Morley Library has placed a renewal levy on the November ballot, but has changed it to a continuing levy. [Read: FOREVER] This means that they no longer need to be accountable to the taxpayers in their five taxing districts – they can do as they please because their funding is guaranteed. We believe that any agency that receives taxpayer funds must be accountable to the taxpayers.
We are in the process of “pulling back the curtain” on Morley Library, and will be reporting to the Lake County taxpayers on what we have discovered. Quite frankly, the trustees should be embarrassed by their performance. They have built a Taj Mahal that no one wants to visit.
We asked the Lake County Commissioners the following questions.
“What governmental agency is auditing the financial information of the political sub-division that is proposing to place a real estate tax levy on the ballot? How can the taxpayers determine if there is really a financial need, and is the political sub-division being good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”
Here is what we were told by Commissioner Dan Troy: The Ohio Revised Code mandates that the political sub-division goes before the Lake County Tax Board and they, in effect, certify the need for the proposed tax levy. When I asked if it is basically a “rubber stamp” approval, he said: “I guess that is one way to say it.”
The ORC mandates that the Commissioners “shall place a proposed levy” on the ballot if requested by the political sub-division. They are not required to issue any certification of need by the political sub-division.
To ensure that we were understanding the process, and what we were told was 100% accurate, we communicated with the Auditor’s, Prosecutor’s and Treasurer’s offices.
Here is Mr. Ed Zupancic’s , Lake County Auditor, response to our questions:
I am responding to your August 3, 2018 email concerning the Lake County Tax Board (technically called the County Budget Commission). The County Budget commission consists of the Lake County Auditor, Treasurer, and Prosecuting Attorney. The Budget Commission does not approve or deny tax levies. The purpose of the Budget Commission is to assure that when a levy is approved by the voters the proper amount is collected.
The Morley Library Board of Trustees is the sole political entity having authority to determine whether or not a levy should be submitted on its behalf of the voters to the library district. The Ohio Revised Code places a duty upon the Board of County Commissioners, once Morley Library has determined a levy is necessary, to pass a resolution submitting that levy to the electorate. The electorate of the Morley Library District will approve or disapprove such levy. [emphasis added by LFC]
Edward H. Zupancic
Lake County Auditor
[LFC has tremendous respect for Mr. Zupancic and his office staff. They have been honest and transparent on each and every issue we have discussed with them.]
To All Lake County taxpayers – There you have the proof that NO ONE in county government is checking to determine if any political sub-division is being a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. The County Budget Commission is only involved after the voters approve the levy. The Commissioners are leaving it up to the respective Board of Trustees to be honest and transparent with the taxpayers.
Therefore, the taxpayers are completely in the dark with only information fed to them by the political sub-division. The taxpayer has no credible place to turn for information, and will be forced to vote strictly on emotion. Who has our back, who is fighting for us, as they price seniors out of their homes?
This cannot be allowed to continue!