even made aware of the event. What else is new, Geauga County? You live in a U.S. and Ohio legislative district that has historically been under-represented because the voters apparently are perceived as willing to put up with complacency and status quo. Wake up, Geauga County voters. There is far more talent out there than the raspy whimper of Just Dave.

Published Saturday February 25, 2017

During a recent telephone Town Hall, 86% of his supporters said that they favored stopping the relocation of Syrian Refugees to the United States. Congressman Joyce GUARANTEED them he
would continue to fight.

Three days later he joined Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and 164 other Democrats and voted for a $1.1 Trillion spending bill that includes millions for bringing Syrian refugees.

I believe the people of Northeast Ohio deserve a Representative who is honest with the people he is supposed to represent.

If you agree, please visit MattLynch.com, pledge to vote, sign-up to volunteer and donate to help me fight the phony Republicans in D.C.

~ Matt

Editor’s note: Matt, I am confused. Last week David Joyce’s office in Painesville was picketed by radical left wing protesters. Don’t they know Just Dave is one of theirs?

The following is from: Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus

"CCPC Resist Trump Tuesday visit to the offices of Congressmen Jim Renacci (District 16) and David Joyce (District 14)

Tuesday, February 21 from 11:30 am to 1 pm @ 7335 Ridge Rd. Parma 44129 or 1 Park Center Drive Wadsworth 44281 (Renacci offices) or 10075 Ravenna Rd. Twinsburg 44087 or 1 Victoria Place Painesville 44077 (Joyce offices). These are simultaneous event’s. Go to the closest one near you. Plan is to gather at 11:30 outside with signs (suggested sign: Why no Town Hall during your recess?) and chants and then have constituents go in around noon to ask the staff whatever might be on your mind. Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and find Jim or Dave themselves at one of the offices. If you do not live in District 14 or 16 please come along to add to the outside signs and chants presence.
Source http://www.progressohio.org/event/ccpc-resist-trump-visit-joyce-painesville-office/

Published Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Auburn Township’s legal ad appearing in local newsprint media on 1/12/17 and 1/19/17 noted that “[i]t is now necessary to engage a construction manager. . . Proposals will be received on or before 4 P.M., February 6, 2017. The opening of proposals will take place at the Regular [sic] meeting of the Board of Trustees, at the above listed address, at 8:00 P.M on Monday, February 6, 2017.”

Well, so far so good; the Trustees haven’t screwed around with the truth yet. . .Read on. In a recent commentary entitled “Auburn’s Chosen One,” we noted the three bids that were opened at 8:00 P.M. at the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees on Monday, February 6, 2017. We noted that at odds of 1-2, we expected Jim Dixon, who may have cast some Rasputin-like spell over three elected officials, to get the job of construction manager. Forgive us; we described the job as “project manager.” Same deal. Well, by golly the February 20 regular meeting of the Trustees came, and golly gee, they picked out Jim Dixon. You don’t suppose they had their minds up ahead of time, do you now?

Funny thing about the February 22, 2017, meeting. Two of the original bidders from February 6 showed up in person to address attendees at the regular meeting of the Auburn Trustees: Lawler Construction and Northeastern Inc. Both entities had well-prepared presentations and even took the time to answer questions. Since Jim Dixon wasn’t there, he couldn’t address any questions cold-turkey from those in attendance, could he? So, Lawler and Northeastern knew, as did all the attendees, that the interview process was nothing more than a sham from three Trustees who had been told ahead of time they had to demonstrate some facade of fairness. In the old days, these Trustees would have made their choice without even announcing “candidates,” using the argument that by virtue of O.R.C., the project that cost $50,000 or less didn’t even have to be bid out. The problem this time, though, is that the 1200 square-foot Adam Hall addition is budgeted for $200,000. With that much money involved, they have to look quasi-legit. After all, two Trustees (guess which ones, faithful readers) will be running for re-election in November 2017.

