At the July 30, 2013 Commissioner meeting, Ralph Spidalieri presented a cross-functional, comprehensive and hard-hitting plan to combat the Geauga County heroin crisis and was met with tremendous support. Commissioner Tracey Jemison was so offended that Ralph had taken this initiative, he stated, “I will not support this proposal after a simple presentation…”
At the August 8, 2013 Commissioners meeting, Deputy Hildebrand told the audience that the Sheriff did not have a plan to address the heroin crisis. The Sheriffs department came up with some ideas only after Tracey Jemison asked them to do so, in response to Spidialeris' proposal. You would think that law enforcement would crawl over barbed-wire and broken glass for a plan that could potentially save the lives of the men and women who serve on the front line in this heroin war. But they did not.
Although Judge Terri Stupica enthusiastically supported Spidalieri’ s plan and committed to serving on his oversight committee on July 30, by August 8th she reversed herself with the statement, “Well.., now, maybe we need to think about everything.” The political posturing was obvious.
When Judge Grendell went to Commissioner Samide and Jemison long before this meeting, and asked for funding to deal with the issue of the heroin crisis, they were rude to him and did not support his request.
All of the sudden, Commissioner Samide and Jemison’s answer to the heroin epidemic is to spend more money, and without a plan of accountability. They directed David Lair, County Administrator to ask county agencies to request what they feel they need to combat the heroin crisis. Lair was delighted by their responses, but how hard is it to ask county supervisors if they want more money? Lair confirmed that not one of these directors previously asked the Commissioners for funds to combat the issue of heroin. And yet, Tracey Jemison and Mary Samide continue to ignore and exclude the one person who stepped forward to address the issue.
Commissioner Ralph Spidalieri developed a powerful and effective plan, a plan that coordinated and supported resources and he was ready to lead this initiative. Spidalieri is a statesman and a consensus builder, not a politician like Samide, Jemison and apparently now, McClelland.
Presently, Geauga County does not have a leader driven, clear, accountable plan of action to combat the heroin crisis. And the blood of those who will die, or kill because of this affliction, is on the hands of these politicians.
Judy K. Zamlen-Spotts
Your letter is tough but truthfull, AS IT SHOULD BE!!
I would like to see ANYONE refute your comments! The truth is the truth.
Some of these "politicians", such as Sheriff Dan McClelland, have been whitewashed for far too long. It's time to clean the whitewash off and see just what is underneath.