Ashtabula native Connie Schultz honored with signs

A new sign celebrating Ashtabula native Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, has been constructed on Lake Road near Kent State University Ashtabula Campus at the Saybrook Township/Ashtabula line.

ASHTABULA — Signs have been placed at the city limits honoring Ashtabula native, Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer and journalist. 

The purple and orange signs boast a quote from Schultz, “Ashtabula will always be home.”

When sent a photo of the signs this week, Schultz responded on Twitter: “Thank you, Ashtabula. I’ll try to find the words to let you know what this means to me.”

City Council President John Roskovics said Friday he’s already received several positive comments about the signs.

“The signs came out great and so far have been well received by the community,” City Manager Jim Timonere said. “Connie Schultz is certainly deserving of this recognition by her hometown for all she has accomplished.”

In June, Schultz received the National Society of Newspaper Columnists 2018 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award during the organization’s conference in Cincinnati.

She often writes about her Ashtabula roots in her columns. Schultz, whose three siblings all still live in the county, grew up in a house on Route 20 and attended West Elementary.

“Ashtabula is a part of who I am. ... It is running through my veins, and it is who I am,” she told the Star Beacon last year. 

In January, Ashtabula resident Dorothy Smock proposed City Council recognize Schultz with signs like the ones erected five years ago recognizing football coach Urban Meyer at every entrance to the city. When council members couldn’t decide whether to do so, they voted to come up with an official policy about honoring individuals and groups.

In June, City Council adopted the new policy — designed by an ad hoc committee consisting of interested city residents — which includes guidelines and a nomination form available to residents who wish to honor someone by signs, trees, shrubs, plaques, resolutions and proclamations.

“This takes a lot of guesswork out if a person gets a plaque or sign,” said Ward 4 Council member Michael Speelman, who served on the ad hoc committee. “Honoring someone should not be taken lightly.”

The policy states City Council will not:

• Authorize the renaming of buildings and parks. This will happen only if approved by voters in a general election.

• Approve renaming any street, road, highway, alley or like surfaces.

• Approve historical markers.

Council shall consider honoring the holder of a Congressional Medal, Silver Star, Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross and an Air Force Cross.

Sometimes, an individual may want to recognize someone privately and plant a tree or shrub without a marker. This type of request should be made to the Public Works Department at 440-993-7036. Public Works will maintain a record of such commemorations.

Council also has the power to remove a sign or plaque when it has been deemed no longer significant.

A request for an individual or group to be commemorated must be made by submitting a “Proposal for Honoring Individuals or Organizations” form, available from the city.

In the past, there has not been a specific policy, Clerk of Council LaVette Hennigan said.

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