YOUR INFORMATION NEWSLETTER FROM NORTHFIELD CENTER TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
PAUL G. BUESCHER
~ KEEPING NCT RESIDENTS INFORMED SINCE 2005 ~
#507 FRIDAY OCTOBER 27, 2017
MAYOR NEHEZ ENDORSES BUESCHER& ROMANIK
It is with great pride, dignity and respect that I endorse the current Northfield Center trustees. Paul Buescher and John Romanik deserve another term in office. The current trustees not only have a close working relationship with Northfield Village but they have the upmost knowledge and understanding in what the townships needs are and will be. They have shown and will continue to show their ability to execute order and with keeping the residents in mind the current trustees will continue moving the township forward.
Mayor Jesse J. Nehez
Village of Northfield
DESPITE DIFFERENCES, OUR COMMUNITIES CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER
Neighboring communities and their elected officials frequently disagree with each other. It doesn’t matter if the disagreements are related to actual issues or personality conflicts or a combination of both. The fact of the matter is that they have happened and will continue. In our current situation, we have some clear disagreements with Macedonia and Sagamore Hills but what most do not realize is that we also have some mutually beneficial working relationships.
Three elected officials from Macedonia and our Board of Trustees also sit on the JEDD Board and the Conservancy District Board. We work together administering both Boards. The JEDD area that we share with Macedonia (Lowe’s, Giant Eagle, Target, etc.) allows both communities to collect and share income taxes, which has produced hundreds of thousands of dollars for both Macedonia and Northfield Center. This partnership began in 1995 and its success continues to this day.
All six of us also sit on the Conservation Board. The primary purpose of this Board is to oversee the administration and protection of the 66-acres of conservation land, including the wetlands, fields and woodlands located south of the JEDD area. The Board protects this area for the enjoyment of the residents of both communities.
Another area of overlooked and continuing cooperation involves our Service Departments. We continue to cooperate with Macedonia. In fact, Macedonia will be bringing one of their new Leaf vacuums to our department to show our guys how it operates so that we can decide if this is a piece of equipment that we can use in the future.
Our Service Department has had a longtime working relationship with Sagamore Hills by sharing many pieces of unique equipment. Sagamore has an asphalt roller and we have the trailer to haul it. They have a “hot box” and we have the crack sealing machine. We share all of this on an as needed basis. We also loan them our tanker truck and they loan us their bucket truck, mainly for working on our Townhall building and putting up the Christmas lights and decorations.
Sagamore Hills, Northfield Village and our Township also share in funding our highly successful Senior Center and along with Macedonia, we also share on the Northfield-Macedonia Cemetery Board.
So, despite our current differences, we DO enjoy sharing many mutually beneficial services and hope to continue doing so for many years to come.
FORMER FIRE DEPT. MEMBER SHARES HIS MEMORIES ON NCFD
To Mr. Frank Buehner & all readers of Paul’s newsletter;
I would first of all like to thank Frank for all of his comments as it relates to the support of Paul Buescher & John Romanik. I fully support both of these gentlemen & I agree with all of Frank’s comments that pertain to their re-election hopes. I would also like to personally thank Frank for his 10 years of Air Force service as a firefighter, simple words of thanks for any service member are simply not enough praise.
My name is David Sabo, a resident of Northfield Center for approx. 25 years. I am also a very proud former member of the Northfield Township Fire Department for 19 years, leaving as a Lieutenant. I have to disagree with the comments as it related to the NCFD. I was one of only a couple of individuals that maintained & still do, a private sector job for 31 years now & worked every weekend for almost all 19 of those years as a EMT, Firefighter & Lieutenant. I never would have imagined back when I started, that I would have been able to serve the residents for NCT for 19 years, based on my non-firefighting background. Those years are something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life! I know that Frank knows the feelings & pride that all members of a fire department have in serving the community or service they are associated with. Putting on the uniform & being able to help so many people in so many ways, under sometimes, very unfortunate circumstances is a feeling only those involved can understand & relate to. I started out when the department was mostly still working as volunteers, paid only on calls that we were on. As many of you know, the department with the support of trustees led mainly by Paul & Rich & the late Brett Sommer, evolved into a partial part time department & finally to an around the clock, paid part time department. The NCT trustees did their best in trying to structure the pay scale to keep us happy, but with their honest budget considerations, we were not on the same level as some other similar part time departments in the region. We enjoyed serving the community & we enjoyed the response by residents in letters, or by a simple Thank You on a scene. That is what drove us to do the job in sometimes extreme stressful circumstances& adverse weather conditions, knowing that we were needed by someone who was sick, hurt or just needed to talk.
When the rescue squad, fire engine or both rolled out to a call, the residents of NCT& Sagamore Hills were going to be receiving help from many dedicated, well trained & in many cases, members who worked on full time departments & chose to work on their time off as members of the NCFD. The level of expertise& care that was provided, the many years of combined experience that went out into our communities each day was at a level that many residents never even knew, but that did not matter to us, we were there to help & serve in whatever way we were needed at that time. Many of you were never aware of the amount of training hours that all of us were required to do on a yearly basis, some members going above & beyond that because they loved the job they chose to do. Many of our members held very skilled technical rescue certifications, those members also helped train the rest of us who were not able to attain such admirable certifications on our own. We also attended weekly meetings for many years & in the past few years, due to budget considerations & other members other jobs, monthly meetings to go over calls, discuss training, find better ways of doing the job we loved. The people that were most affected by all of our on duty hours, the training hours, the meeting hours, were our families. They sacrificed so much personally to allow us to be able to serve this community & do the job we all loved. We can never, ever, thank them enough.