Hang in there. It gets better. Suddenly, there were two more companies invited to the meeting to participate in the game: DeSalvo Construction Services and Legacy Construction Services, both as “Design and Build Team.” Hmm, When did they submit their bids? Who knows, who cares, because the Trustees had already apparently decided on Hummel Construction, builder of both the Fire Department and the recently-completed $2,000,000 service garage. Apparently, Eric Hummel, President, knew that information as well. Keep in mind that Hummel Construction was not invited to speak to Auburn Township residents either. Nevertheless, on the last page of the Hummel
“Design and Build Team Proposal,” dated February 10, 2017, Mr. Hummel wrote, “we are very interested in joining forces once more with Larsen Architects as part of a Design & Build Team for this project.”

Huh?? Larson Architects? They weren’t even one of the bidders identified on February 6 or on February 20. Nevertheless, on February 20, 2017, out of the blue, Trustee Cavanagh announced the hiring of Larsen Architects. What’s wrong with this scheme?

Conclusions: None of the invitees stood a chance in hell for serious consideration. Moreover, those who got the positions of “construction” manager and “design & build team” apparently knew ahead of time that they were entitled to the latest “design & build project” in the cushy country known as Auburn Township, where tax dollars hang from the trees like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Oh, one more thing: The $200,000 project does not include the 5-10% fees to be collected by the “construction manager.” Would you pay $220,000 for your 1200 foot addition? You would if you are three Trustees cuddling up to the same old Good Old Boys.

Election of two Trustees comes in November. Keep reading here for more information.

Published Tuesday February 21 2017
Taken from: “The Ozarks Sentinel” Editorial –June 18, 2012

Missouri has no illegals, go figure…shouldn’t the other states do the same?

Missouri’s approach to the problem of illegal immigration appears to be more advanced, sophisticated, strict and effective than anything to date in Arizona . Does the White House appreciate what Missouri has done? So, why doesn’t Missouri receive attention? Answer: There are no illegals in Missouri to demonstrate.

The “Show Me” state has again shown us how it should be done. There needs to be more publicity and exposure regarding what Missouri has done. Please pass this around.

In 2007, Missouri placed on the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment designating English as the official language of Missouri . In November, 2008, nearly 90% voted in favor! Thus, English became the official language for ALL governmental activity in Missouri . No individual has the right to demand government services in a language OTHER than English.

In 2008, a measure was passed that required the Missouri Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of any person arrested, and inform federal authorities if the person is found to be in Missouri illegally. Missouri law enforcement officers receive specific training with respect to enforcement of federal immigration laws.

In Missouri , illegal immigrants do NOT have access to taxpayer benefits such as food stamps or health care through Missouri Health NET. In 2009, a measure was passed that ensures Missouri ‘s public institutions of higher education do NOT award financial aid to individuals who are illegally in the United States .

In Missouri, all post-secondary institutions of higher education to annually certify to the Missouri Dept. of Higher Education that they have NOT knowingly awarded financial aid to students who are unlawfully present in the United States.

So, while Arizona has made national news for its new law, it is important to remember, Missouri has been far more proactive in addressing this horrific problem. Missouri has made it clear that illegal immigrants are NOT welcome in the state and they will certainly NOT receive public benefits at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.


Published Friday, February 17, 2017

If you have been following Auburn Township Trustees’ “business” choices over the last several years, you may be aware that James Dixon, recently of Newbury, Ohio, has managed to be in the catbird seat. He has been chosen the “project manager” for the Auburn Township new fire department building as well as the $2,000,000 service garage completed in 2016.

Now Auburn Trustees have decided that Auburn’s white elephant, Adam Hall, has another problem to be solved by the addition of about 1200 square feet. They have decided that this new construction requires the services of a project manager.

On February 6, 2017, Trustees opened letters of interest from three entities interested in being project manager. If there was a dollar amount identified by each of the three parties, trustees did not identify it.

