Friday, May 18, 2012


UPDATED:  05/18/2021 AT NOON


Lake Township legal counsel went on camera with the SCPR after yesterday's "special" township trustee meeting to answer follow up questions posed by The Report.

This update makes it five (5) videos that the SCPR of the event to give readers of The Report the most complete and comprehensive coverage of the meeting by any Stark County media outlet.

In this video, Hall acknowledges that the ballot language error which led to the Ohio Supreme Court invalidating the passage of Issue 6 originated with him.  Moreover, he sheds light on the adjustments made by the Stark County Board of Elections to prevent future incidents like this one from happening.

UPDATED & REVISED 05/18/2012 AT 9:00 AM

One has to wonder why the Lake trustees called a special meeting today (May 17, 2012) at noon at Township Hall to discuss the decision yesterday by the Ohio Supreme Court to invalidate the vote on Lake Township Issue 6 (designed to convert the Uniontown Police Department [UPD] which voters passed on November 8, 2011 because of problems with the ballot language.

First of all, trustee and board president John Arnold was unable to be at the meeting because of a prior business commitment.   
Secondly, the meeting mainly consisted of township attorney Charles Hall, III retreading ground that most followers of the controversy surrounding Lake Township's Issue 6 are familiar with. 

Thirdly, none of the Lake citizens attending the meeting were allowed to speak to the matter.  They will have to wait until the trustees regular meeting:  Tuesday, May 29th at 6:30 p.m. at Lake Township Hall.


Yes, as indicated in the opening paragraph of this blog, while the issue passed, it had deficient language in that as printed on the ballot it told voters that they would be paying the millage at the rate of $0.45 per thousand of valuation whereas the reality is that township taxpayers would be paying $4.50 per thousand.

The Ohio Supreme Court said that the error was grievous to the point of requiring the justices to invalidate the election on the issue.

Those opposing the issue are pleased with the high courts action.  Witness this videotaped interview by the SCPR of township resident Sue Leonatti:

But there were supporters of the issue (by the way, yours truly voted for the issue) present at today's meeting.   One such person was Emily Kish.  Here is her SCPR videotaped interview.

It is apparent to The Report that the trustees are going to put the issue back on the ballot this coming November.

While Trustee Ellis Erb, in this on camera interview, says he has not made up his mind, The Report is confident that he and fellow trustees Galen Stoll and John Arnold will resubmit the matter to Lake voters not later than the August 8th deadline for inclusion on November 6, 2012 ballot.

Off camera, Erb made a number of points to The Report:

  • the Stark Board of Elections (BOE) is "at fault" in that it did not communicate to Lake a memo from Ohio secretary of state that there was a ballot language problem.
  • points to recent discipline of two BOE workers as evidence that the board is owning up to being "at fault,"
  • he is confident that if presented to Lake's voters a second time, a new initiative to go township wide with the UPD will pass.
  • that he will not be asking a prime contributor to the first try (the corporate arm of Hartville Hardware) for any additional contributions.  $7,000 was contributed the first time around.
  • that the criminal element benefits from the issue's demise.
Erb also discussed with yours truly the fact that one of the legal counsel appealing the ballot language problem to the courts (namely, Michael J. Grady) has made a political football of the matter of a countywide dimension in that he is a candidate for Stark County prosecutor.  A job currently held by Democrat John Ferrero.

Both Erb and Grady are Republicans.  Erb has made at least one campaign contribution to Ferrero and confirmed with The Report that he supports Ferrero over Grady.

Assistant Stark County Prosecutor Deborah Dawson was present at today's meeting.   Prosecutor Dawson is the township's prime counsel for purposes of appealing from the baseline court decision [Stark County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Haas] also invalidating the Issue 6 favorable vote.

Erb says that Grady has a mission beyond turning around the results of Issue 6.  Obviously, one is to get elected prosecutor.  Moreover, Erb believes that Grady is determined to unseat himself and fellow trustee Galen Stoll when they come up for reelection in November, 2013.

Here is a video of the formal portion of the meeting.

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