YOUR INFORMATION NEWSLETTER FROM NORTHFIELD CENTER TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
PAUL G. BUESCHER
~ KEEPING NCT RESIDENTS INFORMED SINCE 2005 ~
#505 MONDAY OCTOBER 23, 2017
SPECIAL GUEST COMMENTARY NORTHFIELD CENTER TOWNSHIP OR LITTLE MACEDONIA?
By: Frank Buehner
To my fellow residents of Northfield Center Township (NCT),
I’ve been reading the endless opinions and stories (regarding our community) and the vast majority is anything from exaggerated to plain out lies. They get built upon through the gossip chain. I historically stay quiet at a public level and let situations sort themselves. However; this Township’s situation is of great importance in maintaining our Northfield Center Township status in the future that I can no longer sit quietly, having the inside perspective, and watch residents vote this election with misguided information.
Rule No. 1: There are two sides to every story. Hear them both before making a judgement!
Rule No 2: Opinions are frequent, facts often lacking. Get the facts and go directly to the source.
Rule 3: Don’t be quick to point the finger. The person you’re dealing with is not always the source of the problem!
Rule 4: Rarely is a decision made for a group people that will be to the satisfaction of all who it affects.
Paul Buescher has looked out for the residents in countless ways throughout the years. He has put considerable effort into always keeping us informed through his newsletter and articles in the Nordonia Hills News. What other trustee or politician has done that anywhere (besides their self-promoting comments during election times)? Why don’t we ever hear anything from others? His newsletter and articles have continued to be substantially informative to this community throughout his terms in office. He is on his third term in office and is still being upfront with us, providing us with important facts and details and taking the time to explain to us our options. Take Paul out of the dynamics, and we will soon be finding things out only after they happen.
Paul has always been straightforward with us about his take on things, and I don’t always agree with his perspective on things (but what person fully agrees 100% with another person’s wide range of views). Yet, he has proven time and time again that he will use his voice and his position as a trustee. He will use it for what matters to us and that is rare! Do you remember Paul getting us out of paying the additional sewer tax? Speaking out against the soccer stadium and letting us know the great cost to our community if it went through? Or how about getting the sound barriers installed around Route 8 and I-271? Did we forget his on-going efforts in dealing with Summit County Govt. on getting our drainage issues resolved with Butternut drive and Butternut Lane, Kitner and Shady lane (which has become a problem again)? Even though some of our drainage issues have been a mission-impossible-situation, he hasn’t given up and continues to address many other drainage issues (Like the Dorwick Ditch that are buried in government legal red tape for us) head on. What other Trustee has been such an advocate for its residence?
John Romanik has only been a Trustee for 2 years, and has shown that he has great interest in the future welfare of NCT. When issues are brought to his attention, he will go to great lengths to do research to find the best possible answers. Did you know that John made all the new signs for the front of the Safety Building, Township vehicle, and lettering for the FD vehicles on his own dime and time? That’s what I call a committed Trustee – not to mention the financial savings to us! Did you know he drives around the neighborhoods after work to look for potential problems to alleviate? Proactive and responsive!
Rich Reveille also does his part to gather info on issues. He has a long and full life history in this town, and is well connected. I think he is on his fourth term? I happen to like the chemistry of the three now in office. Paul and Rich have different perspectives and tend to disagree, but it allows for exploring different approaches in tackling problems which leads to a better end solution — that is more thought out and not short sighted. I always saw Brent Sommers as the neutral (i.e., a person who understands both sides of a set of differing opinions) that would weigh in after much contemplation and consideration — causing the final decisions to be well considered and balanced. I think we are fortunate in that John appears to be much like Brent. Having three informed and careful decision makers keeps the fate of our community in the hands of honest and fair individuals – not a dictatorship. The last thing I would want is three officials always in 100% agreement with each other (it’s just not human nature). If it appeared to be so, I would think “somebody” is running (i.e., dominating) the show. At that point, it’s probable that our welfare and the betterment of our community wouldn’t be the focus of that type of one-sided governing.
Marc Pepera has had his time as a one term Trustee. He ran and lost on his following election in 2005 when the residents spoke loudly at the ballot box. I’ve heard endless negative things about him and his micromanagement skills. Ask companies and contractors who dealt with him and you will be in for an eye opener. During his one term, he had the Road Dept. keeping inventory by counting thousands of nuts, screws, and washer because employees steal!!! Although there had never been any problems or record of anything ever having been stolen or missing! Much valuable employee time was wasted on chasing possible thieving of nickels and dimes. I’ve worked in a few factories in the past and the companies running those businesses were never worried about hardware counts. They just wanted to make sure the bins were kept full to insure no production stoppages occurred (profits must increase!). How about the roadside stone and tar berms he had installed on several of our roads (by contractors at the tax payer expense). Many complaints were received because the stone tar busted into uneven chunks damaging lawnmowers and making the road edge hazardous to weed whip. Over time, the Service Dept. has been able to remove and replace much of it with dirt and grass – but it has taken countless hours over a period of several years (and it’s still out there for lawn mowers to chop). I think we only hear a little from him the day or two before elections. This allows for the avoidance or rebuttal as he did with his last-minute liar flyers in past elections. Maybe he doesn’t want to put much of himself too far out there? Micromanagement in leadership equals bad management, go nowhere community — bad everything! Why doesn’t Marc Pepera ever run against Reville during his re-election term???
