Monday, September 25, 2017


UPDATE:  5:54 PM (9/26/2017)  

LINK to Columbus Dispatch article.

Also, Schuring reported by Stark judges to have met with Rep. Schuring on Friday, September 22nd which meeting was termed by a court official as being "positive and productive."

What does "positive and productive" mean in some detail.

The SCPR is working to get those details.

An alarming mainstream media headline, no?

If The Stark County Political Report were to say that Stark County-based Ohio General Assembly members Scott Oelslager (Republican, 29th Ohio Senate District) and Kirk Schuring voted to "in effect" jeopardize Stark County's safety, both, if asked about the assessment, undoubtedly, would resort to downplaying the credibility of this blog.

"Oh! you know, The Stark County Political Report is a blog and 'you know, I know and everybody knows' that you can't trust the analysis of a blogger!!!

But what do they say when a statement on their legislative action in including TCAP (Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison) in June, 2017 passed HB 49 as assessed by each of Stark County's Court of Common Pleas (General Division) judges (both Republican and Democrat) in his/her own hand writing?  (See the letters to the ORDC, Schuring, Oelslager, West and Slaby below)

The judges (led by Judge Taryn Heath) on August 30th in a work session with the Stark County commissioners included these alarming slides on the matter of the Stark County public's safety.  (See entire slide presentation at the end of this blog)

You can add as a sign-on to the letters Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton in her capacity as president of the Board of Stark County Commissioners.

Here is the full text of letters the judges recently sent to an official in the ODRC:

What's more, they (our legislators) are likely to say:  "Oh! you know House Bill 49 was a budget bill and let me tell you if the TCAP provisions were in 'single subject legislation,' I would have voted 'no."'

"You know, I know and everybody knows" that when a politician wants to hide his/her vote on controversial legislation, it gets inserted in the omnibus biennial state budget bill which quite a number of legal scholars think is a violation of the Ohio Constitution "single subject" legislation requirement when the budget bill includes the likes of TCAP.

And that is exactly what the SCPR thinks Oelslager and Schuring and many of the rest of "aye" votes were up to in voting for HB 49 which included TCAP.

Landing on local government to help the state of Ohio balance the state budget without being held accountable for thereby jeopardizing the safety of day-in, day-out Ohioans who populate Ohio's 88 counties, that is the effect of including TCAP in HB 49.

Of course, neither Schuring, Oelslager or any of the other cowardly legislators want to be directly accountable (by putting TCAP in its own bill thereby complying with Ohio's Constitution "single subject" mandate) for affecting your safety and my safety as we move in and about Stark County or any other Ohio county.

Judges in some of Ohio's major counties (Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton and Stark; among targeted counties) have come out in full force against the provisions of TCAP.

In all cases the judges say that Ohio and of course either of their counties are less safe than they were before the bill's passage.

While they obviously do some good for Stark County, it has been the position of the SCPR that Oelslager and Schuring for all their years in the Ohio General Assembly have been rather ineffective for interests of Stark Countians.

They both have been part of the supermajority Republican controlled Ohio General Assembly which along with Republican governor John Kasich program have slashed revenues from the state of Ohio to local governments:  Well over $500 million all the while Ohio's Rainy Day Fund has over $2 billion sitting there collecting interest.

Meanwhile Schuring can't work hard enough to give away Ohio taxpayer money and other public benefits to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village Project (HOFVP), which, long term, is likely to prove to be a "flash in the pan" in the sense that the upwards of $1 billion being spent on the project will not dramatically improve the lives of most everyday Stark Countians.

The SCPR thinks the HOFVP proponents are making lots of promises of being an financial/economical boon to Stark County somewhat similar to the ballyhooing of fracking being the solution to everything that ails Stark County.

While certainly an economic/financial plus, fracking is nowhere near the projection of former Canton mayor William J. Healy, II of fracking bringing 50,000 high paying jobs to Stark County.

Obviously, with his exaggeration penchant, he was the forerunner of what we see coming out of the White House these days.

Stark County's judges in sounding the alarm of what the Ohio General Assembly and Governor Kasich is trying to do to our communities in terms of making them unsafer is no exaggeration.  The sounding of the alarm bells should arouse all of us to action in letting our local OGA representatives that our safety is off-the-table when it comes to balancing the state budget.

To repeat, according to Stark County's Common Pleas judges,  our personal safety is at risk with the sentencing reform Schuring and Oelslager voted for and while it seems that Schuring spends his time bolstering an entertainment project (i.e. the HOFVP).

Oelslager, a couple of years ago, let it be known to Canton council president Allen Schulman that he was "too busy" to come to council to hear council members out on the fiscal crisis that state of Ohio local government funding cuts had put the Hall of Fame city into.

And yet a prominent Stark County Republican told me last week that Oelslager and Schuring (both, once again [for the second time], are term-limited out [i.e. eight successive years in either the House or Senate] and will seek to enshrine themselves in the Ohio Assembly by switching positions with Oelslager running for the House in the 48th and Schuring, the Senate in the 29th).

It is now clear that Schuring and Oelslager prize their personal political longevity over the public spaces safety of Stark Countians.

Both have had enough of a run in their switch-after-switch-after-switch (a version of musical chair where each gets a seat; just a "different" seat)  routine.

Stark County political influencers ought to contact both and tell them:  "Step aside, you have had your time.  Your failure to protect the safety of Stark County's neighborhoods is proof positive that you have lost being in touch with the highest priority interest of Stark Countians."

While the SCPR sympathizes with our local officials in being "undone" by the Ohio Legislature, unless and until they take political action beyond letter writing; they can expect more of the same going forward.

Stark County's judges will be taking the political flak for dangerous persons being out-on-the-lose when TCAP becomes mandatory in Stark County next year.

Unless pressured to step aside, Schuring and Oelslager are likely going to be "coasting to victory" for another eight years in the Ohio General Assembly as they flaunt a law they both supported to limit the time any one legislator spends in the Legislature.

Go figure, no?  Self over the safety of their respective communities.

Stark Countians have got to be pleased that our judges are united in their insistence that they be equipped to keep dangerous persons off the streets of Stark County!

What follows is a series of documents for those readers who want to thoroughly explore what the Stark County Court of Common Please judges have to say about sentencing reform and its likely impact on our Stark County neighborhoods.

First, a video of a slide presentation prepared by Judge Kristin Farmer that was presented to the Stark County commissioners in a work session on August 30th.

Here is an abbreviated video of the judges' presentation and interaction with Stark's commissioners.

(Note:  The SCPR has a precommitment to videotape an interview with Plain Township trustee Scott Haws and therefore could not stay for but for a short segment of the judges time with commissioners.  However, Brant Luther, chief administrator for the commissioners did provide the SCPR with a audio recording of the session which is included in this blog immediately after the video segment)

Here is the audio of the entire session as recorded by the Stark County commissioners.

(Note:  This tape, though long, is very much worthwhile hearing as the judges are very blunt in their criticism of TCAP and those who formulated it and impliedly those including Oelslager and Schuring who voted for it)

Second, a series of communications issued by various affected by sentencing reform counties which communicate how much more unsafe the folks in Columbus are making the neighborhoods throughout the state of Ohio.

A LINK to a article on Cuyahoga County opting not to participate in the first year of TCAP.

A press release from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas:

A press release from the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas:

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