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May 26th Star Beacon Opinion CLICK HERE TO READ
For immediate release:
May 23rd, 2013
On Thursday, May 23rd the Committee for a New Ashtabula expressed it’s intention to place a charter form of government on the ballot in the general election this November. The Petition Committee, made up of former County Coroner Doctor Robert Malinowski, Andover Village Mayor Bernie Baranowski, Vince Gildone of Conneaut, Monique Kawalek of Rock Creek and Dave Glotzbecker of Sheffield feel the time has come to let the people of Ashtabula County decide on whether or not they want to keep the bloated and largely ineffective form of government we have now or look to change the form of County Government to a more effective and effiecient charter.
“ A diverse group of people have worked on this charter concept for several months now and have come up with, what I believe to be a superior form of government for the people of Ashtabula County”, stated Doctor Malinowski. Mailinowski went on to say“ These people who built this charter are from all around the county and from different walks of life. Some are from the business community and some are even from the local political parties themselves. Many that were involved with the drafting of this charter choose to quietly support it for fear of political retaliation. That should tell you that we have a problem with our system of government.”
The charter government proposed does several things:
-It replaces the three current commissioners with seven part time district councilmen who each represent a different area of the county. The combined salaries of the councilmen will roughly equal the salary of one of the current County Commissioners.
-Non-partisan elected officials: Takes the political parties influence away from the county offices and gives the positions back to the people.
-No sales tax increases without a vote of the people first: Twice over the last eight years the county commissioners tried to increase the county’s sales tax through emergency measures. This charter insures that no county wide tax can be passed until the voters approve it in a November election.
-Streamlining government: Cutting elected officials salaries and combining some of the county offices will potentially save the taxpayers over $500,000 a year. This money can be better used to reduce the county’s debts and provide the services that we pay for and deserve like safety forces.
-Off year elections: Allows for local candidates to be the focus of electors rather than being an afterthought of a gubernatorial or presidential election.
-County meetings to be held in evenings: This will allow more people to take an active roll in our local government by actually being able to attend council meetings.
-Law Director- There will be a law director who will be able to handle all civil matters for the county and townships. This will potentially save some townships out of pocket legal costs that they currently incur.
-Economic Development- There will be an economic development department to centralize efforts to grow our county’s workforce, which is long overdue.
-Term limits- All elected officials will be limited to three consecutive terms. After third term official cannot take job with the county for one year nor run for another county office for one year. This will help stop the creation of bureaucrats within our local government.
The charter petiton needs 10% of the total number of votes cast in the last race for governor, or 2979 valid signatures to place the issue on the ballot this November. The deadline to file the petitions for the charter at the Board of Elections is 130 days before the November election which is Friday June 28th. Anyone wanting to circulate a petition or sign a petition can email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or they can contact Doctor Malinowski at 997-7688. Anyone interested in learning more about the charter can go to http://www.newashtabula.com to read the charter in it’s entirity.
” I consider it an honor to have represented the people of Ashtabula County for over 30 years as Coroner.I have learned a lot over those years about how our government works as well as how often it does not work and why. It is now time for me to give, what I feel, is the greatest contribution back to the people of Ashtabula County by giving them a chance to remove the partisan politics from our local government and everything that comes with it. I believe that the people of Ashtabula County can govern themselves far better than bureaucrats can. This November, hopefully they will have their chance to prove it. ” stated Malinowski.
Doctor Robert Malinowski,
Committee for a New Ashtabula