Archived Story

Anonymous letters fuel Niles Township’s Ringler-Kidwell feud

Published 10:45pm Monday, November 21, 2011

A string of anonymous letters caused plenty of argument at Monday night’s Niles Township board meeting.
During his supervisor report, Jim Kidwell read an anonymous letter, written by someone claiming to have written the anonymous

Jim Kidwell

letter last month questioning whether a building on Kidwell’s property is in compliance with township ordinance.
The most recent letter, which was sent to the entire township board and members of the local media, was an apology to Kidwell for the previous letter. The author claims the original letter attacking Kidwell was the result of conversations he had with township residents that have morning meetings at Martins.
The letter goes on to say that author changed his opinion when he saw copies of a complaint submitted by Stefanie Woodrick, township zoning administrator, claiming Township Treasurer Jim Ringler had intimidated her when discussing lot-split issues.
The letter reads: “I believe these complaints to be true because I have seen and heard the hatred that Jim Ringler has towards Ms. Woodrick for making those complaints.”
The letter says Ringler told him and the others at Martins that no permit would be found for Kidwell’s building, causing the author to believe Ringler has an “agenda” to make Kidwell look bad.
When Kidwell finished reading the letter, Ringler shot back, calling the letter nothing but a “character assassination.”

Jim Ringler

“I don’t know who wrote this but this is about as childish as it comes,” Ringler said. “Anyone who accuses of me of hate doesn’t know me.”
Ringler then took Kidwell to task for continuing to read the flood of recent inflammatory anonymous letters to the public.
“You as the supervisor need to show some leadership and end this trash,” Ringler said.
Quickly erupting into a shouting match, Kidwell shot back that Ringler didn’t have a problem with reading anonymous letters when they were attacking Kidwell.
Trustee Gary Conover said the board should stop reading any letters that are unsigned.
“If they don’t have the cajones to sign it, it doesn’t mean a damn thing,” he said.
Kidwell also read another letter from an anonymous resident, claiming to be a neighbor of Conover. The letter questioned whether Conover had proper permitting and inspections on his recently installed above ground pool.
Conover told the board that he was in the process of working with the building inspector to obtain the proper permitting.
The arguing continued during public comment when Tony Millin, a township resident and member of the Honest Citizens for Honest Government group that has circulated a letter attacking Ringler throughout the township, questioned Ringler about a $26,000 loan the township made in 2006.
“I couldn’t find it in the minutes anywhere,” Millin said.
Ringler said it was a decision made by the entire board and said he had nothing to do with producing the minutes.
Also in public comment, township resident Herschel Hoese wouldn’t let the issue of Kidwell’s shed die. Hoese demanded the township have a third party assess Kidwell’s property to make sure the building is in compliance in order to put the “issue to bed.”
Township building official Jeff Dunlap found the building to be in compliance earlier this month.

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  • bobcatmom13

    I can’t help but wonder what important Township issues are being ingorned because of this childish crap. Now I regret buying another house in Niles township.
    Come on people, grow up, get to the real issues and do your jobs!!

  • mikea0815

    Welcome to Roseland, folks

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/kbtonkin Kevin Tonkin

    Sad is it not?

  • Mark

    I think it is interesting that people are so quick to think that there is no business happening! Have you noticed Eastgate? And no Mr. Tonkin you did NOT have any thing started or in place prior to Mr. Kidwell, I checked that information out myself through township documents!! Can you prove other wise? Sidewalks, in my neighborhood numerous houses that are vacant and needed some attention have been dealt with, as well as a dog ordinance to keep my children safe from some of the vicious animals that are in the township. None of this has been dealt with until Mr. Kidwell came into office!! If you dispute please provide proof!! And again we are having a Roseland issue, but who is the bad guy? The person that finds the problems (Mr. Kidwell) or the long standing board member who created all the problems (Mr. Ringler)!

    I agree that these anonymous letters should be left in the trash. But it is interesting that when they are against Mr. Kidwell they have validity, but when they are against one of the other board members there is no value to them. Mr. Conover was one of the major board members asking for a more indepth investigation and now as I read articles he uses inappropriate terminology to say that these letters should be left alone. Which way do you want it Mr. Conover? And you are NOW working with the building inspector on obtaining the right permits for a pool. Interesting!!! Is that because Mr. Kidwell made the statement that all board members should have their properties evaluated? Did you get worried that it may actually be YOU that is in the wrong. People with glass houses Mr. Conover…

    I think that if we want to have an end to this garbage Mr. Ringler should resign and let the board get to matters of business, not his real estate!

  • Dave Fisher

    Amen Bobcat mom!!!! The funny thing is I seem to recall plenty of business, building, and progress BEFORE Mr. Kidwell was elected. EVERYBODY has a skeleton or two, too bad the old Hatfield or McCoy game is WASTING TIME and MONEY!! What got added to the water? It sure has gotten foul!

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/kbtonkin Kevin Tonkin

    Sorry Mark, I need not prove anything to you. I know what was done and being done. Some things were not documented such as taxing the owner and issuing warnings for health violations by the county. Did you check those too? Dog ordinance-what a joke when we already pay the county. That ordinance does not “protect”, it only helps prosecute and abate after the fact! Sidewalks – so many more not fixed, why not? Many code violations still exist today.

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