Local Archive February 2002
Resolving conflicts just a
matter of child's play
Redistricting remains a hot topic
Marysville's Allen Chapel has rich history
Fund set up to help pay for crossings for blind
Two will run for common pleas judge
County begins to prepare for bicentennial
East students get books published
Kerns cases being inventoried
Breakfast success: Hamlet and eggs
Hot night at Honda
Bishop attains rank of Eagle Scout
County looks for better coverage
Jerome Twp. doubles up on lawyers
Candidates announce primary election plans for local Probate/Juvenile Judge position
just a matter of child's play
By JUDY BOEHLER
Since Jan. 22, Edgewood Elementary School students have spent a lot of time playing games.
As part of a conflict resolution program, Games Club is held once a week for third and fourth grade students during the lunch recess period. Games Club is a pilot program developed specifically for Union County schools by the Safe Communities Conflict Resolution Project. The program is headed by Didi Fahey of the Union County Health Department. The students have an opportunity to learn conflict resolution skills by playing board games such as Monopoly, Yahtzee, Checkers and Risk, and cards games such as War and Slapjack. Professional people in the community act as facilitators who help the children work out any problems that arise. Those mediators include city and county officials, attorneys, educators and representatives of the police and sheriff's departments.
"Children will fight," said Fahey. She said Games Club was developed to be a real-life situation. "Role playing doesn't work," she said, "because it's pretending." Fahey said Games Club gives the students the opportunity to learn good sportsmanship, games etiquette and personal negotiation skills while
having fun playing games. The students who participate do so voluntarily.
Students are given a card listing three steps to resolve conflicts: Agree to the rules before playing; listen to the opponent's point of view; and fully explain feelings if there is a conflict. Mediators are given a checklist telling them when to step in and when not to step in and a list of general resolution steps. They are advised to let the children settle questions about the rules of the game and let them resolve minor disputes.
If the arguments become animated, if a child leaves the game, if arguments border on violent or physical aggression or if a child asks for help, the mediators are given guidelines on how to resolve the problem.
"The mediators have been used," Fahey said. Some of the problems centered on the games themselves, Fahey said, and some of them, based on a friendship issue or possibly a playground problem, were brought out in Games Club.
"It was more chaotic at the beginning," Fahey said, "but they (students) are learning." She said the students know now that they have to figure out the rules
and proceed on their own as much as they can. The Edgewood PTO purchased the games and the project is sponsored by Honda of America, the health department Safe Communities Program and the ABLE program.
remains a hot topic
By JUDY BOEHLER
Redistricting was once again the subject of the hour at Monday night's Marysville Board of Education meeting.
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman told several parents who were present that, although new options are being considered since the last meeting, nothing is "written in stone."
According to a plan presented at last month's board meeting, the children living in the areas of Greenwood Colony, Route 38 and Milford Avenue would have been moved from Edgewood Elementary to East Elementary. That proposal has been rejected and those students will stay at Edgewood.
Also according to that plan, Raymond students living east of Route 31 would go to the new school. Those students will now remain at Raymond. Another change is that the students living between Route 745 and Raymond Road who attend Mill Valley will go to the new school. The most controversial new proposal is that approximately 50 Edgewood students who live between Court and Grove streets and between Third and Ninth streets would be bused to the new school. Two of the parents attending the meeting questioned that move, saying that children in that area have attended Edgewood since it opened and have always walked to school.
Zimmerman assured the parents that the redistricting plan is still open to discussion. He said the problem is that 90 students must be moved from Edgewood where the student population now stands at 548 and those involved in planning the redistricting are trying to find the best way to do that.
Public meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at East Elementary, Tuesday at Edgewood, March 7 at Mill Valley and March 12 at Raymond. In other business, Zimmerman announced that Trent Bauers, assistant principal of Creekview Elementary School, has been chosen as principal of the new elementary school. A total of 24 applications were received for the job and nine people were interviewed.
Allen Chapel has rich history
By JUSTIN KOURI
February is Black History Month. Even though Marysville has a relatively small black community, there is rick heritage here.
In Philadelphia around 1787, a band of African-American men decided to break away from St. George Methodist Church because they encountered unkind treatment and discrimination due to their color during weekly worship.
They formed the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, their own independent denomination. Now, A.M.E. Churches can be found in more than 24 countries.
Marysville has long had an A.M.E. Church, Allen Chapel on West Fourth Street. In fact, at the end of the Civil War, there were four churches, mostly Baptist, serving African Americans in Union County. Allen Chapel first met in a vacant room above what was Ben Bornheim's Fruit Market. In 1879, the land where the church stands now was
purchased for $150 from Samuel Amerine who agreed to do the church's carpentry work for $1.75 a day. With his help, they erected a building for their 11 members. Union County contributed to the building of the chapel by donating the county courthouse's first bell.