On February 8, this writer asked for contact information and any dollar amount identified by each of the three “candidates” from Fiscal Officer Fredrick May, who provided no reply or note of clarification. Consequently, on February 14, a week later, this writer requested the information again with the note that it was now a second request. To date (February 17, 2017) there has been no reply.

The three candidates, based on the oral announcement made on February 6, were Lawler Construction, Northeastern, and James Dixon. This writer was able to identify the location of both Lawler Construction and James Dixon, but there appears to be no listing on the Secretary of State’s page for Northeastern.

So, now there are several questions: Who/what is “Northeastern”?
In the end does the question really matter, since Jim Dixon likely has yet another Auburn job sewn up in the bag?
Is this even a competition at all?
Why has there been a non-response to the public information request? Is it because the flavor of the day is Jim Dixon?

The Auburn Trustee meeting of February 20 may provide a vote on ZC2016-01 (third hearing on the “noise amendment”) as well as the expected choice of project manager. The odds on Dixon are 1-2.

Published Sunday, February 12, 2017

In the midst of immigration questions facing President Trump, at least one Geauga County resident believes it appropriate that not only a city, but the entire Geauga County, set itself up as an area of “Sanctuary” to receive immigrants. On the morning of January 31, 2017, shortly after the imposition of a ban on immigrants from seven countries, the Geauga County Commissioners received the following request in writing from Sandra Buckles:

“Please propose that Geauga County be declared a Sanctuary County for refugees. As a compassionate community we should welcome those in need. . .”

Perhaps unbeknownst to Ms. Buckles, Geauga County, through the services of the Geauga County Job and Family Services, is financially supporting Mexicans and other immigrants, all from Cuyahoga County, whose residence has been the Geauga County Jail for the previous year. Did you know that as residents in the county jail for a year, these individuals are considered Geauga County residents. This writer is told that such residency entitles indigents to free rent, to food subsidies, to financial support with utilities, all at a cost to Geauga residents who support Geauga County government with their real-estate tax payments. As real-estate taxpayers know, the most recent Geauga County real-estate collection closed on February 8, 2017,

If Geauga County were to become a “Sanctuary County,” as requested in the above request, by how many times would we have to multiply the current “immigrant” population to determine the correct number of incoming “refugees”? Assuming that many of these individuals face handicaps such as lack of language skills, lack of current employment, lack of housing, lack of educational opportunities, lack of adequate food and clothing, what would be the estimated cost to the taxpayers and to charitable organizations to undertake the financial responsibility of being a “Sanctuary County,” without sacrificing the jobs and welfare of Geauga County residents?

Since Ms. Buckles made the magnanimous request of offering Geauga County as a “Sanctuary County,” can we count on her as a role model to provide financial assistance, moral and ethical training, and educational opportunity to the first fifty refugees that arrive in Geauga County?

Meanwhile, in Geauga County from Facebook RE: Bridey Matheney
Published January 22, 2017
Updated January 27, 2017   This commentary will receive updates frequently.

Matt D Fioritto I guarantee she won't have to go thru what people (who don't get paid by the court system) in the same scenario have to go thru... Is it wrong to drink and drive? Absolutely. Will she be forced into paying GEauga County for jumping thru their illegal racket obstacle course? I'm gunna say those odds would be slim to none. Justice is blind, unless it feels the need to open its sleepy eyes and find some prey

Mike Shimek
Geauga will drive you to drinking.

Jeffrey E. Romito
Government employees should get double the punishment. Sad.
            Michelle Weaver Herron
Curious...why is this?
            Jeffrey E. Romito
Too many times employees with Government jobs either get a
           free pass or a lighter sentence. If you are sworn to obey and uphold the law,
           your oath should be taken seriously and there should be serious consequences.
           Used to work for a small Municipality and the level of abuse by some of the
           employees was obscene.

Lucas Kujala And, this person will only get a slap on the wrist. They should be fired immediately with no questions asked.

Buckeyes Against Drunk Driving Shame on her! She knows first hand the devastation that drunk driving causes. Thankful she didn't kill anyone.

