UPDATED – Councilman slams Cider Festival, apologizes, Pierson and Zita statements added

Warning ***Strong language content***

Click the link below

If you are having trouble listening to the audio …please try both links.

Update Two, Oct. 11 – Statement from Mayor Mike Zita – “During the Oct.10, 2017, Council meeting, Mr. Pierson made a comment that the administration had done nothing to alleviate the concerns of residents’ on Easton Road. The police have increased patrols in the area. The administrator specifically asked for an officer to monitor traffic in this area at a minimum of two times a day. As of Sept. 30, the City of Norton police had made 354 traffic stops, 137 tickets were issued during the month of September. 15 were issued on Easton Road.

The administration lowered the speed limit in the construction area to 25 mph and restricted the road to local traffic. For Mr. Pierson to declare the administration has done nothing to address his concerns is an outright untrue statement or better known as a lie. We have repeatedly requested the contractor water the area twice a day to limit the dust, but due to extremely dry weather the dust was heavier than normal. Lastly, the administration worked with the Norton City Schools to limit bus and student travel in the area.

As you can see, we have been working extremely hard to address the constituent concerns on Easton Road. The administrator has worked to keep the constituents and Mr. Pierson informed. It is disingenuous for Mr. Pierson to accuse the Chief of Police or any officer of the Norton Police Department of dereliction of duty or not being responsive to these matters.”

Update, Oct. 11 – Statement released by Norton Councilman Dennis Pierson – “I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the good people I offended with a foolish comment made in the moment requesting help for some residents in my ward. It was stupid.

My only defense is that during this construction it has been frustrating getting relief for many local residents complaints about the traffic, speeding, dust and safety on a supposedly closed street to the public. The Mayor turned a blind eye to the problem. With resident children playing and walking along the road, if a car lost control from speed on all the ruts and loose road material and injured a child would I be held accountable? Yes, I would. Am I accountable for this statement about the Cider Fest? Yes I am, and again apologize.

However, it now seems that some are taking advantage of a distasteful remark to make a political distraction during an election year, rather than discussing and covering the real problems in this town of a bloated budget, misguided spending and political favoritism.”


Update, Oct. 10 – “I know most of you are here over remarks that were made by myself to the dispatcher and I would like to give and explanation and I would like to give you my heart-felt apology,” Norton City Councilman Dennis Pierson said at council’s Oct. 10 meeting about his Sept. 30 call to a communications dispatcher.

Pierson explained he was upset because of heavy traffic on Easton Road, raising clouds of dirt, dust and debris which has been going on for three months due to installation of a sanitary sewer.  “I’m sure we’ve all said things we regret saying when we’re angered and I certainly regret that, but I hope that you would accept my explanation and apology for it,” Pierson also said.

Harper Avenue resident Gail Page called Pierson’s comments during the call as uncalled for and unprofessional which gave the city a black eye. “The only apology acceptable is your resignation,” she stated during public comments at the council meeting.

See more about this story in the Oct. 19 Herald. The council meeting was after the Oct. 12 Herald had been sent to the printer.


Original posting – The Herald has obtained a phone call from Ward 3 Councilman, Dennis Pierson, to Barberton/Norton Police Dispatch requesting patrol on Easton Road.

Dispatch received the call Saturday,  Sept. 30 at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Pierson can be heard requesting officers due to the excess amount of traffic on Easton Road during the Cider Festival. He explains to the dispatcher that Easton Road is a “racetrack” and causing large amounts of dust.

The Councilman refers to the Ciderfest as the “white trash festival” and is demanding answers from Norton Police Chief John Dalessandro.

Pierson was elected to his Ward 3 seat in November 2013 and is up for re-election.




  1. Back the Blue on October 13, 2017 at 8:46 am

    last election he came to my door asking for my vote, he told me he feels police and fire make too much and don’t do anything. I then proceeded to kick him off my property. He will never get my vote. Now everyone can see what a … he is . DO NOT RE ELECT

  2. Anonymous on October 11, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    There is an app that lets people listen to calls coming in to police stations from their phones! Guess it has replaced the old police scanners from years ago. It freaked me out when my daughter was listening to it when Norton had the situation with the shooter at the storage place.

  3. Patty on October 11, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Get a grip, Mr. Linn & start using spell check. Your posts are being used in English classes for the grammatical errors! A post loses its effect when the poster does not know when to use an apostrphe or not! Whether Ciderfest, Cherry Blossom, or any other festival, your remarks really don’t hold any weight. You’re just showing your own bias & ingnorance.

