Petition calls for Mantua village council members to post their contact info online

Image of the Mantua Village Hall
Mantua Village Hall Lyndsey Brennan/The Portager

Click on Mantua Village Council’s website. A list of council members appears, but only one email address is available, and no phone numbers.

Chelsea Gregor, the village’s former administrative assistant, believes that’s just wrong. With the exception of Sugar Bush Knolls, the Village of Mantua is the only village that does not post contact information online. Throughout Portage County, all township trustees have their contact information posted, as do most city officials. (Aurora only provides email addresses, and the Village of Mogadore does not provide contact information for one of its six council members.)

Gregor said she asked one council member (she would not say who) over a month ago to ask her colleagues to post their contact information online. It never happened, so on Oct. 17 Gregor presented Jenny August, Mantua’s outgoing clerk and treasurer, with a letter signed by 35 residents and business owners, each one requesting that the information be posted.

“For being an elected official, you are elected to represent the residents. How can you do that if they can’t get in touch with you?” Gregor asked. “When you have an elected official not giving their contact information, that’s a huge concern.”

Titled “Village of Mantua — Working Together for a Better Tomorrow,” the letter is addressed to Mayor Linda Clark and to each of the council members.

“We kindly request, in the spirit of government transparency, community recognition and community unity, that the elected government officials of the Village of Mantua provide contact information and a photograph for the benefit of their constituents who are the residents, businesses, and organizations who reside in the Village of Mantua,” the letter states.

August read the letter to council at her last meeting on Oct. 19, less than two weeks before her Oct. 30 resignation takes effect. No council members responded to the reading, August said. But she said Village Solicitor Michele Stuck, who handles Mantua’s website, asked each council member to provide her with a photograph and contact info.

As of Oct. 26, Council Member Tammy Meyer’s email address had been added to the site, and Council Member Heather Paisley’s photo appears without any contact information.

Meyer was supportive of the proposal in a phone interview with The Portager.

“I’ll be holding people to the fire if it’s not done by next meeting. I’ll definitely be asking for a timeline,” she said. Gregor resigned as Mantua’s administrative assistant in March 2020, citing a toxic work environment created by the mayor. August’s resignation as Mantua’s clerk and treasurer was also because of what she calls “the environment created by [Mantua’s] administration.”

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.

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