VIDEO: Watch the Erie County Commissioner Debate

The six candidates for two Erie County commissioner seats faced off at Sandusky High School.
Jason Werling
Oct 3, 2012


Watch the debate in the player below

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Julie R.

Hammond was the Erie County auditor at one time, wasn't he? He also was the one that authorized the fraudulent transfer of my mother's property seven months before her death under a fraud quitclaims deed prepared by a Lorain County attorney that falsely stated a forged POA concealed in the Lorain County Recorder was on file in the Erie County Recorder. (Erie County Recorder #200202036)


I am going to be neutral here and will post information for further discussion. "The Register has failed to report that in 2011, my opponent’s daughter was hired by the County Prosecutor to provide “legal research”. She was compensated over $3,500 from an account held solely by the Prosecutor. This process avoided following federal, state and local income tax withholding requirements that, if brought to the attention of the IRS, would cause the county to pay the employee and employer share of taxes, including Social Security and Medicare payments.

One wonders, since similar “interns” were not compensated for similar services to the Prosecutor, if it had anything to do with the fact that the Prosecutor’s sister is the Deputy Treasurer for my
opponent’s campaign? Would it have anything to do with the fact that they are both elected Democrats? Does this remind you of Cuyahoga County politics?"

The Sandusky Register would not hold back factual information, would they? Where is the IRS to check out this unreported income?

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment Centauri. It is correct the Register has not reported the issue you mention, which was contained in a campaign flyer Jude Hammond mailed to voters. The Register did report on five other allegations against his opponent Hammond made in the flyer. I can't recall any past political race in which a candidate attempted to draw his opponent's children into a contest. That contention in Hammond's mailer was not reviewed by the Register. 

The newsroom staff did carefully vet the other five "facts" in the mailer. The results: Four were found to be entirely inaccurate; a fifth one was determined to be partially true. This was reported in the (hit link) "Shenigo defends record" article published online Sept. 10. There were challenges  developing this story, but verifying or refuting the integrity of the known facts -- information carefully reviewed in past reporting and carefully examined again against the information Hammond provided -- was determined to be the appropriate goal for this article. 

Hammond met with the Register publisher and editors several times since the article published. He has not presented any information that reached a threshold worthy of prompting a correction or clarification to the article. He contends that conclusion is a matter of opinion.

Jude Hammond also expressed concern the Register's news coverage of the mailer, previous stories and the overall election coverage of the Shenigo-Hammond contest had been biased toward Shenigo. It was explained to Hammond that an incumbent does have advantages in a political contest, and Shenigo appears to be leveraging that advantage by continuing to be highly communicative and highly accessible to SR reporters and editors, a trait he's maintained since taking office in January 2009.


Shenigo gets his daughter hired by his friend Kevin Baxter. No big deal right. Maybe she paid taxes on the money, Maybe she didn't. Can anyone say CUYAHOGA COUNTY CORRUPTION

Julie R.

Shenigo is a friend of Baxter? If so, he must be a friend of Baxter's buddy Binette, too. So does that mean that was nothing but a big act when Shenigo criticized Binette for giving his well-deserving (choke) magistrates substantial raises after the county commissioners asked everybody to cut back?


I am surprised by the lack of comments. Six candidates are running. What are their property values worth for paying their fair share of taxes? How about you readers? Are you happy with your decrease or increase of property taxes? This was brought to my attention. SallyS mentioned Cuyahoga County. Check out the property valuations of all six candidates and see who got special favors.

Julie R.

I checked them out. They all got good reductions. So did lots of others, especially the ones on Cedar Point Road. So did Tygh Tone. So did the Murrays law office.

I even noticed that the realtor that bought my deceased mother and stepfather's property at a court-ordered by Binette SCAM sheriff sale to use as rental property --- and then whiiiined along with his stupid Sandusky attorneys nine months later that Lawyers Title denied him title insurance --- got an almost $11 thousand dollar reduction. Considering how that is the only rental on the street, I think I'll check out the rest of the homes to see if they got big reductions, also.


There must be a reason why these candidates got property tax reductions. Checking with other Ohio county auditor's offices, they often mention sales in the same neighborhood as a guide as to what a certain property is worth. Why does Eerie County do things differently?

The following is all public information available from the Erie County Auditor website.

