Loveland, Ohio – Businessman Tim Canada placed a four-inch thick binder on the shelf under the speaker’s podium before speaking at the Loveland Council meeting on August 22 saying he represented several local businesses. He said that since there was so much said during the campaign to recall former Mayor Mark Fitzgerald charging him with not being transparent, he was putting all candidates on notice. He said, “Going forward every candidate and council person will be under scrutiny for transparency.” He said their efforts would also be directed at The Little Miami River Chamber Alliance and the Loveland Community Heartbeat PAC. He said the business people would be speaking for the next eight weeks about transparency – going back to 2007.
Canada said that Halie Rebeccaschild had used two different names on campaign finance reports submitted to the board of elections that were submitted by the recall campaign committee. He inferred it would be election falsification and that it would be a fifth-degree felony to do so.
Canada continued saying, “It bothers me to do this, but I am going to do it anyway.” He then went on to talk about a candidate for Council, Neal Oury, outlining past law suits he has been involved in and his personal bankruptcy.
After Canada made the public statements that were aired on the live Facebook feed of the council meeting by LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV, Rebeccaschild and Oury were asked if they would like to respond to the things said about them by the business group.
Here are their responses:
– Halie S. Rebeccaschild
Loveland Community Heartbeat has amended the filing to correct the error. The mistake was in part due to a name change and the treasurer referencing an account not current with the name change at the time of entry to the ledger. Contrary to Mr. Canada’s suggestion, a filing error does not equate to a felony. According to the Hamilton County Board of Elections Campaign Finance Department, amendments to filings are quite common.
– Neal Oury
During August 22, 2017, Loveland City Council meeting business owner Tim Canada raised concerns over law suits in which I have been named and my experience with personal bankruptcy. Regardless of Tim’s motive in bringing these to light, I do recognize that as an individual seeking public office, such matters are up for public scrutiny and I will address them directly.
With regard to the lawsuits mentioned… I’ve spent thirty plus years in the property management and the building and construction business, and sadly, law suits are a reality of these industries. Six of these cases were dismissed due to a lack of grounds; in one action, six suits were filed for back taxes and I was named only as the mortgage holder for properties that I had sold on a land contract. Two suits were decided in my favor. The remaining suits were related to the bankruptcy.
With regard to my filing for personal bankruptcy… I will be honest it was an extremely difficult time for me and my family, and a situation which I am not eager to talk about. The culmination of the economic downturn in 2008-2010, the housing market and remodeling business depleted to nothing. My mortgage on my business property was with 5/3 Bank who called my mortgage due. Unfortunately, the economy did not recover and the lack of business led to a situation where I was not able to meet my financial obligations. However painful the experience, I took responsibility, made reparations, and continue today following through on my commitment to pay that debt. It has been a long and difficult road, but as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
To the degree that Tim felt it necessary to bring these events to light for the sake of transparency, as was demanded of Mark Fitzgerald during the recall drive, I will point out some very relevant differences. First, I have never been accused of fraud, as was the case with Fitzgerald; I have never been fired from a job due to issues of integrity. It appears Fitzgerald has been accused of misusing public funds, my financial hardship affected no one but my family. I have never walked out of nor been booed at any meetings. I take pride in my integrity to do what is right.
When I declared my candidacy for Loveland City Council, it was not with any pretense of my being perfect or not having experienced failure in my life. That decision was the result of my lifelong desire to make Loveland a better place, with city leadership that is inclusive, responsive and respectful of its citizens and to have an open dialogue with the community. With my candidacy comes a promise that I will work tirelessly for Loveland and with Loveland.
Respectfully submitted, Neal Oury
Below are excerpts from the speech Canada gave at the Council meeting.