The community still aids the church in maintaining its physical appearance. Just recently, members of the First United Methodist Church repainted the entire church. People living near the church lend their professional assistance in their areas of expertise to keep the property in repair.
Allen Chapel, named after the leader of the first A.M.E. Church, Rev. Richard Allen, once had more than 30 members. Now the congregation consists of no more than four, causing the church to struggle at times. Because of the A.M.E.'s affiliation with the Methodist religion, the Methodist church of Marysville often suggests that Allen Chapel rejoin the main denomination now that racism is less apparent. According to Vernon Davis, an Allen Chapel member, it's a matter of pride.
"We are preserving Marysville's black heritage," he said. The mission of the A.M.E. Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional and environmental needs of all people through the spreading of Christ's gospel. Church doctrine states that it is not for people of African descent only. The A.M.E. Church welcomes all races because of its belief that all men under God are equal in worth.
Leading the church in this mission is Rev. Harry E. Taylor, a student pastor attending seminary school in Wilberforce. Since he lives on campus for practical purposes, he can only make it into town once a week for Sunday service and sometimes twice for prayer services and Bible study. Taylor plans to graduate this year and hopes that will make his job a little easier.
His wife, Lynette W. Taylor, also a seminary student, is an assisting pastor at Allen Chapel.
Fund set up
to help pay for crossings for blind
Efforts to help a local blind citizen have led to the formation of a new county charity.
The Vision Intersection Safety Fund has been enacted to process donations going toward safe crossings for the visually impaired. According to Union County Foundation Executive Director Dave Vollrath, the foundation passed a resolution to sponsor the fund at its Thursday night meeting and announced the results Friday.
"We wanted to be proactive and do something positive," Vollrath said. "Several donations have already come forward."
Marysville resident Chris Beckley proposed placing blind crossing devices at key city intersections to Marysville City Council last month. However, finding funds for the $800-per-crossing cost had proved to be an obstacle. Due to calls from Marysville residents wishing to help Beckley, efforts to start the new fund were initiated. One resident, who preferred to remain nameless, said she wanted to help out and planned to donate $100.
"I'd like to give more," she said, "but that is about all I can afford right now."
Vollrath said the funds ultimately will be turned over to the city of Marysville to be used specifically for the project. He said tax-deductible donations may be sent in care of Vision Intersection Safety Fund to the Union County Foundation, P.O. Box 608, Marysville. Questions may be directed to Vollrath at 642-9618.
Two will run for common pleas judge
By CINDY BRAKE
For the first time in more than a decade the election of Union County Common Pleas Court Judge will see a contested race.
After Thursday's deadline, the Union County Board of Elections reports that two candidates have filed petitions for this office's Republican nomination in May - contender Jeffery M. Holtschulte of Richwood will square off against incumbent Richard E. Parrott.
Parrott is running on the strength of his past record, while Holtschulte that it is time for a change.
The challenger believes his experiences in life as well as in the practice of law make him well qualified. Licensed as an attorney and counselor at law, Holtschulte operates offices in Richwood and Marysville.
He received a bachelor of music education degree from The Ohio State University and his juris doctor from The Capital University. Holtschulte was a music educator in the North Union Schools from 1974 to 1980. He is a current and founding member of the board of directors and past president of the Union County Chamber of Commerce. He served as mayor of Richwood from 1992 through 1995 and is most proud of his 26 years of service as an EMT-firefighter with the Richwood Fire and EMS Department, now known as Northern Union County Fire and EMS District where he currently serves as a captain.
Holtschulte is authorized to appear and practice in all courts and agencies of the state of Ohio. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
He is a member and past president of the Union County Bar Association, a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyers. Holtschulte has been an advisor to the North Union Mock Trial team and a lecturer to the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association on the topic of search and seizure. Engaged in the general practice of law with concentrations in real estate and criminal law, he is the owner of ACS Lionheart Title, a real estate title insurance company with offices in Richwood and Marysville.
As president of the Union County Criminal Defense Lawyers, he has served as administrator of the Union County Public Defender's Office since 1998.
"The trial court judge is not a dictator but an administrator of justice. It is the job of a judge to administer the court, preside over court proceedings and make decisions based upon the law, not upon personal likes, dislikes of what the judge thinks the law should be," Holtschulte writes in a press release.
Parrott also is pointing voters to his past experiences as reasons why he should continue serving the county.
"Essentially, I am running on and will be judged by my past record as your Common Pleas Judge," Parrott writes in a news release. Parrott's record includes setting up parenting classes, obtaining grants, instituting night court and maintaining one of the cleanest dockets in the state of Ohio.
Beginning this year there were no cases pending beyond the Supreme Court or the local guidelines.
