Lake County Commissioner Appointment – Watch Out for the Mud

LFC Comments: Well, the retirement of Ron Young has certainly exposed the underbelly of Lake County politics, and this article is a prime example of how “hard ball” politics is played in Lake County. This anonymous author gives no quarter, shows no mercy at all. The curtain is pulled back on everyone.

In our opinion, this whole appointment process has given a black eye to the Lake County Republican Party. Did anyone ever consider what is in the best interests of the Lake County citizens?

*****

Conflicts, Illegalities, Ethics, and Pigs

Written by: Anonymous
June 15, 2022

With Lake County Republican Party Chairman Dale Fellows withdrawing his name for consideration to be appointed to replace Commissioner Ron Young, this opens the door to new candidates.

Chairman Fellows in his statement withdrawing his name gave many reasons why he was withdrawing from consideration, but he was silent on the biggest reason, that being not getting the all clear from the Ohio Ethics Commission.

With Chairman Fellows now out of the way, two names have risen to the top:  Former Kirtland Mayor Mark Tyler and former Perry Township Administrator Walter “Wally” Siegel. 

The last couple of years have been “plagued” by those pesky Ethics Commission laws for Republican commissioner candidates.  First, the now infamous Commissioner for five days, Jason Wuliger, who had to resign abruptly before his first meeting due to concerns relating to ethics laws.  And we still never found out what a Wuliger was…

Now, Chairman Fellows withdrawing apparently over ethics concerns.  Let’s take a look at the two known candidates and see what ethics concerns they may have:

Former Kirtland Mayor Mark Tyler: 

Based on first impressions, public records and public domain information, Mr. Tyler is generally looked at as being noncontroversial, principled and an all-around good guy.  Based on Mr. Tyler’s letter to the Republican Central Committee, he is well educated, experienced and is a public servant. 

What Mr. Tyler has not disclosed is he is a Governor’s appointment to the Board of Lakeland Community College.  This would be an immediate conflict and require Mr. Tyler to resign from the board prior to taking office as Commissioner if he were to earn the appointment.  To avoid any ethics concerns, Mr. Tyler would have to abstain from all matters relating to Lakeland Community College for a period of one year.  This would not be a problem given that Mr. Tyler’s appointment would conclude at this end of this year and as long as he made no recommendation to the Governor for his replacement.  Although not an ethics concern, Mr. Tyler should explain his role as a Lakeland Board member overseeing the greatest loss in student population of any college in the State of Ohio.

Mr. Tyler did receive the following endorsements from leading Republicans.

Former Perry Township Administrator Walter “Wally” Siegel: 

Here is Mr. Siegal’s letter to the Central Committee Members throwing his hat in the ring for the Commissioner’s spot:

Dear Central Committee Member,

Please except [sic] this letter of my interest in the remaining term of Ron Young Commissioners seat.

Ron’s shoes will be hard to fill, and he has been a very good Commissioner.

I believe my 30 plus years at Perry Township gives me the experience and knowledge to work with our two Commissioners to keep Lake County moving in the right direction.

I have worked with State, and Federal officials over the years and helped Perry receive over 8 million dollars in grants.

I have been a member of the Lake County Planning Commission since 1993 serving as chairman several times, I am also a member of the Lake Port Authority for 4 years. I am also the Director of the Perry Economic Development Council since 1997.

I look forward to meeting with everyone Thursday night.

Thank you for your attention with this matter.

Walter R. Siegel

*****

Based on first impressions, public records and public domain information, Mr. Siegel is generally looked at as being controversial, unprincipled and by some accounts, a bully.  Based on Mr. Siegel’s letter to the Republican Central Committee, he does not speak of his education, he indicates that he is a bureaucrat and will have numerous conflicts of interest.  I should also note that “Wally” started his letter with “Please except this letter…” Clearly English and proofreading are not “Wally’s” strong suit.  Mr. Siegel has indicated that he is a longtime member of the Lake County Planning Commission since 1993 and has served as its chairman several times.  This creates an immediate conflict as Commissioner that a simple resignation and recusal from matters would not resolve.  Mr. Siegel has indicated that he is a member of the Lake Port Authority for four years.  Apparently he missed the memo, that was never their name and they changed the name to the Lake Development Authority.  This would create an immediate conflict as Commissioner that a simple resignation and recusal from matters would not resolve.  The Lake Development Authority has been designated by the Board of Commissioners as the body charged with primary responsibility for Economic Development in Lake County.  Mr. Siegel has indicated that he is the Director of the Perry Economic Development Council since 1997.  Yet again, this creates an immediate conflict as Commissioner that a simple resignation and recusal from matters would not resolve.

A search of the public domain and public records reveals some very interesting concerns relating to Mr. Walter “Wally” Siegel.  There is a Plain Dealer article by James Lawless titled “Couple sue township official over housing troubles”.  The article describes “Wally’s” apparent handyman work on a home that he sold and had apparently connected a bootleg replacement septic system to a storm sewer illicitly.   The lawsuit was ultimately resolved but the relationship with the couple involved continued… 

It should be noted that the Lake County General Health District never enforced Ohio EPA regulations relating to this property or “Wally’s” apparent handiwork.  In fact, every time it gets brought up to the Lake County General Health District, it gets looked into and promptly overlooked numerous times.  The Lake County Department of Utilities is aware of the issue and has also never taken any action.  As Commissioner, “Wally” would be overseeing the very people that have been looking the other way for a number of years.  Perhaps Ron Graham at the Health District should look into some of these old files to see how many thumbs and elbows are on the scales that are allowing “Wally’s” apparent handiwork to go unchecked.

A brief side by side comparison of former Mayor Mark Tyler and former Administrator Walter “Wally” Siegel indicates outside of political service, Mr. Tyler is a professional engineer having worked at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant and the Lubrizol Corporation as contrasted by Mr. Siegel being a professional pig farmer.

Wally can bring home the bacon!

*****

LFC Comments: After reading this article several times, I will excuse myself and take a long hot shower to get rid of the mud.



Categories: Lake County Politics