Down the Rabbit Hole in the “Wonder” Land of Lorain’s BOE

August 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm 10 comments


Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

I have been following the events of Lorain from behind the “somewhat ” safety of my computer and the phone. I say “somewhat” safe as I have been shouted at berated, insulted, chastised this past month electronically and also through the other link to you in the “other world” by phone.

Ha! but I am lucky I just shut down the computer , hang up on the bully boys and go back to my world.

But this past week the Morning Journal ran an editorial, I read and I thought about the content and the thoughts were worrying.

I want to address that editorial because there is something more worrying to me about what happened in the Caruloff vs Biber situation.

Whether you agree or not that Mr. Biber plays a worthwhile role in his elected position on the Lorain Board of Education or whether or not you agree with Ms. Caruloff’s platform or principles is NOT the issue here in this post.

OUR VIEW EDITORIAL: Challenge to Paul Biber’s residency was spurious complaint, waste of time

THAT WOMAN use of the word “spurious” (Lacking authenticity or validity in essence or origin; not genuine; false.)

THAT WOMAN If a citizen feels strongly enough to go through the process of making a documented complaint under their own name as to what they believe to be a wrong doing how can that be false, lacking in authenticity etc? No! by this editorial the Morning Journal have negated, punished the rights of the “individual” to question and actually helped to denigrate the process of checks and balances by a citizen in my humble opinion.


But because Biber and his wife live separately, he on E. 29th Street and she in Sheffield Lake, the issue of his residency continues to come up, especially around election time.

THAT WOMAN – It would only come up at election time because that is when it becomes an issue- no complaint necessary unless the man is running for office.


As I watched and read as Ms. Caruloff’s complaint went through the process – what struck me was the onus was put on the individual , in this case Ms. Caruloff, and apparently anyone else who has a concern. We too , would have to prove the complaint (BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT ) , to defend the complaint, to be the one put in the “hot seat”.

Whether you agree with Ms. Caruloff or not . The fact is she is NOT an elected official, nor does she hold a public office , she is NOT an attorney , she IS a lay person.

Ms. Caruloff is a person who believed there was a something wrong and wanted it investigated. Haven’t we all been in that place at one time or another?

As with everything there was a “journey”.

Ms. Caruloff started her journey by witnessing another elected official Mr. Robert Gilchrist

voting in her ward knowing that he didn’t live in her ward.

Therefore, she went to the Board of Elections and wanted to know how this was possible. Apparently she was told to file a complaint -she did.

Ms. Caruloff then went to the meeting that was held in regard to the complaint. She showed, the opposite number Mr. Gilchrist didn’t – Gilchrist spoke through his attorney-

However, supporters of Mr. Gilchrist did show and Ms. Caruloff and others were verbally bullied ( in my opinion)- . These same people also brought up the Mr. Biber residency- were they denigrated, chastized for doing so even though they were rude and insulting ( where was THAT editorial) ? Ms. Caruloff also filed a complaint about Mr. Biber and his residency.
Another meeting , another hot seat, denigration and insults hurled through the “nameless faceless commenters who hide behind their keyboards ” on the Morning Journal site. The nameless/ gutless wonders made disparaging remarks as to Ms. Caruloff physical appearance and other personal insults. Ah the great debaters of our time SIGH!

But back to “Wonder” Land-

How does this process work?

Obviously we, the people, are ignorant because I too believed if I as a lay person, just an ordinary citizen made a complaint to government agency that governed that particular issue I would NOT have to be the investigator , the prosecutor and the star witness .

I will use the analogy –

if I look out my window and I see something wrong or out of the ordinary , happening in the house next door- I complain to the police dept, they come , they investigate they tell me what has happened and it goes from there – I don’t have to investigate prove beyond all doubt there is something amiss and also be the witness and prosecutor.

As a lay citizen we do not walk in the world of the in and out of legaleze, election law or the way the system works– the people paid for by us, appointed by us, elected by us are supposed to walk in that world for us.

They are ( well at least I always thought so until lately- apparently I was wrong) appointed, elected to help us through their world. We are for the most part childlike in our naivety as to how the process works-

However, it seems we have to be the investigator, the prosecutor and witness when questioning the process and the intent of the elections laws- is this the democratic process?

Did the Board of Elections , when she called about Mr. Biber’s residency tell Ms. Caruloff –

1. You need to file your complaint under you legal name
2. Do your own investigation to support that complaint

3. Prove conclusively that Mr. Biber doesn’t live in Lorain, ( no reasonable doubt here folks)-
4. Be your own witness and be cross-examined by Mr. Biber’s attorney
5. you won’t get the opportunity to ask Mr. Biber any questions under any sort of oath-

6. Be prepared and be berated in the media and in public

7. And should you wish an attorney present one will NOT be appointed for you!

Do you still want to file a complaint citizeness?

You see I believe that Ms. Caruloff, as I would, (silly me apparently) thought when she filed the “complaint” the Board of Elections ( THAT being their job to oversee the elections and the process) THEY would be the ones to investigate the complaint after all that is what is said on the website of the State Board of Elections under duties and responsibilities –

“investigates election fraud and irregularities;”

Who knew it was up to us the citizen to investigate- I guess thanks to Ms. Caruloff we KNOW NOW!


Caruloff was an unconvincing witness when questioned by Biber’s attorney

, John Otero. When Otero said Caruloff wasn’t even sure something was wrong with Biber’s residency, she responded that she brought the “complaint as a concerned citizen, that PERHAPS THERE IS something wrong.”

Who amongst us, as a lay personage, is going to put themselves through that process and the resulting animosity, insults, editorials and expense that came along with it ?