"A joint request by litigants or their attorneys for a trial within 60 days of filing is always honored," Parrott states. Parrott credits the faster trial and mediation scheduling in part to his implementing computerized court functions. In 1993 Parrott set up parenting classes for domestic relations cases involving custody, visitation and support of minor children. Cooperation between divorcing parents regarding children's issues is stressed, resulting in fewer re-openings of cases to arbitrate problems between parents.
In 1999 Parrott obtained a $198,000 mediation grant offered by the Ohio Supreme Court and for the first time Union County was able to provide mediation in each civil, criminal and domestic relations case, as well as disputes which have not yet been filed as a case. Other grants have assisted in upgrading courthouse security and placing copies of all
court cases on the Internet.
Parrott also obtained a federal contract which totally pays for the services of a magistrate who has heard more than 600 domestic cases involving more than 1,500 hearings. In the meantime, Parrot has heard hundreds of jury trials involving everything from criminal petit theft to murder, civil cases with verdicts returned from nothing to $11.5 million and bench trials too numerous to count.
Under Parrott's leadership the court has gone on the road. He instituted night court in Richwood and New California in an attempt to make court convenient and prevent litigants from missing work. This past year a court session was also held at Marysville High School. Parrott has also hosted visiting French students in his courtroom. With the court serving as host for the district Mock Trial competition, Parrott has served on the State Mock Trial Committee for a number of years.
Parrott has also installed "real time" stenographic computers in his courtroom to allow persons to immediately read or review testimony as it is given at a trial.
In addition to his duties as judge, Parrott serves on the board of trustees of the Tri-County Jail and of the West Central Community Based Correctional Facility. Development of policies, rehabilitation programs and reasonable corresponding budgets are part of his responsibilities.
begins to prepare for bicentennial
By CINDY BRAKE
The party begins next year and Union County plans to be part of Ohio's Bicentennial Celebration.
A group of 38 interested citizens met Thursday at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium to begin planning what Union County will do for the state's 200th birthday celebration.
While joining in the state's festivities, Union County will also be recognizing its own unique past - like the fact that a pirate once lived here. The soybean was developed in Union County, along with one unique breed of lightweight workhorse, volunteered individuals at the meeting. Another person said that for a period of time Union County had the highest number of sheep of any other place in the country.
Suggested ideas unique to Union County include a special exhibit, preserving and moving Union County's oldest building and sharing little known facts about Union County's history. Other ideas include sponsoring a calendar with photographs of local landmarks.
Individuals also saw a need to update the county's local history, possibly with oral histories, and a chance to re-enact down Route 161 the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Parade that recognized civil war veterans which occurred 100 years ago. Still others believe the party will not be complete without a special celebration of religion. One individual suggested creating a 100-voice choir with choirs from churches throughout the county.
Statewide festivities kick off March 1, 2003 at Adena and end with a homecoming at the Statehouse in Columbus on Oct. 25. Union County plans to begin celebrating even before the state events begin with special recognition during Four Chaplains Sunday in February 2003. Soldiers from Union County's Civil War unit, World War I Company E and General Beightler, as well as Union County's All Star Band, are slated for recognition.
Like Ohio's other 88 counties, Union will also have a Bicentennial Bell cast and is being asked to design a flag representing its unique past. Union County's bell is slated to be cast at the local fair in 2003 on July 23 and 24. The first day, 20 to 30 children will handle the ingots used to create the bell. The bell will be fired in a 2,300-degree furnace and one individual will be selected to break the mold the next day. The bell will remain on display in the county.
Every county in the state is slated to have at least one barn painted to mark the event. In Union County the Clady barn on Route 4 was selected and painted by artist Scott Hagan, who has been hired by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission. Miniature wood replicas of each county's barn are available through local retailers.
The city of Marysville has already purchased a corporation limit marker.
Anyone interested in assisting with the plans is invited to a noon meeting Feb. 28 at the Underwood Funeral Home. A brainstorming meeting is set for March 25 at the Marysville Middle School Library beginning at 7 p.m.
East students get books published
By JUDY BOEHLER
Some people strive to be published all their lives but some authors get published on the very first try.
Such is the case at East Elementary School. last week, more than 300 books arrived at the library, each one written by a student. The arrival of the books was the result of a project overseen by librarian Michelle Torka. Torka received a flyer in August from Nationwide Learning Resources in Topeka, Kan., describing the company's book publishing program for school children. She contacted the company and found out that each student at East could become a published author for a grand total of $49.50.
She set up a publication date in February and the students began working on their books in October.
Students in each grade level chose a subject for their books. The kindergartners wrote about hats and first graders chose the alphabet, holidays and what they want to be when they grow up. Second graders wrote about holiday traditions in their homes and third graders created biographies of someone they know, conducting interviews with those people. Autobiographies and animals were the subjects for fourth grade books.
