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Supreme Court of Ohio recommends taping Mayor’s Court


First, I want to say ‘thank you’ to the Beacon for the backing in their Oct. 15 editorial titled “‘Kill the messenger’ still alive and well in Buckeye Lake.”

The October 10th council meeting was much like the previous meeting in which Charlene Hayden read another of her letters to council and I was the subject.

This time Hayden complains about my letter in the October 8th Beacon calling it “derogatory” and states that she believes “freedom of speech is important. I believe it should be used in a constructive fashion. Airing dirty laundry in the newspaper is not the best position for the village.” (NOTE: Solution would be for the village to stop creating ‘dirty laundry’.)

My October 8th letter was a complaint about the village’s prosecutor not doing his job. You can call that airing dirty laundry if you want. However, this laundry is being “aired” in the public because I have been asking the prosecutor privately about this case for a year! There wouldn’t be ‘dirty laundry’ if people would do their jobs properly. The prosecutor dropped the ball and I would presume that he only “reviewed” the case after it was too late to prosecute it. If the case was not “pursuable” (which I don’t believe) as Mayor Carroll stated, the officer on the case was never contacted with that information.

Former Council member Hayden continues reading her letter and states, “I would like to take the high road on this and I’m hoping that some council member or several council members will help with this issue.” Hayden then accuses me of having a “ghost writer”. (NOTE: I write my own letters from my own thoughts, ideas, research, encounters, and observations. No one else writes for me or with me!) Not only does Hayden appear to not understand what ‘taking the high road’ is, she must be reading a script from the former Kirkersville and New Rome GOB’s (Good ole boy) because that’s what a GOB does when they don’t want the public to know the truth and would rather not fix the problem….attack the messenger!

Council member Arletta Ruton says she does not believe in “the bashing and unprofessionalism that has gone on in the last five months.” (Presumably, she is talking about my previous comment in which I stated I had been writing about the problem with former Magistrate Berryhill in the Beacon for the last five months and the mayor chose to do nothing about it.) Ruton rants about being friends with Mayor Carroll and Hayden before she got on council and then agrees with Hayden’s accusation that I have a ghost writer.

One of the most “unprofessional” actions yet was when the Mayor announced in the October 10th meeting that “One thing that has come to my attention while talking with Mr. Kelsey and others in trying to get this issue put to bed was that we don’t need to record court sessions. We’re the only community anywhere around that does. It’s not required to be recorded and after all this has come to light, from the cost that’s incurred for recording it and making the copies and all that…um…and the many other things that have been brought to light, I think we’ll probably cease to record those meetings.”

Ironically, I thought the fact that Buckeye Lake was recording Mayor’s Court sessions was actually a professional thing to do. As far as the cost of recording, the village owns the system! The cost of copies is paid by the person requesting the copy! The real courts (Licking County Municipal Court, etc.) record their sessions. And….. the Supreme Court Mayor’s Court Rule 11(B)(2) states: An audio system to record mayor’s court proceedings should be provided and tapes of proceedings should be maintained in accordance with established records retention schedules. Although the Supreme Court doesn’t say you SHALL record, wouldn’t you think it is stepping backwards to remove a system that the Supreme Court recommends?!

Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake

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