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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Waiting for the park board appointments

Lake County Probate Court Judge Mark J. Bartolotta will soon make his first appointment to the Lake Metroparks Board of Commissioners as the term of Ellen Foley Kessler expired Dec. 31.

Metroparks commissioners do not receive compensation and serve three-year terms on the board.

The judge, who is a Republican, could reappoint Kessler, a Democrat, or he could choose someone else. Park Commissioners Frank Polivka and Dennis Eckart are also Democrats.

I’m not suggesting that party affiliation is the only requirement for an appointment, but it’s likely to be taken into consideration.

My hunch is we’ll see some development on that appointment next week.

In Geauga County, Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Tim Grendell has three appointments to make to the Geauga Park District Board of Commissioners, an entity that currently has no members. Those appointments will consist of terms for one, two and three years.

There could be an interesting little-known wrinkle to watch for down the road in Lake or Geauga counties that Ohio Revised Code allows.

Any board of park commissioners of a park district may elect to expand the membership of the board from three members to five members upon a majority vote of the board.

After such a vote, the board would certify to the probate judge a resolution requesting the judge to appoint two additional members to the board. The judge would then need to appoint those additional members, and they would take office immediately upon their appointment.

It’s not unprecedented as the county park boards in nearby Trumbull and Ashtabula counties each have five members.

Taken out petitions

Concord Township Trustee Christopher Galloway, a Republican, has taken out petitions with the Lake County Elections Board to run for county commissioner. Judge Cynthia Rice has taken out petitions to seek re-election for 11th District Court of Appeals. Painesville Township Republican Chuck Laughlin has taken out petitions for Ohio’s 14th Congressional District.

Filed petitions

Lisa Klammer, a Concord Township Democrat, has filed candidacy petitions with the Lake County Elections Board to run for county Probate Court judge.

Swearing in

Eastlake Mayor-elect Dennis Morley and council members Kenneth Hoefle, Laura DePledge and councilman-elect Kimberly C. Evers will be sworn-in at 6 p.m. Tuesday at city hall during council’s organizational meeting.

At a 7 p.m. city council organizational meeting Monday, Beachwood Mayor Merle S. Gorden, Councilman Melvin Jacobs, Councilmen-elect James Pasch and Alec Isaacson will be sworn-in.

Willoughby Mayor David Anderson along with city Councilmen Jeffrey H. Black, Christopher W. Woodin, Robert A. Fiala, Robert E. Carr, Jerome P. Ranally, Robert J. Harrold and Councilman-elect Stephen T. Norris will be sworn-in during a ceremony at 7 p.m. Tuesday.


Retirement party for former Painesville Township Trustees Jeanette Crislip and Jim Falvey from 5 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at Hellriegel’s Inn in Painesville Township.


The weekly deadline to submit information for this column is each Wednesday by 5 p.m. Email or fax is preferred.


  • Campaign kickoff for Lake County Juvenile Court Judge Karen Lawson, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at LaMalfa Party Center in Mentor. See Lu Dunlap.
  • Bartolotta hosts a fundraiser, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at LaMalfa Party Center in Mentor. See John Redmond or Amy Sabath.
  • John P. O’Donnell, candidate for Lake County Common Pleas Court, hosts a fundraiser 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23, at LaMalfa Party Center. See Mike Lucas, Mike Bucci or Ann Bergen.
  • Lake County Domestic Relations Court Judge Colleen A. Falkowski hosts a fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 Jan. 30 at LaMalfa Party Center in Mentor. See Brian Falkowski.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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