Who’s minding the Boards?……answer – no one!

Here is an article written by another Geauga friend and patriot Tom Niewulis.  Although, he lives in Geauga, this article contains important information that pertains to all counties.

By Tom Niewulis (SamAdamsReturns.net)
Published Wednesday, July 23, 2019

Is ANYONE actually watching or being held accountable for your levy tax dollars? 
Every time you vote in favor of a levy without demanding accountability, you are contributing to self-inflicted eviction. It has taken a long time to bring this information to you since the details of it had to be more fully investigated and then written in more of a White Paper format. The challenge for this writer has been to drill down on the Ohio Revised Code, the Ohio Administrative Code, and the various bureaucratic entities’ rules, grants, strategies, and policies.

Gulp! Where’s the Tylenol™ for the headache?

It is abundantly clear that many of the non-elected boards and bureaucrats of some nineteen taxing subdivisions in Ohio have ZERO Accountability to the citizens of the counties. Why? Because no one is paying attention to them.

We need to look at two very important considerations as to who is accountable regarding your property tax dollars collected for the various taxing subdivisions in levies.

Elected Vs. Appointed
We can count about twenty-two defined entities that ‘shall’ or ‘can’ increase your property taxes. It is important to understand that this list not only defines the entity that can tax you but also who should be looked to for accountability.

What is fact is that only about five of those taxing subdivisions elect, hopefully, responsible persons. Those elected to the various offices in taxing subdivisions are accountable to those who elected them. Take a deep breath and think that through…. (Pause and reflect on that) …. Those you elect are accountable to you for all aspects of what the taxing subdivision does and how it spends YOUR property tax money.

Do you know which four or five taxing subdivisions have elected seats out of our list of twenty-two? They are shown at your County’s Elections Board web site. As of this writing the list for the ELECTED has not been updated on the Geauga County Elections Board web site. With this posted list available for Local Authorities, it is clear that counties, municipal corporations, townships, and boards of education all have elected representation as the responsible, fiduciary agents who are accountable to the electors (that being you). Now the elected officials of these four primary entities, according to state law, “shall” establish certain boards and districts. This is where the possibility of nineteen other districts and boards come from. What is critical to note is that those who serve on the boards or are trustees for these taxing districts are not elected.

Now I’m trying to keep this simple. The state mandates that these non-elected boards “shall” hire executive directors and staff to carry out the functions of the boards. Thus, a bureaucracy is created. Often with this bureaucracy a special class of citizen is also created in that these executive directors receive all of their benefits paid for by you – in your property taxes.

Who Does This To the County Citizens?
In all cases, the boards are made up of citizens that have some common association to the type of board that is mandated. In all cases a lesser number of a Boards members are appointed by the state agency that the taxing subdivision is associated with. The majority of board members are supposed to be appointed by the County Commissioners. In the majority of cases the state sets the criteria for whom the boards shall hire as an executive director.

With all respect to those that are appointed to the various boards of the taxing subdivisions, they are not often educated in business practices or the functions of a board. The board members are citizens wanting to do the correct actions for the benefit of the boards’ legal requirements. No one is minding the store. Sadly the board members rarely if ever consider how their decisions will affect the entire county. Therefore, when they seek levy dollars from you, they never take into consideration the total cost of all the other levies you are paying for.

In the final analysis consider this: Once a board is put in motion, those that appoint the members never pay attention to what they are really doing. The state agencies claim no oversight capability, and most often the County Commissioners have other things to do that are more interesting. What that means is that these boards for the various taxing subdivisions are in fact self-policing.

I leave you with this to ponder as you hear about levies in future elections: Who’s minding the hen house when the foxes are the managers at the door?

Categories: Real Estate Taxes, Uncategorized

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