Through Jan. 18, students worked on writing and drawing for their books. Torka said it was very beneficial for the students because they had to research, draw pictures, write, rewrite, correct mistakes and meet a deadline. In addition, they learned a little about the publishing process.
Once the children had their pages the way they wanted them, they were given their kits, or blank books. They copied their work into the books and those were sent off to the publisher.
The finished product is impressive. Each book is hardbound with a multi-colored cover designed by the student. The title, author's name and teacher's name are printed on the cover and, on some books, the student's picture is shown. The pages are heavy book paper. Curtis Case, a second grader in Mrs. Wirtz's class, proudly displayed his book. It didn't take him very long to do it, he said. "I like the way I did the cover," he said, pointing to the words in the title which were designed in red and white candy cane stripes.
Chet Reams' autobiography contained photos of his parents and grandparents and baby pictures of himself and his brother, along with pages of neatly printed text telling about himself, his family and his school.
Torka said she was proud of the way the students worked at their books and she was pleased that they came back from the printer in such a timely fashion.
cases being inventoried
An attempt to organize the criminal activity of former Richwood Village Solicitor Mary Kerns is underway.
Attorney Lisa Walczak Music has been selected by the office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio to inventory and distribute files from Kerns' law office.
Music will hold hours on the following dates and times so Kerns' clients can pick up legal files and other documents:
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Feb. 27, 5 - 7:30 p.m.; March 2, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; March 4, 5 - 7:30 p.m.; March 9, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; March 11, 5 - 7:30 p.m.; and March 16, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Kerns office is located at 13 North Franklin St. in Richwood.
According to Music, clients of Kerns need to execute a written release for each file. She will provide the written forms during the above dates and times. Any files remaining afterward will be destroyed, therefore, it is important that files and legal documents from the Kerns office be picked up. Music's law practice is limited to domestic relations, criminal and personal injury cases. She cannot answer any probate or estate questions and clients will need to make arrangements to obtain another attorney for those matters pending.
Due to the volume of the files and other documents in the Kerns office, Music cannot honor written or telephone requests for files. Clients will need to stop by in person to sign the release forms and pick up documents.
Breakfast success: Hamlet and eggs
By CINDY BRAKE
It's 7 a.m. Thursday and the sun hasn't risen but 14 Marysville High School seniors - The Breakfast Club - shuffle into room 136 for some riveting discussions. Today's topic is Hamlet. In between sips of coffee, water, juice or Pepsi, the group is discussing Shakespeare's Claudius and the Truth while other student are still at home.
The Club is actually Patricia Biehl's Honors/Advanced Placement English Class - a curriculum designed to challenge the student to excel in high school, college and beyond. Besides preparing seniors to take the advanced placement test, the class teaches students to cope with stress - and get up early.
The AP test will be given in May. Depending upon their score, students may receive credit for introductory courses in college. Successfully completing the class and passing the test can also open doors to some selective colleges and lead to scholarships. It is obvious, though, that these students arrive at school 45 minutes before it officially starts for more than the coffee and rolls or promise of college credits. They love to learn.
Seated in a semi-circle, the 14 teens - 10 girls and four boys - volley ideas back and forth. "What is a man? What is he searching for?" "Do you want a good man to be king?"
"What do you do if the guy running the country is a sleezeball."This group has no trouble in taking Shakespeare's Elizabethan themes and relating them to today.
When discussing the theme of family betrayal, the group is clearly disturbed by the mother's behavior. Their teacher, however, challenges the group to support their point
intellectually, not with feelings. "It's like the dating rule," volunteers one girl. "If I can't have him, no one can."
By 7:15 a.m. the class is dealing with tough questions. There are no easy questions or clear answers in this class. "If a man uses reason to choose, can he wait for certainty?" Biehl asks. "Doesn't that make us like animals?" "What kind of world do you live in? Is it corrupt?" "Why don't we all kill ourselves?" As students question Biehl, she is quick to answer, "I don't know. What do you think."
With books open, they view a video segment. Then one student throws out a seemingly meaningless question - why was the actor's hair blonde?
Biehl challenges the students to answer the question Before the day's opening bell rings, The Breakfast Club's discussion will go from Shakespear to Darth Vader and Ghandi. During the next 40 minutes the group will discuss loyalty, faith, goodness, the cost of justice, whether women can be trusted and if we are all doomed.
Laughter is sprinkled amid the moral lessons. Students munch on muffins as they attempt to prove their arguments logically, not emotionally. When the 8:31 a.m. bell rings the work doesn't end for The Breakfast Club. The real work - homework, that is - begins with the average night involves writing three pages of homework and every other week the
students read a new book outside of class. Reasons for taking the class differ.
