YOUR INFORMATION NEWSLETTER FROM NORTHFIELD CENTER TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
PAUL G. BUESCHER
~ KEEPING NCT RESIDENTS INFORMED SINCE 2005 ~
#506 WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 25, 2017
MISINFORMATION VS FACTS
The following is a compilation of election related ‘dialog’ that has taken place on various Facebook pages and blogs. Hopefully you will be able to discern fact from fiction:
A local citizen stated on a Facebook post “Russ Mazzola stated in a conversation with us last night he felt that the [Cable 9] forum was not to his benefit to attend.”
RESPONSE: The Cable 9 program was NOT for Russ Mazzola’s benefit. It was for the NCT Resident’s Benefit to learn about Russ’s qualifications or more likely, his LACK of qualifications to be a Trustee! In that context, his backing out of the debates was indeed, to his benefit!
Local citizen from Rolling Brook Estate·“I do not want to be part of Macedonia Paul signed a annexation agreement in the summer of 2007.” “The annexation agreement would have moved lands east of Route 82 Macedonia which includes rollingbrook and Brandywine preserve. I’m judging people by their actions which is what Paul did sign an agreement to have us move.”
RESPONSE: The agreement, which was signed by me and the entire JEDD Board, including Brent Sommer and Rich Reville, put the vacant industrial land where the soccer stadium was planned, into the EXISTING JEDD that benefits BOTH communities. This would allow both of our communities to collect income taxes from any and all businesses coming into the area. At NO TIME was there any mention of Rolling Brook, Brandywine Preserve or any other land east of Route 8 included or even mentioned in the agreement! Mr. Pouliot failed to produce the attachments to the agreement that would have clearly shown this! And in the one cover document that he did show, he redacted all the above mentioned signatures except for Paul Buescher. Why?
Sam Schillero stated on his distributed flyer:“Northfield Village, with the approval of Paul Buescher, picked up Northfield Center weight lifting equipment and took them to their fire department. Why?”and “Two of our current trustees are running to be re-elected. These are the same two that led the campaign to pass the 6 mil Fire Levy”
Dear Mr. Schillero,
I just received your flyer on my mailbox and there are two major errors:
- The weight lifting equipment was the property of Northfield Center Firefighters Association a 5013(c), it was not associated with the Township nor paid for with Township money/taxes. The Association gave the equipment to the Village since our Fire Department no longer existed.
- Neither of the current Board of Trustees members gave me one dime to promote the Fire Levy of which I was the treasurer and formed the PAC to promote the levy.
Richard A. James
John Lawson, Northfield Center
“Attack politics seems to now be the normal way here in the center…name calling, implied takeovers, talking down to the residents…ghost writers for canidates….what has happened to the township that I moved to almost 38 years ago. Negative is no more necessary then hate….we are not ignorate so please stop twisting the facts…yes we can just all get along with each others”
Josh Ferrara, Northfield Center·
If anyone is going to state that facts are being twisted, then qualify your statements. This is an interview for people who said they are qualified for a public office. Simply saying things need to be done and stuff needs to be positive doesn’t cut it with me. This is my tax dollar too. I’m not attacking anyone or negative. I want to know what I might be paying for. You should demand the same.
Tim Cohn, Northfield Center:
“Who was the party in office that caused the fire department to disappear? Just curious”
Josh Ferrara, Northfield Center·
I love how you make statements through questions and accusations through innuendo. 3 trustees from Sagamore. 3 Trustees from NCT, 1 Mayor and council from 1 city. 1 Fire district between two localities.. What do you think?
Gene Lim, Northfield Center
“The feasibility study should have been on the Township’s agenda and it wasn’t based upon one person’s viewpoint which was improper.”
You and others keep harping on this issue, which isn’t an issue at all. Macedonia made an unsolicited ‘offer’ to us and just like other offers that we receive, it is our choice to accept or reject them. The Mayor simply asked if we were interested in participating in a meeting. Prior to that, he already made his choices as to the companies that would conduct the expensive study, without our input. The fact of the matter is that we have always made our point clear, going back to 2006, that we would not be interested in any kind of merger, consolidation or regionalization until they changed their charter to allow a true District.
