I generally hate politics. I don’t talk about it as it leads to people being bitter and no one ever changing their mind. The fact that I’m bringing politics… and local politics no less… to my personal blog sort of makes me sick. But I really have no choice – you’ll see why in a moment.
Michael Turle is a fellow Twinsburg resident who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in the primary back in May of this year (he got 299 votes or 11.73% of the vote). He’s currently running for City Council in Ward 1. He also owns and administers a public Facebook group called The Twinsburg Roundtable – more on that later.
According to Cleveland.com:
A lifelong resident, Michael Turle told the Bulletin he is running because of concerns that the city government isn’t following its charter.
Turle is an outsider by his own account, with no political experience, but believes he can make Twinsburg’s government more accountable to its citizens. His previous activism included efforts to save Twinsburg’s Old School on Darrow Road and a campaign to prevent Corbett’s Farm from being developed into suburban housing, the Bulletin reported.
Turle explicitly opposes the improvement corporation and also believes the city should expand parks and improve services for seniors.
According to the Twinsburg Bulletin:
Turle said the city charter hasn’t been followed properly and he wants to make sure Twinsburg residents have rights to a fair and open government. He said some of the biggest needs for the city in the coming years include transparency in government, addressing the people’s needs and taking care of them as best he can.
“I want to listen to them and respond to them because that’s what they deserve,” Turle said.
In the same article, Mike goes on to say:
“The big problems facing us are closed minds, and closed doors. Closed doors lock the public out of their government, give them no voice in their city’s direction, and lead to opportunities for dishonest and unethical government.”
And herein lies my problem with Michael Turle. This is a guy who talks about listening and responding to the voice of the people… and then does the exact opposite.
Michael Turle And The Twinsburg Roundtable
I’m not here to bash Michael Turle or his politics. There are some things that I agree with him on and others I disagree with. I have defended him on numerous occasions and I have defended his Twinsburg Roundtable. Facebook groups (and specifically the Roundtable) tend to involve heated discussions between group members. That’s fine. It’s healthy.
Administrators / owners of Facebook groups have the ability to remove members and delete any content that they wish to at any time. That’s fine too. And that’s exactly what Michael Turle does. He rules the Rountable and selectively censors the content and the membership so the group is slanted and biased toward his agenda – AND THAT IS FINE. He has that right. I joined the group and I agreed to the rules. I’m not writing this post because I’m bitter.
You see… Michael Turle removed me from the Twinsburg Roundtable yesterday. He removed me with no explanation and with (in my opinion) no cause. AND THAT IS FINE. He has that right. But I’ve got the right to respond as well.
Turle has it out for current mayoral candidate Ted Yates. He disagrees with the CIC (Community Improvement Corporation) and because Yates sits on that board he’s opposed to his candidacy. Turle has gone so far as to post emails “implicating” Yates in an ethical “scandal” for failing to report income that he made while teaching spinning classes at the Twinsburg Fitness Center. Prior to those email being released, Yates had self reported the earnings to the Ethics Committee.
None of this information is my opinion. This is stated on Mike’s website, the Roundtable, Cleveland.com, etc.
Back to the Rountable…
The description of the group (presumably written by group owner Michael Turle) states:
This group was created with the intent to promote intelligent, rational, dialogue about individual views on issues and current events.
While creative discussion is encouraged, foul or abusive language, personal attacks, and trolling will not be tolerated.
While formed for Twinsburg residents, past, present or future, all are invited to join and comment.
The name Roundtable derives from;
Members of a group, sitting at a Roundtable,
all are equidistant of the center, and each other.
Everyone is seen, and heard, everyone has voice…
equal to each other’s…
And therein lies my problem. Again, I’ve got NO ISSUE with Turle removing me from the group. I’ve got no issue with him deleting my comments or threads that I created. My issue lies in the fact that he’s presenting the Roundtable as something it’s not – an open discussion.
The post that caused my removal was yesterday when I talked about how the Rountable was an outstanding resource. But it was a resource that told one side of a story and that voters should look for both sides of a story for making an informed decision. I went on to suggest that people act in a civil manner when speaking to one another in that group because there are people looking at that group and forming an opinion about the city that I love.
Here’s the post. Does this post contain, “foul or abusive language, personal attacks, and trolling” that per the group’s description will not be tolerated? Or does it, “promote intelligent, rational, dialogue about individual views on issues and current events.” You be the judge.
I was removed from the group and that thread along with a slew of my other comments were deleted. Again… this is fine. But it’s not part of the open discussion where, “Everyone is seen, and heard, and everyone has a voice”.
I asked Mike why I was removed. He saw my message. And he chose not to respond. And again… that’s fine. He has that right to ignore me.
I stated before that I’m not here to bash Mike or his politics. I’m not. I’d urge you to do some digging and come to your own conclusion.
It’s sad. The Twinsburg Roundtable was a great idea. Props to Mike for coming up with it. Sadly, it’s devolved into an embarrassment to Twinsburg. The few loud, obnoxious and negative voices in there poorly represent the people of Twinsburg – the city that we live in and want to make even better. It’s still a great resource but you need to realize what you’re looking at. I’m very afraid that many people look at the description of the group and take it for gospel or worse yet think it’s a group administered and cultivated by the city of Twinsburg. It’s not.
The Twinsburg Roundtable is owned and administered by a politician with an agenda. His name is Mike Turle. He’s passionate about his vision for Twinsburg… regardless if that’s what’s GOOD for Twinsburg.
Michael Turle isn’t in my Ward so I won’t have a say in whether he gets elected or not. But ask yourself, is this the kind of person you’d vote for?
“Everyone is seen, and heard, everyone has voice… equal to each other’s…”
Unless Michael Turle disagrees with you. Then you’re gone.
We now return to your politics free shenanigans.