Senior Kati Henning originally signed up for the AP class because she thought other classes would be boring. Now with the prospect of college just months away, Henning said the chance to earn college credit is a good thing. "I need it for college. I need all the help I can get," said the 4.1 grade point average student who has been accepted at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Senior Melissa Yinger enjoys the class because it has made her question everything in life. Junior Kayti McCarthy, who is one of 16 juniors considering the class for next year, said she thinks it will help her get a head start for college.
While the majority of the students freely admit they are not dying to be English majors in college, Biehl makes one promise, if they successfully complete her class they may never have to take another English class in their life - not a bad reason for getting up at 7 a.m. every weekday.
Hot night at Honda
From staff and wire reports:
An explosion caused a fire at the Honda of America plant Friday night, forcing about 2,000 workers to be evacuated to cafeterias while authorities fought the blaze, a company spokesman said. Initial reports painted a picture of the accident that was much more serious with numerous area fire departments responding. The first calls for help went out shortly after 10 p.m. Nothing was visible from the outside of the plant.
Honda Parkway was completely shut down to through traffic with Union County Sheriff's cruisers blocking access. Traffic was diverted around the plants on Route 739. At 11 p.m. vehicles from the company parking lot were leaving and by 11:45 p.m. fire trucks and squads were parading around the backside of the plant.
Spokesman Ron Lietzke said no one was injured in the fire, which started about 10 p.m. in the area of the plant where vehicle bumpers are painted. He said the fire spread to the plant's duct work, but was put out in about an hour. Initiall reports said the blast occurred in the plant's paint department.
Authorities did not know what caused the explosion, Lietzke said. Workers were released from the cafeterias about 11 p.m. and sent home, canceling the plant's final hour of production Friday, Lietzke said. The workers will return Monday as scheduled, he said. No production was scheduled at the plant over the weekend. Media was diverted to the Honda Credit Union, where other individuals also gathered who had heard scanner reports about the emergency. Honda operates plants in three Ohio communities: Marysville, Anna and East Liberty.
attains rank of Eagle Scout
Erik Joseph Bishop received his Eagle Award Sunday at a banquet at the First Presbyterian Church.
He is a member of Troop 355 sponsored by the church and is a senior at Marysville High School. He is the son of Dan and Mary Bishop of Marysville and the grandson of Helen Siefer of Columbus Grove and Marie Bishop of Ottawa.
Bishop, 17, has been active in Scouting for 11 years, beginning as a Tiger Cub with Pack 119. He earned The Arrow and Light, Cub Scouting's highest award, and the religious award, God and Family. In Scout Troop 355, he has served as senior patrol leader, assistant patrol leader and quartermaster.
Bishop's Eagle project was with the Marysville to Mexico Mission trip which was sponsored by First Presbyterian, Trinity Lutheran and Congregational churches. Homes were built for two needy families and one was dedicated in memory of Shawn McClain, a fellow Eagle Scout and member of troop 355. Bishop organized the campsite, supervised the building of a temporary amphitheater and helped supervised various building activities.
Bishop has participated in Scouting's three high adventures, the Northern Tier in Minnesota, the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and Sea Base in Florida. He has earned a total of 24 badges. In addition to Scouting, Bishop has played varsity football, soccer and wrestling and was named a Scholar Athlete. He is active in the youth group at the church, F.I.S.H. He plans to attend a four-year college and major in history and education .
County looks for better coverage
By CINDY BRAKE
Verizon, Union Rural Electric Cooperative, Sprint and Time Warner representatives met this week with economic development planners to answer questions about Union County's information infrastructure.
In preparing a local economic development action plan, organizers have repeatedly heard concerns from area residents and business professionals about a lack of telecommunications in Union County and Marysville. A local survey found that 10 out of 13 individuals consider the quality of telecommunications in Union County only fair. Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips said top issues focus on the fact that the county has three different area codes - 740, 614 and 937, the need for broadband Internet and a blockage of cell phone service in northern Union County.
A planner has seen several patterns throughout the country which are also occurring in Union County. Specifically, rural communities - like Union County and Marysville - are always wanting what someone else has - like Franklin County and Dublin. Another common pattern is that businesses are talking among themselves about their needs but not to individuals who have the answers.
The question posed to the telecommunication providers was is there a problem or it is just perceived.
It was obvious that none of the reps wanted to share any trade secrets. The UREC spokesman said his company is actively looking into how it can provide wireless service. The only limitation is that they need another tower. While there is no time frame set to begin offering the service, the company is looking into using poles.
Time Warner reps admitted they don't have cable laid everywhere and must first determine if it is economically feasible before they will expand the lines. Time Warner, however, has refibered the entire county for digital service and Road Runner during the past six months.
A Sprint rep said his company wants to give everybody DSL, but technology will allow them to go only so far. He was referring to remote terminals which are limited to 17,000-foot service areas. He cautioned businessed to be wary of wireless land service because this information can be pirated.
Verizon reps said they are dealing with regulatory issues and DSL is three years away for this area. Everyone agreed that the industry is changing constantly and rapidly.
