FINDLAY - Hancock County commissioners said they'll comply with court orders to increase judicial budgets and funding for the sheriff's office to provide courthouse security.
In November, all county departments were ordered to cut their 2003 budgets by at least 6 percent because of expected reductions in county revenue. At that time Hancock County Judge Reginald Routson and Judge Joseph Niemeyer told commissioners they would not hesitate to issue court orders demanding more protection from the sheriff's office if security was reduced at the courthouse. They issued the orders last week.
Part of the judicial order mandates courthouse space for the domestic relations court functions by February. The commissioners will have to relocate their office space.
The judges and several other county officials, including Commissioner Virginia Clymer, have urged commissioners to enact a 0.25 percent emergency sales tax increase to relieve the budget crunch, then put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide whether to continue it. Commissioner Steve Oman is opposed to passing the tax without first putting the issue to voters.