As an observer of Geauga affairs, I know our county faces crises demanding a Commissioner with passion, commitment, and foresight. Throw in hard logic and the ability to be truthful in critical situations.
Commissioner Samide has permitted dangerous issues to fester. She has approved of conservation easements for selective property-owners. Conservation easements remove large parcels of property from the tax base, forcing remaining property-owners to pay more than their fair share of property taxes.
To whom is Samide catering?
Moreover, Samide is the figure-head President of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), a regional planning agency encompassing Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina Counties.
Because NOACA's membership is dominated by the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Geauga County does not benefit. NOACA's stated purpose is to return federal monies for highway projects across the northeast Ohio region, including $542,000 of taxpayer funds for installation of non-conventional transportation in the City of Chardon. Nevertheless, roads heavily traveled by Geauga's Amish are in such dire disrepair that both horses and humans have perished without any offer of financial assistance from NOACA.
At the March 27 Commissioner meetings Samide reacted disdainfully to constituents with concerns over NOACA. “Don't tell me what it says!” she told one. “You're playing with word games,” she told another. Finally, she snorted,”You don't know what you're talking about!”
At NOACA meetings I have never heard NOACA “President” Samide utter even one whisper of support for Geauga County needs over those of urban Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Although she claims that Geauga County has received $30 million from NOACA in the last ten years, she neglects to communicate that, according to ODOT documentation, Geauga County has paid $100 million in federal gasoline taxes over the same period to support NOACA.
Samide would rather be a figure-head President with no voice at the 44-member NOACA table than speak up for Geauga County residents. She has sold Geauga County out.
The passion, dedication, and courage of Walter “Skip” Claypool is a ray of hope for Geauga County.
Skip served as Commissioner when former Commissioner Bill Young stepped down in 2012. I laud his logic, clear-headedness, intelligence, and diligence. I praise him for the courage to make the difficult decisions that other Commissioners have avoided the last ten years.
These are times that threaten to undermine the purses and the property rights of Geauga taxpayers. Skip is not afraid to face the problems of a selectively-reduced tax base and NOACA head-on. Best of all, when he looks me or you directly in the eye, he is truthful. What he says is what he will do. He will not be a puppet to be manipulated. Skip genuinely cares about the rights of Geauga taxpayers and the legacies that are due their children and grandchildren. Skip will NOT sell Geauga out. On May 6 your vote for Walter “Skip” Claypool as Commissioner will finally help Geauga taxpayers to take their county back.
Diane J. Jones