This Is A Must Read For All!!
It was authored by someone unknown (first name Diane I think) who obviously did their homework and put alot of time into it. If the author reads this, please contact me at this site. I have added a few little things at the end.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO EXPLAIN TO THE PEOPLE OF GEAUGA COUNTY WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING OVER THE PAST YEAR WITH RESPECT TO FUNDING FOR THE GEAUGA PARK DISTRICT AND WHERE IT HAS TAKEN ME.
• I WOULD LIKE TO BRIEFLY EXPLAIN TO EVERYONE WHAT REALLY IS GOING ON IN OUR COUNTY.
• For starters, I requested information from our park district for all grants applied for back in June 2010.
• I was given several documents and had to sort my way through each and every one of them.
• In sorting through these grants and funds applied for I found several areas that concerned me and should concern each and every taxpayer in not only Geauga County, but the entire State.
• For example: HUD funding for Park Purchases.
• EPA grants for restoration and purchases.
• WRRSP Grants for restoration and purchases.
• ODNR Grants for restoration and purchases.
• Land for Public Trust funds to participate in the restoration and purchases of land.
• ODOT Grants for parking lot and roads in the Park District.
• Grants from the EPA involving Cleveland
Sewer District of which I still don’t understand
why we would obtain a loan to assist a county that we have nothing to do with other than being a neighbor.
• Grants to purchase water ways or riparian water ways on private property that has nothing to do with Parks.
• Having thought that I received all the grants applied for but how wrong I was.
• In July we had as I call it the “Fowlers Mills deal” with Munson Township; To my surprise it wasn’t Munson Township that was interested in this land it was our Geauga Park District whom applied for the $5 million Plus grant in March 2010 of which they never acknowledged in my request in June.
• In the Fowlers Mill deal it became apparent to me that our Park District was hiding information from the public so I contacted the Ohio EPA and they opened my eyes wide with what I had found out from them.
• Apparently our Park District has been hiding information from all of us because I had received from the Ohio EPA several more applications filed for by the Park District in March on 2010.
• You see, most of the grants applied for concern a couple of properties that have been funded by our Park District and continue to be funded through grants to benefit a certain group of investors and the Geauga Park District.
• Example would be the Bass Lake Property and the newly applied for grant by our Park District on March 25, 2010 in the amount of $2,425,000.00 for 10.2 acres on a development that has nothing to do with the Park what so ever.
• Our Park District applied for this grant to protect the water way on the Chagrin River on each side so these developers could build new homes on the balance of the 190 acres.
• Why would our tax dollars be used to purchase a riparian water way other than to control the water flow?
• Why would anyone spend over $2.4million for such a small amount of land?
• Well let’s take a look at what is really going on with our Park District and the Great Lakes Water Compact signed into law in 2008.
• H.B.416 is a frightening bill that you all need to read and understand. This bill explains clearly what the objectives are for each and everyone living in the watershed areas and includes rationing our water rights sooner rather than later.
• Currently people in our county are being selected to participate in a survey by the State to monitor their water, electric and gas consumption by means of installing monitoring devices to measure their usage.
• Why would they be doing this if not to ration down the road by some standards that they will set, and it’s in the Bill H.B. 416 a must read for everyone.
• Having said all this let’s talk about what really is going on.
• 1. Our Geauga Park District currently has funding tax revenue from Geauga County in the amount of $7,061,547.00 annually with four levies.
• 2. Our Park District has applied for over $20,000,000.00 of outside funding from several agencies in 2010.
• 3. Our Park District has cost the taxpayers over $2,000,000.00 per year in lost revenue annually since they pay no taxes on land that they purchase with only some of our funding and the balance coming from outside sources that they fail to explain to the people.
• 4. Geauga County is now facing $1,800,000.00 budget deficit according to the County Auditors office as reported in several papers over the past few weeks.
• 5. Senator Grendell, Congressman Steve LaTourette have each explained how these grants are not FREE money and still our elected officials in all branches of our county apply for grants knowing this fact that it is not FREE money.
• 6; Why you may ask? It’s because they feel that if we don’t take it someone else will;
• 7. The problem is that this County and our Great State is in financial ruins from this reckless behavior and the surpluses that once existed from us paying too much tax in the first place has lead us to financial disarray in part due to Unfunded Grants.
• 8. In taking funding we the people are giving up our rights to use the property as we wish to. Why would our Park District do this?
Total Park Funding/applied for or received in 2010
• TAX REVENUE: $7,035,737.00
• FUNDS RECEIVED GRANTS: $3,907,286.00
• FUNDS APPLIED GRANTS: $12,109,480.00
• DONATIONS: $1,220,318.00
• GRAND TOTAL OF FUNDING THAT HAS BEEN RECIEVED OR APPLIED FOR: $24,272,821.00
• Executive Summary
• Geauga Park District (GPD) has been part of modern Geauga County’s history since 1961 when the League of Women Voters petitioned Judge Robert S. Ford to establish a park system; Since that time, GPD has remained committed to our mission: “to preserve, conserve, and protect the natural features of Geauga County and to provide the opportunity for people to enjoy and appreciate those resources;”
• The purpose of the 2006-2011 Strategic Plan is to provide clear direction and a unified framework for the future of GPD. The process takes a comprehensive approach to melding goals, objectives and strategies with the values of the community to create a structured plan that addresses issues facing GPD.
