Monday, May 17, 2010


Back in December, 2008 Stark Countians were "muscled" into paying an additional sales/use tax to take Stark's fragmented 9-1-1 emergency services and convert it into a centralized system.

The SCPR believes that when Stark Commissioners (Bosley, a Democrat, Harmon, s Democrat and Vignos, a Republican) voted to impose the tax, they jaundiced the voting public against any county revenue measures.  As a consequence of the imposition, The Report believes county officials will have a difficult time getting "even" a renewal of a 0.25 of a percent tax which certainly be on the ballot this November. (emphasis added).

And for the record, Commissioner Vignos could have blocked the tax from becoming permanent, by voting no.  But for the successful ballot initiative by the Vote No Increased Taxes Committee, the tax would be an enduring piece of the Stark County revenue scheme of things.

Vignos concurrence in the unanimous commissioner vote makes it impossible (in the name of fair play) for Republican commissioner candidates (Creighton and Walters) from making the issue a partisan one in November.

Voters soon realized (after the December, 2008 imposition) that the 9-1-1 centralization/enhancement was not the only beneficiary of the imposed tax.  Somewhat hidden (let's say de-emphasized) was the fact that one-half of the monies generated were designated to go to the Stark County general fund.

As it turns out only 1/4th of the money collected went to 9-1-1.  The other 3/4ths of the money collected went to Stark's general fund.

While Commissioners Ferguson and Meeks were not in office when the imposed tax was approved, they opposed Commissioner Bosley in his efforts to make the split of revenues a 50/50 proposition.

In all fairness to Ferguson and Meeks, 9-1-1 Governance Committee chair Randy Gonzalez said that 9-1-1 could be transitioned into a centralized operation without the full 50% of the imposed tax revenues.

Now comes word that a northeast Ohio non-profit Efficient Government Now (EFFGOV)is handing out money to northeast Ohio governments who commit to efficiency in their operations.

Here is more about EFFGOV from its website:
EfficientGovNow is presented by the Fund for Our Economic Future  as part of the ANEO Choice Awards.

The EfficientGovNow program is a competitive grant awards program that encourages and accelerates government collaboration, cooperation and efficiency by providing rounds of funding to government collaboration projects as selected by the residents of Northeast Ohio.
The Catch?

It takes a vote of the people to put their community effort (e.g. Stark County 9-1-1 centralization) in the top three of all the northeast Ohio local government contenders for a $100,000 grant.

So Stark Countians can do voluntarily what many (2/3rds of the voters on repeal of the imposed 0.50 of a percent sales/use tax) feels was involuntarily foisted upon them.

And it will not cost any Stark Countian "one red cent."

All anyone has to do is to go to the EFFGOV website and vote for the Stark County proposal.

Here are the steps:


To make it easier for SCPR readers here is a direct link: CLICK HERE.

Simply follow the steps outlined on the EFFGOV "vote page."

See the video below of 9-1-1 Project Manager Joseph Concatto making a plea to Stark County commissioners to support an effort of encouraging Stark Countians to vote.

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