Bob Shaffer, Charter Lake Estates
“the purpose of having three trustees is to provide checks and balances. When two trustees always vote the exact same way it is not representative government. If you are elected trustee, please learn to think for yourself and do what is right for the majority of the residents.”
Dennis Mulac, Brandywine Preserve·
In Macedonia, they have 3 council members giving the king whatever he wants. Before he took over, it was the opposite. In Sagamore all 3 are together. No matter what city, township or village, there is always a click with the majority. My point being, no matter who you elect, there will always be alliances formed, it a fact of political life.
Dennis Welch, Charter Lake Estates
“What was the Union grievance against the Township? Did the Trustees consult an attorney before the decision to pay them over $50,000? I believe this was done after they disbanded.”
The union was attempting to unionize the Fire District just prior its disbanding. The union filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board because the six FD Board of Trustees, through their TWO attorneys, tried explaining that the Fire District would no longer exist and therefore negotiating with the union would be fruitless. It was made very clear that the NLRB and the union worked together against us and were threatening to take the matter to court. The NLRB nearly always sides with the unions. That’s how they justify their existence. The end result was that our attorneys negotiated a $1000 payment to all the union-eligible firefighters to put the matter to rest. And that is exactly what happened. If memory serves me right, I believe that the final settlement was around $32,000, which was split between us and Sagamore Hills.
Cathie Perusek, Northfield Center
“So here’s a question. Why is it every time I read an article in the paper about the trustees sending a letter or voicing an opinion, the only two I hear are Beuscher and Romanik? Do they never consult with Reville or does he disagree with them so they leave him out?”
It’s because Buescher and Romanik are always available to those who ask questions, including newspaper reporters. It is Mr. Reville who leaves US out of communications. He has told us more than once that if you put something in writing then you are always held accountable. Well, that goes without saying! Why don’t you do a public records request and ask for all the emails sent by Mr. Reville over the course of this year? It shouldn’t be too much of a burden since the number is probably less than a dozen! The public record will clearly show that Mr. Reville is consulted and informed on EVERYTHING and his input is ALWAYS requested. It’s just that HE apparently chooses to withhold his input for the aforementioned reason!
Cathy Tierney, Northfield Center
“I feel Romanik was appointed by Buesher. There should have been a vote as to who would fill that seat. Buesher rules the one he appointed Romanik will followed his lead which always makes it 2 to 1.”
Some of you just won’t let this go. Once John and Russ made their decision in executive session, through the coin toss, Rich Reville and I then accepted THEIR decision in an open meeting. This was ruled perfectly legal by the State Auditor’s Office, The Attorney General’s Office and our Summit County Prosecutor’s Office. The law does NOT allow a vote by the public on the replacement for a vacated Trustee seat. It is solely up to the remaining two Trustees. I should also point out that we did not receive Brent Sommer’s official letter of resignation until December, 2015! The remainder of your comment is derogatory, insulting and utter nonsense!
RUSS & JOSH SQUARE OFF
In my second last newsletter, resident Josh Ferrara posed questions to Russ Mazzola. Russ answered and Josh responded to his answers. The following is their exchange:
Mr. Mazzola answered with the following:
I was against the Fire Levy last year which would have tripled our taxes-both Mr.Romanik and Mr. Buescher endorsed it. Had Mr. Buescher and Romanik succeeded we would be paying close to $1million a year for fire protection instead of $375k. The fiscal officer said at a monthly meeting by far contracting with Macedonia was the best option fiscally. As it turns out response times have also improved! The fire and EMS contract with Macedonia is fully funded for the duration of the contract and we still own all of our equipment. We also have $1.2million in bank for capital improvments when the time comes.
