Toledo Talk

Spencer Township Removes Deployed Elected Official

Trustees Michael Hood and D. Hilarion Smith on Dec. 31 held an emergency meeting to vacate the seat of Shawn Valentine — a member of the Ohio Army National Guard who was deployed Sept. 4 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2016/01/08/Spencer-Twp-officials-vote-to-remove-deployed-trustee.html#jIwO1o6oUq3jSu7K.99

I found the Blade article confusing, so here is my summary:

Hood, Smith and Valentine are on the board for Spencer Township. Valentine gets deployed, leaving Hood and Smith the only two trustees at meetings. Smith lost re-election in November, so last meeting of December, Hood and Smith vote to remove Valentine from office and appoint Smith his replacement. Newly elected trustee walks into office January 1 with Hood and Smith as fellow trustees, not Hood and deployed Valentine.

Lucas County Prosecutor says its pretty clear that Valentine can't be removed because he is deployed; Hood rebutts that they don't 'know' he is in the military.

So, some thoughts:

1. Carty no longer holds the record for the most egregious action by an elected official to make the region look bad. Smith and Hood now hold that 'honor' IMO.

2. According to the article, members of the armed services who spoke out against Mr. Valentine’s lack of informing the trustees of his deployment

Seriously? Members of the armed services criticized a fellow member for being deployed? I looked for the meeting minutes and audio, but it's not up on the website yet.

3. Hood says the government ... needs to have all the representation that [the citizens] elected to put in those positions, which is why we are taking the action that we’re taking

The 'citizens' un-elected Smith, so you are doing the exact opposite of what the citizens want.

I've been in politics, and this is one of the most disgusting things I have seen done. Unfortunately, according to the article, Borell can only remove Smith from office, he can't prosecute him for anything.

Too bad township trustees can't be recalled.

created by MsArcher on Jan 08, 2016 at 11:10:47 am     Local-Politics     Comments: 31

source      versions


Comments ... #

I agree that the article was very confusing. I was also totally shocked by your second bullet point. Where the hell did these members of the armed services come from? Obviously they've never been deployed themselves because they don't get how it works. The whole situation is disgusting.

posted by dell_diva on Jan 08, 2016 at 11:23:50 am     #  

Too bad township trustees can't be recalled.

Boy howdy, you sure got that one right. This is truly the most disgusting, egregious misuses of authority that I've ever seen. These two belong in jail.

posted by madjack on Jan 08, 2016 at 12:29:49 pm     #  

"No one asked you to be self-deployed overseas in the United States Armed Forces at the expense of Spencer Township voters."

I'm speechless. According to the article, that was an actual quote from a letter Hood and Smith sent to Valentine.

posted by mom2 on Jan 08, 2016 at 12:29:54 pm     #  

Reading between the lines: Valentine's deployment wasn't an issue until Smith was defeated for re-election because Smith and Hood always outvoted Valentine. Now that Smith was out, they had to get rid of Valentine to regain control. Even if it meant making the laughable argument that they weren't sure if Valentine was really deployed.

But Hood is clearly no rocket scientist. This Blade article from the last time Hood was seeking election as a Lucas County Commissioner doesn't say what he does for a living but does mention that he and several friends were going to start a business cleaning fishtanks.

http://www.wtol.com/story/30914345/spencer-twp-trustee-replaced-after-military-deployment

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 08, 2016 at 12:37:37 pm     #  

mom2 posted at 11:29:54 AM on Jan 08, 2016:

"No one asked you to be self-deployed overseas in the United States Armed Forces at the expense of Spencer Township voters."

I'm speechless. According to the article, that was an actual quote from a letter Hood and Smith sent to Valentine.

How is someone "self-deployed" anyway?

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 08, 2016 at 12:38:46 pm     #  

@Ace_Face:

"but does mention that he and several friends were going to start a business cleaning fishtanks. "

A profession he'd be perfectly matched to: cleaning pond scum.

posted by Foodie on Jan 08, 2016 at 12:46:30 pm     #   1 person liked this

Trustee Aims For Top County Job
Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada faces two potential Republican opponents in her quest for re-election, but first she has to contend with a challenge from a fellow Democrat, Spencer Township Trustee Michael Hood, who was certified as a candidate last week.

So the notorious Michael Hood is a Democrat? Well imagine that! You just can't trust anyone these days.

How is someone "self-deployed" anyway?

