By Denise Dick
The challenger in the race for Poland trustee believes township government needs to be more open and that more accountability is necessary.
Joanne Wollet, 50, a nuclear medicine per diem consultant, is seeking one of the two seats on the board — her first foray into political office. Mark Naples, 55, and Robert Lidle, 52, are seeking their fifth and fourth trustee terms, respectively.
Lidle is self-employed at The RAM Co., a commercial and residential construction and maintenance provider, and Naples works at Ohio Edison.
Wollet contends that public-records requests she’s made from the township have been slow in coming and lacking in detail when received. She made a request last June, for example, for a list of employees who have cellphones, the numbers and the records of calls. She got the information in late August, but she says it didn’t include all of what she asked for.
She also referred to the township’s inventory from the road department which is scant on details. Road-department inventories from other townships, however, list every piece of equipment.
“You get the absolute minimum,” she said.
Lidle and Naples said the township follows the law when it comes to all public records requests. As far as the road-department inventory, Lidle said that tools valued at less than $100 aren’t listed individually.
Both incumbents dispute the charge of a lack of openness.
“We’re a little town,” Lidle said. “There aren’t a lot of secrets.”
“We’re not hiding anything,” he said.
Wollet also believes the township should have brought in an outside agency to investigate three road-department employees who, in 2011, were found to have been doing personal work on township time.
The employees were suspended. One retired, and the other two entered last-chance agreements with the township and are prohibited from seeking supervisory positions with the township. One of the employees is the township police chief’s brother.
“An external investigator would have been more fair to everybody involved,” Wollet said.
Naples and Lidle said the township asked the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate and the agency declined.