Anne Burke Well this is embarrassing for our County.........

Allen Reinke Maybe she is a alcoholic. Needs to go to a treatment center.

Charlotte Jean
Please Mr. prosecutor treat this as if it was one of us committing this crime! Someone needs to step up and show an example even when it's one of yours!
            Charlotte Jean
Like he's even going to read this.

Jason Wells
The "Good OL Boy" system will take care of that..she will probably get a raise and promoted

Beth Hayes Schabel
Hmmmm...this is the prosecutor in our winery case
            Kellie O'Neil-Gullo
But, but... your winery wasn't open. Who do you think she
           blamed for this?
            Beth Hayes Schabel
So funny!
            Marilyn Hayes
Oh my. And she lied, what a shock.

Valerie Lyn
It's been 2 months, and she doesn't even have a pretrial date set yet? Why? All my experience pretrial has been within 30 days or so.. even with a time waiver. But 60 days and it hasn't even been set? Is this because she works for them & they have to bring in outside people to work all aspects? Hm just curious..
            Michael O'Brien
I'm sure she has a great lawyer who is purposely working
           the judicial system and taking advantage. People with the right legal counsel
           can drag cases like this out for more than a year.
            Valerie Lyn
You still get dates. You just get them rescheduled or get a
            Thomas Jones
She is or was aiming for Judge Burt's job when he steps down.
           She has ambitions. Need to keep an eye on her.

Phyllis Stephens Perkins
Well for Starts she was Arrested Nov 19th and they are just announcing it 2 Months later so that should say something as to How Many Slap's on the hand she will get !!

Ashlee Kay
Remember she plans to run for judge. Do not vote for the drunk driver for judge. Not sure how one can hand out DUIs if one is guilty of it them selves. I dealt with her first hand as assistant prosecutor and she is a nasty piece of work, she did not care that Auburn zoning was violating my rights
            Beth Hayes Schabel
We have a similar story! Same township. Same prosecutor.
          And I know others in our same boat.
            Ashlee Kay
Auburn made me remove my goats from my property after i had goats
           here 6 years and tear down my barn.
            Beth Hayes Schabel
Ashlee Kay I am so sorry. And they are supposedly pro
           agriculture. We are moving to get out of Auburn.
            Ashlee Kay
Beth Hayes Schabel yes between that and Trump we are planning
           to leave the country. I raised goats for 15 years. It is sad our trustee has the
           nastiest looking falling down farm with major back taxes owed.

Noah Mcgowan
Better get the same sentence as everyone else

Danielle Marie
You guys do realize that she's probably going to lose her job? You don't get to keep a position like this with an OVI convictions.
Source I worked with a county prosecutor and asked what happens if u get an OVI and he said he'd be fired.
            Jaymee Soto
She'll get a lesser charge and keep her job. But you or me - we'ld
          get the book thrown at us
            Shad Sipes
This person new this before they decided to drink and drive...They
          obviously did not care about they job.so y should I..?

Todd Rasmussen
I'm sure she will get special treatment.

Dusty Gerlosky
This stupid bitch is my prosecuter. Why does she get special treatment that's fucked up.

Blake Frederick
Let's make sure she gets treated like everyone else.

Jesse T. Nash
They are all human beings even though they are condescending and hypocritical.... the difference is is they can afford expensive lawyers.

Julie Kaufman Munn
What an idiot...

Trent Anderson
Probably a friend of Mary Briggs... Drag it out for a year or more and get a slap on the wrist. Naughty, naughty!

Lee Mark Sipos
Give her the Orange license plate and see how it feels.

Ashlee Kay
Mathaney is a bitch.

Steven Hurd
What goes around ... comes around.

William Ray
Not good!

And 44 more comments as of January 24th

Other Facebook pages sharing this Fox 8 post:
            Tony Guarniere
            Beth Hayes Schabel
            Michael Morris
            Meanwhile, in Geauga County
            Shannon Reusser
            News network of Ashtabula County and beyond
            Tina Chapman
            Buckeyes Against Drunk Driving
Inerestingly Facebook says they have a in excess of 1000 people talking about this.