I am in favor of our sheriff and know some of them personally-they do an amazing job! So yes, Go sherriff! However I am not in favor of deficit spending which our current trustees-Mr. Buescher and Mr. Romanik just voted for with the new sheriff contract. We will have approximately $80,000 in deficit spending over the next 3 years. Meaning we will have to dip into our policing fund to cover the difference. Those are all facts. I would have held multiple meetings with my fellow trustees and the Sheriff in addition held open meetings with residents-this did not happen. One trustee Mr. Buescher negotiated this contract with no input anf keep in mind it is a 10% increase as well. There were no other bids because we did not seek them out. If we bid out things like leaf collection why wouldn’t we seek out bids for a $2.6 million contract? It’s simply doing our due diligence
Storm Water Management:
Something has to be done. I speak to residents all the time and they say “nothing has changed, it’s always a dead end”. No new ideas have come forward to help residents who are affected by flooding. Its not false hope. Maybe we need a new perspective!
Why is that an issue? Well because if we don’t get along with other leaders/communities we will be left by ourselves meaning cities will not want to work with us in the future. State funding is being cut back year after year so we need leaders who can work together. This is not happening with Mr. Buescher and Mr. Romanik. They won’t even sit down with other leaders. It doesn’t cost a penny to sit down and discuss topics which affects all of us. And no I am not in favor of merging with Macedonia. Nor is Macedonia looking to merge with us. It’s a ridiculous rumor. THERE IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THIS. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!
Summary: I care about this Township. I want our township to thrive and be the place other young families want to call home. LET’S WORK TOGETHER and take a fresh approach to governing and leading. Let’s bring creative and positive ideas to the table!
All the best!
Mr. Ferrara Responded with the following:
I am disappointed that you gave me pretty much copy and paste information from your page and still managed to leave other information out. AND you still only fixate on Paul Buescher and John Romanik.
As an informed voter, and someone who has an understanding of startup costs, I voted for the Fire levy based on these facts:
The existing 2 mil levy was to be removed and the 6-mil levy would have replaced it. An increase of 4 mils (WHICH WAS NOT PERMANENT)
The $375K cost is ONLY for personnel (LABOR) which is set to increase per the contract. The $1.2M reserved as a savings account for equipment and other capital improvements. If ambulatory fees cannot cover the $375K LABOR cost (which they are not at roughly $320K) then the balance will have to come from the FIRE FUND. The FIRE FUND is like a Payroll account. If you have to fund your operating account with your payroll account, you’re screwed. A levy is on the horizon as we don’t know what we will be charged from Macedonia after this year and we don’t what will need to be replaced.
The Fire Levy took into account of ALL potential costs, including start up, maintenance, personnel, building updates, etc. as this would have insulated NCT from third party (Macedonia) charge increases. We would have maintained self-sufficiency. It’s not surprising that the majority of the business owners in NCT that I know actually voted in favor of the Fire Levy. And yes, I would have helped to make sure the excess millage would have been de-funded after the initial startup.
How is there are a deficit on the Sheriff Contract when there is a $217k balance forward AFTER this new 3-year contract per our Fiscal Officer. which also covers the 10% cost of living increase? Deficit spending is flashy term, but let’s face it, there is no over spending or committal of funds that do not exist. Dipping into police funds to pay for police? OBVIOUSLY!
A new approach to storm water issues? How about BRUTAL HONESTY? Mr. Mazzola, you and Mr. Pepera both know this a county issue and OHIO REVISED CODE forbids NCT to do anything to correct this. Should septic tank owners and propane users expect the residents of NCT to pay for the installation of sewers and gas lines? It’s pretty simple, we have to deal with our decisions of where we chose to live.
Why are you prioritizing other community relationships over NCT? NCT should be at the forefront of EVERY decision. After all, we are the paying customers here. We just had our Fire District pulled out from us and a lot of people are still mad about that. Then to even propose looking elsewhere for police services? How does this not give the image of regionalization? You still neglected to mention that the letter had provisions for future possibilities. You also should acknowledge the charters of Macedonia and Northfield Village have not been amended to allow for true EQUAL regionalization. Finally, I distinctly remember a comment made by another community’s leadership on October 12 about the state cutting funding to cities and the leaders need to work together to manage costs. I would like to know if you borrowed that comment or was it the other way around?