  4. Tim Linn on October 9, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Problem is in Norton, there is no leadership at the top of government !!! you have a 30 year stock boy….. acme stock boy? And the people of norton vote him as mayor??? wtf? how many other town have a stock boy leading there city?

    The people of norton are a joke….. and yes easton rd is dusty and rough as hell and they speed up and down here all the time….

    Seems like toe police and fire dept employees are in party time when ever there at work…. it’s a dream job in Norton as far as public safety is concerned. ohh ya forgot zita’s cousin is the police chief!

    • michael meden on October 10, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Judging by your comment full of grammatical errors, I am guessing you are a fan of Mr. Pearson. But let me correct you and your councilman on a few things. First off, not one policeman was pulled from duty while the festival is going. Part time police are added to the festival during festival hours. So his whining about no police patrolling his street due to the “white trash festival” is wildly inaccurate. If he took the time to learn before spouting off, maybe this issue would never have come up. Next, calling our mayor a stock boy is just showing your ignorance. Even if it were true, at least he has a job, more than we can say for a certain councilman who has never moved out of his mothers home for his entire life. And last but not least, police and fire on ” party time” ? Again you are showing more ignorance. I am guessing you do not realize that the requirements for employment in the safety services here in Norton are the highest in north east Ohio. You are just the kind of proud citizen that backs Mr. Pearson.

      • michael meden on October 10, 2017 at 1:18 pm

        Again, You are showing how childish and petty you are. Keep talking.

  5. John on October 9, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    What party is he associated with? My guess: Democrat!

    • David Walton on October 13, 2017 at 6:46 am

      Well, you’re wrong #FakeNews John. Since you lack the cognitive ability to research things yourself, I suppose I will give you this one, but just know that you are now the recipient of welfare from your community and so we will have to drug test you! He’s a republican

      Its curious why you would think Pierson is a Democrat. I associate true christian behavior with Democratic President Jimmy Carter “aka” Mr. Habitat for Humanity himself. Its Trump and republicans that speak so rudely of everyone, want to take away healthcare, give tax breaks to corporations and then label them “Miracles for the middle class”, and only think of themselves. Tens of millions of fake christians. Pierson’s “white trash” statement is 100% in line with that group, not Democrats. Confused you are.

  6. Anonymous on October 9, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Really Dennis I have driven that road and I had not seen a sign unless I was put up today or yesterday that’s funny that a sign would all the sudden show up . Besides I don’t think anyone would be speeding on that road right now. Your just as bad has your two Council cronies. If only the public know about their backgrounds . And I can’t believe you have the balls to blame the mayor. Good luck buddy

  7. Millsmrgn96 on October 8, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    What an ass! Get this guy out! Do not need people like him on our council…..

  8. Mike on October 7, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Having read the article and listened to the publicly available call. It’s clear that this man no longer wants to represent his ward. Otherwise he has been conducting himself in this manner for sometime now and it’s finally coming to light. Either way he is an embarrassment. City council members should look into this latest incident and clearly let him know this kind of behavior is not acceptable and ask him to publicly apologize to the attendees and supporters of the festival as well as apologize to the chief of Police the shift supervisor and the dispatcher for his comments.

  9. Mike Miller on October 7, 2017 at 10:11 am

    We lived in Norton nearly 20 years. Because of guys lime this we now happily reside in Barbarton.

    • Grace on October 8, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Sorry to hear that – I wonder if there were others that also moved. I do not think there is a prayer to save this devil.

    • tim linn on October 10, 2017 at 8:12 am

      were glad your gone from Norton, Barberton has the biggest white trash festival …. the cherry blossom!

      • Diane Chrisco on October 11, 2017 at 7:00 am

        And you would know where all your hillbilly friends go.

  10. Jenna Harper on October 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Public officers have the duty of serving the public without bias, uninfluenced by any private interest or motive. When you accept a position in public office you are essentially signing up to be scrutinized. He should exercise what little power he has left by handing in his resignation before the decision is made for him.

  11. Gidoen on October 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

    I wonder what lie current ward one council will come up with now to cover for his pal?

  12. robert simpson on October 7, 2017 at 8:08 am

    White trash????? this man needs to be taken out ASAP!!!

