Writer defends Frank Fuda


As a concerned citizen of Trumbull County, and a proud resident of Hubbard, I believe that I must speak out in strong support of County Commissioner Frank Fuda. And, at the same time, speak out against a very negative article written by Community Columnist Martha Yoder.

In the article, she slammed and misportrayed Mr. Fuda, who I personally know to be a good man who dedicates himself full time to serving the people of Trumbull County. Mr. Fuda spends countless hours at the office answering constituent calls. He attends numerous public meetings, many after hours, offering to help anyone who needs assistance.

Frank is tenacious in his efforts to improve the quality of life for our community. One example that comes to mind is the Kinsman Sanitary Sewer Project. Frank never gave up on it, and he was instrumental in bringing over $10 million in federal and state funding to be used to complete this crucial project for the residences and businesses in Kinsman.

Ms. Yoder criticized Frank for trying to be the peacemaker during an uproar that recently took place at the commissioner’s office where there was a group of angry people shouting at a female county employee. Mr. Fuda and two sheriff’s deputies were asked to step in and calm down the disturbance.

Simply put, the commissioner came into the meeting and displayed courage and leadership. He defended the embattled public employee. Thus, why would Ms. Yoder make this minor event such a big deal? Doesn’t she have more important things to write about?

Even if Mr. Fuda said it was his meeting room (it is the commissioners’ meeting room) or said it was his building, so what?

In the article Ms. Yoder resorted to hearsay by falsely using a quote of Frank Fuda without even asking Commissioner Fuda if he did or did not make that quote about the foster care system in Trumbull County. The quote Yoder attributed to Fuda was actually made by Attorney David Engler talking about Mr. Fuda. This is an example of shoddy journalism.

Furthermore, Ms. Yoder also brought up the issue of the court consolidation in Cortland and Brookfield. She tried to make it sound as if Frank was individually opposing the consolidation from taking place. In that respect the three commissioners (Frank included) did everything they could within their powers to recommend the consolidation into one full-time court.

For example, they recommended it by special resolution. They also sent a letter to the Ohio Supreme Court seeking the court’s opinion on the consolidation. The highest court in Ohio recommended consolidation based on the low number of caseloads.

Notwithstanding all of those efforts it is the Ohio General Assembly that has the legal authority as vested in the Ohio Revised Code to enact legislation to add, remove or consolidate a court in Ohio. Thus it took legislation sponsored by two Trumbull state representatives and not the commissioners to pass such a law in Columbus. A general election will take place in November 2014 to determine who will be the new full-time judge for the consolidated Eastern District Court.

In retrospect, I sincerely believe that Ms. Yoder’s article is a prelude and tied to Commissioner Fuda’s upcoming election this year. I will do everything in my power to ensure Commissioner Fuda’s re-election for 2014.

If Frank was the politician that Ms. Yoder accused him of being then he would have defended the large crowd that was yelling at the female county employee instead of standing up for her individual rights. As usual, Frank always does what he thinks is right even if it doesn’t benefit him politically.

Jan Balchalk