• While GPD’s basic functions have remained the same since 1961, areas of emphasis have shifted and staff skill sets and organizational structure have evolved to meet changing needs. To meet the challenges of the future, GPD must continue to adapt to changing trends, while always staying true to our core mission. The comprehensive analysis outlined in this strategic plan will serve as a roadmap guiding essential change and partnership building for years to come.
• The Strategic Plan is divided into four sections: land acquisition and park development, partnership building, environmental stewardship and financial accountability.
• Land Acquisition and Park Development:
• Facility improvements and land acquisition over the next five years will specifically target those areas of the county that are currently underserved by park facilities; areas where important natural resources are present and/or threatened; and areas adjacent to existing parks and preserves.
• GPD will design and provide visitor facilities and parks that are appropriate and consistent with the conservation of natural resources and the park’s mission. Strategic Plan – 2006-2011 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Geauga Park District 3
• Partnership Building:
• GPD will seek to translate community support and interest in the parks into action, enlisting partners and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds in a wide variety of conservation, stewardship and community programs.
• GPD will partner with governmental and conservation agencies at the township, county, regional, and federal level to further our mission and to promote cooperation between agencies for the benefit of the citizens of Geauga County.
• Environmental Stewardship:
• GPD will develop a comprehensive management plan for each park that will guide us in the wise stewardship and development of these areas.
• Through interpretive and educational programs, GPD’s goal will be to instill in park patrons an appreciation and enjoyment of the significance of parks and their natural resources.
• Financial Accountability:
• A chief objective of our strategic plan will be to establish long-term funding alternatives for capital improvements and operations in order to reduce GPD’s dependence on tax supported funding; GPD will investigate all available funding opportunities to maximize the leverage of public funds with other sources of funding such as foundations, grants, public and private donations, endowments, other sources of philanthropy, and government agency funds.
• Over the next five years, GPD will acquire lands in underserved areas of the county, enhance visitor access to our parks, protect crucial natural resources, provide educational programs on Geauga’s unique natural and cultural heritage through fun and engaging programs, be a leader in environmental stewardship and community partnership and seek out all available funding opportunities. GPD is committed to preserving, conserving and protecting the natural features of Geauga County and to providing opportunities for the public to enjoy those natural features. This strategic plan provides a framework to achieve that goal for the citizens today and for our future generations.
1992 LEVY PASSED
EXPIRES 2012 amount collecting $1,673,263.00 annually.
1995 LEVY PASSED
EXPIRES 2013 amount collected $1,975,243.00 annually.
2000 LEVY PASSED
REPLACE/ INCREASE EXPIRES 2020 amount collected
2005 LEVY PASSED
RENEWAL EXPIRES 2025 amount collected $873,513.00
Document from 1st public request
• Funding Summary
• 2006 - June 2010
• Amt applied for Date Rec'd From Amt rec'vd Parkland Purpose Applied by:
• 197,354;00 9/25/2007 ODNR Recreational Trails Program 70,000;00 Frohring Meadows Park & Trail Development Geauga
Park District (GPD)
• 100,000;00 4/7/2008 ODNR Ohio Dept of Natural Resources 100,000;00 Orchard Hills acquisition GPD through Senator
• 1,200,000;00 WRRSP 1,200,000;00 Orchard Hills acquisition WRLC on behalf of GPD
• 525,000;00 WRRSP 525,000;00 Orchard Hills Stream Restoration WRLC on behalf of GPD
• 9/26/2008 Key Bank 15,000.00 Orchard Hills Restoration Geauga Park District (GPD)
• 11/26/2008 USDA United States Dept of Agriculture 1,337;00 Frohring Meadows prairie management Geauga Park District (GPD)
• 285,000;00 4/25/2010 HUD Housing Urban Development 285,000;00 Orchard Hills acquisition WRLC on behalf of GPD
• 399,999.00 6/11/2010 Ohio Public Works, Clean Ohio 398,070.53 Orchard Hills Acquisition WRLC on behalf of GPD
• 3/25/2010 WRLC Western Reserve Land Conservancy 112,369;51 Parkman Property acquisition not a grant outparcel land sale proceeds
• 5/3/2010 WRLC Western Reserve Land Conservancy 78,052;70 Parkman Property Acquisition not a grant outparcel land sale proceeds
• 306,866.00 1/25/2010 Ohio Public Works, Clean Ohio Grant pending Welton's Gorge Acquisition WRLC on behalf of GPD
• 575,000.00 1/25/2010 Ohio Public Works, Clean Ohio Grant pending Grandview Reservation and Trail Acquisition & Trail Development TPL on behalf of Geauga Park District
• 400,000.00 6/3/2010 OEPA-319 Grant pending Orchard Hills Stream & Wetland Restoration Geauga Park District
• Total amount applied for: $4,016,428.00
WHAT IS AHEAD OF US
• Today the Geauga Park District is planning on asking voters for a renewal levy and possibly a new levy for Parks and maintenance of parks. Source in minutes from meeting 10/02/10
• We must get the word out to stop the renewal because of the current cuts by each and every County department but the Park District and also because of the great financial toll it is taking on Geauga County while providing NO critical services.