Persons looking to upgrade their service should check regularly about what is available. "There are a lot of advantages of living in a rural market and a lot you have to give up," admitted one rep. Another meeting is planned and will include area business and governmental leaders.
Twp. doubles up on lawyers
By CINDY BRAKE
Double jeopardy has a different meaning for Jerome Township.
Despite public outcry and legal advice that the hiring was not necessary, the township's two newest trustees - Sue Wolfe and Freeman May - approved a contract to hire Columbus attorney Susan Kyte at a minimum cost of $18,000 a year.
At their first official meeting on Jan. 7, Wolfe and May passed a resolution to retain Kyte and pay a minimum of $1,500 a month for 15 hours, plus costs and expenses. What she will do is yet to be determined. "I'm sure we can find enough for her to do," Wolfe said. Trustee Ron Rhodes challenged the move by asking how Wolfe and May could
justify spending a minimum of $1,500 a month of taxpayer money when the township is getting the same service for free from the county prosecutor.
"I have a lot of questions. Why are we doing this?" Rhodes pointedly asked the two trustees.
May said Kyte would assist the board to correct mistakes. "She can keep us straight on how things are run," May said. Admitting she was dissatisfied with answers from the prosecuting attorney over the past several years, Wolfe said, "We need other representation at times." Besides questioning the need for additional counsel, Rhodes said he was troubled by the previous relationship between Kyte and the two other trustees, as well as the lack of credentials.
Kyte admitted that she had met separately with May and Wolfe on several occasions to discuss many issues prior to their taking office. She also was instrumental in crafting referendums for a political action committee to which May and Wolfe previously belonged. When asking for documentation of Kyte's credentials, township resident and political activist Jesse Dickinson told Rhodes to look at the legal work of every referendum that has been presented in past years.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Heinkel told the trustees they have the authority to hire additional council but the prosecutor's office has reservations about the contract. "We do not approve of the agreement," Heinkel said. "You're paying twice."
Heinkel said the contract offers no description of set duties which Kyte will perform and that it cannot even be called a retainer. Heinkel explained that township residents are already paying through their taxes for legal representation from the prosecutor's office.
Several citizens questioned the need for a contract and why Kyte could not be hired on an as needed basis. Their concerns were never answered. "As a taxpayer it (angers me) you can burn the taxpayers money," said a woman in the audience of approximately 100 individuals. Rhodes pointed out that the township's zoning and zoning appeals board have the authority to hire their own legal counsel and may not necessarily utilize Kyte's services.
That, in fact, appears to be true.
Andy Thomas, chairman of the township's zoning appeals board, said his board will not be using Kyte's services. The Union County Prosecuting Attorney's office will be their sole counsel, he said. Wolfe promised to post the Kyte contract for public review at several locations. Rhodes requested that Kyte mail copies of all work she performs for the township to him. In other business, the trustees unanimously approved establishing the term of office for a vacant position on the zoning commission to run from Jan. 7, 2002, to Jan. 7, 2006.
Wolfe nominated Greg Jones, a four-year township resident, to fill the vacant post. Jones is a code enforcement supervisor for the city of Dublin. The trustees tabled the appointment after Rhodes questioned if Dublin has an internal policy prohibiting their employees from being appointed to adjoining political subdivisions.
Two citizens questioned Rhodes on a statement made at an earlier meeting concerning political action committees (PACs). Rhodes said at the Jan. 22 meeting that township employees need to be free and clear of any association with PACs.
Rhodes said he has been a member of many single issue campaigns, but never a political action committee. He defined PACs as organizations that promote their own interests, raise money and put out newsletters.
During the meeting Rhodes questioned the need to purchase two radios for May and Wolfe. Freeman said he wanted to keep tabs on where people are working. "I want to know where they are at," May said. Road Maintenance Supervisor Denzil Collier told the trustees that as of today his name would be removed from the sheriff's call list for bad
weather or inspections. Collier then said he would begin charging the township for attending meetings and checking the township hall after parties. The trustees said it was not necessary for him to attend meetings and agreed that he should be compensated for checking the hall.
Collier announced that electric to the township cemetery will soon be available. He expressed thanks to former township trustee Ed Kauffman who performed the trench work at no cost to the township. Other items of interest:
. Zoning Inspector Norm Puntenney has issued new home permits for California Woods and received numerous complaints about cars in a used car lot being parked too close to the township monument at the corner U.S. 42 and Industrial Parkway. The business owner said he would move the cars back.
. Consulting Engineer Mark Cameron reminded the trustees that grant applications will be coming up in March. Past concerns have included replacing sidewalks in the New California Woods subdivision and resolving a standing water problem on Ketch Road. A Ketch Road resident said it appears the problem will be getting worse because a 400-acre sod field has been sold for housing upstream.
