Macedonia Mayor Joe Migliorini launched into a tirade at his October 12th Council meeting (watch the video here) going so far as to accuse us of violating Ohio’s Sunshine Law. He made this accusation in response to our recent letter to him in which we, along with Northfield Village, rejected his proposed ““Feasibility Assessment Study” to merge all four community’s safety and public services.
The Mayor never consulted us prior to making his choice(s) on which company would conduct this study. As reported on the Nordoniahills.News website by Vic Milani (see article here), “the initial cost was $78,000. Mayor Jesse Nehez (Northfield) and Northfield Center Trustees Buescher and Romanik rejected the proposal.” If all four Nordonia Hills communities shared the cost of this study equally, our Northfield Center taxpayers could have been saddled with a bill as high as $19,500! John and I found this to be totally unacceptable, especially considering the fact that we helped fund a previous study (The Preuer Study – Dec. 2006) years ago that went virtually nowhere. The purpose of the study was to ascertain the feasibility of consolidating fire and EMS services through a Fire District. It was soon discovered that the City of Macedonia’s Charter did not allow for the formation of an actual district. Soon after this fact was discovered, further talks between the communities fell apart with no actions taken.
It’s been eleven years since Macedonia’s charter prohibition was brought to light yet the voters of the City were never offered the opportunity to change it with their vote. A true Fire District would have allowed all four communities to equally own all equipment and equally share in its administration, which would be similar to our School District. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in all those years despite numerous reminders about changing the charter language. By definition, doing the same thing over again and expecting different results is insanity and that is the only term that can describe another study on the same subject that will yield the same results – Nothing!
We also take exception to Mayor Migliorini accusing us of violating Ohio’s Sunshine Law. The Mayor wanted an answer to his offer of the study by October 10th. Fellow Trustee, Richard Reville, who has been communicating with the Mayor over this subject, never brought it up at our October 2nd Trustees meeting. Once this was discovered and in respect for the Mayor’s deadline, I authored the rejection letter and sent the draft to our Administrator who polled both John Romanik and Rich Reville for their approval or disapproval. Both answered by phone with John giving his approval and Rich stating, “I’m not interested.” The Mayor stated that Reville was left out of the process, which is documented to not be true! He also stated that he has been in consolidation talks with our Township. Neither of us were involved or informed about these talks! The letter was then sent by mail on October 10th and published in my email newsletter on October 12th.
Since the Mayor made such a harsh accusation against us at an open Council meeting, we are compelled to bring up two incidents that have had a profound effect on our relationship with Sagamore Hills.
It was just two years ago when Macedonia and Sagamore Hills conducted secret meetings where the decision was made to transfer the Fire District’s dispatching to the City of Macedonia. Despite several public records requests from residents of both communities for the minutes of those meetings, none have been forthcoming because they do not exist. There is no record of any meeting where this decision was made. This is a clear violation of Ohio’s Sunshine Law!
Last year we received a letter on March 15, 2016, from Sagamore Hills informing us of their decision to end the Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire District. The letter further stated their decision to contract their Fire and EMS services with the City of Macedonia. A question that has been asked repeatedly is; At which public meeting was this decision discussed and more importantly, when was it decided publicly? Again, numerous public records requests for the minutes of those meetings have been made with none produced because they do not exist. Again, another clear violation of Ohio’s Sunshine Law!
When someone accuses someone else of wrongdoing they need to be reminded of the facsimile of an old saying that is most fitting today ……. If you live in a glass house, it’s not wise to be throwing stones!
Our letter to the Mayor was worded in a factual yet friendly manner that left all future options open. We meant no disrespect and we were not looking for trouble. We simply answered his request and through our rejection we complied with the fiduciary and financial responsibilities that our residents expect and deserve from their elected Trustees.
Paul G. Buescher, Trustee – Chair
John Romanik, Trustee – Vice Chair