Newton Falls councilman bolts after year

NEWTON FALLS — After serving one year on village council, 4th Ward Councilman Christopher Granchie has submitted his resignation.

Granchie, who attended Wednesday’s council meeting, said he emailed his resignation to Mayor Ken Kline after the meeting. Kline said when he received Granchie’s email, he responded and tried to get him to change his mind.

“I tried to talk him out of it. I spoke with him and wanted him to reconsider and stay on council,” Kline said.

Granchie said one of his main concerns is that there is ”a lack of cohesiveness and lack of open mindedness” by some members of council.

At many meetings, Granchie is often the one “no” vote in a 4-1 vote of council and is one of the two “no” votes in a 3-2 vote of council, often agreeing with Councilwoman-at-Large Julie Stimpert. He said the other three council members — John Baryak, Tesa Spletzer and Bud Fetterolf, who was recently selected to replace former First Ward Councilman Mike Serotko, who resigned in the spring — often will vote together on most issues.

Kline disagreed, saying there are many meetings where council has 5-0 votes, including this week.

“There may be some discussions and disagreements but council does work together. Council agrees on many motions that are passed,” he said.

Asked if he would serve in some other capacity in the village, Granchie said he would not.

“I will not do politics in this town ever again. At times it has become a very hostile environment. My one year on council was more stressful then my deployments in the military,” said Granchie, who served 12 years with the Army National Guard.

Granchie said since he feels his votes and views will not matter if he is there another year, then it is time to step down.

“I am proud to know that I was able to represent the public this past year and to have received their support. The residents have been supportive,” he said, noting he would often receive calls from residents with concerns over various issues.

Kline said he understands that no matter what he as mayor or any council member or officials does, they can’t always please everyone in the public.

Granchie was appointed to the Fourth Ward seat in August 2021 after the recall of former councilwoman Sandra Breymaier. Granchie was approved in the next election to continue serving in the seat.

Granchie said there was an executive session before Wednesday’s council meeting that did include some arguing. Council meetings in recent years sometimes have become heated between members of the public and members of council, and at times even among council members.

Granchie said he will continue to focus on his career as maintenance supervisor at Swagelok and also focus on his family.

“This will be the first time in years where I will have the time to focus on myself, family and my career. I want to thank the public for their support,” he said.

Granchie said during the past year, he would attend the council meetings, some of which could be several hours long, and then go to work at night.

Kline said council now has 60 days to fill the vacant Fourth Ward seat. He said council will advertise for applicants interested in filling the position. They must be a resident of the ward to apply.


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