The Commissioners’ meeting held Thursday, January 10th was worth the price of admission. It was educational, verbally combative at times, and had a moment that brought shock and then laughter to the entire audience.
Commissioner Cirino wanted to make the public aware of a lawsuit that is “under the radar” and the vast majority of the public is unaware what is happening. The lawsuit seeks to reverse the vote of the Ohio and Lake County citizens in the passage of the bipartisan Ohio Issue 1, appearing on the May, 2018 ballot, dealing with the gerrymandering practices in the State of Ohio.
For anyone unsure what that means here is help from Wikipedia:
“Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander; however, that word is also a verb for the process. The term gerrymandering has negative connotations.”
The issue was passed with ~75% of the of Ohio citizens voting for it. Here is the Lake County vote count from the Lake County Election Board’s website:
#1 State Issue 1 Vote for not more than 1 (WITH 162 OF 162 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 26,080 (73.43%) NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,437 (26.57%) Total . . . . . . .35,517
Commissioner Cirino had a little “show and tell” and displayed the following maps for all all to see. Here is a map of Ohio’s current congressional districts.
The lawsuit’s plaintiffs (they are the parties filing the lawsuit) are the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Ohio League of Women Voters. It was confirmed by an audience member and activist with the Lake County League of Women Voters, Ms. Ellen Chamberlin, that the Lake County League of Women Voters is in total support of the lawsuit. Ms. Chamberlin, made it “crystal” clear that she was not attending the meeting as a representative of the League of Women Voters, but strictly as a concerned citizen.
Here is the congressional district map as proposed by the ACLU and the Ohio League of Women Voters.
Commissioner Cirino wanted to make Lake County citizens are aware of the lawsuit that seeks to reverse the will of an overwhelming percentage of Ohio and Lake County voters.
Ms. Chamberlin expressed concern that she was not given any prior indication that this topic would be discussed at the meeting. Commissioner Cirino reiterated many times that he welcomes any correction if he is misstating any facts about the Lake County League of Women Voters. He expressed appreciation for their community involvement by ensuring that all candidates, regardless of party, are given an equal opportunity to express their views to the public, and he hopes that they continue with that practice.
Commissioner Cirino was surprised that the League of Women Voters’ platform is so extremely left of center on the political spectrum, and all of the leaders in the local chapter are registered Democrats. At these comments, Ms. Chamberlin, while not denying the comments, took umbrage and reminded Commissioner Cirino that he represents all Lake County citizens. Commissioner Cirino, very politely, commented that he certainly does represent all residents; by mentioning this lawsuit he is hoping that the 73% of the Lake County citizens that voted for the passage of Issue #1 are aware that their collective will may be suppressed by both left-wing organizations.
Commissioner Cirino had concerns that all we are really doing with the lawsuit is replacing one gerrymandered plan with another. Lake County has many more associations or ties with Geauga County rather than Trumbull County, and he did not think that the revamped congressional districts are in the best interests of the Lake County taxpayers.
On a lighter note, an audience member, Mr. Dave Lyman asked that the Commissioners pass a resolution not accepting campaign contributions from individuals appointed to any Lake County board or organization receiving contracts from the County. This request was a result of the Commissioners passing a resolution last week not accepting campaign contributions from county employees under their direct control.
Commissioner Young stated that the prior resolution was a well-established practice throughout the State and did not feel compelled to add in the board appointees and/ or organizations receiving contracts from the County.
Upon hearing Mr. Lyman’s comment, I stood up and stated, without any hesitation, that I thought Mr. Lyman’s suggestion had merit. Upon hearing that yours truly agreed with Mr. Lyman on any subject caused the Commissioners to have an amazed look on their face with the Commissioners acknowledging this historic moment, and Commissioner Hamercheck, in good humor, saying that they may as well end the meeting. The audience had a good laugh at our expense, but, I have to admit, it was pretty funny. Mr. Lyman thanked us for the support, and the world did not come to an end.