. Fire Chief Scott Skeldon suggested all emergency calls made by cellular telephones utilize the seven-digit emergency line. The Madison County number is 873-5111. The Union County number is 873-1050. He reported that the department is seeking grants for fire gear replacement, training and a computer. His staff recently attended a leadership management school, participated in the YMCA fundraiser show and will begin their annual mulch sale for various charities.
primary election plans for local Probate/Juvenile Judge position
Three candidates are circulating petitions for the Union County Probate/Juvenile Judge primary race.
Judge Gary McKinley announced in February of last year that he would not seek reelection. McKinkley has held the post since February 1979.
Local attorneys seeking the post are Charlotte Coleman Eufinger, John Heinkel and Dennis Schulze.
Charlotte Coleman Eufinger
Eufinger, a past president of the Union County Bar Association, said her top priorities are to maintain the Probate and Juvenile Court's outstanding reputation for fairness and respect; to develop new and alternative means with which to assist our schools, police forces and most importantly, our families in the protection of our children; and to ensure the court continues to meet the needs of a growing population even as the budget grows tighter. "The court must treat the people who appear before it with fairness and respect," Eufinger said. "My goal is to create an understanding that every person who enters my courtroom will have a chance to share his or her story and walk out fully aware of why I've made the decisions that could potentially change their lives. "I intend to listen to the voters of this county during this election. Judge McKinley has been very creative in his programs for mediation, diversion, in-school suspension. I want to build on those programs and add to them. Openness to new ideas and more effective ways of handling problems will help make the court more responsive to the needs of families and children in Union County." Eufinger also sees a need to preserve the area's small-town values while welcoming newcomers.
"Union County is changing. My family has lived here for four generations, and more than 100 years. It used to be when I walked down the street I knew almost everyone. That is no longer the case. The newest residents in this community have to feel that the Court will meet their needs as fully and fairly as it has the needs of its long-time residents, such as myself."
After almost 30 years in private practice in Union County, Eufinger has handled all types of cases. In the area of criminal law, she has handled everything from traffic cases to rape and murder cases. She has represented small corporations and plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits.
"But the bulk of my practice," Eufinger said, "has been the representation of families of Union County." "I have represented children in Juvenile Court and parents and grandparents in custody and support cases in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. During my career, I have been appointed to serve as guardian ad litem for youth and for disabled adults and have been the attorney in mental illness cases. I have handled adoptions and represented families in will contests and estates. I also have represented families in establishing and objecting to guardianships. "But my interest in the family has been more than a career focus. I have always been involved in activities that revolve around education, children, good parenting and families."
Eufinger was a founding board member of Marysville Day Care (currently Children, Inc.). At the time day care was started, it was the only public child care facility in Union County. She also was a founding board member of the International Family Center, which provides contacts for people from other countries who move into Union County. In addition, Eufinger was a founding board member of the Marysville High School Alumni Scholarship Foundation, which provides college scholarships for Marysville graduating seniors. Eufinger has also served as president of U-Co Industries, Union County's sheltered workshop for MRDD client, and is chairman of the Union County Memorial Hospital Association Scholarship Committee, which provides financial assistance for school for the hospital's employees and potential employees.
One of Eufinger's favorite roles is working with students as a Marysville High School Mock Trial advisor. The team placed second in the state last year and the new team looks set to do well again this spring.
On a statewide level, Eufinger serves as vice chairman of the Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees and served as a member of the Ohio University Board of Trustees. While on the board, Eufinger worked with university budgets of more than $1 million each year and was chairman of the board during the selection process for OU president Robert Glidden. In addition, Eufinger has served as a referee, hearing disputes between teachers and administrators and their school districts in central Ohio. "These positions required me to make some tough choices, several of which have had tremendous consequences on the quality of education many young people received," Eufinger said. "But I believe this experience has helped to prepare me to be a judge. I know what it's like to make decisions that must be solid enough to stand up to public scrutiny and sometimes to the higher courts. I'm very proud of my record of public service."
Eufinger is a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church and president of the local branch of Lutheran Brotherhood. The daughter of the late William L. Coleman, the former Union County prosecutor, and Rose Anna Coleman, Eufinger grew up in a family of six children on a farm in Paris Township. She graduated from Marysville High School in 1965. Before she graduated with a degree in history and a teaching certificate from Miami University in 1969, Eufinger spent six months teaching history and science in the Canary Islands. She is a 1972 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Law and practices law with her husband, John Eufinger, and with Tim Aslaner at Coleman,
Eufinger & Aslaner in Marysville.
She and her husband have two adult children, Tony and Mary Eufinger.
Heinkel is currently an assistant prosecuting attorney in Union County, where he has been employeed for 17 of the last 20 years.
His principal duties include representing law enforcement and children's services. Heinkel said he is well qualified to fill the position of Union County Probate and Juvenile Judge because he is chief juvenile prosecutor in Union County.
