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Council member questions Commission appointments

1/30/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

In the interest of full accuracy in Maria Lindsay’s reporting of the proceedings of the New Franklin [City] Council meeting on Jan. 8, 2014, “New Franklin reviewing police levies.” I refer to Page 26 of the South Side News Leader, dated Jan. 17-23. The article mentioned that Frances Kalapodis was the wife of Gust Kalapodis and she was not put on the Charter Commission. It also stated that I resented the fact Ward 4 was not represented on the newly appointed commission.

Yes, it is true that I resent the fact that out of seven commission members appointed by the mayor, not one person lived in Ward 4. Actually, two people from Ward 4 tried to volunteer for the commission.

Larry Ashbaugh, of [South] Cleveland-Massillon Road, called the mayor and indicated his interest in volunteering for the commission at the time the mayor asked for volunteers in an article in an earlier edition of the South Side News Leader. Mr. Ashbaugh was told the mayor didn’t need anyone, and if he wanted to volunteer to try something else in the city government. Mr. Ashbaugh suggested a few other options, and the mayor told him everything was filled. He did ask him to come by and fill out an application.

To my knowledge there is no such application and no appointed commission member filled out an application. If applications were required, why weren’t Council members permitted to look over them? At the meeting [where appointed commission members were named], Council members were given an agenda by the clerk that stated, “the mayor appoints and council approves.” Apparently Council members must approve appointments without seeing qualifications. Could better government be served with more openness?

It seems most people who seek to volunteer will not be accepted if they haven’t been recruited by the mayor. By the way, other Council members have relatives serving the city in both paid and unpaid positions. Why was my wife’s name mentioned? I am interested in finding out why Ward 4 volunteers were excluded.

Gust Kalapodis, New Franklin, Ward 4 Council representative

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