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County Line Awards strike again
Happy New Year! It's time for the 22nd annual County Line Awards, recognizing those who make life interesting in the Chagrin Valley and beyond, whether they know it or not.
SPY-WARY AWARD -- To Chagrin Falls School Superintendent William Koons and other officials, who insisted that random drug sweeps are not about spying on kids and punishing them but did just that after a drug-sniffing spy dog led to three cans of beer, a trace of pot and chewing tobacco in the high school parking lot.
EX-NIX-ANNEX AWARD -- To South Russell Mayor Matthew Brett and Village Council, who are annexing 17 acres of parkland from Bainbridge Township after opposing a similar move by Chagrin Falls 10 years ago, when Bainbridge fought to buffer an adjacent South Russell homeowner from noisy ball fields.
FERMENT FOMENT AWARD -- To Auburn wine makers Jay and Elizabeth Schabel, who prevailed in their legal battle against local officials' specious argument that their operation isn't entitled to the state's agricultural exemption from township zoning.
FUZZY MATH AWARD -- To Pepper Pike Service Director Robert Girardi, who calculated the cost of janitorial duties at City Hall by municipal workers at $51,000 per year and said a private contractor could do the job for $6,648 -- which adds up to $3.55 per hour, less than half the minimum wage.
GOOD SHOW AWARD -- To Mayors Bruce H. Akers, Kathy U. Mulcahy, Susan C. Renda and Charles E. Smith, of Pepper Pike, Orange, Moreland Hills and Woodmere, for getting their lines straight about municipal mergers, although getting their act together is another story.
BORN TO RUN AWARD -- To Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who was elected to that office just a year ago, after serving as a state representative for just four years, after serving as a Lyndhurst city councilman for just three years and now is running for the U.S. Senate.
BORN TO LOSE AWARD -- To South Russell resident William O'Neill, who lost his bids to unseat U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Bainbridge, in 2008 and 2010, also lost his bids for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court in 2004 and 2006 and now is running for the high court again.
RATHER SWITCH AWARD -- To Geauga County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Timothy Grendell, who reneged on his election to the Ohio House of Representatives one year ago and reneged on his pledge to serve out his term in the Ohio Senate nine months later.
EGGS-CENTRIC AWARD -- To Irene McMullen and fellow Munson Township Trustees, who restored Easter to their community egg hunt after being overwhelmed with good Christian advice from near and far regarding their ill-advised attempt to separate church and state.
WOMAN SCORNED AWARD -- To Jennifer King, who filed a complaint with the FBI against her ex-husband, Chardon Mayor Phillip King, blaming him for her being arrested, handcuffed and body searched for failing to pay a parking ticket.
SOLAR ECLIPSE AWARD -- To Burton village Solicitor Todd Hicks, who ruled that absent Councilman Jeff Coleman could cast a critical vote by speaker phone, only to discover later that the Ohio Sunshine Law clearly and unequivocally requires physical attendance to official voting.
ROUGHRIDER AWARD -- To Geauga County Engineer Robert Phillips, who questioned the entitlement mentality of some people who think taxpayers should keep their cul-de-sacs as smooth and sound as interstate highways.
MAC ATTACKER AWARD -- To Paul Siegfried, owner of McDonald's restaurants in Stark County, who threatened his employees' salaries and benefits if Republicans John Kasich, Rob Portman and Jim Renacci failed to get elected and was fined for violating Ohio's corrupt practices law.
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