Russ Mazzola has been very quiet (non-existent?) as well. I’m not sure what to think about him but there are a couple individuals that answer for him. I love puppets! He can claim later “I didn’t say that” and he will be telling the truth. He was very quick to add a reply comment in the Northfield Center Township Facebook website (June 29th) indicating his disapproval of the $24,000.00 vehicle lift and $4,000.00 in safety Jacks and accessories for it, purchased for the Service Dept. I can confidently say that 3 pickups, 5 dump trucks, 1 Tanker Truck, 1 Fire Engine, 1 Persh Fire Engine, 2 Squads, and the NCT vehicle (14 total) can now be safely worked on without great risks for back, body, or eye injury. It is a minimum of 28 times a year that the lift will be used plus numerous repairs. The new lift has resulted in quicker repair times and enables one to see an entire under carriage on vehicles (allowing for better assessments and complete and easier repairs). Maybe it is better to do what the old Fire Dept. would do for repairs — pay $150 dollars to have an auto repair shop change a burned out light bulb that cost only $5-$10 with 5-10 minutes of labor. The Road Dept. successfully performs 85% of all vehicle repairs, and there are 4 trucks that are over 20 years old (and still running great)! The savings in doing in shop repairs has probably paid for the lift this year (Brake repairs, Ball joint replacements, Fuel Tank replacements to name a few). He alluded to NCT having fiscal issues and needing his expertise. What financial issues? We’re always finding ways to cut cost and are not exceeding our budgets in this Township. Is he confusing us with Macedonia or the School board of the past? Why didn’t Russ Mazzola have an interest in running against Reville during his re-election term???
Did you know the Service Dept. has been operating on the same budget for 17 years and, due to state cut backs, lost around $200,000 from its annual budget 5 or 6 years ago? Despite this big loss of revenue, the Road Dept. has successfully taken over the responsibility for all park maintenance in the last 3 years? NTC used to contract out all of the work performed for our parks maintenance at an annual cost of $14,000.00 (plus extras, which included a part time park employee and Road Dept. assistance). How’s that for cost savings (i.e., fiscal responsibility and excellent stewardship of tax dollars). How about the cost savings for NCT’s leaf pickup services? NCT used to contract out the leaf pickup service at an annual cost of $80,000.00+ (2014 contracted bid price) (plus $$ for extras each year contracted), which is now cost only $55,000 (partial contract combined with Service Dept.). The work performed has been continually completed at a higher standard as well. In addition; the Service Dept. handles the Town Hall Bldg. Maint. NCT used to have a part-time employee plus contracting for some of these services. The Service Dept. now handles the Fire Dept. Bldg. Maint. (NCT used to contract out in the past), and maintenance of all NCT vehicles including those at the Fire Dept. (Fire Dept. had everything farmed out for maint. & repair). All with 4 full time employees and 1 part-timer. This would not have been possible 12 years ago! NCT and the NCT Service Dept. have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate significant fiscal responsibility, flexibility, creativity, and have been an excellent stewardship of tax dollars.
Are you aware that Northfield Center Township pursued grants paid for nearly half of the Marwick Drive paving project and would have done the same for a pending Bayberry Dr. Project if Summit Co. had the Engineering Specs done to our Service Dept. requirements? Our Township pursued and received a $50,000.00 Grant this summer for road signage replacements (Signs must be replaced after 10 years per ORC). This will be accomplished by our Service Dept. during the 2018 season. Due to our only needing less than half the grant, we worked with and shared this this grant money with Boston Hts. whom will also get their entire road signs replaced next year. Only cost, is our time in labor. In addition; our Trustees pursued an energy savings deal that got our township building’s lighting upgraded to LEDs at a cost of about $500.00 for lights and hardware and about $600.00 for fluorescent lights disposal after a pending rebate of around $7,000.00 dollars. Our Service Dept. installed them. Monthly lighting costs are now around 30% which should equate to the Township saving hundreds of dollars each month. This investment will pay itself back within a year. Did you know that the Sagamore and NCT Service/Road Depts. have been sharing the use of each other’s specialized equipment for several years (Water Tanker Truck, Asphalt Roller, Lift Truck, Hot patch Machine, Crack sealing machine). A win/win for both Townships approved by the Trustees of both Townships and no cost savings study conducted! Our Service Dept. is currently looking at equipment sharing options with Macedonia’s Road Dept. Where’s the fiscal irresponsibility Russ?
