Monday, December 1, 2008


This weekend, Commissioner Todd Bosley sent out a press release divulging his intention to present a reform of Stark County's 9-1-1 system at Tuesday's Stark County commissioners meeting set for 1:00 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room on the 2nd floor of the Stark County Office building.

Who will be at the meeting to oppose the plan?

Well, it won't be the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report). The Report has long been an ardent supporter of centralized 9-1-1. But The Report does have questions about Commissioner Bosley's plan.

The Report poses a few right now in the expectation that Commissioner Bosley will be addressing them at the Tuesday meeting. By the way, The Report will be at the meeting with video camera in-hand to record Bosley's response as well as the reception given his plan by Commissioners Harmon and Vignos and, hopefully, to record reaction from everyday Stark County citizens attending the meeting.

Here is the entire Bosley press release:
Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley announces plans to introduce a long overdue reform to the county tax system.

At the Tuesday December 2nd meeting the Stark County Board of Commissioners, Todd Bosley will introduce a series of measures to restructure the way we pay for 9-1-1 Emergency Services and lift an unfair burdened from overtaxed homeowners.

Under Stark County's current system, approximately 100,000 homeowners are burdened with paying the lion's share of the $7.2 million dollars spent on 9-1-1 and the 13 Regional Dispatch Centers each year. This system is outdated, inefficient and ineffective. The new restructured plan will take the extraordinary step of reducing that burden by shifting the cost of 9-1-1 to a more fair and equitable forum paid into by not only homeowners and citizens of Stark County, but also the hundreds of thousands of yearly visitors and those who travel to our county from other locations for work and business each year. Bosley's plan would also centralize 9-1-1 dispatch, which will improve public safety and provide free dispatch service to all cities, villages and townships.

Todd Bosley recognizes the terrible strain placed on homeowners in the current nationwide financial crisis. Bosley believes it is necessary to move immediately to reduce this burden and help all Stark County homeowners in this difficult time while also providing better public safety to everyone who lives in or visits our great county. Commissioner Bosley believes that this much needed reform will not only save lives, but also bring relief to all those who pay property taxes anywhere in Stark County. (edited for typographical errors)

The Report's questions:

First, what form will the restructuring take? There has been a debate between two groups what The Report labels "the Gonzalez group" (which advocates for a single site - with a backup - for the centralization) and "the Bosley group" (which advocates for a two, maybe three site (with one being a backup) configured centralization). Which is it going to be? Is there really any difference?

Second, is the funding of the new plan going to be by a county add-on sales tax? The clue? From the press release: "... paid into by not only homeowners and citizens of Stark County, but also the hundreds of thousands of yearly visitors and those who travel to our county ... " How else to you tap into visitors do Stark, other than by a sales tax? Sales tax increases are highly unpopular with Stark Countians, aren't they?

Third, if one divides $7,200,000.00 by 100,000, you get a burden of $72 per homeowner. How does this square up with the projected share that homeowners will pay under the new tax to support the reconfigured 9-1-1?

Fourth, in what specific ways will the "outdated, inefficient and ineffective" current system be brought up-to-date and made more efficient, effective and make Stark Countians safer - beyond the centralization factor?

What questions do you have? If you are unable to attend the meeting, post your questions in the comments section of this blog and The Report will pass them onto Commissioner Bosley.

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