UPDATE: 07:20 AM
New comment on (SEE VIDEO) LAKE RESIDENTS "ROUGH UP" TRUSTEES; T....
Thank you for the coverage. There are still way too many unanswered questions. It seems rather convenient that the Lake Township Website has not been updated in quite some time. By updated, Aprils meeting minutes have still not been posted, if you look under Fiscal Officer and budget, you have a budget pie chart from 2009.
Do I beleive the trustees sincerity? No. Do I think they'll put it back on the ballot? Yes. Before they do any of that, they had better become very transparent with ALL information and offers and present them to the constituents long before any vote is taken.
Posted by blebs to STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT at May 30, 2012 7:08:00 AM
It was a sight to behold!
Government officials apologizing to its citzenry for screwing up.
That's what happened last night at a regular meeting of the Lake Township trustees.
Residents were present in force to get a face to face explanation from trustees as to how it was possible for them to allow Lake voters to vote on an issue (Issue 6) that was defectively worded on its face.
The ballot language erroneously stated that the issue, if approved, for expanding the Uniontown Police Department (UPD) township wide would cost Lake property taxpayers 45 cents per thousand of property valuation whereas the correct language would have stated the cost to be $4.50 per thousand. Quite a difference.
On November 8, 2011 Lake voters approved the issue.
However, a number of voters of the losing side of the issue filed litigation to have the vote invalidated because of the error.
In January of this year Stark County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Haas did just that. And, on May 16th, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed his decision.
Watch this video as one resident took to the lectern and demanded that the trustees apologize.
And as you just saw, the trustees did just that.
The only question is: How genuine?
As alluded to in Citizen Mundorf's comments, there is unhappiness with the role of township legal counsel Charles Hall, III who is paid $36,000 a year to provide the trustees with legal advice.
The Report agrees with Mr. Mundorf's characterization of Hall's position (which the trustees buy into) that Lake Township has done the remaining 87 Ohio counties a favor in appealing John Haas' decision so that the law could get clarified at the high level as being "spin."
The primary critic of Hall was made by Lake resident Roy Bonsky. Here is the videotaped exchange between Bonsky and Lake Board of Trustees president John Arnold.
When one hears the Hall spin endorsed by the trustees and the trustees' finger pointing at the Stark County prosecutor and Stark County Board of Elections (which had a memo about the error as early as July, 2011) though the criticisms are deserved), again, one has to wonder how heartfelt the apologies by the trustees really are.
And the appeal was not free.
Though Hall has not made any charges for work he has done as a consequence of the mistake that he originated (how could he?) and the Stark County prosecutors do not bill political subdivisions like Lake that the office does work for, the fact that they took time away from doing the county's legal work clearly indicates that there was a delay cost to someone who was left waiting while prosecutors attended to Lake's Issue 6.
Digging deeper, no one is talking about the legal fees apparently paid in order to institute the base lawsuit.
Although the sincerity of the apology may be questionable, it is welcome.
Citizens need to do what Lake residents did last night.
Make sure that public officials are aware that they are being held accountable!