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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sales tax discussion to intensify

It’s not a major surprise that Lake County commissioners have set two public hearing dates to discuss a potential raise of the county’s sales tax rate.

Last year, commissioners were reluctant to consider an increase, saying they would look to cut until it got to the point where they felt the county couldn’t cut anymore or perform statutory functions.

But with additional layoffs anticipated and the budget likely to shrink even further in 2012 from 2011, commissioners appear more interested in discussing the possibility of an increase.

It’s worth noting that even though two public hearings are scheduled — which is a requirement of state law if a sales tax increase were to be implemented or placed on the ballot by commissioners — such an increase is still something that might not happen.

However, I’m doubtful that public hearings would have been scheduled if that was the case.

So perhaps the more interesting questions are exactly how much may it increase — likely either 0.25 percent or 0.50 percent — and if an increase would be done as an emergency measure or placed on the countywide ballot.

Elections Board director?

With the retirement of Janet F. Clair as director of the Lake County Elections Board, there remains a Republican Party opening for someone to be appointed either director or deputy director of the county department.

Democrat Scott E. Daisher is currently the deputy director. He could either be moved up to director or remain as deputy director, depending what the bipartisan four-member Elections Board decides.

State law dictates that the chairman of the four-member board must be the opposite party of the director.

Plus, the director and deputy director must be of the opposite party.

Democrat Thomas A. Tagliamonte is now board chairman, so if Daisher is moved up to director, Tagliamonte would have to step down as chairman. The two Republicans on the board are Dale H. Fellows and David A. Vitaz and if Daisher becomes director, then either Fellows or Vitaz would be named board chairman.

Look soon for these decisions.

Ohio Senate District 25
State Sen. Nina Turner, D-Cleveland, represents Ohio Senate District 25, which in 2013 will consist of Eastlake, Fairport Harbor, Grand River, Lakeline, Mentor Ward 4, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Painesville, parts of Painesville Township, Timberlake, Wickliffe, Willoughby and Willowick in Lake County, plus Euclid, Richmond Heights and other eastern Cuyahoga County communities.

Turner had aspirations to run in an 11th Congressional District Democratic primary against U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights, but for now decided to stay in the Ohio Senate. Keep in mind, Turner could always run as an independent with a filing deadline of March 5.


The weekly deadline for information to appear in this column is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Email or faxes are preferred.


n Fundraiser for Jason Wuliger, candidate for Lake County recorder, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday at Gavi’s in Willoughby. Special guest is Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. See Susan Culotta.

n Campaign kickoff for Linda Burhenne, candidate for Lake County commissioner, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Spats Cafe in Concord Township. See Jack Burhenne.

n Fundraiser for Ted Andrzejewski, candidate for Lake County commissioner, 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 19 at Croatian Lodge in Eastlake. See Ted or Patricia Andrzejewski.

n Campaign kickoff for Lori DiNallo, candidate for state representative District 60, 4:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 21 at Wickliffe Italian-American Club. See Vince DiNallo.

n Campaign social for John R. Hamercheck, candidate for Lake County commissioner, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at Cornerstone Brewing Company in Madison Village. See Susan Hamercheck.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: newsheraldjah


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