House Bill Would Make Minor Changes to ORC1545

Representative John Boccieri, Ohio House District 59, Youngstown, has introduced a bill to modify the process of appointing members to the County Park District Board of Commissioners. Known as House Bill 561, the bill does little to nothing to solve the problem of croneyism in the appointment of park board commissioners, but merely adds a layer of complexity that in some local circumstances might make it more difficult for the probate court judge to single-handedly control the decisions of the board.

The bill is a great disappointment because the commissioners still serve at the pleasure of the judge and can be easily removed if they stray too far from the judge’s doctrine, as we’ve experienced on several occasions here in Geauga County over the past three years. There is also no provision that the commissioners have or obtain any expertise that would qualify them to hold such a position.

An early draft of this bill contained a provision that park commissioners would be selected from a list submitted to the probate court judge by a selection committee made up of citizens representing a wide range of stakeholders in the local community. Apparently there was no support in the Legislature for allowing such citizen input.

Please read the entire text of the bill here. hb561_00_IN