Mantua Matters
December 2008


I am trying a new format for this edition of Mantua Matters. It uses letter-size paper (which is less expensive than legal-size) and saves me a lot of time. I hope you like it.

The Thanksgiving leftovers are finally gone, the leaves have all been raked, the snow shovels are standing by and we are anxiously awaiting Santa’s arrival.

This edition covers the months of December, January and February, plus some past events and happenings. Please enjoy!!


Thank Heaven for Thanksgiving!

By the time you read this, Thanksgiving will have come and gone and we will be well on our way to celebrating Christmas. But it is never too late to take a few minutes to stop and consider our blessings.

It is fortunate for us that our country was founded by people who believe in God. Their faith has given us one day of the year to think about our blessings and to think of them humbly and with appreciation. It gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the blessings in our lives. As for me, it is my faith, my family and it is a blessing to be your Mayor as well. I take the responsibility very seriously, as those who have come to know me can attest. There is no question that these are the most difficult times many of us have had to face, but we have examples before us that we can draw from. The memories, the stories and experiences that our parents and grandparents faced. Just as for them, it will be for us, there are better days ahead.

Thanksgiving Day reflects our deep-seated knowledge that our countries strength depends on a force greater than any individual or group. It is at times like these we need to support one another and in this, I have been truly blessed. When I stop to consider the advances, we have made in just a few short months it becomes absolutely clear that the progress we have made is because of people who care. People who are willing to give of their time and resources, people who willingly give of themselves. The truth is there are so many people that should and need to be acknowledged that if I were to try and name them all there is little doubt that I would forget to mention someone. So please allow me to extend the most sincere thank-you possible to each and every one of you for the contribution you have made to our community family.

Let us take just a moment to remember back through the last few months: The Farmers Market, and all those who made that possible, the Rotary and Charles English for the use of the depot. The Farmers Market new location brought new life to Main Street. People eagerly awaited the every other week Saturday and came from miles around. The extension of our Buchert Park Trail leg by Mantaline. Again, thank-you to Charles English who spent many hours on his backhoe, and Norm Erickson for the large boulders that helped support the trail. Jeff Benner for all the hours he and future Eagle Scout Brock Benner devoted to the observation platform near the pedestrian bridge, along with the Scouts who helped build it and their Scout advisors who gave of their time to support them.

The phenomenal success of “Walking Through Mantua’s Past”. Edie Benner and the Downtown Revitalization effort led the charge, but there were so many willing hands that space just would not allow me to list them all. Thank-you to Neighborhood Watch for the donation that contributed to our Barber Shop Quartet. Thanks to Wendy from our newest business “Garden Girls” and Yarnell Tree for hanging our Main Street Christmas wreaths. Still there is more with our upcoming First Ever Community Christmas Tree lighting on Friday December 5th at 6:00 pm. Plan to bring your family and begin a family tradition by hanging a non-breakable ornament on the tree. The little ones will be able to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus as our Mantua-Shalersville Fire Dept. will see to their safe arrival via a shiny red Fire Engine. Hot Chocolate will keep us warm while we lift our voices in caroling to welcome in the Christmas Holidays, with musical help from Hilltop Church pianist Kitrell. Thank-you to our Chamber of Commerce who sponsors this event and to Bob Stehli from Wintergreen Farms for the donation of our first Community Christmas tree and thank-you to all the volunteers who helped to make this a special event.

Now, that all this has been said, the questions remains; How do you begin to say Thank-you to so many? Thank-you for caring and Thank-you for making a difference. None of these events would have been possible without each and every one of you contributing of your time, energy, history, resources and in many cases monetarily as well. The Village of Mantua is extremely fortunate to have people such as you who give so passionately to a cause they believe in, a cause we all believe in. The love and support for our small Village was clearly demonstrated on Oct. 25th during “Walking Through Mantua’s Past” by a turnout that exceeded our highest expectations. It was the outpouring of visitors and support from all over but primarily from right here in Mantua that made this the phenomenal success it was. It is indeed clear that our community can and will thrive when caring people choose to get involved.

Honestly, Thank-you just does not say enough!