His intimate knowledge of the workings of juvenile court and juvenile procedure includes abuse and neglect and dependency cases, in addition tot unruly and delinquent cases.
Heinkel's position as assistant county prosecutor directly interacts with law enforcement, the schools and juvenile probation officers. He understands their role in the lives of the juveniles who pass through the juvenile system. Heinkel said he also has a working knowledge of probate court. As a private attorney with 20 years experience, he has represented clients in probate court on estates and guardianships.
His representation of county officials and employees, schools, townships and other government agencies, he said, has prepared him well for this position. He prosecutes serious juvenile offenders and previously prosecuted and tried cases in municipal and felony court.
Heinkel also represents Union County in the Ohio Supreme Court and an area school in Federal Court. He recently assisted Richwood as assistant village attorney.
His platform includes the following:
. Night court
"Juveniles who are going to school and commit traffic offenses should not miss school to come to court," Heinkel said. "Night court would serve the dual purpose of keeping them in school while being more convenient for many parents' schedules." . Continued commitment to the county mediation program, which he cites as an excellent resource for handling unruly and truancy cases and minor offenses.
. Retention of valuable personnel.
"The current judge has surrounded himself with an excellent staff," he said. "It is my hope that all full-time employees would choose to stay."
. Renewed commitment to the safety of the community and safe homes for all children.
Heinkel graduated from Miami University in 1978 and the Ohio State University College of Law in 1981. He has been a speaker for the Arson Seminar for Ohio Prosecutors and Judges and, the National Society of Property Insurance Investigators, continuing education for area attorneys. He is a past president of the Union County Bar Association.
On the local level, he was instrumental in establishing Union County's first Child Abuse Team and the felony Criminal Non-Support Task Force and he is currently a member of On-Tasc, a statewide network for prevention of juvenile crime. He is also the prosecutor's contact person for the Attorney General's Anti-Terrorism Task Force.
He has spoken to area groups and organizations, including Memorial Hospital staff and township trustees. Heinkel has also volunteered to speak in each of the school districts to students from elementary through high school. He also spoke at Marysville's Safe Schools town meeting.
Heinkel has been a lifelong Republican, a long-time member of the Century Club and Central Committee and currently serves as the precinct committeeman for Marysville's sixth precinct.
He lives on West Sixth Street with his wife of 22 years, Beth, who is the prekindergarten teacher at Trinity Lutheran School. They have three children, Jamison, a student at Ohio State University; Nathan, who attends Marysville High School; and their daughter, Wynne, who is in the third grade at Trinity.
They have lived in Marysville since 1982 and are very involved in the community. They are active members of the First United Methodist Church and he is the former member of the YMCA board and the ADAMHS board. Heinkel said he favors a proactive approach to juveniles in crisis, citing education and prevention of juvenile crime as his primary goals. "The best service to a victim is to keep them from becoming a victim in the first place, and that begins with educating and correcting juveniles before they have a chance to become adult criminals."
Schulze is the senior partner in the law firm of Schulze, Phillips & Chase. He has practiced law for 33 years - 28 years in Marysville and five years in the military.
After graduating with a Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1968, he served on active duty in the United States Army until 1973 and has remained in the Army Reserves where he holds the rank of Colonel. In 1973, he became an associate in the Marysville law office of Grigsby and Allen and three years later was
made partner. In 1982 he opened his own office and has since added four attorneys to the firm. His practice focuses on estates and estate planning, business law, real estate and civil trial practice.
Schulze is an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church and has been involved in Boy Scouts, YMCA, Junior Achievement, Ohio Mock Trial Competition and the Partnership In Education project.
He is currently a member of the Chamber of Commerce (past president), the Community Concerts Board (past president), the American Legion and various professional associations.
He also served for nine years on the Union County Mental Health Board with two years as chairman and on the ethics committee for Memorial Hospital of Union County.
Schulze was appointed by the state of Ohio as the only private practitioner to the Ohio Criminal Justice Services Advisory Board and by Union County to the Public Defender Committee Advisory Board. He has served as legal counsel for involuntary mental illness hospitalizations in Union County, as well as advisor to mental health facilities. He has been a guest lecturer on a variety of legal topics at Ohio Northern College of Law, the United States Army Judge Advocate General School and at seminars sponsored by banks and insurance companies. He is admitted to practice before the Ohio Supreme Court, the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the United States Court of Military Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Schulze has lived in Marysville with his wife, Karen, for 29 years. She has been a teacher with Head Start for almost 18 years. They have a daughter, Christina Barnett who lives in Marysville with her husband Christian and their 2 year-old daughter, McKenna. They also have a son, Gregory Schulze, who lives in Dallas, Tex., with his wife, Carrie, and their newborn son, Tucker.
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