October 24, 2014

Medina
Mostly clear
40°F

County says no to NOACA changes

MEDINA — Medina County commissioners Monday vetoed two proposals that would have changed the way the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency is governed.

Medina County is one of six members of NOACA, the metropolitan planning group that recommends how federal grants are spent in communities in the five-county Northeast Ohio area. The other members are Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties.

The city of Cleveland also is a member. But, unlike the counties, the city doesn’t have the power to veto changes in the agency’s code of regulations.

One of the two proposed amendments to the regulations would have changed that by allowing future changes in the regulations to be ratified by a simple majority vote of the representatives.

The other proposal would require that alternate delegates to NOACA’s governing board be elected officials within their county or city.

Medina County Commissioner Stephen D. Hambley said the proposals are not acceptable because allowing changes to be approved by a simple majority would give too much power to the more populous counties, such as Cuyahoga.

“Our position is that we are not willing to give up equal ratification authority or change the requirements for alternates,” Hambley said. “We’re not going to approve those.”

Cuyahoga, Lorain and Lake counties have approved both proposals.

Geauga County has not yet responded. But because ratification must be unanimous, the Medina commissioners’ rejection kills both proposals.

Hambley speculated that the proposed requirement that alternative delegates be elected officials may have been a reaction to Skip Claypool, a Geauga County alternate delegate and a member of the Geauga County tea party, which has been critical of NOACA.

Hambley said Claypool has a right to his opinion.

Medina County is represented by Hambley; Chris Easton, Wadsworth’s service director; county Engineer Mike Salay; and Brunswick Hills Township Trustee Kathleen Scheutzow.

Alternates are Lafayette Township Trustee Lynda Bowers for Scheutzow, Brunswick Service Director Pat McNamara for Easton, county Commissioner Adam Friedrick for Hambley and Dave Szabo of the county engineer’s office for Salay.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.