April 24, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
48°F

Pat Geissman shakes up Medina County board

MEDINA — Pat Geissman shook things up this week when she became president of the board of county commissioners, effectively canceling a colleague’s chances of taking the helm of a five-county planning board.

Geissman switched most of the committee appointments for board members and also the county departments to which they serve as liaisons.

Geissman

Geissman

Hambley

Hambley

“I think this is the best opportunity to move us around and put us in different positions,” she said Tuesday. “I think it’s time for some new blood out there.”

The changes meant Commissioner Steve Hambley lost the county sanitary engineer’s office and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, both of which he has worked with for a number of years.

Both went to Commissioner Adam Friedrick, who replaced Sharon Ray this year.

“I have no problem with bringing in a new commissioner to be involved,” Hambley said. However, he said his particular expertise could best be used in certain positions.

“This is not an opportune time to remove myself from being involved with the NOACA board,” he said.

NOACA handles transportation and environmental planning for five counties: Medina, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain.

Hambley has served on the board for 14 years, with two years as president. He is scheduled to be president again this year. He said if he doesn’t serve, it’s possible a Medina County official may not serve as head of the board for another five years.

“This is no reflection on Adam (Friedrick), but you’re talking about five separate county governments and about 45 elected officials. There’s a lot in the process that you’re totally unaware of because unfortunately you have not been involved with NOACA,” he told Geissman.

Geissman said Hambley made similar changes to board and department appointments during one of his terms as president of the board, a rotating position. She also said she took into consideration the fact that Hambley interviewed for the position of Brunswick city manager last month.

“He is looking for greener pastures. This is not politics. It is doing what is best for Medina County,” she said after Tuesday’s meeting, noting she wanted a smooth transition and not someone who could leave abruptly.

However, Hambley said he believes Brunswick has moved on and is no longer considering him as a candidate. His priorities remain with the county, he said.

“All of the rest of this has nothing to do with that job,” he said.

“Candidly, I think this is political retribution,” Hambley said later. “We’re of the same party and we’re to work together as a team. That means benching somebody that’s been successful? It makes no sense.”

All the commissioners are Republican.

After the meeting, Geissman said she decided to make Hambley the alternate representative on the NOACA board, a position she originally gave to herself. This means Hambley will be able to vote when Friedrick is not present and he can serve on committees with the agency.

“I think this will be a great team for Medina County. I really do. It’s the best of both worlds,” Geissman said.

Friedrick said he was ready to tackle his new positions.

“I’m here to do whatever the county needs. I think I can help the county as far as taxpayers and voters are concerned. I’ve got a business background.”

He added his committee and department appointments “are things that interest me.”

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.

  • commoncents

    Is anyone surprised Pat is playing politics? She is a career politician. Pat is approaching 35 years as an elected official, many of those years ignoring reason and common sense to instead govern on pride and spite. Is this really the most qualified person we can find to lead our county?

  • antioch15688

    1. Pat should use a current pucture, not one that is 25 years old. Everyone knows she’s all wrinled and nasty these days.

    2. Pat’s son is a convicted criminal (Drugs). If she can’t manage her family, why would people elect her to manage city affairs?

    3. Pat is stupid. Have you ever talked to her? I wouldn’t hire her to mow my lawn.

    Wake up Medina County. Is this your best? If so, you should commit suicide and get it over with…

  • commoncents

    Antioch, no matter how much you dislike an incompetent public official, you shouldn’t post things about their family. If you want to mention things about her lack of higher education, her propensity to waste our tax dollars, her vindictive and obstructionist actions, the fact that her carachter has been called into question often in the last year, or anything involving her “performance” as queen of the commissioners; I will happily defend your right to say them. She is your employee, so it is certainly your right. However, I think her family should be off limits (unless you are talking about county economic development dollars being given to someone who employs her son, but that is a different story for a different day). Let’s save our Geissman bashing for when she invariably hands the Sheriff’s office whatever they want and then some, maybe the median salary in that office will hit $100,000 a year this time, now that we don’t have anyone to stand up to their demands (or for the best interest of the tax payers).

  • dkovacs

    Pat is a perfect representative for the people of Medina County, that’s why she keeps getting re-elected. Medina County residents want to hang onto the past, stop progress, “keeping it rural”, keep the good ol boys and girls around who have been around since they moved to Medina 30 years ago. Well those old farmers are dying off and their families continue to sell their land to developers and the transplants from Cuyahoga County will move in and take over… LOL ..GOOD LUCK MEDINA COUNTY … KEEP ELECTING THESE “PEOPLE”

  • commoncents

    I don’t know anything about Mr Friedrick, but I was told that Geissman gave him a sizable donation ($5-$6,000) for his campaign. I also received a mailer from the Sheriff asking me to vote for him. I have also heard many of the deputies in the SO were out campaigning for Adam. Why? If there is some back room deal in place to work around the labor paramaters and appropriate higher salaries to this department while everyone else takes cuts, let me assure you, you won’t get away with it.