Amherst News-Times, 1997-10-08
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Volleyball team slams opponents — Page 7 Runners earn honors — Pag Amherst News-Time < Wednesday. October 8, 1997 Amherst, Ohio i Law director files appeal; sends city to cOv... Anderson says council can pick when to hire, not who by KATHLEEN KOSHAR News-Times editor The story of why city law director Alan Anderson is challenging city council and the administration on the right lo choose a bond counsel is long and involved. Il begins more than a year ago, and has still not come to a close. Despite a ruling in city council's favor, Anderson has Tiled an appeal in court, stating judge Kosma Glavas did not understand the question put before him in the original lawsuit. In the meantime, taxpayers arc paying, to defend the city against its own elected law director — $15,000 so far, with more to come now that the appeal has been Tiled. The question of who has the au thority to choose a bond counsel is purely professional, according to Anderson, who wants residents as well as council and the administration — lo know his reasons arc not personal or political. Anderson, whose lerm ends Dec. 31, 1999, claims he is not a political animal, even though he and lhe mayor represent opposing panics. He's a Republican and major John Higgins is a Democrat. But he docs feci the "law director has to have a certain amount of aut- CONTINUED on page 2 Mayor worried about city's financial strain from suits by GLEN MILLER Nows-Times reporter Mayor John Higgins sat at his desk wilh his hands buried in his face. The documents before him were not unexpected, bul it was still what he described as a "dark day" for lhe city and city council. He received notice that law direc tor Alan Anderson had on Sept. 24 filed an appeal to a suit challenging council's authority to select a bond counsel. The brief three-page document staled the appeal had been filed with the Ninth District Court of Appeals through the Lorain Counly Common Picas Court. The appeal seeks to overturn a three-week old ruling by Common Picas Court judge Kosma Glavas. In his decision, lhe judge ruled council, not Anderson, had the authority to choose the Cleveland law firm of Squires, Sanders and Dempsey as bond counsel. Higgins said he thinks the law director's reasoning has a lot to do with his ego and that it may cost lax payers 530,000 or more to resolve. Anderson had previously staled he would appeal the ruling because it lcfl several questions about his authority to choose a bond council at CONTINUED on page 2 Father's actions difficult for family since historical homestead gone by GLEN MILLER News-Times reporter What began as a 4-H project for 11-year-old Lyla Wciland turned inlo historical exploration that has yielded good and bad memories of the past for a family thai helped pioneer Amherst. Wciland, a student at Shupe Middle School, won a blue ribbon at the Lorain Counly Fair for a genealogical study of her family, the Whi- tons, of Amherst. The family's ancestors moved from New England to Amherst in* the late 1700s. More than 200 years later, the family survives, although its 148-year-old homestead on Leavitt Road near the proposed turnpike interchange was demolished to make way for progress. Gone is the home where Joe Whi- ton, his sisler, Karen Weiland, two brothers and a sisler were raised. Whiion and Wciland live in lhe Amhcrsl area. Arthur lives in Spencer, Kurt in Chillocolhe, and Sandy in Port Charlotte, Fla. The homestead was torn down in July by a group of area investors vho purchased the 230-acre farm from ihcir late father, Norman Whi- ton, in 1980. Only photographs and memories of being raised in lhe historical farm house remain. Both Whiion and Weiland arc bitter over their laic father's decision to sell lhe home and farmland. Five generations of their family had lived there. It was especially hard for Whiion. Two weeks ago, he authored a letter to the editor of the News-Times expressing his regret for being unable lo raise enough money to purchase the home back from the investors. "I have known since I was 10 that he warned to sell it. 1 always figured it was my place in the family to buy the place back and made sure it stayed in lhe family, but I never had the means," he explained. "Our ancestors and we grew up there, so it really bothers me." Without the house as a visible landmark, both feared the Whiion name and the contributions of the ancestors would be forgotten. "I think it was one way for Joe to ensure our name lived on and was remembered," his sister added'. The house and farm were sold by their father for $2,000 an acre, partially because he divorced their _K Karen Weiland and her brother Joe Whiton look over family memorabilia and photos handed down by at least five generations of the Whiton family. The Whitons came from New England and were among the earliest settlers in the Amherst area. mother, Ella, and no longer wanted lo farm lhe land. He lived in lhe historic home lor two years before moving lo Wellington in 1982. He even refused to discuss il in detail wilh them, a decision thai Whiion and Weiland continue to reseni five years after his death.' Norman Whiion's decision to sell lhe farm and house contradicts his efforts lo save the property in 1952, they said. It was sold in the mid '40s while he was in the Army to help settle the estate of their father's grandmother, Annctta Whiion. His parents continued to live in a small nearby house on the property. He purchased the land back in addition to about an extra 107 acres. Family values were always em- Financial planner gets no sympathy from his victims or judge at court by GLEN MILLER News-Times reporter Walter McGill of Lorain, Patricia Atkins of Avon and Sandra Viels of Parma were all taken by Amherst financial planner Joseph T. Nemchik. McGill lost $55,000, Viets lost $85,000 and Atkins lost $20,000. Each stepped before Lorain County Common Pleas Court judge Thomas Janas during an Oct. 3 sentencing hearing to speak iheir minds shortly before he sentenced Nemchik to 12 years in prison for mishandling their money. McGill, a retired auto dealership owner, said the thought of Nemicik being incarcerated in prison didn't bother him. He will probably try to sue to get much of his retirement back. "I feel he deserves the same consideration he gave us — nothing," he said. Victs told Janas she fell "mad, embarrassed and violated" by lhe tactics Nemchik used to con her and dozens of other people, many of the them elderly, out their money. It was "in excess of $1.3 million," according to Janas. Viets, a realtor, said she was lured into doing business wilh Nemchik by his smooth, convincing manner and easygoing style. "He was Mr. Slick," she told the News-Times prior lo the sentencing hearing. She had hoped to retire in about two years, a dream that will now have to be put on the back burner. Defense attorney James Burge told Janas lhal Nemchik has placed $200,000 in escrow for repayment. He also noted lhal Nemchik has no prior criminal history, a consideration lhal often prompts judges to give offenders probation. A formal request lo place Nemchik on probation so he could make restitution to his former clients didn't seem to phase Janas. Neither did the comments of CONTINUED on page 2 Investor Joseph Nemchik is handcuffed after being sentenced to 12 years in prison. phasized prior to iheir parents' divorce. Afterward, the historical value of the homestead was emphasized. "All of a sudden he was two- CONTINUED on page 2 A growing city needs additional employees by GLEN MILLER News-Times reporter Like it or nol, Amherst city government is going to have to spend more money on itself in order to meet Ihe demands of a growing community. That's what mayor John Higgins lold city finance committee members during a Sept. 15 meeting. His statements were prompted by a request for $30,000 to upgrade computer software applications and buy new hardware used by the treasurer's and auditor's offices. Growth over lhe last seven years is beginning to stretch city departments and budgets thin. Following the meeting. Higgins said the additional money for computer hardware and software may be "just a tip of the iceberg." "We now have more people to take care of in Ihe cily because building has increased resideniially and commercially," he added. "We're beginnning to see the growth affect our city departments and the money we spend," Higgins said. "It's catching up with us and we have to respond." An additional patrolman already has been hired by the police department. The electric department may CONTINUED on page 3 ' 'I i
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 1997-10-08|
|Date of Original||08-OCT-1997|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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