Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) has learned that Stark County commissioner Todd Bosley will be meeting with prosecutor Deborah Dawson (chief, civil division) and the law directors of Alliance and Massillon to explore ways to avoid having the county sue Alliance and Massillon over delinquent jail fee charges assessed by Sheriff Tim Swanson for the county's housing of the respective city's prisoners.

Bosley has found it necessary to be mediator once again in the context of a Commissioner Tom Harmon instigated crisis.

Readers of The Report will recall that Harmon caused a rile with the Stark County Veterans Commission (SCVC) some months ago when he resisted the commission's entreaty for a greater share of Stark County budgeted monies that are mandated by Ohio law.

Bosley stepped in and mediated that dispute. Consequently, the SCVC accepted substantially less than provided for by Ohio law in light of the ongoing county financial crisis.

Here we go again.

Harmon put an agenda item on tomorrow's board of commissioners' agenda to provide authorization and direction to proceed with suit against Alliance and Massillon.

Seeing Harmon's initiative, Bosley got busy contacting Alliance and Massillon city officials over the weekend.

The question is this: Whether or not Bosely has acted soon enough (in terms there being enough time before tomorrow's meeting) to work out a compromise?

A further intriguing question is this: If Bosley is unsuccessful in his efforts, how will the county commissioner vote go?

Bosley will not be in favor of proceeding at this time. Harmon will be. Where does that leave newly elected Pete Ferguson.

Bosley seems confident that Ferguson will support his position. But so does Harmon as to his.

It will best for all concerned (the commissioners, Alliance, Massillon, Sheriff Swanson, the prosecutor's office and Stark County citizens) if Bosley cannot broker a deal.

For if he doesn't and a vote takes place tomorrow, the resulting acrimony could open up a persisting internal strife that could make future commissioner decisions of consequence very difficult indeed.

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