• When we think that our Park District is using our funds to purchase and preserve the land with our tax dollars from these Levy’s we where not being told the truth.
• The truth is simple and very disturbing and we the people have been mislead by the Park District and by the Judge that has appointed them.
WHY WE DON’T HAVE BASEBALL FIELDS
AND GENERAL SPORTING AREAS
• Grant Money all comes with strings attached and one of the string is that once you take funds from an outside entity, like the WRRSP or the EPA of the ODNR, WE give up our rights as to how the land is to be used.
• By this I mean that they will dictate how the land is used and typically you can not have any sports activity on any land that they fund.
WHY WE HAVE NO CONTROL
• Our Park District Leaders are very aware of what they are doing and now it is time that we the people say enough is enough.
• Park Employees are applying for Grants from the Ohio EPA, ODNR, HUD and other Government agencies that come with rules and regulations in order to receive the funds and our Park Officials don’t tell us the entire truth about what is going on.
Ohio EPA & WRRSP
• Go to this site and you will see all the regulations that have to be meet to qualify for funding.
• This web site offers support for the programs.
The Chagrin River Balanced Growth Plan
• This Plan is basically what the Great Lakes Water Compact is all about.
• You will see that there is an effort for the Ohio EPA, WWRSP and others to take control of all water rights in Geauga County and the St. Lawrence Water Shed area.
WHAT CAN WE DO ?
• Under the Ohio Revised Codes Section 122.22 it clearly states that any purchases or negotiation that has an adverse effect on the people is not a legal transaction.
• Since the Park District always acquires land under the protection of Executive Session it should be illegal since it does adversely effect we the tax payers by reducing the property taxes on property that they purchase.
HOW DOES THIS EFFECT THE TAXPAYERS YOU MAY ASK?
• According to County Auditor, the Park District has taken off the tax rolls $2,000,000.00 in property taxes annually since its inception.
• By the way this number needs to update because the Park District has purchased over 300 more acres if not more since the information was obtained.
WHAT THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW
• For starters, there is no FREE money as politicians and many trustees want you to believe. All funds are we the people tax dollars and since the Government is in the RED the State is in the RED. Taxes will have to be raised at some point in time to pay for all this wasted spending.
• Any elected official that indicates that this money is FREE is highly mistaken and needs to be removed from office during the next election cycle.
ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT THINK MONEY IS FREE
• Mostly every elected official in Geauga County keeps Applying for Grant Funds that they say are FREE money, but as of this date I can not find any FREE money from any Government Agency with out any strings.
• I can not find any money tree anyplace and if someone knows where it is let me know and I will share everything that I pick off of this tree.
HOW TO START FROM THE BOTTOM UP
TO CONTROL OUR OFFICIALS
• I have talked to several elected officials and have indicated to them that they need to stop taking money that the State and Federal Government doesn’t have and each and every time we have this conversation they all say that this is how it is.
• That may be the case, but good government starts from the Bottom up, not the Top down.
• Since our elected officials do believe in this process then we need to change their thinking or remove them from office.
• Each and every Official that I have talked to complains about the Park Districts abuse, but when it comes down to taking action they all run and hide with the exception of a few newly elected officials as they see the results from this foolish spending.
• The Geauga Park District uses Federal Funds and State funds to acquire land that has strings attached in every instance.
• Once the funds are taken from any outside source they control the use of the land. That is why we see no ball field, soccer fields, horse shoe pits, volley ball courts, tennis courts or any other sporting activity. They will effect and preserve the land as they see fit.
• Horseback riding is permitted along with cross country skiing, but only on designated areas in the parks.
• You can have a picnic, but don’t get caught playing any games that are not permitted or you will be asked to leave.
• In closing, the Parks are beautiful but do they really serve the interest of ALL the people that live in Geauga county?
Voting for ANY more levies for the Geauga
Park District (GPD) is NOT in the best
interests of Geauga County or the people.
We have more than enough parks right now
that the people can't use all the ways they
would like to. The greedy and out of control
GPD has taken a big financial toll on Geauga
County which is already in the RED
$1,800,000. The GPD provides NO critical
services which is what money should be used