Erie County ponders budget cuts

Commissioners ask staff for help finding savings for improvements
Andy Ouriel
May 22, 2013


A potentially grim financial outlook has once again forced Erie County officials to ponder reducing operating expenses.

A memo recently sent to the county's elected officials, department heads and others overseeing boards and commissions asked what impact a 4 percent funding cut could have on a particular operation.

The letter, sent from the county commissioners' office, also asks how officials can conserve taxpayer dollars and generate new income.

But the memo's not a precursor to taxes increasing nor layoffs occurring, Erie County commissioner Pat Shenigo said. Rather, the would-be funds could help cover delayed and neglected facility upgrades.

County commissioners want to spend $401,000 on various infrastructure improvements in 2013 — funds they presently can't afford to expense without depleting their own budget.

Not included in this tab: Major repairs to the Erie County Courthouse and an air conditioner enhancement at the county's services center.

Get the list of potential savings in Thursday's Register. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy the Register daily at a newsstand near you.




We can get rid of one or more of the judges we are caught up enough to do that what a money saver

xdefiance's picture

Here here


Are you really askin' Jules to come in? lol

God Of Thunder

Where in the heck is the 'Like' button??? HAHA

Julie R.

How about getting rid of the retired rent-a-judges that Erie County doesn't want anybody to know they're still using at the taxpayers expense --- like the arrogant one I witnessed in action last year in the probate court ten years AFTER my mother's death. The one that was brought in NOT to handle the complaints that were filed that the probate court refused to address --- instead to do the "final accounting" in the estate. That clown was positively entertaining with those ludicrous laws he was paid to come up with. For example: The reason the probate court did not have to address the complaints that were filed in the probate estates of life-long Erie County residents was because the complaints had already been "resolved" --- referring to a sneaky attorney filing and dismissing a bogus sham lawsuit in the jurisdiction of Cuyahoga County.

I'm afraid I had to laugh when he said that --- I believe I even asked him: "If that's true, why are you in Erie County? Shouldn't you be in Cuyahoga County?"


How about collecting real estate taxes and water bills that are delinquent? (And not just from the working stiffs.) That should help generate a tremendous amount of money for the county.


How about getting the murderers convicted and sent to prison instead of sitting in the county jail. I counted the other day and there were 8 or 9 murder/manslaughter convicts sitting there..Due process is overdue for some, such as Cliton and others


Yes, what's the hold up ?


Lawyers. Dragging it out makes more cash. It's the "Merican Way"


I was speaking with a gentleman the other day that worked as a defense contractor and he told about his travels to Saudi Arabia 10 years ago. To make a long story short he was told by his Saudi counterparts to go to with them to the city center in Riyadh. What he saw was a public execution, apparently the person killed his wife who was having an affair on him and then went to the man's (the other adulterer) business and shot him. The gentleman asked his friends when did this all happen? The answer, 18 days about swift justice!


Nobody made any $$ on that one. Frippin' divorce didn't cost a dime. I would hope fair to middlin' would happen instead of both extremes, myself.


The unlimited funding from the federal and state levels is ending. We need to make due with what we have and even cut back on some of the bureaucracy.

It's time to be responsible for yourselves. It's a rough road ahead for those who have relied on others rather than themselves.


Vote NO in August!


No for what? This story isn't about an election.


sell some of those county vehicles(they have a ton)...and make employees use their own vehicles...


Start by making the motels in Avery tie-in to the mega-million dollar sewer expansion down S.R. 250. After all, it was becasue of them that the sewer line had to be extended in the first place.

Rent some rooms in the newly "renovated" courthouse in Avery. Lots of space there unless the Judge's office is too big . . . .

Sell the "Industrial Park" property on Huron-Avery Road at a loss. Property is worthless for development and will never be used by the County.

Quit making a park every time someone wants to sell a parcel. You can't tax parks.

Ask Kevin Baxter to repay the money borrowed from the County for his ferry fiasco.

4-wheeler al

all that court cost that people are paying, were is it at


Blah Blah Blah ...why doesn't the Register include information on the balance of the County's carryover from year to year as well as the County's rainy day fund? There's a nice little sum there. I'm sure the 3 leaders (word used loosely) could fix an HVAC system with what is already sitting in their coffers rather than force cuts on an already reduced workforce. What about the article not 3 months ago that talked about the "savings" from not filling jobs?? Seems like the story has changed pretty darn fast. Are there negotiations coming up somewhere?

xdefiance's picture

Budget cuts? You folks are working for the people.

xdefiance's picture

Budget cuts? You folks are working for the people.


What is happening to all the casion money they are getting?

