The Geauga County Commissioners meeting, last Thursday (7-25-13) was very revealing. Commissioner Ralph Spidalieri gave an excellent and well documented presentation, to a packed house, on the severe HEROIN problem we have in Geauga County and a very viable multifaceted plan to address it, bring the community together and get it out of our county. He had discussions with all the Judges and various law enforcement personnel in Geauga County, prior to the presentation, to get their support and gather statistics.
Are you wondering why Commissioner Spidalieri initiated this presentation and plan and not Sheriff Dan McClelland? So am I. This is really not the Commissioners responsibility, it is the Sheriff’s. Sheriff McClelland was at the presentation and did not say one word. He looked very uneasy.
No one at the county level has ever brought this HEROIN problem to the attention of the public, or held informative public meetings about it, or presented an aggressive workable plan to combat it that would involve everyone in Geauga, not just law enforcement. Commissioner Spidalieri, who has a very extensive background in law enforcement and business, felt compelled to take the bull by the horns instead of ignoring the problem. He is the ONLY one that has done this.
Commissioner Spidalieri asked that the commissioners vote to allot money to the Sheriff to form a special drug task force and to Judge Grendell’s court that hears a lot of these drug cases.
The problem are Commissioners Tracy Jemison and Mary Samide, wanting to put the vote off and drag their feet until more people die from HEROIN overdose. You could tell they were playing politics by their remarks and lack of enthusiasm. It was very evident Tracy and Mary were miffed because it wasn’t there idea nor get credit for it. They don’t deserve any credit.
This isn’t politics Tracy and Mary, this is a serious HEROIN problem. It didn’t get here overnight. It was ignored for years until it could no longer be. HEROIN is different from all other drugs in that it brings with it all other forms of crime.
Geauga is no longer the safe idyllic county whose reputation preceded itself.
Geauga County Commissioners Meeting Tuesday (7-30-13):
At this meeting there were even more people. They were out in the hall for lack of even standing room inside.
Judge Tim Grendell was there explaining how the drug problem was affecting the work load in his court and how he has implemented inovative ways of speeding up the "old" process so these cases don't drag on costing taxpayers more money. His court needs more money to handle the great influx of drug cases. This is just one of the problems HEROIN causes. Tracy Jemison and Mary Samide gave him a very rough time, challenging him, twisting things and even to the point of being rude. The crowd did not like their treatment of Judge Grendell.
After that, everyone was given time to voice their opinion and they sure did. They were angry at Tracy and Mary for playing politics and dragging their feet on this issue, lambasting them all through the meeting.
At one point Tracy Jemison, who beats around the bush not answering your questions directly, completely lost his temper at Commissioner Spidalieri, who voicing the will of the crowd, asked for a yes or no answer on the vote. Then Mary Samide accused Ralph Spidalieri of "grandstanding" for presenting his plan. How ridiculous! Due to lack of leadership and diligence, no one else has addressed this issue bringing community awareness, togethernes and participation on it. Both Tracy and Mary were dissed by the crowd. People didn't like what they were seeing in these two, but this behavior and mentality is very typical of them both.
Mary Samide, the phoney that she is, trying to recover some credibility, started telling the crowd how for over a year, she has been talking to people about this drug problem and saw the devastation it is causing. Then, being confronted as to why SHE didn't come up with a plan or bring this to public attention after knowing about it for so long, she got all flustered and didn't know what to say. Mary has been caught grandstanding and lying too many times to count.
Tracy Jemison, who said he had spoken to Sheriff Dan McClelland about Commissioner Spidalieri's plan, was asked if the Sheriff indicated to him wether he was for it or against it. As usual, Tracy would not give a straight answer. I'm sure the Sheriff expressed his feelings to Tracy when they spoke. After all, THAT is what they talked about. Red flags went up when Tracy would not give a direct answer.
The question arose as to why Sheriff Dan McClelland was not present at such an important meeting for such a serious problem. No one could answer that. I don't think there is ANY reason for him to miss such an important meeting that concerns numerous deaths and safety issues .
At the next Commissioners meeting (see below), Jemison and Samide promised there would be a vote. The Sheriff and some judges are expected to attend.
- Thursday, August 8, at 6 PM:
- 470 Center Street, Building #8,
- Chardon, Ohio 44024.
I smell something bad here, like maybe something going on behind the scenes. Jemison and Samide have been stubbornly putting off a vote on this, against the will of the public.
I think the reason for THAT, and the Sheriff not attending this past meeting was because he needed more time to put his own plan together which he will present on August 8, trying to take the credit away from Ralph Spidalieri. If he does, he will be "a day late and a dollar short". I hope I am wrong about this as it would indicated deviousness, political maneuvering, and very bad character of Sheriff McClelland. It would also show there is more concern over politics than the HEROIN problem.
We will see Thursday. Sheriff McClelland should have done something about this a long time ago before it escalated to the point it is now.
Lastly, if any of these officials can't take some constructive criticism without becomming angry or vindictive, they shouldn't be in public office. It comes with the territory and they know that.
We the people need to hold every one of them accountable. By banding together as a group and having solidarity, WE CAN DO THAT!
It is important all of you attend this meeting and voice your opinion.