Lucas County voters do not have a constitutional right to vote for the sheriff, auditor, or treasurer, as implied by the writer of the June 30 Readers' Forum letter "Lucas County doesn't need this reform."
The Ohio Constitution gives the General Assembly the authority to provide for the organization and government of counties. But it does not spell out what this organization must be or which officers must be elected.
General law enacted by the General Assembly establishes the form of government now used by Lucas County and 85 other Ohio counties, with 11 elected officials, not including judges.
The law also provides a procedure for a referendum on a home rule county charter that can adopt a different form of government, such as the elected county executive and county council in the proposal promoted by Better Lucas County.
This proposed charter would continue the direct election of the county prosecutor, as an independent check on the executive and legislative branches of county government.
Editor's note: The writer was a member of the study committee that proposed a home-rule charter for Lucas County.
Voters should study reform plan
Lucas County voters may not realize that a course of action is available to reform the government of this county.
Citizens have a unique opportunity to change a form of government that was conceived in the 1800s and does not provide for checks and balances between an executive branch and a legislative branch. This is not a criticism of the many dedicated county officials who have served with distinction, but is a criticism of an outdated structure of county government.
Reform of county government is accomplished by adopting charter government. This form of county government is now in existence in Cuyahoga and Summit counties, and is considered in other counties in Ohio.
Charter government provides an opportunity to realign many county functions. It ensures representation for all areas of Lucas County in a county council.
Lucas County voters should learn more about this opportunity for meaningful change in government. If adopted, county charter government has the potential to yield great results for this area.
Editor's note: The writer is a retired judge of the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals.
City road, tree expenses weighed
The City of Toledo will not repave Bernath Parkway north of Airport Highway. The road is bad. Try going down the street in a truck or on a motorcycle.
But the city can plant trees up and down the streets in that area. The city spends taxpayers' money on trees that we have to mulch and water, but it can't repave a small section of road. Are we going to get a break on our water bill to keep these trees watered?
Residents would rather see a new road than trees that they have to care for.
Forest Bend Court
Editor's note: A city spokesman said Bernath Parkway will be rebuilt from Airport Highway to Greenridge Drive; existing curbs will be left in place. Tree planting is a service billed to homeowners through property taxes. Road repaving and construction are paid for in the capital improvement program.
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