J Cooper

Are these the same two county commissioners that wanted to give the City of Sandusky FREE or reduced rent to use non existed space at the county office building at Columbus Ave & Washington Row or FREE county owned land on Columbus Ave to built a new city justice center a few months ago? Maybe the airport at NASA Plumbrook will bring in new revenue, yes that was sarcasm.


Get rid of public unions.


Get rid of idiots that vote no on everything!


You must be in a union. How's that working out for ya?


Great! Excellent benefits, retirement, wages and working conditions! How about you?


Have better than union and don't pay dues to protect dirt bags from losing their jobs.


Thats great! I am very happy for you, and I dont hate you for that,so please dont hate union members for what they have. Instead, Thank God that He has blessed us with all that we have.


I don't hate all unions, only government employee unions. Private sector can do whatever they want, but public unions are killing our country.


Maybe you should take a moment and think about all that public employees do so that you can enjoy a safe and healthy lifestyle. Or maybe you would like everyone to drill their own wells for water and throw their excrement wherever they want to and possibly contaminate those wells. Maybe you would like to eliminate police and fire protection, safe building codes,traffic safety, etc. etc. I could go on futher, but unfortunatly, its just not worth it!

Signed a PROUD public union member!

Free Man

" Maybe the airport at NASA Plumbrook will bring in new revenue, yes that was sarcasm."
Thank You


Yet many mocked the loss of decent paying jobs Ford, New Departure, etc. Guess what?? The rent is due!

God Of Thunder

How about start proceedings to collect delinquent taxes like this one...Really...Owing almost 94K ??? What does this one have against the county?? And this is only 1 preoperty... Let's make some headway on collecting these delinquent taxes...

Totally ridiculous..
to go with this property...

120k between 2 properties, owned by the same person... And nothing has been done to him or paid by him...


Great comment! Thank you for the links to inform the people. I find that most people do not want to be informed. They are quite content with their willful ignorance and willful refusal to look at the truth. Sheeple?


I agree whats the hold up here Erie County Auditor ??? These are clearly over 12 months in back taxes and thats time enought to get then on the auction block. You start doing that and these folks will start paying up for fear of losing the propety.

God of Thunder good work if you have move to make known get them out there for all to see. Lets get them out into the public's eye.

God Of Thunder

Centauri and Gardenman..The pleasure is all mine.. Maybe the Sandusky Register can look into why, at least, this certain property owner, seems to get away with this.

And if anyone wants his name, look at the previous sales tab..

Julie R.

@ God of Thunder: I noticed in the auditor links you provided under the previous sales tab how quite a few of the lines under DEED TYPE are intentionally left blank.

The auditor's office is real good at withholding that information and I know that for a fact. The auditor's misleading online records pertaining to my mother and stepfather's property make it look like they owned their property jointly and my mother's half was automatically transferred over to her spouse after her death when the real truth was --- the property was NOT owned jointly and my mother's half was fraudulently transferred seven months before her death under a QuitClaims Deed and a POWER OF ATTORNEY that was falsely stated to be on file in the Erie County Recorder --- only there was no Power of Attorney on file.

Under DEED TYPE on that property the line is intentionally left blank, also. There's no mention at all of a QuitClaims Deed or a POWER OF ATTORNEY.

God Of Thunder

Julie...No offense, but you bore me... I'm sorry you went through all the crap you did, but everyone on here as heard it from you dozens of times and how you can take any story and turn it around to be all about you is beyond me...

However, I laugh out loud whenever I see you post your babble...

Julie R.

No offense, but I could care less what you think.

Julie R.

Auditors that authorize fraudulent transfers of property on forged power of attorneys concealed in the Lorain County Recorder, recorders that knowingly file fraud documents, a court that allows their attorney/judge friends to file a forged Will two years after a client's death, another court that works in collusion with attorneys and the sheriff to sell fraudulently transferred property at a scam sheriff sale through a scam partition action and a fraud preliminary judicial report......

Erie County sure does have some real sweethearts for public officials!

God Of Thunder



"quite a few of the lines under DEED TYPE are intentionally left blank."

I noticed the lack of deed type in the two previous sales. I also noticed a large numbers of comparables.

What was the reason for the Sherrif's Deed? Was there a sheriff's sale of the property. If so was it because money was owed to a lender or for back taxes?

I have noticed that many of the Erie County (Ohio) properties listed on the county auditors site lack information, have the wrong information or don't make sense for being public records.

Julie R.

You're A-1 correct when you say the auditor's site lacks information and doesn't make sense for being public records. It's sort of like --- they don't come right out and lie but they don't tell the whole truth, either. I noticed that it's not only my mother and stepfather's property that conceals the DEED TYPE information --- a lot of properties on the auditor's site are like that.

