Do The Commissioners Really Have Our Backs?

Lobbyists for Citizens received the below press release as most local newspapers do. Most local papers would just publish this as-is. You have to know we are not fake news so we will provide some well-reasoned commentary. Commissioner Cirino has the same info on his “Jerry Cirino for State Senate” Facebook page noting that he proposed the resolution at the Commissioners’ meeting on Thursday, May 7.

We take issue with Commissioner Cirino’s contention that the resolution he proposed, and which was ultimately passed unanimously by the Commissioners, had no weight in law (See Deprivation of Rights law at the U.S. Justice Department website ( Applicable law No. 1.

Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. We do love that word “willfully.” It’s a necessary word when requesting an award of punitive damages in a lawsuit.

For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties.

Bottom line here? The reason you are seeing criminal charges against business owners and people that are defying the draconian executive orders of tyrannical elected officials is that the prosecution cannot legally make a case against them because what these government officials and their lackeys are doing is unconstitutional. Any corrupt and drunk with power state or local government official dumb enough to ignore the rights of the people will have A.G. Barr to deal with. Barr has been very clear about that.

Therefore, the Lake County Commissioners had the duty to the people of Lake County to declare Governor DeWine’s extension of the “stay at home” order and the continued closure of certain Ohio businesses preventing those business owners from exercising their constitutional right to make a living, UNCONSTITUTIONAL and open Lake County. Plus, they can always play the Home Rule card, can’t they?

Home Rule versus State Rule – Applicable Law No. 2?

The Home Rule versus State authority question has plagued LFC for some time now. It is about as clear as mud, and we’ve come to believe that it has really been designed to be that way.

When LFC has contacted State officials about the improprieties of various Lake County government or quasi government entities that receive taxpayer funds (because the Lake County Commissioners refuse to act) the universal responses we get is “We have no jurisdiction in the matter” and “Ohio is a home rule State; and therefore, cannot dictate what local officials/governments do.” Our local government officials, via passage of this resolution, are inferring that, even though Ohio is a Home Rule state, they have no power to override an unconstitutional order by the Governor. Really?

So which is it? It seems it is all arranged so that no one has to be accountable to the people. We did some research on Home Rule for our readers and wrote about it here:

It is our opinion that elected officials at the State level hide behind the “Home Rule Authority” when confronted with a local corruption problem they do not want to address. The Commissioners hide behind the State officials enacting rules (not laws) of a general nature when they do not have the spine to stick up for the people. Once again the people are left with no peaceful redress of their grievances, and we get to fund it all.

Additionally, in case you are wondering, one of the biggest reasons for the chaos in Ohio during this whole COVID thing is because NO ONE in either state or local government wants to make a decision because it is an election year. How pathetic is that? It is all about covering their hind ends so that they protect their jobs, benefits, pensions; and most of all, their status…all the while the citizens wither on the vine.

Oh and one more thing…we are going to have to revoke Cirino’s Care Bear card for betraying the people once he got into office. As for Jer-Bear’s statement about “caring and having compassion” for the citizens of Lake County…actions speak so much louder than words. Let us refresh your memory about some “caring and compassionate” moments over the past couple years. MEMORIES…like the corners of our minds…misty water colored memories…

  • Commissioner Jerry Cirino kicked a citizen out of a public meeting in February 2019 telling the citizen that it wasn’t a public meeting even though 2 of the 3 commissioners were present and allocation of lodging taxes was to be discussed. Said citizen sued the Board of Commissioners along with the Lake County Visitors Bureau, and that case is set for a bench trial in August 2020. Woo hoo!
  • When LFC pointed out that since 2014 lodging tax funds had been used to fund operating expenses of the Lake County Port Authority, which is a violation of the Ohio Revised Code, they chose to ignore us for 1 more year. One more year you say? Yes, interestingly enough, we are pretty darn sure that budget discussions did occur during the aforementioned public meeting in February 2019. A formal written agreement between the Lake County Visitors Bureau and the Commissioners was executed whereby it was agreed to fund the salary and pension of a Port Authority employee (operating expenses) for one more year (2019) out of lodging tax funds, in violation of the ORC.
  • When LFC exposed that the Lake County Port Authority did not prepare a budget for the “Better Flip” project (fiduciary nonfeasance); set the project not to exceed $150K (conveniently the threshold for avoiding competitive bidding); and then spent $299,000 on remodeling a Wickliffe bungalow, the Commissioners refused to act. To add insult to injury, the Commissioners reappointed 2 of the board members responsible for that debacle.
  • When LFC confronted the Commissioners at a public meeting about the Better Flip fiasco, Commissioner Cirino’s response was to try to curtail public comments at future meetings by proposing a freedom of speech limiting resolution. Thankfully, the citizens of Lake County were having none of it, and he was forced to back down.
  • When LFC requested that the Commissioners pass a resolution to support Trump’s border wall to commit to stopping the flow of drugs over our borders, they chose to ignore us yet again.

