Saturday, January 24, 2009


Who should pay for the operation of the Stark County Law Library?

Lawyers and other users - right?

Not right.

In its collective wisdom the Ohio General Assembly including Stark Countians Kirk Schuring (R - 29th Senate), Scott Oelslager (R - 51st Ohio House), John Hagan (now term limited out R- 50th), John Boccieri (now 16th District congressman - but then D - 33rd - Senate), Steve Slesnick (D 52nd - Ohio House) and Mark Okey (D - 61st which included a part of Stark County) voted to reverse direction on who pays for the operations of the Stark County Law Library.

Now yours truly is a lawyer and a dues paying member of the Stark County Law Library.

But should I and my colleagues-at-the-bar and other users of the library be subsidized by Stark County taxpayers?

A resounding no! - so says the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report).

Kelli Young of The Repository reported on 1/22/2009 that a Stark County Board of Commissioners obligation to pay for the library on a phased out basis was abruptly reversed in December, 2008 when the Ohio General Assembly completed action on HB 420 to re-institute - immediately - an non-reimbursed (from state of Ohio funds) mandate that Ohio's counties (of course, including Stark) pay for the operation of county law libraries.

If you were to ask any of the supporters of HB 420 whether or not they are in favor of "unfunded mandates," undoubted they would also say an unequivocal no.

What these legislators hide behind is no one pointing out chapter and verse where the rhetoric doesn't match the action.

One of the missions of The Report will be to go and check on how these folks vote on "unfunded mandates" and report to Stark Counties name, rank and serial number of the offending legislators.

There is nothing like a "high intensity light" on an legislative activity to put the actions in the public spotlight.

So thank you Stark County - courtesy of your Stark County legislators - for the subsidy.


Anonymous said...

Shouldn't there be a fee for every case filed in Stark County go to the Law Library? People and attorneys filing law suits should be required to pay a $5.00 per case fee, then that money would be collected by the courts then given to the Law Library. Makes sense to me.....I should run for office.

Anonymous said...

You should. That is a splendid recommendation.

Marley Greiner said...

What has always griped me is that taxpayers are funding a facility that only lawyers can use. Around the time I moved to Columbus a man brought a suit over this. He expanded the bar he owned and the county (I think--this was in 1978-79) came back on him later and said he'd done it illegally and ordered him to un-due his construction. He went pro se and was denied access to the library.

Around that same time, I was working on a death penalty appeal. I'm sure there was something there that would have helped me, but I had to drive over to the U of Akron Law Library a couple nights week to look up stuff.

Now, here in Columbus I have the OSU Law Library or the Ohio Supreme Court, both of which are free. And, of course, so much is online now.