Trustees Corner – Paul Schweikert

It is with great sadness that I report the messenger of misery has visited Sagamore Hills Township once again. An active member of the Sagamore Hills Service Department entered to eternal rest towards the end of September. I want to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Douglas Kiesel family. Doug worked in our service department for 23 years. I personally had the privilege of working with him during his tenure. Doug was a great family man and an excellent employee.

Doug had an extended illness that he fought for nearly two years. In my last in-person conversation with him, he asked me to thank the following people one last time: Service Director Bill Cuprak, Jake Sawyer and Mike Black for all their assistance; Trustees John Zaccardelli and Dave DePasquale for their ongoing support; and the ladies of the front office, Patricia Petrusky and Joanne Taylor, for keeping his spirits up. Doug was humbled by the volunteered human resource work Fiscal Officer Laura Steimle did on his behalf.

Lastly, Doug was gratified by the gesture of police personnel who offered sick time to keep him in pay status. Doug enjoyed his job and the residents of Sagamore Hills. He is missed by all of us.

I was recently asked a couple of questions that may be of relevance to all. Does Sagamore Hills have any involvement with property revaluations? Summit County’s three-year revaluation of homeowner property is a task performed by the Summit County Treasurer. This certification of property value is mandated by the state of Ohio. All 88 counties are a part of this process. Sagamore Hills has no input in the revaluation of property.

How many units of government in Summit County? There are 31 communities that are located in Summit County. Nine are townships, nine are villages and 13 are cities. Your elected county officials are County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Clerk of Courts Sandra Kurt, County Engineer Alan Brubaker, Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise, Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, and Sheriff Kandy Fatheree. The state senator for District 27 is Kristina Roegner. The state representative for District 31 is Bill Roemer.

Since I discussed property revaluation, other rising costs next year involve sewer and waste removal. The average weekly waste bill will increase to $15.87 per week starting July 1, 2024. This waste rate is based on a five-year contract and when approved, it was the lowest and best bid out of all the companies that bid.

The base sewer rate this year is $10.60. In 2024, it will rise to $11.10. The stormwater fee in 2023 is $10.17 on average. In 2024, it will rise to $10.65. Sewer bills are based on water consumption and the sewer rate is per thousand cubic feet (MCF) of water; one MCF is equal to 7,480 gallons of water. A typical household uses 0.5 MCF on average monthly. If you have any questions, I can be reached at 330-467-4970.


This spring, police officer Ryan Shelby responded to a call about missing mail. Several residents on Brandywine Road were having their mail stolen. The thief lived in Northfield Center Township. He was going to mailboxes with the flags up and stealing checks. During Shelby’s investigation, he found that this had been happening over the Nordonia geographic area.

Shelby contacted Lt. Det. Dan Rice for an assist. Rice had arrested a mail thief three or four years ago. The thief was trying to cash stolen checks. It turned out that this man was now out of jail and was up to his old tricks. Police Chief David Hayes stated that Shelby and Rice were able to review bank video, which confirmed it was the same guy. He was arrested and the case was stamped solved. Shelby was happy to “return this thief to sender” when he was transported back to Summit County jail.


I shared a cup of coffee with Fire Chief Brian Ripley as he discussed his latest endeavor. The fire district and the Northfield Water District are trying to get all fire hydrants painted before winter. The best part of this project is that they have tested every hydrant for water pressure. Ripley is extremely pleased with this herculean task, as over 3,000 hydrants were working and passed inspection.


When it rains, it pours. Just after much needed rain this June, the service department was going to take the Sagamore Hills roadside tractor out to mow ditches. After 35 years, it finally refused to run. To purchase a new tractor with the state of Ohio purchasing price, the cost will be about $112,000. This may be the first piece of equipment Sagamore Hills will have to lease-purchase.

During this year’s road projects I received several complaints about vegetation on roadside landscaping being disrupted or not restored to homeowner satisfaction. Anything in the road right-of-way is subject to damage by any utilities. This includes Cleveland Water and Summit County Department of Environmental Services (sewers). Sagamore Hills Township cannot mandate restoration of right-of-way to a homeowner’s satisfaction. Utilities are protected and absolved by state law.

Health department

There are 30 communities that support the Summit County Health District. Donna Skoda is the health commissioner and she sends out yearly assessments based on property valuations. The top three communities are as follows: Cuyahoga Falls, which pays the top assessment at $337,000; Hudson is second with $332,000; Stow comes in at third place with $283,000. Sagamore Hills Township is 13th on the list at $103,000. The total health department budget for 2023 is $3,230,675. The health department encourages residents not to feed wildlife, many animals carry rabies.

Final thought: if you see an opossum, please leave it alone. They may be scary to look at, but they eat ticks and they cannot get rabies.

Any questions call 330-467-4970.

Go Browns! ∞