By Brian Massie, A very concerned citizen
We take our role as responsible journalists and activists in the community very seriously. We give a platform for the average citizen to express their concerns about what is happening in the community. Also, we make Lake County citizens aware of the issues that are impacting them, because they may not even be aware of the actions of our elected officials.
One such issue is the Budget Commission’s conduct in the past few years. The Budget Commission (Prosecutor, Auditor, & Treasurer) is supposed to be the “watchdog” for the taxpayers regarding any potential and existing property tax levy, be they inside or outside millage. Here is a letter that we sent via email to the Lake County Commissioners.
We will also be sending this letter to the three candidates on the November ballot for Commissioner (Rich Regovich, Maureen Kelly, & Adam Dudziak) and Mr. Joe Shriver, candidate for Auditor.
We will publish the written response from the current Commissioners and all four candidates as soon as they are received.
At the August 4, 2022 Commissioners meeting, Prosecutor Charles Coulson and I presented our view of the role of the Budget Commission to the Lake County Commissioners.
I would like to ask all of those reading this article some questions.
If the Budget Commission is not concerned about the welfare of the taxpayers, who or what political entity is going to hold the political subdivisions accountable for the taxes received from the taxpayers?
How could $5.3 million of overpaid property taxes go unrecognized since the 1980’s?
How can the Hotel Bed Tax revenues received by the Visitors Bureau be considered as “CONTRIBUTIONS” from the taxpayers so that the Visitors Bureau can meet the IRS 501 (c ) (6) requirements, and not be subject to the Ohio Sunshine Laws?
How could the Lake County Port Authority spend $150,000 more than their $150,000 estimated cost for the ill-fated “Better Flip” project in Willowick, and no one is concerned?
How can the Deepwood Center amass over $55 million in rainy day funds, and everyone just turns their heads and says “Oh well”?
After five years of researching, observing and analyzing the financial statements of the political subdivisions, my answer to my own question is: NO ONE!!!
If the Crime Lab levy is allowed to stand, taxpayers are going to have to seriously consider not voting for another outside levy anywhere in the County. How can we be sure that the political subdivision is not extracting more money than they need?
The political class in Lake County is pricing seniors and those living on fixed incomes out of their homes that they have worked all their lives to achieve!
Please remember former Commissioner and State Representative Ron Young’s parting advice to the citizens of Lake County on the top two priorities of Government and elected officials: