Orange officials clash over documents


By D. Anthony Botkin - abotkin@civitasmedia.com



During the Orange Township Trustee meeting Monday night Fiscal Officer Joel Spitzer argued with Trustee Lisa Knapp over public documents he said Knapp had requested. Spitzer left the meeting briefly to retrieve the stack of CDs that sit in front of him in this photo to help prove his point.

During the Orange Township Trustee meeting Monday night Fiscal Officer Joel Spitzer argued with Trustee Lisa Knapp over public documents he said Knapp had requested. Spitzer left the meeting briefly to retrieve the stack of CDs that sit in front of him in this photo to help prove his point.


Two Orange Township elected officers argued over the receipt of documents sent by email from the fiscal office during Monday night’s township trustees meeting. By the end of the meeting Trustee Lisa Knapp and Fiscal Officer Joel Spitzer had called each other liars.

The argument started when Knapp accused Spitzer of not sending documents to trustees.

“None of us got it,” Knapp said.

Spitzer pointed out to Knapp that she was included in an email that went out to all three trustees containing the documents.

“You receive them every month. You have it in your hand right now,” Spitzer said. “They were sent Nov. 30 at 1:33 p.m. Moving on if you have issues that you would like us to research we are happy to do that.”

Knapp then moved the subject to public records she had requested. She said she has not received them.

“I have asked you repeatedly for four years for copies of several meeting videos and audios which are part of the actual public record which are stated in the minutes,” Knapp said to Spitzer. “Can you please explain to me why you’re not fulfilling my public records order?”

At that point Knapp and Spitzer proceeded to talk over one another, prompting Trustee Debbie Taranto to point out they were no longer discussing items on the agenda.

Once the regular business continued Spitzer left the room. He returned later with a stack of CDs placing them on the table in front of himself.

“I would just like to report that prior to November of 2014 I gave you a stack of CDs that you refuse to sign that you received, that you refuse to pay for,” Spitzer said, addressing Knapp. “Since that day I have requested every single video that you’ve requested and they’re here. Sixty-one employee hours to download your videos.”

Again they began to talk over one another, with Spitzer and Knapp calling each other liars.

• In other business Matt Noble, fire chief, requested that trustees pass a resolution appointing himself and Amanda Sheterom, communications manager, to investigate a fire department personnel matter that had recently come to his attention. Trustees decided the matter needed to be discussed in executive session.

Lee Bodnar, administrator, presented an agreement with the State Auditor’s office to participate in a performance audit to help the township identify areas of possible improvement.

“They use their expertise to compare us throughout the State of Ohio to put us in a better position of how we operate and maybe how we can actually do better,” Bodnar said. “They do charge for this service. This cost will be $60,000.”

All three trustees approved the agreement with the State Auditor’s office.

• Trustees agreed to suspend future sales of cemetery plots in the Williamsville Cemetery because it has run out of room.

“The lots, plots that remain there are of smaller size and there is some fear or concern that we might venture into areas that would not be advantageous for us to venture into,” Bodnar said.

He added that since there hadn’t been any burials lately, it would be a good time to suspend burials.

• Trustees approved declarations of nuisance and abatement of nuisance of four properties in the township.

• Accepted the anonymous donation of $270 to the parks department.

• Approved of a one-year intern position for planning and zoning department.

At the end of the meeting, trustees went into executive session to consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, promotion, demotion or compensation of public employees or officials.

During the Orange Township Trustee meeting Monday night Fiscal Officer Joel Spitzer argued with Trustee Lisa Knapp over public documents he said Knapp had requested. Spitzer left the meeting briefly to retrieve the stack of CDs that sit in front of him in this photo to help prove his point.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2016/12/web1_DSC_0426-1.jpgDuring the Orange Township Trustee meeting Monday night Fiscal Officer Joel Spitzer argued with Trustee Lisa Knapp over public documents he said Knapp had requested. Spitzer left the meeting briefly to retrieve the stack of CDs that sit in front of him in this photo to help prove his point.

By D. Anthony Botkin

abotkin@civitasmedia.com

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

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