You just pack up and leave. In a few minutes, I'm going to deploy to the Classic Cafe and surround a few calories. Later on I plan to deploy to my favorite watering hole and taste test the house bourbon. See? That's self-deployment.

posted by madjack on Jan 08, 2016 at 12:48:09 pm     #   1 person liked this

I dug into voting records and found the following:

Hood: consistent D voter in primaries, hits the primaries pretty regularly.
McDonald: same
Bettinger (the new trustee): R voter last three primaries, didn't vote or pulled issues only before that.
Smith: He has no noted party affiliation according to the SoS data file and has not voted in a primary since 2010, when he pulled a republican ballot. Prior to that, he pulled two other republican primary ballots, never a D.
Oh, and Valentine is a Republican.

Now here's the interesting thing. Valentine last voted in a primary in 2008, as an R, and remains noted as an R on the voting rolls. But Smith voted as an R in 2010, hasn't voted in a primary since, and has not party noted in the data file. Why is Valentine noted as a R but Smith is not?

posted by MsArcher on Jan 08, 2016 at 01:53:23 pm     #  

I think that this has less to do with party affiliation and more with the fact that Smith has served as trustees on and off for the last 40 years. He doesn't like that someone else might have a say in how the township is run going forward or losing the paycheck that goes with being a trustee.

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 08, 2016 at 02:24:41 pm     #  

How can they say they didn't know he was deploying if it is documented in the September 2015 minutes that they wished him well on his deployment?

WTF?

posted by mom2 on Jan 08, 2016 at 02:26:06 pm     #   2 people liked this

New article posted:

Smith says "why should I resign?" and that Lucas County Prosecutors should go ahead and charge him.

http://m.toledoblade.com/Politics/2016/01/08/Spencer-Twp-trustee-challenges-prosecutors-to-charge-him.html

posted by mom2 on Jan 08, 2016 at 02:27:19 pm     #  

I copied DoD, Stars and Stripes and few other national organizations on this.

Why? I don't really care which person is technically correct. This kind of ridiculous behavior needs to be stamped out. The Army had its budget whacked while the Russians were seizing the Crimea -- Shades of the crisis of 1938.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-charles-g-cogan/crimea-sudetenland_b_4892893.html
The region was known as the Sudetenland, and its leader, Konrad Henlein, stridently supported Hitler's claim to the area, maintaining that the population was being persecuted.

See anything familiar there?

To begrudge the Soldier $11,000/yr because of military service is unfathomable.

So, troop morale is sacrificed because of petty politics.

Shades of the end of the Roman Empire in the West...

posted by paulhem on Jan 08, 2016 at 04:11:43 pm     #  

Didn't expect THIS thread to get Godwinned.

posted by justread on Jan 08, 2016 at 04:26:49 pm     #  

mom2 posted at 01:27:19 PM on Jan 08, 2016:

New article posted:

Smith says "why should I resign?" and that Lucas County Prosecutors should go ahead and charge him.

http://m.toledoblade.com/Politics/2016/01/08/Spencer-Twp-trustee-challenges-prosecutors-to-charge-him.html

Well, at least I now understand the origin of the word "hilarious."

posted by justread on Jan 08, 2016 at 04:30:15 pm     #  

He don't have to resign, he isn't an elected official and should be arrested for trespassing and false identification?

posted by MIJeff on Jan 08, 2016 at 04:47:39 pm     #  

The other thing that I wonder about is a trustee voting to appoint himself to another position. Isn't that a conflict of interest? Could someone file ethics charges against him? Let's check:

(D) No public official or employee shall use or authorize the use of the authority or influence of office or employment to secure anything of value or the promise or offer of anything of value that is of such a character as to manifest a substantial and improper influence upon the public official or employee with respect to that person's duties.

Looks to me like Smith used his authority as a trustee term ending 12/31/15 to secure something of value - the remainder of a trustee term ending 12/31/17 which pays almost $12,000 a year and includes health insurance (I believe - did when I was a trustee).

MAJOR conflict of interest for him to vote on this. IMO.

posted by MsArcher on Jan 08, 2016 at 05:35:25 pm     #  

Future prediction:

The scumbag will run for LCC - and win - just as long as the unions sprinkle the unholy water on his campaign.

posted by Foodie on Jan 08, 2016 at 05:47:37 pm     #  

paulhem posted at 03:11:43 PM on Jan 08, 2016:

I copied DoD, Stars and Stripes and few other national organizations on this.

Why? I don't really care which person is technically correct. This kind of ridiculous behavior needs to be stamped out. The Army had its budget whacked while the Russians were seizing the Crimea -- Shades of the crisis of 1938.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-charles-g-cogan/crimea-sudetenland_b_4892893.html

The region was known as the Sudetenland, and its leader, Konrad Henlein, stridently supported Hitler's claim to the area, maintaining that the population was being persecuted.

