Some residents and small business owners in Brook Park told News 5 they're frustrated by a series of chaotic events rocking City Council, including angry shouting matches and criminal charges against two council members.
One recent argument had Councilwoman Jan Powers using an expletive to respond to a heckler, insinuating the man was overweight when she said “Enough ass to look at, too.” The comment was directed at Brook Park resident Jeff Duke and it was captured on the city’s live stream. Power declined to defend herself to News 5.
“You know what? It is big enough to take any insults from a public official,” Duke told News 5, “But it’s definitely big enough to help us be united and move forward.”
Meanwhile, Councilman Tom Troyer stands accused of disorderly conduct and Julie Ann McCormick was indicted for shoplifting.
McCormick sent a letter of resignation in December, but later tried to take it back. Council voted to accept her resignation anyway and now she’s suing to get her job back. In the meantime, a judge has ordered she be placed on administrative leave.
“Now, we’ve got the residents of this city that are paying for somebody sitting at home not doing anything for them,” Mike Vecchio said. "How is that fair to the taxpayers?"
And small business owner Dave Reichbaum, CEO of Primetime Delivery & Warehouse, said the ongoing drama is a distraction from the real issues, including much needed economic development. Fewer jobs at the Ford plant has had a ripple effect.
"You got a big company like Ford Motor, then you got a lot of smaller companies that work with that company that’s no longer in this area,” Reichbaum said.
But longtime resident Susan Barbour told News 5 the issues were overblown.
“I kind of look at the good in people and not everyone’s perfect,” Barbour said.
Mayor Tom Coyne hopes a resolution to McCormick’s court cases will help the city move forward.
“Hopefully,” he said, “Some brand new people will get involved in our town."