There is one person who over the past what I believe to be approx. 8 years, I may be off a year or two, was one the most dedicated, caring, trusting individuals that ever had the honor of leading the NCFD, former Chief Frank Risko. Frank held the NCFD together, especially in the final year of our existence. There was a former chief before Frank that caused a slip in morale, once he chose to retire, there was a combination of other qualified men that led our department, but when Frank took over, the department gained its swagger back. Frank lived & breathed NCFD. Frank sacrificed many personal hours that were not paid to make sure the NFCD was operating on a level equal to any full time department in the area with full time budget. Frank handled the personalities, he handled the politics, he handled personal tragedy, all for the good of the communities the NCFD served. His goal was to continually improve the level of care & the level of service that the department represented. Frank supported all members, he was there for them when they had personal family issues, he was there to offer recommendations when members were trying for full time jobs, he was there if you had any question, concern or new idea as it related to the NCFD. Frank had many years of expertise for inspections & public information. Frank spent countless hours over the years meeting with other chief’s to gain ideas & knowledge on what may have been used to help the NCFD grow. No one in the community knew the extent of the time this man put in, all for the benefit of the NCFD & its members & the community. I gained so much confidence & knowledge working for & alongside former Chief Frank Risko.
February 2016, I will never forget the day I was copied on the letter from the Sagamore Hills trustees, stating that they had reached agreement to contract for fire service with the city of Macedonia in six months. The decision at that time was so unbelievable. No one could understand why it was taking place. Our trustees were blindsided by this action as were all members of the NCFD. I do not want to forget to thank all the past & present members of the Sagamore Hills Police Department & the Summit Count Sheriff’s Department for all of their help & support on many calls. We could not have done our jobs at times without their skill, their care & their trust. One group of individuals that I would like to call out, are the current Sagamore Hills trustees who decided to take this action. Their action done without the courage to be up front in advance of any future budget concerns, their action done without regard to all members of the NCFD, their action done without any regard for the residents of NCT & Sagamore Hills, helped tear down one of the strongest institutions & one of the best stories in the history of NCT. They took away for what I believe to be purely political & personal gain, going behind the backs of residents who elected them to an office of honor & trust. This action, destroyed the morale of the NCFD with a one page letter & no chance to negotiate to possibly work out a short or long term solution on their concerns before taking such extreme action. No one would ever believe that they were always invited to do ride alongs with the NCFD, or spend part of a day at the firehouse to see what we actually did & why Frank requested the things he did in the budget. None of the current Sagamore trustees ever found the time or interest to take us up on the offer. The few times they were at our house, was to sign checks or get their picture in the paper because new equipment may have been purchased. They constantly asked Frank on a weekly basis what he was doing & why he was doing it, even when there were no problems to be found. I never in my 31 years of private sector work experienced such a display of mistrust or confidence in the people hired to work for them. No wonder the inevitable took place.
In regards to the Macedonia Fire Dept. I worked on many mutual aid calls with them, attended trainings with them & attended public functions with them. Their department had & still has a very good reputation in terms of personnel, certifications & community involvement. What NCT residents did not understand when the change took place, no offer of jobs was made to the NCFD as a whole, which were to be based on a person’s qualifications, only a few select individuals were asked it they wanted to apply & a few others did on their own. To provide coverage for Sagamore Hills & NCT, they had to hire multiple individuals that met their strong qualifications. But I’m sure, a good number of the new hires were inexperienced at the time & were looking to start with a fire department. The years of experience & advanced training the NCFD members offered the community were gone. There are statements from current candidates stating response time has improved. Maybe that is the case on one call, but what are the response times on a second or third call, back to back, which do take place. Since they have to send help from Valley View Rd in Macedonia, I would like to see the numbers on those. I am not stating in any way, the safety of the residents is in any way compromised, as all departments have very strict policies & procedures in place for all that they do. However, you can never discount years of experience & knowledge in any job that you do. When the end of our time was near, no senior officer from the Macedonia FD, made sure to somehow take or find the time to meet with all of us & maybe extend their best wishes for our futures. They may have been ordered to not contact us, but no matter. The actions of the Sagamore Hills trustees & the lack of apparent care from the senior officers with the MFD helped destroy what was left of any morale the NCFD had left.
I wanted to share my “ point of view” from the other side to let all residents know that many of us that were left at the end to run what was left of the NFCD were sincerely heartbroken that we could no longer serve the community. We all did our best the last year to continue to provide you with the best service, the best care & compassion to all of the residents of NCT & Sagamore Hills. Our dedication to all of you was stolen from us by circumstances beyond our control. There are multiple members that served on the NCFD that I miss greatly. I was honored to have trained, worked with many terrific, well trained & just great people. I’m sure I speak for many of the past members of the NCFD, Thank you for allowing us into your homes, your block parties & the schools. Some of the most memorable times over the years was escorting Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, grade school classes through the department,. Their smiles & laughter just made our day! Thank you to all the residents who supported the spaghetti dinner over all the years it took place, voting for any fire levy that came up, offering small donations when they could. I want to thank you for allowing me to share in the growth of this community & wish it & all of you the best in the future. Paul; thank you for allowing me the space to share these thoughts. I wish you& John all the luck you can have on November 7th. Northfield Center needs strong & courageous leaders.
YOUR GENERAL COMMENTS
NOTE – If you would like your name to appear under your Comments, please type the word “Signed” next to your name
To “Mark & Liz”: Ryan P. Donnelly? Really? You have to do better than that!
Paul and John need to win or it’s a recipe for disaster. And Reville is the chef.
Paul G. Buescher
Northfield Center Twp. Trustee – Chairman