News outlets carrying this news story:
            Fox 8 News
            News Herald
            Geauga County Maple Leaf
            Geauga Constitutiona Council
            Bristol Herald Courier, Bristol, VA
            The Associated Press
            WOIO News 19
            The Lima News
            Emergencyemail.org, Chardon , OH
            Fox 19 WXIX TV, Cincinnati News
            WBTV, Charlotte, NC
            Tucson News, KTTU, KMSB,and  KOLD, Tucson, AZ
            Cleveland.com - The Plain Dealer
            The Delaware Gazitte
            WTOL Toledo News
            Live5News.com, Charlston, SC
            MSNewsNow.com, Jackson, MS
            WMC Action News 5, Memphis, TN4
            WVUE Fox 8, New Orleans, LA
            WAFF-TV News Huntsville, AL
            KWES New West 9 Big Spring, TX
            WLOX.com The News for South Mississipi
            WDAM TV 7 News Hattiesburg, MS
And the list goes on.....           
Published January 18, 2017

Are Auburn Trustees playing games again? After the public hearing on Noise Amendment 2016 ZC 01, Trustees have opted for a third public hearing on Monday, February 20, 2017, at 6:30 P.M. Trustees have already laid the groundwork for the failure of this amendment by letting the buck stop with Assistant Prosecutor, familiar to many as Brindle Matheney. Matheney has reportedly questioned who would have standing to bring litigation in the event of a mandamus regarding noise violation against a commercial venture.

Many Auburn residents showed up at the Monday, January 16, 2017, hearing to express their unhappiness and distrust of Eclipse Companies, a landscaping excavating venture that won a conditional land use from the Auburn Board of Zoning Appeals at a hearing on August 13, 2013. The former occupant of the property, Wheeler Landscaping, was a long-term good neighbor well-respected in the Auburn community. Mr. Wheeler appeared at that BZA meeting, where attendees heard purchaser Tom Agresta proclaim that he would run Eclipse “like Wheeler.”

The biggest complaint that surfaced at the January 16 public hearing was the excessive noise that begins, residents attested, as early as 6:30 A.M. at Eclipse seven days a week, with the exception of Father’s Day. Those who followed the Geauga County Common Pleas Judicial race of 2016 knew that Eclipse owners, the Agrestas, were large financial and psychological supporters for then Common Pleas primary contest candidate Matheney. It has been widely rumored that in exchange Matheney was able to gain some favors for Eclipse. Matheney lost that race to Judge Carolyn Paschke, who succeeded David Fuhry on January 1, 2017.

Additionally, the mention of Eclipse’s noise transgressions brought on a couple of snide remarks from Trustee Eberly. When Auburn resident David Fiala referenced loud explosions occurring at Eclipse, Eberly retorted with a foolish smile, “ In spite of those explosions, you were able to make it here [to the Trustee meeting.]”

“This isn’t funny. . .You’re not listening,” Mr. Fiala responded to the cocking-off Big E, as he identified two significant noise events from Eclipse on December 18, 2016, and January 16, 2017.

Expressing reservations, both Troyan and Eberly acknowledged that in the case of a noise violation ordinance, the township may not have any defensible grounds in court. “ Will the guidelines hold up in court?” Troyan asked. “Businesses in residential districts are grandfathered. Then, what are the ramifications? Who has standing to make a complaint?” According to the above-referenced Matheney, the subject of a pending DUI charge in Chardon Municipal Court, the zoning amendment is not clear about who has the legal right to bring complaints against business/retail entities. With another Eberlyesque smirk, the Big E apparently thought he had the final answer : “The complainant [about alleged noise amendment violations] bears the cost of any testing.’’ Smiling some more, Eberly seemed to radiate the conclusion that most complainants would shut up rather than elect to pay for the cost of any testing to validate their complaints against business/industrial property owners creating noise issues in close proximity to Auburn residents.