  13. suzanne miller-jones on October 7, 2017 at 7:55 am

    This posting is so wrong in so many ways it would be very difficult to respond. You actually tracked and listened to a private call? Do you have any decent ethics at all? Obviously, you are wish for someone else to be elected as city councilman in Pierson’s place. How very uncool of you. This posting is disgusting. I sincerely hope that someone reports a phone call that you would not like broadcast to the public.

    • Smarter than a rock on October 7, 2017 at 9:51 am

      It is common knowledge that all calls made to any police station are recorded and become public record (which means it is available to anyone that requests it). I appreciate the Herald reporting this! Not because it’s gossip but this sheds some light on what this elected official really thinks of many of the residents he represents not to mention that he is (also) to apparently stupid to not know this call would be recorded and become public record.

      • Grace on October 8, 2017 at 6:23 pm

        You are very intelligent. The Herald does report views from all angles and all perspectives. How you interpret it is up to you. This man is not fair and is very judgmental as can been seen by his phone call. I would not want him to teach my children anything or represent anyone living in his ward.

    • Chris Ison on October 7, 2017 at 9:51 am

      It’s public record. So no.

    • Sal Manilla on October 7, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      The phone calls are available to the public and can be requested. If you don’t like it, then move.

    • robert simpson on October 8, 2017 at 6:54 am

      Suzanne, any calls going to Police or EMS are not private phone calls. We as citizens of Norton have the right to know what goes on with our local Government! Now you may not mind being called “white trash” and your family also, BUT I do mind and it is about time these Liberal hypocrites are exposed for who they really are.

  14. michael meden on October 7, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Aside from calling the Lions, Kiwanis, Historical society, Women’s club, Youth football, and his constituents ” white trash”, Mr. Pearson is condescending to the police chief, the shift commander and the dispatcher. It is no wonder nearly everyone at city hall can’t get along with him. I would call on council to take whatever steps necessary to reprimand him as they see fit. I would hope the voters take care of the rest of his “career”.

  15. David Walton on October 7, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Exactly WHO are these “white trash” people that Ward 3 Councilman Dennis Pierson speaks of? Are they the volunteers from the Lions Club or Kiwanis? Are they the ladies of the Women’s Club who created fun festival events? Are they the veterans groups, or the Historical Society volunteers that attended? Please tell me he didn’t just call the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or any of the other children in various Norton youth organizations “white trash”. There was nothing trashy in the musical performances from our fabulous school. And not one hot rod in the car show lacked of carnauba wax and a pleasant owner answering questions.

    Norton Ward 3 residents have two other choices this November 7th: Judith Lynn Lee and Dan Karant. I encourage those residents to kick the REAL “white trash” to the curb.

  16. anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    As a proud resident of Norton, I am offended by your comments and ignorance toward the hard working and dedicated people of Norton! We will continue to spread the word of your ignorance. Once you resign, you will be able to spend more time washing your car in your fireman boots.

  17. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I move the Norton three years ago thinking I was a nice community it saddens me to hear that we have a white trash festival. As far as that goes I think a man that doesn’t own the property doesn’t pay taxes lives in his mother’s basement might be considered white trash

  18. Travis brown on October 6, 2017 at 7:08 pm


  19. Weaver on October 6, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Who cares Norton is a one horse town anyway!!

    • Tom Tomcik on October 6, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Real class act trash talk a city from behind your computer thats in your parents basement that doubles as your “bachelore pad”
      What a waste

    • Cheryl on October 6, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      Screw you I live near Norton if you don’t like it then stay out.

  20. paul on October 6, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    white trash? this is the same as calling some one the N….word. not expectable. he needs removed now.

    • Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Wow. On two accounts.

  21. John Gainer on October 6, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I think someone needs to “drain the swamp” at Norton City Council! Where did they find this clown!?

  22. wise willie on October 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Poor Dennis, his mom must not have cut the crust off his grilled cheese the way he likes it so he just had to call and yell about something. He should resign immediately.

  23. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Hey! My kids & grandchildren were there!

  24. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Cider Festival Patron: You are not kidding, he lives on my street & it is with his Mom. He’s never moved out

  25. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Jack Gainer… how could you listen to it? I can’t get it to play. Is it posted somewhere else that I can get my hands on in?