The recorder's site is the same way in the fact that it lacks information. If you ask them why you will get told that it "cost too much money" to put all acts upon property online. Not that it really makes that much difference because that information IS there and can be found. There's one thing that can't be done when it comes to property. (unlike dirty financial institutions that get away with it thanks to the corrupt courts) Records on property can not be concealed and/or falsified. If they could, just think of all the trouble it would cause with title companies giving out title insurance and banks giving out loans.

Julie R.

The 1st act upon the property with no DEED TYPE listed was done under a QuitClaims Deed prepared by a Lorain County attorney that falsely stated a POA prepared by my mother's Huron attorney was on file in the Erie County Recorder. This was seven months before my mother's death. I found the forged POA concealed in the Lorain County Recorder after my mother's death.

The 2nd act upon the property with no DEED TYPE listed is a Transfer on Death Deed and it also was prepared by the Lorain County attorney. The date on it was 3 days after the fraudulent transfer of my mother's half in 2002. It was filed right after my stepfather's death in 2005. That Transfer on Death Deed has to be the biggest joke ever. The book and volumn number of the original deed is even crossed out and the number of the fraud QuitClaims Deed is wrote above it.

The 3rd act upon the property -- the Sheriff Sale Deed -- I think I already told that story a hundred times over. The property ~ owned scot-free and clear for 36 years ~ was not in foreclosure and neither was there any back taxes owing. It was sold through a scam partition action and a fraud preliminary judicial report that falsely stated there were no defects in the title because the courts and their attorney friends knew it couldn't be sold through normal channels (i.e. a bank who would require a title search) unless the fraud on my mother's half was acknowledged and the property put back into her probate estate --- and they sure didn't want to do that.

As for all those comparables --- I have no idea what that's all about. Most of the "comparable sales" are properties in the city of Sandusky and the city of Vermilion. So why are properties situated in the city of Sandusky and the city of Vermilion being used as "comparable sales" to property situated in the city of Huron? When I asked somebody at the auditor's office that question a short time ago, he avoided giving me an answer.


"It was sold through a scam partition action.."

Thanks for the clarification. Here is the ORC chapter that may pertain to your legal problem. Chapter 5307: PARTITION

God Of Thunder brought up two examples of properties that are delinquent in paying taxes. How many years does it take for the county treasurer to go after these taxes? Delinquent taxes are a major problem. What is the hold up? What are the excuses of the county treasurer for not going after those who owe back taxes?

Julie R.

First off, it's not my legal problem. I didn't buy property with serious defects in the title at a scam sheriff sale. I would never be that ignorant. All I did was try to get the joke Erie County courts and those dirt-bag attorneys to follow the law and they refused.

* The law states: "Before property that's part of an estate can be sold, if the administrator of the estate is aware of any fraud having been committed on the property, then the administrator and/or his or her attorneys are to commence an action in the common pleas of the county in which the property is situated to have the fraud acknowledged."

The administrator to her stepfather's estate sure knew there was fraud on the property because she was one of the fraud power of attorneys that fraudulently transferred my mother's half. The Lorain County attorney for a stepfather's estate was also aware of the fraud on the property because he was the one that prepared the QuitClaims Deed for my mother's Huron attorneys and the two idiot fraud power of attorneys and he also prepared the new fraud TOD Deed that defrauded the 4th beneficiary (who wasn't me) to my mother's half.

That's what my legitimate complaints were -- the administrator to her stepfather's estate and her two attorneys (who incidentially were from the same law firm as the Lorain County attorney for the estate) had to commence an action in the common pleas court to have the fraud acknowledged so the property could be put back into my mother's probate estate and sold with a clear title.

That's why I laughed months later when Sandusky attorneys whined that their poor realtor client was denied title insurance. As I think I said before, I was on the phone with the title company when they got the title search report back. The person wasn't even half-way done reading it when she said: "My God! This guy will NEVER get title insurance!"

Oh well. That's your legal system for ya!

Julie R.

"What are the excuses of the county treasurer for not going after those who owe back taxes?"

Probably the same excuses she used when she FORGAVE the $200K back taxes of you-know-who!

Dude i Roc

Please post parcel numbers so we can view the auditor data you are referring about in your post.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment, God. It's worth noting that the responsibility for collecting taxes and delinquent taxes rests with the Erie County Treasurer's Office, not the County Auditor's Office. 


God Of Thunder, I looked at the two parcels that you have listed that are delinquent in back taxes. I found this Sandusky Register news article that listed various businesses that owe taxes.
"Owners of Erie County commercial properties are more than $2 million behind in county taxes."

I didn't see the two parcels listed as shown in the list above for Erie County, Ohio.