NOT ME!!!!!! and not anyone to whom I have spoken Then the question begs to be asked is this democracy in action and is it any wonder why apathy is rampant among the citizenry?

I also have one suggestion-

Ohio Revised Code
Section 3503.02 (D)

The place where the family of a married person resides shall be considered to be the person’s place of residence; except that when the spouses have separated and live apart, the place where such spouse resides the length of time required to entitle a person to vote shall be considered to be the spouse’s place of residence.

SEPARATED” added to that should be the words “LEGALLY separated “.

To the royal guards of this realm, we are all victims in-waiting.




Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, hell is other people, notorious opponents of exactitude, personal opinion. Tags: , , , .

Guest Blogger- T Paine – Free Speech-??????? “I was shocked” said Dimacchia – errrrr so am I? More from Wonderland

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joyce  |  August 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Although it doesn’t say legally what else could it mean, anyone could say they are separated. The literal definition of separated would mean anyone could gain residency by saying we’re separated as in not together and pass that test. Law is interpretation. To say separated and mean just not in the same place means nothing. Why would they have bothered writing that into the law, I don’t think they meant literally not in the same place. Our simpleton board members took the literal meaning of separated rather than looking at the spirit of the law. Is a couple that is not legally separated considered married if they didn’t file legally? Yes otherwise every couple would just say they were separated when it benefited them. Watching that proceeding was an exercise in futility. Denise had a great case, the judge and jury were out to lunch.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I am not sure when they wrote the ordinance they thought a person would give up “family ” to run for an office …….but obviously in the case of the ‘legalese interpretation by 2 out of 3 they needed further clarification 🙂 I read it as being “separated” in the sense the marriage was over and leading separate lives but a word can mean what someone wants it to mean and that is what has happened here …….. so obviously at least our BOE need further clarification…….

  • 3. Grammy  |  August 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Thank you for your insightful commentary. The apathy and disconnection people feel regarding their government was very pointedly addressed. Mrs. Caruloff did a great job of standing by her beliefs and questions. WE the people have the right to ask the questions and our REPRESENTATIVES are supposed to find the answers for us. Instead the great political wall was thrown up, intimidation was allowed to run rampant, and the citizen made to feel inadequate. If WE don’t ask, then things that do not look right will continue until they become the norm and then never fixable. If in fact Mr. and Mrs. Biber are separated, I wish to offer my condolences to both of them and their family members who must be dealing with their own emotional issues. If it is not an actual fact, what a shame that someone representing the education of our young people is allowed to serve using an untruth to get their position. If honesty, integrity, and truth are important qualities to impart to our young people, then don’t those in leadership positions need to exhibit those qualities at ALL TIMES. (that means Mr. Biber, Mr. Gilchrist, Mr. Krasienko, Mr. Rivera, Mr. Jones, Mr. Smith, and every other adult that serves as an example).

    Thank you and have a great day!

  • 4. Karen C  |  August 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

    The editor of the Morning Journal, Tom Skoch, has been writing strong favorable editorials about Cheryl Atkinson for months. There are times I have wondered if he is writing about the same LCS I know. The fog clears as he is also one of her three references.

    As I read Kalin’s post

    An editor, who obviously admires her, has used his postion and the newspaper to promote her is overstepping his position. Not only are his editorials slanted but also the articles. Those would- be employers access the news media to check on applicants and what they would have seen would be favorable reporting of Atkinson. The power of the press with a twist. It is all starting to make sense! Skoch’s editorials continue to lack credibilty , now even more.

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Geeting a bit away from this subject but speaking of newspapers and the Atkinson Advantage

    The last superintendent there is in a whole lot of trouble

  • 6. Hester  |  August 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I wonder if she had the same underling who did the MJ Q&A for her do this app for her too. The Morgan regime was in bed with Target Teach and this one’s in with Success For All. Many people will be happy to see Cheryl go. All this hooey that the public is being fed about how happy everyone at LCS is and how great the morale is can finally stop. The only happy one is the one who is cashing in on the deal. If the DeKalb’s first choice thought she could get this out of them: “Cox was asking for 15 months severance pay and a due process hearing before she could be terminated as well as a $275,000 salary and a standing three-year contract. She also asked for “25 days vacation, $28,000 for moving expenses and $2,000 a month for six months for living expenses during her relocation,” according to the AJC., one can only imagine the goodies Tony G will be able to get for Cheryl. Do you think they will let her bring her own attorney and police escort?

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Karen I understand your point- I also realize that an editor is allowed an opinion. Tom Skoch has been supportive of Cheryl Atkinson – he is as you state one of three professional references, that would carry a great deal of weight imho. . As an editor, he would also have have some say in the direction of his newspaper .

    We are lucky in the fact we have three newspapers that cover this old town. And it is true that people in Georgia are looking to our newspapers to see what sort of superintendent they are hiring. The MJ is the one most are directed to when searching for a Lorain newspaper. They are checking out the comments in the Journal articles- are they getting a lopsided view? well you tell me ? There are over 200 comments in this link and a great number are getting their information from the Journal and giving the respect of “published” so it must be true and balanced thinking.

    Well here is a link to the Atlanta newspaper blog on schools

  • 8. denise aka mozart  |  August 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    So I wonder, how many other people got the Journal’s”editor'” reference/ endorsement? How is this type of thing ok?

    I don’t get it at all. Nothing in this city makes any sense to me at all anymore…feels like some political “bath house”, and everybodies washin each others backs. All i can say is…watch for those bubbles that come to the surface…we know what causes them…and It resembles stink.

  • 9. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Oh Denise thanks for that visual eeeeewwwwwwwwww 🙂

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