See anything familiar there?

To begrudge the Soldier $11,000/yr because of military service is unfathomable.

So, troop morale is sacrificed because of petty politics.

Shades of the end of the Roman Empire in the West...

What just happened?

posted by dell_diva on Jan 08, 2016 at 07:32:35 pm     #   3 people liked this

Crosstalk with the History Channel.

posted by justread on Jan 09, 2016 at 06:06:45 am     #  

Scotch at 3pm. That's what just happened.

posted by Molsonator on Jan 09, 2016 at 09:48:46 am     #  

Naw rum...

posted by paulhem on Jan 09, 2016 at 12:47:27 pm     #   1 person liked this

When I see an employer screw around with NG/Reserve people on active duty, I see it as some who commanded two Field Artillery Batteries (equivalent to Infantry Company).

It's also the view of someone who looks at the international situation and is concerned that with Europe in a similar crisis as 1938 (Anyone have and Lithuanian, or Estonian, or Latvian friends?) Toss in the South China Sea and terrorism, as well...

Actions like Mr.Smith's show a careless disregard for national security. Whether he violated some laws or regulations are the least of our problems.

Mr. Smith and company need to consider the other National Guard and Reserve Soldiers and the very negative effects this has on our ability to defend ourselves.

We have used to get guys right out of high school. If this happened in their community's govern man, then I am certain that we (military) would have even more trouble recruiting. The friends and parents of these guys would have pointed to this situation as reason to avoid National Guard/Reserve service.

Even if this political machination doesn't stand, who wants to lose their job while on duty, even temporarily?

posted by paulhem on Jan 09, 2016 at 01:55:04 pm     #  

autocorrect sucks

posted by paulhem on Jan 09, 2016 at 01:55:41 pm     #  

Paul-you're probably overthinking this. The guy could have been in a coma and they would have pulled the same crap. It a ridiculous backwater little power grab. Save the Hitler comparisons and the disrespect of the military. This old guy is a just a fool. The guy on deployment is already protected by their bylaws. Mr Hilarious will be back to yelling at kids to get off his lawn before the first snow day.

posted by ahmahler on Jan 09, 2016 at 02:34:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

"Save the Hitler comparisons and the disrespect of the military. "

You must be the most clueless person on this board. Either that, or just a troll. Probably both...

posted by paulhem on Jan 09, 2016 at 08:16:29 pm     #  

paulhem posted at 07:16:29 PM on Jan 09, 2016:

"Save the Hitler comparisons and the disrespect of the military. "

You must be the most clueless person on this board. Either that, or just a troll. Probably both...

noted.

posted by ahmahler on Jan 10, 2016 at 12:12:58 am     #  

So now a poll worker in Spencer Twp. has filed a complain alleging voter fraud by some relatives of Trustee Valentine. When did the alleged voter fraud take place? November 2013. Did you mean 2015, Ace? No, I mean 2013. As in over two years ago. And in an election whose results will not be changed regardless of the voter fraud investigation.

Being a township trustee must be a pretty sweet gig to have people wrestling over it so much, lol.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2016/01/14/Trustee-s-relatives-accused-of-voter-fraud.html

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 14, 2016 at 04:58:26 pm     #  

It's the last days for Spencer Township. The county let them play township all they want as long as there was no real development by the natives. I know Mr. Hood. And I have done business with the township in a past career.
But now the rich people and development are encroaching, and the county is almost through with the natives. Maybe they are exactly through with them.
Isn't Yoder the "poll worker" a sitting Springfield Township Trustee?

posted by justread on Jan 14, 2016 at 06:50:52 pm     #  

Not last days. New days.
New high property value days.

Now the county has interest.

posted by justread on Jan 14, 2016 at 07:01:07 pm     #  

So Hood seems to still not get it. What an idiot.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2016/01/23/Trustee-case-goes-to-Supreme-Court.html

posted by Ace_Face on Jan 23, 2016 at 11:02:08 am     #  

Isn't Yoder the "poll worker" a sitting Springfield Township Trustee?

Marylin Yoder likes to play king-maker and old-boys' club (yes, even a woman plays old-boys club) so it didn't surprise me to see that she was involved even in a tangential way. Yes, she is a sitting Springfield Township Trustee. Gee, aren't they proud of her right now?

Beyond that, the fraud complaint is total BS. They last voted in November 2013. Just because she says they do not live there now does not mean there was fraud in 2013. Moving and not changing your address is not voter fraud.

I'm debating whether or not a non-resident can file an ethics complaint against Smith.

posted by MsArcher on Jan 23, 2016 at 06:03:56 pm     #