What about the sheriffs department i see like nine million of them driving around, or sitting around. I thought they were meant to be working in the jail. I just saw they were hiring somemore now......what budget problem! Maybe they should stay out of perkins township and work where they belong! Or was that the city of Huron they have been working in. If the commissioners are looking to save money they might want to ask sheriff sigsworth...since he runs the county anyway and owns the commissioners!!!!!!!!!!!!! SANDUSKY REGISTER WHY DONT U DO A STORY ON HOW MANY EMPLOYEES THE SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT HAS COMPAIRED TO OTHER COUNTIES.....WOULD LOVE TO SEE THOSE NUMBERS,BUT I FORGOT, YOU DONT WANT TO MAKE SIGSWORTH MAD!!

xdefiance's picture

Here here!

What No

SR i agree with a story on the sheriffs department budget compared to other counties. Seems like they are over staffed.


"The letter, sent from the county commissioners' office, also asks how officials can conserve taxpayer dollars and generate new income."
"If under ten acres are devoted exclusively to commercial agricultural use, the farm must produce an average yearly gross income of at least $2,500."
.8 acre
$175,000 land value
$780 CAUV value
$15.06 Tax

How does this .8 acre qualify for CAUV? Does this .8 acre produce an average yearly gross income of at least $2,500?


Again we hear from Mr. Shenigo. So tired of him. Isn't Mr. Monaghan President? Isn't Mr. Ferrell also a Commissioner. Andy why?

Julie R.

Maybe the county commissioners should send all the public officials back to school to learn the laws, including the judges. That would save the county quite a bit of money.

xdefiance's picture

Here Here.

"Almost 2,300 area properties are tax delinquent, translating to nearly $11 million missing from the county's coffers, according to a Register analysis of financial data obtained through a public records request."

"Almost 2,300 area properties are tax delinquent, translating to nearly $11 million missing from the county's coffers, according to a Register analysis of financial data obtained through a public records request."


"The letter, sent from the county commissioners' office, also asks how officials can conserve taxpayer dollars and generate new income."

Government cannot be run as a business since businesses exist to make a profit. Businesses do look for waste and fraud as a way to increase profits.
If government wants to raise new income, they will raise taxes. A business will look for waste and fraud or even consolidate and get rid of duplication of services.
"Can government be run like a business?"

Some ways for government to cut expenses besides elimination waste and fraud is to get rid of taxpayer funded vehicles for government officials who drive the vehicles home. Some of these vehicles are used for personal use such as for personal shopping. Look for artificially low property valuations. I have seen plenty on the Erie County (Ohio) auditor's online site. Low valuations mean less property taxes for the county and the schools. Go after the delinquent property taxes. What is the county waiting for.

Form a business partnership with a private company by giving taxpayer funds to an already successful business. Will this work? I am no fan of giving taxpayer funds to private companies. Put these links into your favorites for future reference. You may want to know what ever happened to that county business partnership with a private business. You as taxpayers are actually partners with a private business.
"In Ohio, the largest grant -- $2.72 million -- went to a partnership of the Kelleys Island ferry operator and Erie County, to build a 160-foot vessel."
"This week's grant is in addition to $1 million in federal funds received last year. The ferry-line operator is expected cover most of the remaining cost."
"This vessel will have more capacity than the current ones," said Erie County Commissioner Patrick Shenigo. "I'd like to see it built here in Northeast Ohio."

Read the grant application contained in the link.
12. Amount of Federal FBD Funds Requested (up to 80% of project cost): This request is for consideration of up to $2,800,000. It was indicated in the FY 2010 application that a request would be made during FY 2011 funding cycle in the event that an amount less than $3,000,000 was able to be awarded towards the project. The project received an award of $2,000,000 in FY 2010.
14. Previous FBD Funding: This project received $2,000,000 award in FY 2010 funding cycle.
"Currently, the Kelleys Island Ferry is the only line that runs year-round (weather permitting) between the island and the mainland. The boat line is owned by James "Jim" Palladino and his family.[32] In the past, Palladino has been tied to the Cleveland Mafia.[33][34] After the Neuman Ferry line closed, Palladino purchased several boats from the company, as well their dock on the island. The private ferry runs to Marblehead, Ohio every half hour during the tourist season, with the ride lasting approximately 25 minutes.[35]"

Since Erie County (Ohio) is a partner with the ferry company, the money will be flowing into the county coffers.


According to the February 2, 2010 issue of the Sandusky Register, Erie County (Ohio) will be a silent partner owning 51% of the ferry boat. As a majority owner of the ferry boat, Erie County will receive a one-time $60,000 administration fee and $6500 per year for 15 years. After 15 to 20 years, the ferry boat and boat lift will revert entirely to the boat line. Did the Erie County taxpayers get a break on ferry boat rides?

Erie County also gave the ferry boat company a break on property taxes.
Look up parcel 54-90016.000
$399,630.00 current valuation
$639,000.00 12/19/2007 valuation.
There are four "Miscellaneous" reasons for the drop in property values. You call that complete public records?