The Granger Tattler

Home
About
Commentary
Market at Medina Line
Newsletter
Township

Links
Contact

Click on Image
for Information
Visit the Citizens Action Group

Please Boycott Menards

Preserve the Cuyahoga Valley

Keep Hinckley Rural

Our Privacy Policy

Why can't Granger Township officials answer a simple question?
Welcome Postcard Recipients
For those of you who received a postcard, thank you for visiting.  Approximately 1700 cards were mailed and you can view one here if you were not a recipient
Menards, a private developer, was discouraged by the township to proceed with their project in accordance with C2 regulations.  Instead, the township encouraged them to incorporate two additional parcels into the project.  Trustee Berry has stated that her family is a minority shareholder of MCL Investments which was one of the parcel owners.
A constituent contacted Menards representative Tom O'Neil to determine who from the township encouraged Menards.  O'Neil never answered.  Next, township officials were contacted.  Instead of just answering who encouraged Menards, the township contacted Assistant Medina County Prosecutor Brian Richter who represents the township.
Why would they need legal advice to just answer a constituent's legitimate question?
Mr. Richter responded that he considered the question a public records request and that a proper one would have to be made.  That seems unnecessary but a request was made and no record was found according to Mr. Richter. 
It is possible that contact could have been made person to person, by phone, or by USPS mail, and no record was created. At the time of Mr. O'Neil's statement, all trustees were using business/personal email accounts while conducting township business. When the township got another public records request, Fiscal Officer Baker sent emails to trustees asking them to check their emails to see if they have any that were relevant to comply with the request. (View email )
It is easy to believe that Granger officials DID encourage Menards as Mr. O'Neil stated.  If they didn't, then that would mean Tom O'Neil made a false statement.  If he did, then why is Granger dealing with Menards?  Trustees should either support the statement or disavow it.
Finally, it seems that Granger elected officials forget that they work for their constituents, and answering questions is part of that responsibility.  Trustee Ginley and Fiscal Officer Baker are up for re-election on 11/7/2023.  If they come knocking at your door seeking your vote, ask them about Mr. O'Neil's comment.  Or better yet, stop by a trustee meeting and ask them.  
You can have the above narrative, the postcard example, and Fiscal Officer Baker's email by downloading here.    Share it with others.
Documentation 
At the August 27, 2020, Township Special Meeting (Minutes ), Mr. Tom O'Neil representing Menards made the following statement:

"I think that the Township was correct to discourage us from trying to proceed initially simply in accordance with C2 regulations.

I also believe the Township was correct to encourage us to try and incorporate both the Hartman and the MCL Investments properties into more of a comprehensively planned overall development for the frontage along State Route 18."

From the statement, it appears Menards intended to use C2 zoning regulations for The Market at Medina Line.  Then, someone from Granger Township, "encouraged" Menards to "incorporate both the Hartman and the MCL Investments properties".  This shouldn't be a problem except Trustee Berry has recused herself from Menards' discussions or decisions in front of the Trustees because her family has a financial interest in MCL Investments.  Her recusal is below from the January 27, 2020  minutes).
"Mrs. Berry stated she was recusing herself from, and would not participate in any of, the Menard's discussion or decision since her family is a minority shareholder in MCL Investments. This company owns some of the land which is included in the PDD application."
Who in the township encouraged a developer to include property in which a Trustee's family has a financial interest?  Ms. Ellie Nape wanted to know the answer so she emailed Mr. O'Neil.  She got no response from the first one so another one was sent.  There was no answer to that email either (View Emails ).  
Update to above:  On 7/18/2023, a certified letter was sent to Mr. O'Neil seeking an answer on who encouraged him. The letter was picked up at the Eau Claire Wisconsin post office on 7/31/2023.  As of 8/21/2023, there still was no response from Mr. O'Neil. View the letter and USPS tracking record here. 
It is obvious that Mr. O'Neil has decided that he does not have to answer a question from a Granger resident so township officials would surely answer. Township officials were contacted by email on July 4, 2023 (View Email Image):

Dear Trustees Berry, Ginley, Pace, Fiscal Officer Baker, and Zoning Inspector Davis,

 The attachments contain statements made by Tom O’Neil at an August 2020, Granger Township special meeting.  Whom in the township does Mr. O’Neil refer to when he says, ”the township was correct to encourage us to …  incorporate both the Hartman and MCL Investments properties….”?

Visit https://thegrangertattler.com/market 

Thank you 
Ellie Nape
Granger Township

The answer should be who from Granger encouraged Mr. ONeil/Menards to incorporate both the Hartman and MCL Investments properties into The Market at Medina Line proposal.  Was it a Trustee? Fiscal Officer? Zoning Commission Member?  or Who? If no one did, then Mr. O'Neil's statement must be false.
Instead of getting a reply from her July 4 email, a Granger official contacted Assistant Medina County Prosecutor Brian Richter regarding the email.  On July 7, Mr. Richter sent an email to Ms. Nape with a 2 page attachment explaining the Ohio Public Records law. You can view the entire attachment here .  Partial quote below:

Response: In essence, your request asks for information, not records. See, State ex rel. Fant v. Tober (1993), 68 Ohio St. 3d 117. In addition, as indicated above Ohio law does not require a governmental entity to do research or to identify records containing selected information nor does the law require a governmental entity to seek and retrieve records that contain information of interest to a requestor. The requestor must identify with reasonable clarity the records sought. See, State ex rel. Taxpayers Coalition v. Lakewood (1999) 86 Ohio St. 3d 385. Furthermore, a public entity need not create a new record to respond to a request. State ex rel. Fant v. Mengal (1992) 62 Ohio St. 3d 455.

Your e-mail of July 4, 2023 is seeking information based on a comment made by an individual not employed by Granger Township, Mr. O'Neil. As Mr. O'Neil made the comment you may wish to make your inquiry to him. However, if you seek actual public records from Granger Township please clarify your request by indicating the documents you wish to obtain. 

It appears that Granger officials do not want to just answer a simple question without submitting a public records request.  Ms. Nape will submit a specific public records request.  You can view her request here  The emails exchanged between Mr. Richter and Ms. Nape can be viewed here
Fiscal Officer Baker responded to Ms. Nape's email (View full response  ):

“All Public Records Requests pertaining to Menards are referred to our legal counsel for review and response.   This is because of the past litigation regarding this potential project.”   

Ms. Nape got a response to her public records request from Mr. Richter:
"Please be advised that the Township does not possess any public records responsive to your request."   View Full Response  
Copyright - 2023 Granger Township Website Top of Page  Medina County Planning Website

AmazingCounters.com