From now through the November general election, The Stark County Political report will be covering the Stark County prosecutor's race in detail.
A goal of the SCPR is to provide the Stark County voting public with thoroughgoing information to base a vote upon in voting for various elective office this coming November.
So far the SCPR has opened up a far ranging consideration of the election for Stark County prosecutor:
- Blog of April 16 (LINK),
The Report has other competitive Stark County political contest coverage in the planning stage.
Today, the focus returns to Jakmides versus Ferrero for who will Stark County prosecutor come January 1, 2017.
In November, 2011 Stark Countians voted in a 1/2 cent sales tax to provide $22 million (more or less, depending on the buying inclinations of shoppers. In 2016 the tax is expected to bring in $28 million.) annually to the Stark County Justice System. Hence in discussions about revenues the county commissioners and the county auditor are to heard referring to the tax as the "Justice System Sales Tax" (JSST). However, the JSST revenues are far short of the approximate $44 million that the commissioners appropriate to Stark's justice system in toto.
As is to be seen in the above chart, 80% of the expected revenues go to the Stark County's prosecutor and sheriff department of county government.
With that infusion of money, Stark Countians expect first rate administration of justice in Stark County.
And with a little vision, foresight and confidence in their (i.e. the-then commissioners) persuasion powers, we know know that Stark Countians back in 2011 likely would have passed a 3/4th of a cent sales tax increase thereby enveloping the county's justice system with a totally covered funding base.
Witness this graphic from the 2011 campaign for the 1/2 cent sales tax increase.
It has to shake the confidence of Stark Countians to learn about the many "unarrested" charged misdemeanants and felons who are roaming Stark County's villages, cities and townships unfettered. (see discussion below re: The Repository's recent article).
From the county perspective that means the county commissioners, the county prosecutor, the county sheriff and the county judges should be working to make Stark County as crime free as effective law enforcement will allow for.
Over the weekend, The Repository published an alarming story of how those charged with felonies and misdemeanors go unarrested and in some cases are never prosecuted because the warrants expire.
While the fault for alleged criminals traversing the streets and neighborhoods of our county does not appear to have anything to do per se with the Stark County prosecutor's office, the SCPR thinks the prosecutor should as one of the county's top most law enforcement officer be looking to find ways and means to enable/empower (through training and motivation) police across the county to serve warrants.
One critic of Ferrero's says that Ferrero gets 30% of the take of police departments in confiscating property used in perpetuating crimes goes to Ferrero's office.
The crtiticism is that Ferrero uses most of the money to purchase trinkets to advance a public relations campaign to make it appear that his office is effective in law enforcement, but the reality is that he could far more effectively use those resources to fund such as a metro unit (which once existed in Stark) with specific responsibility of police persons to find and apprehend folks who need to be brought to justice.
Ditto that for Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier.
Why wouldn't Sheriff Maier join with Prosecutor Ferrero (both native Massillonians, by the way) to construct an inter-agency task force to "on-the-ground" and hands-on to eliminate the warrant enforcement deficit?
The Report is told that most warrant processes are initiated by victims of crime and the failure to enforce them is "a slap in the face" of everyday Stark Countians.
The role of the commissioners should be to monitor more closely and specifically how those JSST dollars are used. While it is not the role of the commissioners to micro-manage other independently elected offices, when stories like The Rep's surface why wouldn't they—in the name of the JSST—be asking questions as to why county-based law enforcement (the prosecutor and the sheriff) are not collaborating and taking the lead in reaching out to the localities to solve the free-roaming alleged criminals problem?
It is widely believed that Ferrero and Maier (including his brother Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., a former Stark Democratic Party chairman and now clerk of courts in Massillon) have a gutteral hatred of one another stemming from many years of political competition for control of Massillon politics.
And, of course, Democrat Ferrero lead the fight along with former Democrat sheriff Tim Swanson to deny George T. Maier succession as Stark County sheriff to succeed the November, 2012 elected Mike McDonald who was unable to take office on January 7, 2013 due to an illness which claimed his life in February.
The Ferrero/Maier political "blood" feud is likely the reason they will not work together to take the lead as Stark's leading law enforces to solve the at-large in our Stark County community charged misdemeants and felons.
Perhaps having no acceptable answer is the reason why John Ferrero has not answered this SCPR e-mail to him early yesterday:
Martin Olson <email@example.com>
Apr 18 at 9:05 AM
You undoubtedly read The Rep's recent article on the backlog of warrants among various police jurisdictions across Stark County.
My questions to you:
Is the Stark County prosecutor's office doing anything in terms of working with these police agencies to abate the backlog and to create ways and means to keep the service of warrants on a no significant backlog status.
If so, what specifically is being done.
If not, why not?
So why single out Ferrero when Sheriff George T. Maier has equal culpability?
Ferrero has and opponent in this year's election whereas Maier is running opposed.
Competitive elections is about holding incumbent officeholders accountable for the stewardship of the office they hold.
Ferrero has been Stark County prosecutor for over ten years.
And of course he does have in Jeff Jakmides a Republican opponent who is more than willing to weigh-in on lapses of leadership such has Ferrero's on the question of why there are so many unarrested misdemeanants and felons not being brought to justice for their alleged crimes.
The same subject matter e-mail was sent to Jakmides.
Late last night after a very full day on the job as one of Stark County's leading criminal defense attorney (who, by the way, has prosecutorial experience in the days that Republican Jim Unger was Stark County prosecutor) Jakmides telephone the SCPR and said absolutely YES, Stark County's prosecutor should be a lead person in bringing "the free to flit to and across Stark County" to justice.
If elected prosecutor, he says, he will take the lead and work with Sheriff Maier to bring the Stark County policing community together to solve this very solvable problem.
But the fact of the matter is that John Ferrero is the current Stark County prosecutor and he needs to get it in gear yesterday being a law enforcement leader to the the charged misdemeanants and felons out of our neighborhoods and on the pathway of a determination of whether or not they are guilty as charged!