Commissioner Janet Creighton
"leads the way"
Maier's Done Deal
Had it not been for Commissioners Janet Creighton and Richard Regula (both Republicans), Stark County taxpayers would have entered into a contract last Wednesday for the Stark County sheriff's office to house Summit County prisoners at $70 day to cut the costs of Summit County taxpayers who pay $124 daily for each and every prisoner housed at the Summit County jail.
The contract would have become a reality if Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier had his way: witness that he was presuming (i.e. he had already signed the agreement) that the commissioners would sign on this past Wednesday at their regular 1:30 p.m. meeting.
One has to wonder whether or not he has another "best friend for life" in Summit County government akin to Sheriff Ronald J. Myers of Harrison County.
An example of how utterly arrogant The Stark County Political Report thinks Maier is, no?
And, the Stark County thinks that if it were up to Commissioner Thomas Bernabei (elected as a Democrat, but now claiming to be an "independent"), Maier would have gotten away with the "to the benefit of Summit County taxpayers" give-away at the expense of Stark County taxpayers.
For some odd reason Bernabei seems enamored with Maier to the point of suspending his (Bernabei's) critical faculties.
Generally, Bernabei (the SCPR's top rated Stark County leader, but not uncritically so) is highly scrutinizing, probing and demanding in his approach to government, but those qualities seem to evaporate when it comes to George T. Maier.
The Report believes:
- that Bernabei as commissioner tried to facilitate Maier meeting Ohio statutory qualification standards to be sheriff back in early 2013 in anticipation of the Ohio Supreme Court finding that he was unqualified as of February 5, 2013 when appointed by a narrow margin (92 to 84) by the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee,
- was left unmoved when the SCPR presented information to him (Bernabei) that Maier was spending loads of Stark County taxpayer money emblazoning his name on Stark County sheriff department property when his qualification to be sheriff was pending in the Supreme Court, and
- spearheaded (as among the commissioners) to have Stark County taxpayers foot a bill of some $8,000 to hire reputed Ohio elections law attorney Don McTigue to represent Maier's interest before Ohio Secretary of State Ted Husted and the Ohio Supreme Court in a protest to Maier's qualification to be certified as a candidate for sheriff in the November, 2014 election,
- Arnold: promoted to major by Maier within 30 days of Maier having been elected sheriff)
- Campbell: a former Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) pal of Maier's who recently retired from the the OSHP
were shockingly unprepared for the questions that Creighton leveled at them, to wit:
Kudos to Creighton and Regula (primarily Creighton) for sending Campbell and Arnold scurrying back to 4500 Atlantic Boulevard to do their due diligence which they obviously had not done coming into the commissioners meeting of June 17th.
And shame on Maier for allowing two men who combined make over $160,000 annually to present at the meeting so completely unprepared.
It should be disturbing to Stark Countians that Commissioner Bernabei seemingly was buying into the notion that $70 a day was better than $0 dollars a day for the 80 or so "vacant" beds that on "on average" go unused for Stark County criminals and/or alleged criminals and therefore are on the streets of Stark County's neighborhoods.
Remember the "scare tactic" aspect of the campaign to get Stark Countians in November, 2009 to pass a 1/2 cent increase in the county sales tax?
Five years later we are only at an average daily usage of 420?
On Thursday morning at 07:30 a.m. a repair of the unpreparedness apparently will be attempted at a meeting of the Corrections Planning Board.
Note this exchange of e-mails between yours truly and County Administrator Brant Luther:
Re: Sheriff proposal for boarding Summit County prisoners
Brant Luther Jun 22 at 5:06 PMThere should be no excess beds for rent to Summit County or any other county.
To: Martin Olson
Attached are a couple of pages out of the Bylaws which describe the membership make-up of the Corrections Planning Board.
The Board's next meeting is this coming Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the Training Room at the Sheriff's Department.
>>> Martin Olson <firstname.lastname@example.org> 6/22/2015 4:48 PM >>>
Corrections Planning Board?
Who is on the board? When will the meeting(s) take place.
Or refer me to a person who can provide the information I request.
From: Brant Luther <email@example.com>
To: Martin Olson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2015 4:02 PM
Subject: Re: Sheriff proposal for boarding Summit County prisoners
It is my understanding that the prisoner housing issue will be referred to and further discussed and analyzed by the Corrections Planning Board before coming back to the Board of Commissioners for any action.
>>> Martin Olson <email@example.com> 6/22/2015 12:29 PM >>>
When are Arnold/Campbell going to get back to the commissioners on the costs of housing prisoners?
330 899 7144
Will the forty (40) members of the Corrections Planning Board allow Sheriff Maier to bamboozle them into supporting his "at a loss to Stark County safety and finances" scheme?
Why aren't Alliance, Canton, Massillon and Stark County's Common Pleas Court judges filling up the 80 on daily average bed spaces?