So as we begin this Holiday Season let me wish you and yours peace, happiness, success and love during this beautiful Season and throughout the upcoming New Year.

When a Community Comes Together

We doubted ourselves. We weren’t sure it would work out. It took someone relatively new to the community to urge us on….

The first “Walking through Mantua’s Past” was a smashing success, thanks to the inspiration and tireless effort of Village residents Laura and Ron Landreth. We hoped to sell 100 tickets, but nearly 500 people showed up to learn about Mantua’s history and get a glimpse inside some of our most historic buildings!

Over 50 volunteers devoted time, talent, and materials to entertain our town’s guests at this event, sponsored by Downtown Mantua Revitalization. While it’s impossible to thank everyone who was involved, the event could not have taken place without building “proprietors” and their teams: Frank and Kathy Jaczo, Wanda Fortney, the entire VanAuken & Robine families, Charles English, Donna Hawkins, Edie Benner, and Eric Hummel.

James Mocny made his storefront available for the sign-in area. Linda and Nick Ehlert, the Mantua Historical Society, and several revitalization committee members donated historic attire and artifacts to enhance the atmosphere. Mantua Village Neighborhood Watch, Donna & Roger Hawkins, Jim & Sheila Rogers, and Marty & Diane Hura covered the cost of the wonderful Barbershop Quartet. The Bixlers, Algers and others really took us back in time by bringing their horses to the Village. Others added to the event by walking the streets in period costumes and Heather Mercer took hundreds of pictures to create a photographic memoir of the event.

Check-out the photos in this issue of Mantua Matters and watch for news on how to get your very own copy of the “Walking through Mantua’s Past” DVD when it is complete.

To everyone who helped with (too many to name individually) or attended “Walking through Mantua’s Past” – THANK YOU! Mantua is a great town full of great people; be proud!


In the past, I have been recommending money-saving techniques for water use, electric use, etc., so you might be quite surprised when I say “LIGHT UP”. I love this time of year with all of the holiday displays and festive decorations. Everyone needs a boost of spirits right now when the economy is so tapped out.

Besides, we anticipated that the cost of electricity would go up 16-20% this year and I read in the paper that it actually only went up 11%. I guess we should be happy?? Did you buy that programmable thermostat I mentioned in the last issue? If so, you are probably saving enough to leave your Christmas lights on a little longer!

You can have a wonderful holiday without going broke. Use your imagination. There must be a gift you can make that is your own special idea.

An old friend used to make “toast tongs” for everyone. He bought a dowel, some very small nails and tongue depressors. He put them together and wah-lah, something to take the toast out of the toaster. (Better than digging it out with a butter knife-zaaap!)

A personalized, hand painted slate for your porch might be nice. Sue, our Assistant Clerk, recently told me that an obscene amount of gift cards are never redeemed. How about some home-made soup or baked goods?

On the subject of gift cards, they are a great idea for that person who is so hard to buy for. However, with all of the stores that have gone out of business, or are on the verge of bankruptcy, be careful of what gift cards you choose. You don’t want to give someone a card for a store that closes before they have a chance to use it.

Okay, let’s quickly brush over the unpleasant subject of Income Taxes. It is nearly “that time” . In my first year as the Village Income Tax Administrator, there are two very common mistakes that I feel I must mention. The first, and most common, is that the wage amount you must use from your W-2, is the largest amount, usually in the “Medicare Wages” box. The second mistake is that some people are neglecting to attach their W-2 forms. This is needed to verify your wage amount and tax credits to other communities, if you work outside the Village.

I would like to remind residents that Income Tax is not a household tax. It is a tax required of anyone that lives in the Village, has an income and is over 18 years of age, even if others in the same home are paying. If we miss sending you or your adult children, living at home, an Income Tax Return Form, please call 330-274-8776 and we will send one out to you. They will also be available on our website at

The Clerk’s Office wishes everyone a great holiday season and a warm, cuddly winter! Just think, tomorrow we will be one day closer to Spring!!



Families in our community will receive baskets of food for the holidays from 4 C’s, plus toys for their children. Please help us make this a happy holiday season for all.

