Painesville Township vs. Riverside School Board…round 3

To ensure that all parties in any debate have a forum allowing their opinions to be expressed, we are providing LFC readers with the following comments received from Mr. Gabe Cicconetti, Painesville Township Trustee and Mr. Thomas Hach, Riverside School Board Member.  We thank both individuals for taking the time to communicate with us so that we may share the information with Lake County citizens.

Here is Mr. Cicconetti’s response to our post:

Thank you for your input and your email.  It was mentioned to me that you made a couple blog posts on your website regarding this issue. So, I went over and took a look. I want to preface this with stating that I 100% appreciate and respect your right to have a difference of opinion on the matter or any matter.  However, I just ask that you ensure that when discussing me and our efforts you use factual information. There is a number of points in your blog post contain misinformation and it is only fair to me, the other Trustees, and anyone reading your posts that it contain factual information.   a few examples are:

–    “asking residents to flood the Riverside school board members, those that blocked the land donation, with emails demanding that the land be donated to Painesville Township.”. please be sure to quote me correctly, you can find exactly what I or the other trustees have asked by reading our communications. We simply ASK that people share their feelings and stories regarding the property. I/we would never suggest that anyone DEMAND anyone do anything, but rather ask that they consider the transfer and share that with the board members just has you have asked.
 – “Painesville Twp. Trustees have JEDD money”  this FALSE– Painesville Township is not currently a member of any JEDD nor have any revenues from a JEDD coming in.
Joint Educational Development District created by a partnership with Concord Township when Tripoint hospital moved from Painesville Township. –  Tri-Point hospital, when known as Lake East was located in Painesville City, not in Painesville Township so any partnerships would be between the City of Painesville and Concord Trustees, not Painesville Twp.  (Also important to note I believe when you reference  “JEDD” you are referring to a  Joint Economic Development District)
That is just a few examples, there is more, but this is sufficient to convey what I am trying to say.
Brian, myself as well as any other member of the board of Painesville Twp Trustees are always open to dialogue regarding our initiatives, whether it is in favor or against what we are doing as we want to make sure we are hearing from all sides on matters. However, it is important to ensure that the information being spread contains facts and not misinformation as shared above. Again, it is your right to voice your opposition to the proposal, and I fully respect that right as well as anyone’s right to be for or against any initiative we are working on,  I just ask that you please be sure you are stating factual information regarding the matter at hand when doing so.
Lastly, I just want to address your statement “LFC comes down on the side of selling the property since all of the taxpayers in the Riverside School District paid for the property, and not just those in Painesville Township.”   while it is true that the Hadden land is in Painesville Twp. and yes, all taxpayers in the RLSD pay for the property, part of what we have said since the beginning regarding that point is this:  while the land is located in Pville Twp it is used on a regular basis by taxpayers from across the district.  The best example of this being the Concord Girls Softball league that has over 270 children in the league.  The league provided a census of where their players reside and as you will see in this list, the land serves families from across the district and more. – Painesville Township, Concord Twp, Fairport Harbor, Grand River, Leroy, Madison, Mentor, Painesville City, Willowick, Grand Valley, Willoughby, Chardon, Perry.  So, input from residents outside the district, include the Board of Concord Trustees is important since losing this taxpayer funded land will impact taxpayers from across the RLSD not just in Painesville Township.
if you have any other questions regarding this initiative I would be happy to discuss those with you.
Gabe Cicconetti
Here is Mr. Hach’s response to the many emails he has been receiving:

To Concerned Residents of the Riverside School District,

This is a Blind Carbon Copy (BCC:) reply to the many thoughtful emails I have received both for and against the recent proposal on the Hadden School property made by the Painesville Township Trustees. Below are my opinions which may or may not reflect the opinions of the other Riverside school board members or the administrators thereof.

Why I am against the Painesville Township proposal.

  1. There are six communities represented in the Riverside District and the Trustees’ proposal creates definitive winners and losers with no overall benefit to the District or its taxpayers.

  2. The discussion about the Hadden property so far has completely ignored the fact Painesville Township is already the biggest winner within the scope of the changes going on in the Riverside District:
  • A brand new $17,000,000 elementary school has been built on Madison Avenue

  • The former Hale Road Elementary School is now home to a County run school

  • The former Hadden Elementary School is likely to be home to a Charter school in fall 2020

  1. A few years back, the Riverside District sold a property to another local community at market price. The taxpayers of this community would rightly feel they were snookered by the District and their own elected officials if Painesville Township were to get a ‘sweetheart’ deal on the Hadden property.

  2. The Trustee’s proposal sets a bad precedent because it rests on the argument all tax dollars are the same regardless of origin. Using the Trustee’s ‘Hadden’ logic, if the buyer of the former Leroy Elementary School turns out to be Leroy Township, which is a real possibility, the Riverside District would be obligated to also sell it at the ‘sweetheart’ amount of just $1. Would this be fair to the District taxpayers outside of Leroy Township who have also paid year after year to operate and maintain Leroy Elementary? Answer: NO.

  3. Given the County school and the potential Charter school mentioned above are county and taxpayer supported, the Trustee’s ‘Hadden’ logic would again dictate the Riverside District give away both Hale Road and Hadden schools for the ‘sweetheart’ amount of just $1 each. Would this benefit anyone in the District who paid year after year to operate and maintain these two schools? Answer: NO.

  4. Maximizing the revenue from the sale of the former Hadden School will help delay the next levy request from the Riverside District, which would be in the best interest of ALL District taxpayers.

With all due respect to the Painesville Trustees, it is truly a shame they have chosen a ‘my way or the highway’ approach on Hadden. This approach is dividing our community when there are several potential ways forward which preserve the ball fields and green spaces in question. If the Trustees put as much time into working with the Riverside District as they are putting into their bullying tactics, I believe a solution could be found which we can all live with and would unite the communities we both serve.

In closing, I suspect I speak for many in the Riverside District when I say I look forward to having a positive and constructive dialogue with Painesville Township to find a solution which works for everyone.


Thomas Hach

Member, Riverside Board of Education

Categories: Concord, Lake, Lake County Cities & Townships, Painesville Township, Uncategorized


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