John Romanik – Northfield Center Trustee
Representative to the NCT Service Department
I have been the “Service Department Trustee” for the last two years and I have developed a great respect for the employees that we have serving our residents. It helps in my understanding of all that the Service Department does to have some experience in what they do on a daily basis.
Flash back to 1976. As a teenager of fifteen, I was anxious to get my driver’s license; to be able drive to school and gain some measure of independence. My family’s car at that time was a 1971 Ford Ranch Wagon, a mint green monstrosity of a car that was having engine trouble. My father decided to purchase a new car and maybe trade in the Ford. Either as a challenge to my mechanical ability or as a joke, he told me that if I could fix the station wagon, I could have it.
All that summer, I spent my free time under the hood of that car with a large tool box, a Chilton’s repair manual borrowed from the Bedford Library and a good deal of sweat and blood. I made the necessary repairs on the engine, which turned out to require a valve job on both cylinder heads, removing and cleaning the oil pan and installing a new oil pump. For the next 12 months or so, my resurrected station wagon, although somewhat geeky, was my pride and joy.
The next year, at age sixteen, I got a summer job at the Walton Hills Service Department, where I grew up. I know that it would not be allowed in this day and age of liability, but at the time I was given some pretty grown-up responsibilities. On many mornings throughout the summer, I would drive a Ford F-750 dump truck to Summit Limestone on Valley View Road in Macedonia and pick up eleven tons of #57 gravel. My three co-workers and I would spend the next eight hours lining the village streets with fresh gravel. We did not want to return to the garage with any leftover stone, so we made sure to keep up a good pace and give it 100%.
My other duties that summer were to drive around the village with a Ford F-350 dump truck pulling the department’s wood chipper, responding to residents that called for that service. I also was the sole operator of a Ford front-end loader, driving around the village, scooping up stumps, logs and boulders from residents’ tree lawns and depositing them behind the service garage to be dealt with at a later date. I helped install driveway pipes, catch basins and other small construction projects. All of this at the age of sixteen. I have always been mechanically inclined and this was a very cool job for a teenager.
My next job in high school was to work at the counter of an auto parts store. After nearly two years of listening to customer’s issues and finding the right solution, I became highly adept at diagnosing and solving automotive problems. I also became one of the store’s top salespeople.
But after all of this mechanical experience, my real passion was graphic arts. As a high school senior, I had won the Rotary Club’s award for the top student in Graphic Arts at Bedford High School and was awarded a scholarship. So, I put all of that mechanical ability in my back pocket and pursued a career as a Graphic Designer and Art Director.
I have always worked on my own and my family’s cars and in 1985, my wife and I purchased a 1922 “Sears and Roebuck” bungalow in Bedford. Out of necessity, I also learned to revamp electrical, structural, masonry, plumbing and drainage systems.
The point of all of this goes back to my original statement: It helps in my understanding of all that the Service Department does to have some experience in what they do on a daily basis. When the Service Director, Rick Youel calls me and says that the International truck needs front wheel bearings, I’ll ask him if it’s a self contained hub OR are they the old fashioned bearing, race and seal? He says it’s the latter and I know what’s involved in the repair and I can make a quick assessment of the expected time and cost. I doubt if this would be true of a retired Research Chemist or a Bank Loan Officer.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q >>> – At a fire pit gathering this weekend at my house (in Northfield Center), several of my neighbors were shocked when I and another brought up how we now are obligated to pay RITA taxes. Isn’t this correct or did we miss something? We were under the understanding that this is due to the whole fire/ems situation.
A >>> – If you live and work in Northfield Center, there are NO Rita taxes collected. However, if you live in Northfield Center but work in another community then you might be obligated to pay income taxes to that community. The bottom line is that Northfield Center Township, by law, does not collect any income taxes.