  26. Annie LaPier on October 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Ah—excuse me pal—but who is the WHITE TRASH here???? We will make you famous reposting this story on social media. Have a nice day. BTW-chances are your career is over. So sorry. LOL

  27. Jack Gainer on October 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I just listened with amazement to the ranting of third Ward councilman Pierson complaining about the heavy traffic and dust on Easton and other streets during the cider festivities which drew several thousand people to Norton for three days in a row! Between the football games and the car show and the booths which I had one,we had thousands of people spending many thousands of dollars at these events. I for one can put up with a little traffic and dusty roads for the benefit of the city!
    I also resent my children and grandchildren being referred to as “white trash”! He was elected by the very people that he referred to as “white trash”! He is constantly complaining about the city’s expenditures, yet when we have something as nice as we had this fest week that brings in as much money as it does, he irationally refers to it as the “white trash” festival. He needs to resign asap not after the election!

    • Annie LaPier on October 6, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      The link of the rant is now down. Did you actually hear it? I wonder how we can get it. Isnt this like the 18th year for it?

    • Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 5:53 pm


  28. Michele Merton on October 6, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Lou Scuchie – it is awesome the Dianne Cartwright has a PHD. Jealous?

  29. Cider Festival Patron on October 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Dennis Pierson , Ward 3 councilmen, he cannot answer his phone due to poor reception in his mom’s basement where he has always lived!!

  30. Lou Scuchie on October 6, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    I mean… he isn’t lying though is he? Most people just are polite enough not to just come out and say it. It sure is a good thing you signed with a PHD, Dianne. We all are so impressed with your status. It has such incredible influence on how I view this matter.

  31. Dianne Gaynell Cartwright, PHD on October 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Do not appreciate Dennis Pierson referring to the “Norton Cider Festival as “the white trash festival.” He is up for re-election for Ward 3 in November, and I pray all the “Nortonians” in his district, whom he caterizes as being “beneath” him, will NOT re-elect him. We do not need individuals representing us to be this: ignorant, bias, insensitive, narcissistic – to be in any “position” of: power, decision making or policy creation. His comments tell more about his “character” than those he characterizes with his verbal antics. We who live in Norton are “all” part of the Norton Community” and those who: plan, work for, support and attend this yearly festival – are “his fellow citizens and constituents.” This is a sad, sad commentary by someone “we” have elected to “represent” and “serve us.” Shame on you – Dennis Pierson.
    Dianne Gaynell Cartwright PHD

    • Annie LaPier on October 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      The CBS employee got fired for her remarks about the victims of the Vagas massacre. I think something has to be done about this guy as well. Beyond offensive!

  32. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    The link is there. The cider fest attracts trash and children of trash. Look how these kids dress and represent themselves. Get off your gigh horse and see it for what it really is.

    • Christine Hoffman on October 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      You sound like someone who really knows what they’re talking about. Especially when you can say that and hide behind an “Anonymous” handle, you coward — I mean Dennis — I mean coward.

    • Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      I saw a lot of middle class families with their kids there, including my own. I didn’t see much white trash.

      • tim on October 10, 2017 at 11:49 am

        look in the mirrow

  33. Ginny Michel on October 6, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I can’t get this to play, I want to hear this before November election

  34. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Dispatch are matter of public record… are they not? Who calling & threatening… I’m sure that’s why you removed the link.

  35. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Why is the link no longer working? This needs to be heard loud and clear before Novembers election

  36. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I heard it

  37. Anonymous on October 6, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    How dare he diss the cider festival ! Not good ! A lot of people really enjoy that festival !

  38. Vickie L Kuhns on October 6, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    link still not working

  39. jon on October 6, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Link not working

    • teresa yates on October 6, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      wonder if someone was paid off to get rid of the link?

      • Rocky on October 6, 2017 at 3:44 pm

        Its public info. Someone should request a copy of recoding and repost

      • robert simpson on October 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

        Liberals are good for that!!

        • Patti on October 7, 2017 at 1:42 pm

          I live in Barberton. I have no stake in this. I was able to listen to the recording today through the link. After reading the comments, I decided to reply. I attended Ciderfest for the first time with my 24 yr. old daugher on Saturday afternoon. We checked out the booths, watched some youth football, and had some fries. She’s a bit of a health nut but I managed to convince her to try the fried cheese on a stick! She loved it!!! I do think the comments made by the councilman are wrong. I also think this isn’t the forst time he has shown what type of trash he is!

          • MA ma on October 10, 2017 at 8:19 am

            Momma’s boy! POS

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