Thursday, May 6, 2004

Deerfield Twp. meeting sizzles in acrimony

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP - Tensions among township elected leaders are at a boiling point.

During Tuesday night's marathon meeting on a proposed YMCA here, Trustee Randy Kuvin made Clerk Kristin Spiekerman speak from the lectern the public uses instead of from her clerk's seat. And on Friday, trustees will discuss a resolution, requested by Kuvin, that states Trustee Lee Speidel intentionally misled the public in his campaign materials last November.

Speidel said Wednesday he has not seen the resolution.

Tuesday's episode started after Spiekerman raised concerns about how the township was to fund its part of the proposed partnership with Symmes Township to build a satellite of the Ralph J. Stolle Countryside Y of Lebanon. Kuvin said some of her comments went "well beyond" her role as clerk.

Spiekerman walked to the back of the room, and in front of the 50-plus person crowd, stated that she would write her name on a piece of paper and wait her turn to speak with the public.

"I also wonder if you're afraid of what I might say, Randy?" Spiekerman later said from the lectern. "Is that why you quiet me?" She said she hoped he would listen to all residents, not just the ones he "brought to this meeting."

Kuvin called that comment "absurd.

"The suggestion that I somehow would be afraid of what you might say is ridiculous," Kuvin said. "I did let you speak, from the podium, on issues that are outside the purview of the clerk's office. That's your role. ... And now, you don't have the floor."

Tuesday's wasn't Spiekerman's first clash with trustees. After she was first elected in 1999, there were disagreements with previous trustees over such things as clerical help and office location. In 2000, she sued the board, and they later settled. Even before the disagreement, several residents had expressed concern that differences among elected officials made the township look bad.

At one point, Trustee Barbara Wilkens Reed appeared to be done with the arguing as well. "Mr. Kuvin, I'm not interested in listening to that," she said.


Teens' Nerf guns raise ruckus
Grad launched Dart Wars rules
Downtown to get $50 million boost
Bush pauses to comfort teen
Student undercount has state scrambling for funds

Educators can feed violence problem in schools, expert says
Breast cancer united these neighbors
Ex-cop may be rehired
Cicada questions bugging you? Here's some help
Sports car provides inspiration for class
City's Clean Air Act targets polluters
4th dog joining hunt for woman's remains
Deerfield Twp. meeting sizzles in acrimony
Plan to build Y questioned
Con man's crimes also taint Deters
Soldier says thanks for mail
2 Nigerian men charged with stealing identities
Inside of 2 Lexington Manor homes to be tested for lead
Schools make plea for money
Dixie, Holy Cross scholars win grants
Senate passes lawsuit limits, but House will not be rushed
Lawsuit fights gay-marriage petition drive
Fitton Center, Butler schools team on arts
Science team just short of finals
Neighbors briefs
News briefs

Crowley: Mongiardo's errors not Rx for success
Bronson: Shots-and-beer defense shot down by judge

Moe Burtschy, pitched for A's in Philly, KC

Lobbyists spent less on 2004 General Assembly
Teens held for theft, chase
Boone spurns 128-house Buffalo Trace subdivision
Retail-office center awaits vote
Seven more out of diocese abuse suit
Campbell High's antics have a serious purpose
Restaurant that trains disabled needs a hand
3-year-old wanders several blocks