Please take an ornament and purchase a gift for either a boy or a girl of the age specified. This year, to encourage fairness, we are suggesting that gifts be valued under $20. If you have a blank ornament, please indicate the appropriate age and sex of the intended recipient. Wrap the gift and return it to the Chamber of Commerce or Middlefield Bank. Please complete your shopping early so that we can have your gifts by December 10th. Thank you for your generosity.


The Ravenna Community Choir (which includes several members from Mantua) will be performing their Annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 14th at 3:00 pm.

The concert will be at the First Congregational Church, 266 S. Chestnut Street in Ravenna.

They will present a variety of Christmas music and carols. There will be a freewill offering, with refreshments following the concert.

Please plan to attend for an afternoon of beautiful music.

Electric lights for Christmas trees were first used in 1895.

"It's a Wonderful Life" appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie.

“Rudolph" was actually created by Montgomery Ward in the late 1930's for a holiday promotion. The rest is history.

"Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.

The first state to recognize the Christmas holiday officially was Alabama.

Coca Cola was the first beverage company to use Santa for a winter promotion.

More diamonds are sold around Christmas than any other time of the year

Animal Crackers are not really crackers, but cookies that were imported to the United States from England in the late 1800s. Barnum's circus-like boxes were designed with a string handle so that they could be hung on a Christmas tree.

The original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, was born in Turkey in the 4th century.


Thank you again this year for supporting the efforts of the Crestwood Lions Club. It has been another busy productive year. Congratulations to Harold Ullman, who is currently the District Governor of Lions Multiple District 13D. We are proud to support the efforts of his year in office.

If you have seen a big red stop sign around town, it belongs to the Lions Club. A genius idea from Bob Bard, one of our members, to help raise donations for the prevention of blindness. This project is a Lions International global effort to raise funds for current and future needs. To date, over 200 million dollars have been raised. Congratulation Lions Clubs!!. More information can be found online at under the Campaign Sight First 2 link.

The Lions Club provided free eye screenings to the public at the 4C’s Craft Show this year at the Shalersville Town Hall in November. Our food trailer was available at the Mantua Potato Festival and the Ravenna Balloon Affair. Our yearly Carnation Day Sale was held in November.

We have received a number of requests for eye exams this year and we have been able to help those people, thanks to our fund-raising efforts. Remember, used eye glasses are able to be recycled by the Lions Club. Drop boxes are located in several area businesses.

For more information about the Crestwood Lions Club, please visit or visit Lions Clubs International at


“Ohio’s winters are known for their unpredictability,” commented Chief Buchert. “I suggest you take the following precautions in order to stay safe on the road”.

Chief Buchert mentioned that preparing an emergency kit for your car is also a good idea. Include items such as blankets, extra clothing, dry rations (raisins, nuts, candy), a flashlight with extra batteries, flares, a steel shovel, sand in case you are stuck and waterproof matches with candles.

The chief said that the best protections from problems with winter driving is to winterize your car. Get a tune-up, consider snow tires or chains.

Winter driving does not have to be a hazardous undertaking. A few simple precautions can prevent accidents from happening and keep you prepared just in case they do occur.


This report covers the months of August, September and October, 2008

Total Cases: 201
Traffic/Parking Cites: 84
Warnings: 221
Criminal Arrests: 6
Calls to Dispatch: 1,737
Total Mileage: 9,935
Mutual Aid Calls: 115
Officer Hours Worked: 2,368
Dispatch Hours Worked: 2,241
Citizen/Motorist Assists: 127
Open Doors/Windows: 32
Suspicious Persons/Vehicles: 49
House Checks: 341
Bar Checks: 56
Water/Sewer Plant Checks: 219
Reservoir Checks: 199
Lift Station Checks: 910


Two enterprising young women, Eileen Doyle and Wendy Connair, opened a business on Main Street in Mantua about 2 years ago. They both worked for large area landscaping firms and loved their work. But the long hours combined with home and family became too much. So, they set out on their own.

Their services include small landscaping renovations, plants, mulches, prunes, weeds, deadheads, etc. They also do fertilizing of ornamental trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials, annual & perennial plantings, summer and rejuvenation pruning and small landscape renovations and installs.

