Monday, May 19, 2014


The Stark County Political Report began a new series focusing on gender (equal pay for equal work) four Mondays ago with Volume 1 with an examination of "the commissioners office," "the Stark County treasury" and "the recorder's office."

Three weeks ago  in Volume 2 the perusal was of the county auditor's and prosecutor's office.

Two weeks ago (Volume 3 in this ongoing series) the look was at the clerk of courts office and the Stark County sheriff department.

And last week (Volume 4) the SCPR examined the Stark County Engineer's office and the Stark County coroner's office.

So far The Report has been less than impressed (in an overall sense) of how Stark County's elected officials are doing on the matter of gender equity.

And that experience squares up with the state and federal governments.

A primary document to be familiar with for anyone who cares whether or not American women are treated equally in the job market is in the Equal Pay Act of 1963.  However, the fight for fairness for more than half the American population continues inasmuch as the fact of the matter is that the 1963 act has not resulted in pay equity for women.

Still, in 2014, on average, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar that men are paid in the American workplace.

Of course, the law is one thing.

The underlying facts of the rampant discrimination and hardship that American women from the early 1600s on have had to endure and thereby necessitating the 1963 law is something that we all should familiarize ourselves with.

The SCPR just completed reading Gail Collins' America's Women and recommends that readers of this blog series take time to read.

For anyone who thinks that our great nation has overcome this blight, needs to think again.

In 2009, population demographics showed that women outnumbered men 158.6 million to 151.4 million.  And there is no reason that the tilt to a distinct majority women is not growing.

One danger in citing national statistics is that you, I and our neighbors might think that here in "good ole Stark County" there is very little if any gender employment discrimination going on.

Already, the SCPR believes that this blog's series is showing that the fact of the matter is that there are pockets of real and substantial differences in how men are paid depending on what department of Stark County government one is looking at.

Of course, the only place that information is readily available to assess is in government.  There is no right to obtain data from the "private sector" as to what the pay scales are between males/females as there is in the public sector. Accordingly, we have no choice but to rely on national statistical studies to get a feel for what is going on locally among privately owned entities.  And there is no reason to believe that the Stark County private sector varies significantly from the national scene.

As far as Stark County is concerned, today's picture (i.e. the Court of Common Pleas, Family Court and the Public Defender's departments of Stark County government) shows complete turnaround from Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 in terms of women getting equal treatment in terms of pay and position.


Though the Stark County Court of Common Pleas has two female judges (Democrat Tayrn Heath and Republican Kristin Farmer), both are relatively newcomers to the bench and therefore do not deserve much if any of the credit for gender parity if not better (for women) in Stark's general jurisdiction court.

The SCPR thinks that retired judges - "all men" - Charles Brown (a Republican), V. Lee Sinclair (a Republican) and Richard Reinbold (a Democrat) deserve the lion's share of credit for ensuring that women have achieved if not surpassed gender equity in the Court of Common Pleas.


The picture is much the same in Stark County's Family Court.

Here though the SCPR credits long time judges Michael Howard and Jim James (both Republicans) and, again - "two men" - for seeing to it that Stark County's women get a fair shot, in terms of pay and position, at taxpayer supported jobs.


Stark County's Public Defender did not "upset the apple cart" on gender equity matter that is evident in Stark's justice system (i.e. the Court of Common Pleas and the Family Court as exemplified above).

Under the able leadership of Tami Johnson (with the office since 1985), both women and men get their fair due as shown in the following chart.

It is always a terrific day for the likes of the Stark County Political Report which takes great pains to take a critical look at the operations of various units of Stark County's government and its political subdivisions to come up with a wholly positive evaluation as is the case with today's blog.

A SCPR Hats Off! to the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, the Family Court and the Public Defender on their exemplary work in achieving gender equity plus in their employment, wage and promotion practices!

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