By: Kevin Cooke
According to the U.S. Census, between the years 2014-2018 one out of three people, or 38.1%, of the population of Geauga County had Bachelor’s degrees or higher. So it stands to reason that our local leaders are educated people. Or so it would seem.
Our three county commissioners, the ones who oversee the spending of our $100 million portfolio, have only high school diplomas.
Not one of the three: Tom Lennon, Jim Dvorak or Ralph Spidalieri, has a college degree.
Tim Lennon, a trust fund baby, graduated from West Geauga High School. He shows up at meetings and asks intelligent questions, although not enough of them. He needs to learn to say “no” to people asking for money.
Jim Dvorak, who ran for commissioner as a Democrat in 2012, found you can win by changing your allegiance to the Republicans in 2016 and was elected. Dvorak is a RINO. He graduated from Grand Valley High School in Orwell. He then become a bricklayer. He is the proverbial “bump on a log” at meetings. He never asks any questions. He just votes “yes” on everything.
The slug-like Ralph Spidaliari graduated from Charles F. Brush High School in Lyndhurst and did take some college classes, allegedly at Lakeland and at Tri-C but he never finished. A phone call verified that. He probably didn’t show up for classes, just like he doesn’t show up at scheduled meetings for his job as commissioner.
During his seven years as commissioner, Spidaliari has missed 64 meetings and missed 744 votes on allocations for budgets and other spending of $256 million dollars.
All of the commissioners earn $61,215 a year in salary, plus 32% extra in benefits, worth almost $20,000. So Spidalieri has been paid $568,000 over seven years for not showing up to not do the job he is paid to do.
Fortunately, we now have a chance to start draining “our” swamp. Spidalieri has competition in the primary on April 28.
Dennis Galicki, who is running against Spidaliari, is a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, or as the West Pointers kiddingly refer to it as Canoe U. I suspect that Galicki didn’t miss too many classes. He retired in 2003 after twenty-eight years of military service.
Galicki doesn’t own a helicopter, like Spidaliari says he does. There is a picture in Spidaliari’s Facebook page that shows him standing next to one. That helicopter number identifies it as N408L. It is owned by White Mountains Copter LLC, a company in Miamisburg, OH. And the photo of one at the top Spidalieri’s Facebook page belongs to some company.
Aso don’t believe him if he tells you has a helicopter pilot’s license. The one he has says “Student Pilot” and says “ CARRYING PASSENGERS IS PROHIBITED.” He always has to have a “certified flight instructor” with him, assuming he ever really leaves the ground. That information was acquired through the FAA.
So Spidaleri is a liar who gets paid for work he doesn’t show up to do. Compared to Dennis Galicki, Spidaleri looks like something on the bottom of a shoe at a dog park. It is not a difficult choice for whom to vote.
So — how comfortable do you feel with three high school graduates making decisions about how our tax money is spent? After completing college, CPAs, financial advisors, and the like, go through a grueling process to become certified and are then closely watched by the government and required to continue learning to retain their license.
Would you want a high school graduate to advise you on how to invest your own money?