Why Stark County Taxpayers
Should Be Willing to Pay
Premium Pricing on a
Body Scan Machine
It is a rare day that The Stark County Political Report would want to see Stark County taxpayers pay a premium price for any goods and/or services purchased by any of Stark's departments of government.
So it was an eyebrow raiser yesterday when Major Brian Arnold showed up at the regular weekly meeting of the commissioners' meeting yesterday to tout the purchase at a premium price a body scanner for checking out incoming Stark County Jail prisoners for contraband and whatever as they are booked in.
Arnold, who said that under different circumstances that Sheriff George T. Maier, would have been at the meeting to make the case for commissioner approval of the recommended purchase (Maier was involved in the time in the effort to capture Dragan Sekulic alleged murderer of his ex-wife), made a thoroughgoing presentation of why the "high" bid should be the accepted bid.
Readers of the SCPR know that yours truly is not enamored of Maier because of his demonstrated politicization of the Stark County sheriff's office.
A number of the high ranking officials under Maier's command have bought into his being politically correct imperative.
By the way, it is looking more and more like George T. Maier is going to be running for re-election unopposed.
Way to go Stark County GOP chairman Jeff Matthews!
Arnold was part and parcel of the recent move by Sheriff Maier to get commissioners to approve renting out "excess" jail bed space to Summit County (LINK to prior SCPR blog on topic) and was the work of Maier himself and a his former Ohio State Highway Patrol pal John Campbell (now chief deputy sheriff) and hence likely in line with his obvious desire to have political loyalists around him.
As impressive as Arnold's presentation was yesterday, his and Campbell's June presentation was pathetic.
Arnold originally hired into the Stark County sheriff's office on October 1, 1981. He retired on December 1, 2012. And, accordingly to Stark County auditor records, was rehired on December 3, 2012.
His current duties include the following:
- Update, write, research policies & procedures.
- Reporting certain information as required by the Federal or State government, i.e., Deaths in Custody, US Census Bureau, Juveniles in custody.
- Fulfill public record requests of an extraordinary or sensitive nature.
- Ohio Courts Network Administrator and Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway Administrator for our agency.
- Develop bid specifications as needed, i.e., Full Body Scanner, Jail Food Service, Medical services for the Jail, Mental Health Services for the Jail, Inmate Phone Services for the Jail.
There were a couple of meetings of various collections of Stark County "interested in the jail issue" officials, but it appears that the SCPR expose has put the issue on the "backburner" if not on the DOA list.
Yesterday, as the "only" sheriff's department official, Arnold came prepared with this document.
And beyond the foregoing documentation of why Stark County taxpayers should be willing to pay nearly double what SecurPASS bid in at, here is Arnold on video going back and forth with the commissioners at yesterday's meeting.
About the only think missing was a clear answer to Commissioner Creighton's question on how long the $208,000 plus machine is likely to last.
However, he did know that the machine is good for over 4 million scans.
Kept in good repair, the commissioners' authorization to purchase yesterday is likely to last a long, long, long time.
Only marked advances in technology is likely to motivate county officials anytime soon to consider purchasing another such machine.
The SCPR regularly discusses the quality of Stark County political subdivision law enforcement officials with persons in a position to know.
One such official who is in a position to know thinks that Arnold is a middling law enforcement type who fits nicely into the Maier political loyalty model.
Nevertheless, Stark County's taxpayers may now on the prodding by the SCPR have hope that when Maier gets out of his politically safe environment he is beginning to realize that he will be required to have his due diligence in order.