Dew failed to disclose his school-district connections in his October opinion

The Heights Observer’s October issue featured an opinion by Adam Dew (“A MAGA school board coup is afoot in the Heights”), disclosing [that he is a promotional] partner of the publication, but without the complete picture.

In that fevered nightmare vision, Dew made deeply personal attacks on each candidate of the Lynn-Drake-Rennert school board slate. What wasn’t disclosed was that, since 2018, he sits on the school district’s Lay Finance Committee (LFC), with school board president James Posch and district CFO Scott Gainer. This means he is no mere citizen, since the LFC does not publish its meeting minutes and has not issued a report since 2019. This creates a conflict of interest, since Dew has been a commercial vendor for the district, making over $13,000 in 2019–20 alone from business between it and his video company.

With all the insights that he has from sitting on a district body, Dew’s opinion instead focused on smearing the challenger slate, including alleging that the district’s state report card is “racist”. Less “diverse” districts, such as Sandusky and Fairport Harbor, received D grades just like the CH-UH school district. Is the system racist against everyone? 

Dew’s piece in the Heights Observer showed only his political bias, rooted in political division between left and right. Reading his comments on NextDoor reveals crude religious bigotry.

[Dew’s comments on NextDoor suggest] there’s a Jewish-Catholic plot to “get” minorities. The CH-UH school district is meant to provide a structured environment for all students, regardless of background. Why does it have someone on its LFC with such biased views, who thinks we are greedy and conniving for opposing tax levies and demanding transparency?

He uses a smokescreen of accusations against [school board candidate] Maureen Lynn and others in order to deflect from the district’s failure and his self-dealing arrangements. I am moved to ask whether his fevered rhetoric and campaigning for the incumbents are in order to preserve that revenue stream by keeping the status quo.

[Editor’s note: The Heights Observer asks all contributors to disclose any personal or professional relationship they may have with the subject they are writing about, including any candidate. The Heights Observer was unaware of Adam Dew’s service on the CH-UH City School District’s Lay Finance Committee, and his professional work for the district. We have added this information to Dew’s author bio. for the online version of his October opinion, and will publish notice of this addendum in the November print issue.]

Ramón Epstein

Ramón Epstein is a Heights native who moved back during college. A Cleveland Heights resident, he is hoping to bridge barriers between community groups divided by identities and fearmongering.

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 3:59 PM, 10.08.2021