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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.