Q >>> – My husband emailed you in the spring to add my new email address to your list. I was getting your newsletter, and then they stopped. Can you add me again?
A >>> – Welcome back! There are only two ways that addresses are removed from my mailing list. You have to request to unsubscribe or if I get 3 rejection notices then I remove you. If I remember correctly, I received rejection notices from your address but I can’t recall why. If there are future problems I will contact you prior to any removal. Thanks again for your continued interest!
Q >>> – Does the township have a free service for gutter cleaning for seniors? Or, any free services for seniors in the township. I heard that some communities do. Thanks for your services to out Township.
A >>> – The only ‘free’ service that our Township provides is our annual leaf pickup (for everyone) and occasional storm damage branch chipping. It’s true that some communities provide several senior specific services but those cities and villages have income taxes that provide the funds for those services. Townships do not collect income taxes. NCT, in cooperation with Sagamore Hills and Northfield Village continue to fund a very successful Senior Center. Activities are held every Wednesday morning at 10AM at the Epiphany Lutheran Church at the corner of State Route 8 and Valley View Road. As to your specific need of gutter cleaning, I took the liberty of asking our local Boy Scout Representative if they might be able to assist. I am waiting to hear back from them. Please provide me with your NAME, ADDRESS and PHONE number so that I can contact you when I hear back from them.
YOUR GENERAL COMMENTS
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I just wanted to wish you the best on the upcoming election. I keep seeing comments about how awful you supposedly are to deal with, you can’t get along with other communities, etc… Perhaps these attacks against you make political sense and will sway some voters, but in my mind it indicates a lack of seriousness and vision. I don’t have total insight into all your dealings with others (only what I see in the newsletter or read in the paper or in online discussions), but it seems to me that when you are approached in a civil, neighborly manner that you reciprocate in kind. If there are any undecided voters out there, I’d just like to say to them that over the years I have contacted you on several occasions for various reasons. On each occasion, you responded quickly to my concern/question, and you did so professionally and courteously. You also followed up later to see if the issues were resolved. So thank you for your assistance with those matters, and thank you for looking out for NCT and its residents. If people want to disagree with you on an issue, that’s fine, but I don’t think your integrity in putting NCT first should be doubted.
I live in Sagamore Hills but I get more information about our township from your newsletter than from any other source (I need to start attending Trustee meetings!). Thank you for your efforts to keep everyone informed! Your opponents in the upcoming election are apparently confused about where the township ends, because I found several of their fliers in my paperbox yesterday. However, the road I live on is heavily traveled by NCT residents, and you and your fellow trustee are welcome to place signs on my property if you want to go ahead and use up your “emergency” supply.
I drive thru NCT often and I have noted that your opponents’ signs are all illegally placed in the right-of-way, whereas almost all of yours are properly placed on private property just outside the right-of-way. The only exception I saw was on West Twinsburg Road, where there’s a string in the right-of-way just west of Olde Eight that you may want to correct. I look forward to hearing about the goings-on in ALL of our four separate communities in your newsletter for years to come!
After reading about the other candidates and their (non-existent) plans for NCT, you and Mr. Romanik may put signs in my yard at : ****** . Your opponents convey that you, the current administration, is doing a terrible job and that they will be better (with no details)…sort of reminds me of LAST November’s election…and I am certainly unhappy with that outcome.
I would love for this [guest commentary] to show up in the news leader so many more could read this.
I heard Ross Mazzola claim that it wasn’t in his “best interest” to appear on the Candidates Forum on Cable9. This is the second election in a row that he’s done this. Doesn’t he understand that it’s in the VOTERS best interest that he appear on the show? Why is he afraid of discussing the issues in front of the voters? No real answers, I guess. #keyboardcommando
Paul Buescher, your newsletters keep us informed & aware of the happenings & needs of the day. We appreciate them & look forward to more.
Paul G. Buescher
Northfield Center Twp. Trustee – Chairman