Friday, September 3, 2010


It was interesting to watch Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero dialogue with the county commissioners about his need for an additional $100,000 to make ends meet on this year's budget for his office.

The most interesting thing readers will note in the accompanying video is that he volunteers that he has known for the entire year that there would be a shortfall of about $100,000.

So why not make cuts along the year so as to avoid a the deficit his office is now facing?

Ferrero's answer?  Something to the effect that he was hoping that the cure would just happen because of a spontaneous/serendipitous money saving occurrence?

Now he stands before commissioners apparently trying to place a guilt trip on them because now he is going to have to (unless he get the $100,000) begin furloughing his staff.

The commissioners did play the game with him to a limited degree, to wit:  "We know your staff works hard," they said.  But then they did buck up.  "We have not replaced our last for departed employees," they responded.  "Our employees also will have to take furloughs."

What they should have added is this:  "Mr. Ferrero, if you knew from the beginning of the year you were facing a $100,000 shortfall, then you have to accept and own up to the responsibility with your staff that you are to blame."

Also, "Well, Mr. Ferrero, you need to do a better job of managing your funds, especially when you have known for some time a shortage was in the offing.  Accordingly, your plea falls on deaf ears.  Do what you have to do to make up your office deficit."

Stark Countians should be disturbed to have a county official blatantly admit to have had foreknowledge, but then just sit by and let the inevitable just happen.  What kind of leadership example is that?

It will be interesting to see if the Stark County Common Pleas Judges are willing to bail Ferrero's office out.

One can tell how irked Commissioners Ferguson and Meeks were that one of Ferrero's assistant prosecutors thinks that the commissioners have $5,000,000 in a "rainy day fund" to dispense to the improvident.

And Ferrero is the guy who is the liaison between county office holders and the Citizens Review Committee? 

The SCPR said from the beginning that Ferrero was the wrong guy for the job.  But there he sits.  Hmm?

The Report is not even willing to give Ferrero high marks for his handling of the recovery of lost funds from the Stark treasury ($2.96 million).

As yours truly has said from the get-go and Repository Executive Editor Jeff Gauger recently echoed, the person Stark Countians should be high on praise for is local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley.

The SCPR believes Conley (who expended large amounts of uncompensated  lawyer time doing research, preparing and filing pleadings) drug Ferrero kicking and screaming into a more aggressive and assertive mode of pursuing efforts to recover monies lost from the Stark treasury because of the former Chief Deputy Frustaci admitted theft of $2.46 million.

The moral of the story of Ferrero's appearance for other Stark County elected officials and for the $100,000 in more money?

Believe it folks.  There ain't no more money!  They all had better become super efficient managers of their budgets because they haven't seen anything yet.

The year 2011 will be bad (16.1 to 21.1% in budget cuts, depending on whether or not the commissioners deplete the "rainy day fund.")

And 2012?


If you are a Stark County elected official.

Here is the video that captures the essence of the Ferrero and commissioners exchange.

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