Did you know that the District 27 Fire Dept. was of its own self destruction? Years of bad leadership led to poor morale and good people getting out. Many great firefighters were lost because of egos and misdirection from the top of the fire command. The Fiscal officer of the time discrepancies is just a small piece of the problem, of which much will be foretold in the near future. The building was/is in disrepair and in need of much repair work inside and outside. The Trustees’ from both townships had to be seeing this and a positive future of the district was not seen as realistic option. Separation was inevitable. As a former Air Force firefighter (10 yrs.), I could see a lack of pride and morale decline in the NCT fire station as early as 2006. A fire station is a fire fighter’s second home and they take care of them like home! Was not the story here! The situation being what it was, the Macedonia contract was the best fit for NCT. Thank you Sagamore, for the break-up! Professionalism, leadership, and pride are back at the fire station (Safety Center). Thank you Macedonia Firefighters! The main concern here is what happens when the 3-year contract with Macedonia is up for renewal. How much more is Macedonia going to hit us for? What other options do the residences of NCT have if the increase is deemed to be too much? We should see that play out before jumping on to the Macedonia ship for other work together options involving contracts. Do we need to spend $20,000.00 dollars on a consolidation study? Do we the residents of Northfield want Macedonia to take control of our Service Dept. and or Policing? What is our gain? Annexation via residential vote would be next and the right answer after contracting everything to Macedonia. Mayor Migliorini clearly wants a “Nordonia Hill Community” or simply put all in one basket and probably in his control.
The bottom line is we have working relationships with our surrounding communities and a fiscally sound and fiscally responsible administration. Granted some township/city leaders don’t see eye to eye but are doing their parts in the best interest of their community’s residents! We need to have Trustees who are well rounded that understand the operations of Police, Fire, and our Service Dept. (So they can best support our functions, not derail them), great with fiscal responsibilities, communicate with the residents, and look out for the best interest of us, the residents of NCT. I’m questioning the intentions of Russ and Mark as Trustees. Are you out to contract Police and Road Dept. to Macedonia? Why do we need to change a good operating township because of a few ego’s bumping heads? I like NCT. that’s why I choose to live here. Not Macedonia! Every community has its pros and cons. I know we will not become part of Macedonia with the current Trustees!
Frank Buehner, Resident 12 years
NCT. Service Dept. Foreman, employed 10.5 years with Twp.
SIGNS, SIGNS, EVERYWHERE ARE SIGNS!
Judging by all of the signs around the area you can certainly tell that it’s election time. Red, white, blue – They’re scattered throughout the entire Township and beyond.
When a political sign is displayed in a family’s yard, it indicates that the family fully supports the candidates whose names are on those signs. When John and I assembled our “sign list” we made sure that all of our locations were REQUESTED and as a result, we are happy to announce that we are almost down to our ’emergency’ reserve of signs!
We don’t really mean to nitpick but we can’t help but notice how many of our opponent’s signs are on empty lots, by vacant buildings and on scores of rental properties owned by the same landlord. They are also on business properties owned by non-residents and in ditches. They also placed numerous signs on one single property and on property boundary lines to give the illusion that they are on multiple properties. Actually, there’s really nothing wrong with this but we just felt that this illusionary tactic should be pointed out to everyone.
And one last point …. Sagamore Hills Trustee, Dave DePusquale has several of our opponent’s signs displayed at his W. Aurora Road business. Just for kicks and giggles, we obtained permission from the owner of the 400 apartments across from his business, for the placement of two of our signs. Our signs lasted for two days before they were stolen! Hmmm, we wonder who would have done such a nasty thing. Anyone care to guess?
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q >>> – What would have been our share of the cost of Macedonia’s feasibility study?
A >>> – It could have been as high as $19,500.
Q >>> – From my own research I am aware that our current fire levy produces roughly $313,000. Our contract with Macedonia is for $375,000. I am also aware that our ambulance billing helps to offset the apparent $62,000 deficit. My question is, what funds do we have coming in for capitol improvements and other expenses like new vehicles, maintenance on the current vehicles and the fire station, supplies, etc.?
A >>> – THANK YOU for doing such fine research and posing this very important question. For the first year of our contract we received about $50,000 in ambulance billing. This resulted in $12,000 in deficit spending. The answer to your capital improvements question is scary – There are no incoming funds for capital improvements! This is not a surprise because we warned everyone numerous times prior to the fire levy vote that the $375,000 contract was only for personnel and nothing else. About the best that we can do with the incoming ambulance billing is to break even, which will still leave nothing for capital improvements. Some skeptics will use this to promote merging or regionalizing our services with Macedonia. News Flash …. Our fire & EMS services are ALREADY MERGED!
YOUR GENERAL COMMENTS
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I cannot express enough how my wife and I do NOT want to be a part of Macedonia. I moved here 20 years ago because of the quiet countrified environment. As others have put it, if I wanted to be part of Macedonia, we have have moved to Macedonia. Why in God’s name does this mayor have to constantly participate in empire building? LEAVE US ALONE and go away! We will deal with our own problems without your interference. He seems to believe that being a part of our problems entitles him to seek being part of the solution, ending in his taking us over.
Macedonia is becoming the new Maple hts. If we hitch our wagon to their star we will become the new Bedford! Let’s stay Northfield Center by voting Buescher/Romanik !
Things are starting to get interesting with the election. You are welcome to put up signs on both street sides of our property. Good luck in the election and let’s keep our township a township. Thank you for your service.
Paul G. Buescher
Northfield Center Twp. Trustee – Chairman