Edie Fiala, her voice breaking with emotion, asked for forgiveness and understanding when she spoke about her perception of being violated on her own property. “Every morning at 6 A.M., I hear noise from Eclipse: loudspeakers and dump trucks.. . Wheeler [Wheeler Landscape, the former owner of the property] had so much respect. This man [Tom Agresta] has no respect. . He even kept migrant workers in his barn. We moved here to enjoy it. We don’t enjoy it.” Her husband noted that the township should pay deference to the complaints of residents about business/industrial indiscretions.

Zoning Commission member Albert Tien added, “I’ve heard the noises personally from Eclipse.”

David Fiala noted, “There are high volumes of noise. We talked to this guy [Agresta] for six months. He wasn’t interested.”

Trustee P. J. Cavanagh drew a conclusion for which he could produce no logical rationale: “There is no way a Geauga judge will uphold this amendment for us.” What’s your basis for that blanket conclusion, P.J.? Aren’t you just shooting off your mouth without any facts. . . .again?

David Fiala said, “It [the BZA Conditional use hearing on Eclipse from August 13, 2013] is all on video.”

Cavanagh: “Russell is the only territory in the county with a noise ordinance authorized by trustees, but Russell has a police department.”

Fred May, fiscal officer, offered what sounded like legal advice: “We’re trying to box ourselves in. If we say specifically ‘this,’ we’re going to be held to ‘this.’ ” Is there something wrong with exact language, Fred, so that EVERYONE knows the limits and the consequences just from reading the ordinance? Geometry is a high school class in which students learn that statements beginning with the word if have a conclusion beginning with the word then. Students still learn logic in geometry classes. Local policy makers, it appears, often shy away from such clear thinking.

David Fiala: “We filed complaints against Eclipse [with Zoning Inspector, Frank Kitko,] for which there weren’t any citations [issued].”

Tom Jones, Geauga County Planning Commission member, noted that if the Trustees vote down the new zoning amendment, which was already approved unanimously by the Geauga County Planning Commission, there will remain on the books an unenforceable noise amendment which will need to be removed.

The dialogue from the Trustees Monday evening appeared to be a well-rehearsed verbalization of decisions they have already made. Trustees, it appears to this writer, do not want an enforceable noise ordinance that would require them to use Prosecutor Jim Flaiz to defend them against a mandamus order. Essentially, it would appear that the trustees would rather be “toothless tigers,” a term used recently during a public presentation before newsprint media by Prosecutor Flaiz.

Stay tuned. There will be more to say about zoning amendments that, according to Mike Troyan, are not ordinances relating to Ohio Revised Code, but “land use” terms. You’re playing with moving targets, Troyan, . . .again. And, as John Eberly, the Big E, has been known to say a few times with his trademark smirk, “Play ‘em like you got em.”

Published January 11, 2017

Many Geauga County residents are becoming more aware of the horribly dangerous intersection of Route 306 and East Washington Street in Bainbridge Township. We have witnessed plenty of “near-miss” accidents as drivers fail to stop for the traffic light or follow too closely. In 2016 we had our own bad experience as a driver failed to stop for the red light while traveling south along 306, slamming into the passenger side of our vehicle while we had the right of way. The impact totally destroyed our vehicle and left this writer with a right collarbone broken in four places, a collapsed lung, a concussion, a hospital stay, and a second medical event requiring the surgical installation of a steel plate that necessitated learning how to handle horses and horse maintenance with left hand and arm. The experience required immense patience and dedication and exacerbated a spouse’s already existing knee problems, resulting in an unplanned-for knee replacement.

