Thursday, June 5, 2003

Suburban Insider

For Roast Fox, boost heat, spice up with abuse

Butler County Republicans perfected the recipe for "Roast Fox."

For more than 90 minutes, fellow Republicans turned up the heat on County Commissioner Michael A. Fox at the 2003 Young Republicans Roast. An annual fund-raiser for about a decade, this roast was the group's most successful to date, organizer Michael McNamara said. The May 28 event drew about 150 people to Receptions Banquet & Conference Center in Fairfield.

Roasters seared Fox with frequent references to his skirmishes with Domestic Relations Judge Leslie Spillane and criticisms of his frequent trips on county business.

One highlight: Sheriff's Chief Deputy Richard K. Jones had the audience rocking back and forth in their seats, laughing, with a parody sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies theme. An excerpt:

Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Fox,

He had a silver tongue, yeah the man could really talk.

But then one day someone caused him lots of pain,

She dressed in black - her name was Leslie Spillane

Well, the first thing you know ol' Fox is on the run,

He said, "What's wrong with havin' a little fun?"

Chuck and Corky said California is the place you ought to be,

So he packed up all his bags and he flew to Beverly ... Hills, that is ... All expenses paid!!

Then came Fox's rebuttal. "I am thankful and grateful for the honor - I think," he began. He noted that although all of Butler's county-level elected offices are held by fellow Republicans, a third of them "started their life in politics in sin" - as Democrats. He listed that "honor roll," which included his two fellow commissioners, then concluded, "So you might say, on the commission, I'm the minority party."

The program ended with a standing ovation for Fox and words of appreciation for his success in "getting things done," despite stirring controversy.

Even though smoke might have still been rolling off of him, Fox commented on his way out: "It was the most painful fun I've had in a long time."

- Janice Morse

Grossman to the rescue: Who better to resolve the arrest of Mason Police Chief Ron Ferrell than Tom Grossmann?

Grossman is the county's GOP co-chairman and is affiliated with the GOP's anti-abortion conservative faction, which heavily backed Judge George Parker for election.

City leaders applauded Grossmann's efforts this week in encouraging Parker to drop the charges he filed against Ferrell for refusing to transport prisoners to Parker's court hearings.

Grossmann and fellow anti-abortion conservative Councilwoman Charlene Pelfrey investigated the events and convinced their council colleagues that Parker, to some degree, was in the right.

- Sheila McLaughlin


A new day has dawned: She's his fellow Republican, but Norwood Councilwoman Cassandra Brown was rather succinct about the official resignation this week of Mayor Joe Hochbein.

"He's gone now," she said. "Jane Grote is the acting mayor."

Brown is the sole Republican on a nine-member council. She's looking forward to council sessions where members have no reason to bicker over the mayor.

"People have spent time yelling at the mayor. Now he's not there to yell at anymore. I'm not sure what they're going to do," she said. "I'm excited to see what may happen in the future. Either way, it's going to be good for the city. We're going to have a new set of dynamics there."

- Susan Vela

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