Volunteer group recommends changes to county governmentWritten by Patrick Timmis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A volunteer group of Lucas County citizens formed in fall 2010 presented a review of Lucas County on Thursday.
“The Committee reached this major conclusion: Lucas County needs a single unifying leader,” the report stated.
Olivia Summons, co-chair for the project’s advisory panel, said major problems in the county prompted the review.
“The tax base around here is eroding, housing sales are not good, every study that’s going on around the country by various institutes always has Toledo in the lowest category, and we wanted to see if by changing the form of government we could reduce some of the inefficiencies …” she said. “It’s all about delivering good services to the citizens of lucas county but continuing to reduce costs.”
The report made recommendations for restructuring the county government in order to improve the county’s economic atmosphere and future. The highlights were:
- “Change Lucas County government to a Charter form of government, which requires a vote by the citizens.”
- “With the passage of a Charter: Voters would elect a County Executive – a single, accountable leader responsible for not only overseeing county operations, but also a visionary individual with the ability to lead and bring divergent groups together.”
- “Voters would elect a nine member County Council comprised of six district and three at large members with legislative responsibility and serving as a check- and-balance to the Executive.”
- “The County Council would establish an Internal Audit Office responsible for auditing operational and financial performance.”
- “The Offices of Auditor, Treasurer and Recorder would be consolidated into one department headed by a Chief Fiscal Officer (CFO) appointed by the Executive.”
- “The County and Sanitary Engineers would be combined with one engineer appointed by the Executive.”
- “The Executive would appoint a Sheriff and a Medical Examiner.”
- “The Clerk of Courts would be appointed by the judges of the Court of Common Pleas with responsibilities divided between the CFO and the Court.”
- “The Prosecutor would remain an elected position.”
The report also included a proposed charter for the county, which the group hopes to put on the ballot in 2012. Summons said a ballot initiative and petition drive — with 14,000 signatures needed — would have to take place next year.