Most of 2016 was spent learning to adapt to these physical setbacks and keeping up with the rigors of our farm operation. In spite of these setbacks, we know we are fortunate to be alive. So many Geauga County residents, including Bainbridge Trustee Lorrie Benza, have said the same thing. We remain ever grateful for the diligence of the Bainbridge Police Department in supervising the intersection of Route 306 and East Washington Street. Were it not for this supervision, God knows how many more hospitalizations and funerals would result. We are not cats with nine lives; nevertheless, we have been granted a second chance that makes the following information ever more heinous to Geauga County residents.

Recently, this writer learned that at approximately 11:55 P.M. on Monday, November 19, 2016, two Bainbridge Police officers supervising Route 306 near East Washington Street observed a brown Ford SUV heading south toward Lake Lucerne. They turned on their siren and blinkers when they observed the vehicle going widely left of center and stopped the driver at 306 and Tulip Lane. The driver, who denied having imbibed from the open container smelling of beer, was identified as 43-year old Merry Oaks resident, Assistant Prosecutor Mary Brigid Matheney, who reported coming from Cleveland. She asserted that she had not drunk from the open beer container in her vehicle. Many remember that Matheney waged a very active campaign in the March 2016 Republican primary contest for common pleas judge. This writer thinks that Matheney was fortunate not to have damaged private property or injured anyone, including herself, in an apparently impaired state of awareness. To see the full 40 minute video of this traffic stop and arrest click this link. https://youtu.be/i8rZHGm7h3k or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8rZHGm7h3k&feature=youtu.be

For a candidate who communicated through several oversized glossy postcards the importance of her prosecutorial role as “Civil Division Supervisor” as well as her work with “criminal prosecution” concerned with convictions on legal offenders “that threaten our communities,” we find her recent experience unconscionable. Given her statement of morals that she desires to “provide closure to victims,” we find that her arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol a threat to the Geauga community and an insult to the health, welfare, and safety of both Bainbridge Township and Geauga County.

We are grateful that no one got hurt this time out. When apprehended by the Bainbridge Police Department, Matheney did not lose her license, though she already had six points for previously impaired behavior. According to the online docket, she also had to post a bond to insure that she would not leave town as the charges are handled in Chardon Municipal Court. The charges allege violation of ORC 4511.33 for weaving, a minor misdemeanor, and violation of ORC 4511.19A1A, a first degree misdemeanor, carrying the possibility of a prison sentence of 180 days and/or a monetary fine of up to $1000. Per Ohio law, we understand that there is an automatic ninety day suspension of driving privileges imposed by the state. It has been further reported that she did not submit to the courtesy of a breathalyzer analysis, with the result of an automatic loss of driving privileges for a year. The docket of her court case, which is identified as 2016 TR C 06683 (State of Ohio vs. Matheney, Mary B), indicates that she has retained two DUI attorneys, Kenneth Bossin and Meredith O’Brien, both of the Saia Law Firm of 1392 SOM Center Road in Mayfield Heights, because she has pleaded Not Guilty to the two charges.

According to her campaign literature, Matheney “works to convict the worst of the worst, like the Chardon high[sic] school [sic] shooter and anyone who victimizes our children and community.” Given the events of November 19, were Matheney true to her campaign rhetoric, “ as our next Judge, . . . committed to justice and Geauga County values,” she would have to work to convict herself for threatening the safety and welfare of residents in Bainbridge Township.

We are grateful that Chardon Municipal Court Judge, Terri Stupica, has chosen to recuse herself from presiding over 2016 TR C 06683, which is available for viewing online at the Chardon Municipal Court website. The presiding judge is retired Judge Allen, formerly of the Wickliffe Municipal Court. We are told that he is a strict jurist.

We are aware that the long-scheduled pre-trial hearing of January 9, 2017, was continued again as a result of a phone decision on January 9 that did not appear on the docket until the actual date of the hearing. Since the police dashboard video was obtained as a result of a public information request, we have provided a very brief snippet of the arrest. The entire forty-minute video is available at youtube

Now about that cryptic Latin title: “quae seminaverit homo et metet.” It is roughly translatable as, “You reap what you sow.” We conclude that such a translation is a proper definition of justice, even in Geauga County.