Thursday, January 8, 2009


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) presents the following transcript of Stark County Sheriff Swanson speaking to Stark County commissioners on December 29th.


For readers to digest and form an opinion as to what Swanson's comments reveal in terms of his basic attitude.

Is the sheriff a changed man with his re-election?

What do you think? Arrogant, accurate, pointed, honest, self-serving, disrepectful, insensitive or any other tag you can come up with to describe your take on Swanson's words.

Here are the comments (in yellow):
Thanks for giving me the time. Also, Jane, thanks for your service over the years. We didn’t always see eye to eye. You and the milk and I don’t get along. If you want to send 1,200 cartons of milk out a day, Mr. Haas, you can do so.

You guys were elected to run Stark County government. I was elected to be sheriff. I’ve done some unpopular things as sheriff because it was required by law that I do it. I know the financial difficulties we’re in. No one knows more than me. In 2003, you cut my budget; I laid off 64 people. This year you cut my budget; I laid off 23. Due to those layoffs I had to close parts of the jail because there was no one there to watch the prisoners.

Of course some in the public thought the sheriff will just let out prisoners to scare us. That’s so B.S. it makes me puke. What I’ve heard here today makes me sick because people don’t come in here educated, don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

They read the newspaper. They come in here with some bull crap someone has put in their mind. But they’ve not yet gone to county government to draw your records, to get the Auditor’s records, to go to the Treasurer and research it and get the honest to God truth about where we stand financially.

I applaud you. I support the tax. If I get nailed again, I’m going to lay off some more people. I don’t want to do that. It’s very hard to do. But I have to live within my budget. It’s against the law for me not to. I’m going to close portions of the jail down; that’s going to make the judges unhappy. It’s going to make the public unhappy. But what goes around comes around and that’s what has to be done.

If you don’t like it, don’t vote for me in four years because I’m retired. And I’m one of those double dippers. And I’m proud that I’m a double dipper. And in two more years I’m going to retire from the military and I’m going to double dip there, too. Ok?

So you’re going to live with what you want. You don’t want this tax, then you’re going to live with what it brings you. That’s all you’re going to do. Some of you aren’t a victim of crime in here, nor are you a person who’s had to call 911. Ok?

You’ve never come to the Stark County Sheriff’s. Who eats the most of Stark County government money? Who eats it? The Stark County Jail? My budget’s $16 (million), $17 million. Plus, with the rest of criminal justice with it we consume all of it. That’s what the people want.

I’ll do what you want. No tax. No deputies. I’m lucky to have two people on the road now. If you live in an unincorporated area, I’ll get the car there when I can get it there. If I can’t – poop them. They just don’t come out of the sky. You’ve got to pay them. They deserve a salary just like everybody else who works.

But they aren’t paid enough. If you think the deputies are paid too much or the police officers are paid too much in this county then you go to work for law enforcement. Every day they put their life on the line for this county. And they go home and their mothers, their parents, their children are praying they did get to go home that day.

If you don’t like it, move somewhere else where you will like it. I support you (commissioners) 100 percent. Thank you for having the balls and the ability to do so and the gumption to do so and I applaud you. If they don’t elect you again you can rest with yourself that you did the right thing. Thanks.
Be sure to comment.


Anonymous said...

Tim Swanson listened to a few people crying about nothing and he got tried of it. I think we should run Swanson for govenor when Strickland is up. At least Swanson can say what he on his mind!

Anonymous said...

He hit it all right on the head of the nail! NAILED IT! GREAT JOB TIM!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think that a speech like that, from one professional to another group of professionals was totally UNPROFESSIONAL. Swanson needs clean up his language and start acting like a professional. That was NOT a locker room setting. I wonder how close he came to dropping the F-bomb!!! (The points may or may not be accurate, depending on point of view, but the delivery was HORRENDOUS)

Anonymous said...

It is about time someone tells it like it really is. If more people professionally or not would talk facts like this maybe more people would start to listen.

Anonymous said...

I was at that meeting and I think Swanson is huge 'cry baby.' He thinks he's owed the extra money this tax will bring in. If he would run his department properly, he would be able to afford to put more deputies on the road. Do we really need the large 'front office' administration that he does? No! Road deputies should come first, then staff the jail. Correctional officers can always be contracted out at a cheaper rate, therefore, putting those deputies, who are stuck in the jail, back where they belong---on the road!

Anonymous said...

I was at that meeting too and Sheriff Swanson stated facts, real hard facts. Cry baby? I think not. And you should learn some facts, by law the Sheriff is required to operate a county jail, he is NOT required to operate a road patrol. Educate yourself before you speak.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of these posts are coming from the Sheriff's Office?

I think this speech was pretty unprofessional. I also think that the Sheriff can be tighter on the budget by laying off the right people. How about letting off a couple of his high ranking, over-paid buddies instead of deputies. That would be a noble idea.

Anonymous said...

Very unprofessional. I am so glad we have a police chief in our city that would never embarrass himself or our elected officials the way the Sheriff did. I understand his frustration, but that disgraceful delivery should be curbed.

Anonymous said...

He spoke his mind. He put his thoughts in plain and simple language. He told it like it is. He didn't sugar coat it or try to be "politicly correct" so he would be viewed as "professional". I wish more politicians would speak this clearly. He's following the law unlike some elected officials. Way to go Sheriff Swanson!

Anonymous said...

I knoe Sheriff Swanson personally and he will be first to tell you he is the worst politician in Stark County....He has never been a politician but he is an experienced lawman. He has been elected again and again because he speaks the truth whether you like it or not. Polished, maybe not...Right for the job, absolutely!

Anonymous said...

Amen! Keep on going Swanson! Tell it like it is! AMEN!

Anonymous said...

You can take it to the bank when Swanson tells you something. That's all I care about. You may not like it but you can bet he is telling the truth. I too wish more elected officials were like this.

Anonymous said...

Swanson is a pompous, arrogant jerk. He is hired by the taxpayers of this County, and his despicable behavior and treatment of taxpayers that have a different opinion than him reminds one of some hillbilly bumpkin Sheriff from some 2-bit West Virginia County.

How dare voters express the opinion that we should actually be able to vote on a tax, rather than have it foisted upon us by "all knowing wise ones". I don't care how much Swanson wants the tax and sees the need for the tax....go out and make an articulate, persuasive case for one...don't kick and scream and throw 2nd grade insults.

He and his infantile behavior is a disgrace to Stark County.

Anonymous said...

The only behavior that has been disgrace to Stark County is the self serving actions of many of past and current GOP state office holders that has placed this community in the position we now find us all in.

Anonymous said...

The GOP doesn't tell the commissioners how to spend the counties money. Maybe if the Democrat commissioners actually paid attention to where the money was going, instead of turning their back on the spending, this county wouldn't be in the situation we're in. Take a look, the county has been in this downfall since the Democrats took majority in this county.