The Persecuted Prosecutor 

Letters published June 12, 2002

Mason does his job well:

Your article on the prosecutor's office ["Let God Sort 'Em Out," May 9] was truly insightful. I know an alternative paper such as Scene gets points for being trendy, hip, and not approving of anything (just look at your movie reviews, which are hip only to foreign films). I did think, however, that some journalistic integrity would have to make it through the negative propaganda. Scene has become as credible as the local news stations, teasing us to gain our attention, then switching to a toothless story.

Did the prosecutor's office do something wrong by bringing ethnic intimidation charges against people who screamed racial epithets as they were being arrested and had just threatened to blow up a building in the aftermath of the WTC disaster? I can only wonder what your story would say if the office had failed to bring charges. No doubt you would have trashed Mr. Mason for ignoring an obvious threat. Has the prosecutor's office really gone overboard by allowing victims a stronger voice? Your story also pointed out that the prosecutor's office has made it more difficult for a defendant to get an automatic plea bargain. The fact that this means judges and public defenders will now have to do more work does not upset me.

Then, to stoop to race baiting by continually using the term "Parma Mason." Would Mason be more acceptable to your tabloid if he were from Rocky River, Shaker Heights, Mayfield, or Bedford Heights? I have known Mason for many years and have always known him to have the courage of his own convictions, as well as an innate sense of right and wrong. These are the qualities I want in a leader. Judging by the problems that have plagued Parma since Mason left, I daresay his leadership qualities are more than proven.

Tom Regas

There's no excuse for domestic abuse:

You are entirely too nice to Evelyn Moyer ["A Stab in the Dark," May 16]. She's a murderer, plain and simple. There is no excuse for domestic violence, regardless of whether the victim is a man or a woman. It would appear that history has finally caught up with her. Too bad it took two dead men for it to happen.

Frank Hujber
Mercerville, NJ

Teaching has its perks:

A May 9 Scene headline cried, "Welcome to Cheaptown. The people of Strongsville are so stingy, you need a bolt cutter to get to their wallets." Strongsville school employees can retire, get rehired, and then make almost twice as much for the same amount of work that they did just a week ago. Those poor school employees, how do they stand it?

Strongsville residents aren't cheap, and the teachers' contract proves it. But times are tough, and many residents are either losing their benefits or paying more for them. In Strongsville, our teachers' work year is 185.5 days long. But I guess even that is too long, since their contract appears to allow full-time teachers to receive up to 18 additional paid days off for a variety of reasons.

In the private sector, employees and employers typically share the cost of the retirement benefits. But not in Strongsville, where those "cheap" taxpayers pay it all. We also pick up their medical, dental, severance, and life insurance benefits. And when they retire, teachers can continue to receive many of those benefits, even though those "cheap" seniors who paid for their own retirement package must board buses to Canada for medicine. According to a copy of one of our top administrator's contracts, we even purchased his own personal annuity. Gee, I guess paying 100 percent of his retirement just wasn't enough.

School employees pay nothing or almost nothing for medical benefits that require only small co-pays for office visits or, in many cases, cover 100 percent of their major medical bills. And the monthly premium full-time teachers pay for this wonderful plan: nothing.

Are Strongsville residents cheap? As John Stossel would say, "Give me a break."

Theresa Fleming

A jaded product of Strongsville:

The article about Strongsville stinginess was pure genius. It's about time someone tore the mask off the city and called out the imposters. Yeah, yeah, I live here. Now I'm trying to finish school, so I can get the hell out.

Eight or so years ago, I was in junior high and looking forward to all of the functions waiting to highlight my teen years. That was the first year (if I recall correctly) the levy didn't pass. I was let down. No class trip, no junior formal, only the bare minimum.

Forward another couple of years. I was attending Strongsville Senior High and coming back from spring break to find that my locker contents were covered in soot and being handed to me in a garbage bag. A fire torched half the school. The city then decided maybe it was time to add on. But I know if that fire hadn't damaged half the building, they'd still be squeezing students into classrooms made for class sizes from the 1960s.

People from the "Ville" are not just stingy about the school system. Oh no, it's a lifestyle. I work at a corner store within walking distance from the newest, poshest development in town, and I feel embarrassed for the sir or madam who pulls up in the new (leased) luxury SUV, hops out in the latest (charged) Nautica gear, and puts a gallon of milk on their platinum Visa. This is right before they snatch a nickel out of the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny container and buy themselves a piece of gum.

Sarah Solomon


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