The list goes on and on. In our opinion, this “Special Resolution” proposed by Commissioner Cirino is nothing more than a publicity stunt as he campaigns for his State Senate seat. It is also very interesting that the resolution was offered up hours before Governor DeWine had a press conference opening up the state’s businesses. It was a “safe space” resolution…no political capital would need to be spent to pretend to give a darn about the people.

A real leader would have had the guts to stand up for the people regardless. A real leader would have had the spine to declare the Governors order unconstitutional and open up Lake County weeks ago rather than adopting the “Oh no we have to do what the State says” mantra. As we mentioned earlier, LFC believes Home Rule Authority is nothing more than a paper tiger used for cover when dirty politicians are providing cover for themselves and their cabal buddies and don’t want to deal with something like standing up for the rights of the people and proper use of the public funds of the people.

Finally, the Ohio Legislature’s efforts to limit Dr. Deep State Acton’s power came too little too late. Besides, DeWine said he’d veto the thing anyway so the political hacks are able to pretend to care knowing that nothing will come of it. They are wasting time and money with this dog and pony show. What are their efforts at ensuring that they have the 2/3 vote needed to override the Governor’s veto? Anyone? Bueller? The whole thing is one big fat JOKE!

Never forget it was the state legislature that decided, against the recommendation of the Governor and the Board of Elections, to hold the Ohio Primary by absentee vote only on April 28 versus an in-person primary on June 2. People are just now waking up to the fact that they will NOT be voting in person on June 2. They sold us out once again.


May 7, 2020


PAINESVILLE, OH, May 7, 2020 — At today’s weekly meeting of the Lake County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Jerry C. Cirino proposed a Special Resolution requesting that Governor Dewine cancel previous directives and allow Lake County businesses deemed “non-essential” to begin operating by May 15th. While this Resolution carries no weight in law, it is a respectful request in recognition of the serious economic pain these directives are causing to the Lake County economy and so many of its citizens.

“We care deeply about the health and welfare of our community. As Commissioners, we work on this every day of the year”, notes Cirino. “We certainly understand why the Governor took swift action to safeguard the health of Ohioans”, he continued. “However, our hospital has empty beds and the curve has been flattened”, he further noted.

The Special Resolution is intended to get the people of the county back to work and to give businesses in all categories a chance to recover from this unprecedented and self-imposed circumstance. It is the Commissioner’s hope that restaurants, gyms, barber shops/beauty salons, and entertainment businesses can begin operating again although with appropriate regard for precautions such as distancing, masks, etc.

Like many other counties and cities around the state, Lake County is experiencing a severe reduction in revenue and will have to take extraordinary actions in order to continue providing necessary services for the county. “We have heard from businesses across the county that they just can’t live with these restrictions any longer,” notes Commissioner John Hamercheck. “People are losing their life savings and many will never reopen.” “Community health is important,” added Commissioner Ron Young, “but we also have to take into account the economic health of our community. Poor economic health leads to more suicides, increased drug overdoses, higher death rates, more crime and less hope for the future. It’s time for Lake County to go back to work,” he concluded.

This Special Resolution was adopted unanimously this morning and has been forwarded to the Governor and Lt. Governor along with the Director of Public Health.

Commissioner Cirino further commented that, “We are urging the Governor to open Lake County as a matter of necessity. We certainly have supported his efforts to keep Ohio healthy however, our constituents are pleading with us to help them avoid further destructive economic circumstances.” The Commissioners note that they are here to serve their community and to make the views of the community known to policy makers in Columbus.

For more information, please contact Commissioner Cirino at (216) 409-0383

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