Monday, March 25, 2019 Elyria 38°


Petitions filed to alter Lorain County government


SHEFFIELD TWP. — Backers of a plan to reform Lorain County government have once again filed petitions to put the measure on the November ballot.

Last year, the group filed petitions to get the measure on the ballot, but Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted threw out the petitions — citing conflicting language that would have appeared on the November ballot.

Lorain County Board of Election Director Paul Adams said the group filed the petitions Monday. Former County Commissioner Dave Moore, a Republican leader of the reform effort, said the group filed 12,328 petitions even though there were required to file 7,867.

“There shouldn’t be any arguments this time,” Moore said. “We cleaned up the document and made sure that any objections anybody had when we filed it in June were taken care of.”

Moore said the group had multiple law firms review the document to make sure it wouldn’t be thrown out.

“I can tell you this document is solid,” he said. “From Jan. 1, 2017, until Nov. 30, 2017, I got 25,000 signatures. Unfortunately, the first 12,500 didn’t count, so I had to do it again. They thought we’d go away, but we didn’t.”

County Commissioner Ted Kalo said he’ll take a wait-and-see approach to the reform efforts.

“They filed it once again, and we’ll see if it’s a good petition,” Kalo said. “Again, I think there’s some weakness in how they’re doing it, versus the other two charter forms of government. Cuyahoga County and Summit County both have an elected county executive instead of an appointed county administrator.”

The plan would replace the current three county commissioners with a seven-member council that would be elected from districts across the county.

The plan also would turn several jobs that are elected by voters, such as county recorder and treasurer, into appointed positions. Other positions, such as county prosecutor, sheriff and auditor, would remain independently elected offices.

Additionally, the plan calls for the creation of a county executive who would be appointed by the proposed county council.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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