The Garden Girls’ philosophy is that all outdoor beauty has to be maintained whether through routine upkeep or occasional maintenance. Through proper up-keep and care, plants receive available nutrients, water and air absorption, not to mention the time and energy that they save you for other enjoyable pleasures. They provide the best quality gardening service at an affordable and reasonable price.

On a personal note, Eileen is a wife and mother of 1; Wendy is a wife and mother of 2. They have a combined experience of over 20 years in the Green industry. As of this summer, they have over 50 clients and have taken on a mother and daughter team to help with the work.

They have acquired more clients in 2 years than they anticipated in such a short time, which means they spend more time away from home than they had planned on. Wendy handles sale and Eileen does the books. “We don’t have as much family time as we were hoping for, but we still have more freedom than if we were working for someone else,” Wendy says. “It’s exciting that we’re growing so fast, but it’s scary, too.”

Garden Girls, Inc., is located at 10684 N. Main Street (P.O. Box 721) in Mantua, 330-274-8882. Email is We are delighted to have them as part of our community and wish them continued success.


Village Snow Safety

Snow … Snow.. where are you? Although we have been fortunate to not have very much snow yet this Winter, the likelihood that we will be burdened with heavy snow is still there. The heavy snow, and your handling of it, potentially threatens the safety of our pedestrians, especially our children.

The sidewalks must be kept clear of piles of snow. When snow is piled on the sidewalks, children are forced to walk in the street, which makes them vulnerable to motorists driving on slippery roads.

We must all work together to keep our sidewalks clear and snow piles low for safety. This is a community-wide problem. Together we can solve it. If assistance is needed or questions arise, please do not hesitate to contact the Village Service or Police Department.

Snow Parking Ban

Remember that with the bad weather of winter, come special considerations to allow our Service Department crews to keep ahead of Old Man Winter. An overnight parking ban is in effect from 3:00 am to 6:00 am on various streets in the downtown business district year-round, but is especially critical when the snow flies.

In addition if a SNOW EMERGENCY is called (usually after, but not limited to a snowfall of over 2-3 inches) there is to be no parking on any Business District street or any other Village street during the designated period of time. Any vehicle parked in these areas may be towed.

During the regular snowy days you would make life much easier for your Service crews, if you would be a good neighbor and park off-street as much as possible. It helps them to do a better job of clearing the snow, which makes it safer for all of us.

The Village of Mantua will not be responsible for replacing any type of improvements made by residents within the road right-of-way, if damaged by snowplow operations. Examples include, railroad ties, decorative gravel, sprinkler heads and lines, lighting, shrubs and trees.

With the winter season just around the corner and in order to help our employees to continue to do an excellent job of keeping our streets clear, the Service Department would like to inform you of certain procedures that apply to the removal of snow and the salting of streets throughout the Village.

Streets must be plowed from side to side as quickly as possible, to allow full width emergency equipment and to provide full driving lanes for motorists. Plowing will be performed on all primary streets first followed by secondary.

Drainage basins must be kept clear of ice and snow to allow melt water to drain properly and to prevent ice dams and ice buildup that creates road hazards.

All residents must make every effort to comply with a snow parking ban to allow the Service Department full access to pavement for thorough snow plowing and salting,.

Christmas Trees

The Village Service crews will pick up your discarded Christmas trees. Place the tree at the curb or on the tree lawn. The trees are then chipped and recycled.


As the holidays approach, the Village Service Department: Ed Trego, Donna Maynard, Tom Bowersox and Louie Barbuscio wish for the Families of Mantua Village ---- Peace

Peace in our World
Peace in our Country
Peace in our State
Peace in our Community
Peace in our Hearts

The Service Department would like to take this opportunity to thank the local companies and individuals who have made generous donations of their time or materials to the Village for use in the parks, trails, cemetery, and all other Village properties..

It is the generosity of people like this that helps to make Mantua a great place to live, work and raise a family.

In 1822, Clement C. Moore composed his famous poem “ A Visit from St. Nick”, which was later published as “The Night Before Christmas”. Moore is credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly fat man in a red suit.