The Murray and Murray office property valuation went from $4,385,150 (2005) to $2,427,450(2012)

Hammond's property valuation went from $131,870 (2009) to $119,680 (2012)

Judge Tone is not a candidate but his property valuation went from $314,560 (2006) to $215,180 (2012)

Ferrell's property valuation went from $207,770 (2009) to $193,680 (2012)

Brady's property valuation went from $363,230 (2006) to $367,850 (2012)

Hartung's property valuation went from $136,960 (2006) to $122,250 (2012)

What property does Steven Kraus own? That property on Monroe Street in Sandusky?

Shenigo? He appears to own several properties that got propery valuation reductions.


I liked the former SR website better where I was able to contact others. There is no provision for personal messages on this new and improved website.

Julie R.

I sure would like to know how that hand-picked by the Eeerie County courts Huron appraiser ever came up with that joke low appraisal prior to that court-ordered illegal scam sheriff sale of my deceased mother and stepfather's property to a realtor to use as rental property. I sure would like to know where he came up with those joke comparables, too. The auditor's website shows there are 0 comparable sales in the neighborhood and the 2 "comparable" sales in the city and township were appraised for $40 to $50 thousand dollars LESS then the low appraisal.

Julie R.

How does the auditor's office come up with those joke comparables, anyway? Do they have appraisers do that? For my deceased mother's property in Huron they have it listed there are 0 comparable sales in the neighborhood, 2 comparable sales in the city, and 11 comparable sales in the township. The 11 comparable sales in the township aren't even in the township of Huron. Instead they are all in Vermilion and Sandusky and they are an even bigger joke than the comparable sales in the city. For example, one comparable in Sandusky was only appraised for $49,000.00. So how was that comparable to a $150,000.00 house in Huron?


Brady parcel 55-00003.000 Comparables? None listed
Ferrell 32-04199.000 Comparables? None listed
Hammond 42-00993.000 Comparables? None listed
Hartung 42-00303.000 Comparables? None listed
Kraus 56-00481.000 Comparables? 6 listed

Special note. The above property is the only one that I could find under the name of Steven W. Kraus. This property went up from $53,970.00 (2009) to $59,490 (2012). That property might be a rental.

@Julie, you brought up a good point about comparables. I viewed the 6 comparables of Kraus's property and they make no sense to me.

Shenigo has several properties listed. I saw no comparables listed.

Julie R.

@ Centauri: When property is being appraised for the intent of selling, a Property Comparable Sales Report attempts to find other properties in the neighborhood, the city, the school district, and the township with similar characteristics that have recently been involved in sales -- but, once again, I sure wouldn't go on those Comparable Sales in the Erie County auditor's office. Those comparable sales are a joke --- in fact, I would have to say they are downright BOGUS.

Yesterday I called the auditor's office about those joke comparable sales that were listed prior to the court-ordered illegal scam sheriff sale of my deceased mother and stepfather's property in Huron. Once again, there are 0 comparable sales in the neighborhood, 2 comparable sales in the city, and the same 2 comparable sales in the school district --- yet what those 2 properties sold for didn't even close to the auditor's appraisal for tax assessment on my mother and stepfather's property prior to that scam sheriff sale. They didn't even come close to the LOW APPRAISAL set by the Huron appraiser. One was $40 thousand dollars LESS, the other $30 thousand.

They also have 11 comparable sales listed in the township and those are an even bigger joke. Those sales weren't even properties in Huron --- they are all properties that were sold in Vermilion and Sandusky. Duh .... so why was a house in the city of Huron on a nice, quiet street close to the lake prior to a scam sheriff sale being compared to houses that were sold in Vermilion and Sandusky? The supervisor at the auditor's office wondered the same thing. He said they were going to check it out and he thanked me for bringing it to their attention. I also asked him WHO was responsible for coming up with those joke comparable sales prior to that scam sheriff sale of my deceased mother and stepfather's property but I don't believe he gave me an answer --- but I WILL find out.

Julie R.

Centauri: You are right about the property of a Steven Kraus and the comparable sales --- it sure doesn't make any sense. Kraus's property is on Monroe St. and it's a rental. There are 2 comparable sales in the city --- one on 42nd Street and one on Jefferson St. (the other 2 comparable sales listed for the township and the 2 for the school district are the same ones that are listed for the city)

Kraus's rental property on Monroe Street went up from $53,970 (2009) to $59,490 (2012) -- the only improvement listed is a detached garage that cost $1,100. On the other hand, the comparable sale to that property on Jefferson Street (also a rental) went down from $123,320 (2006) to $92,390 (2012) yet the improvement listed there is a detached garage concrete block that cost $4,840. The other comparable sale on 42nd Street (not a rental) went up from $99,240 (2009) to $106,390 (2012) and the only improvement listed there is a detached garage that cost $5,790.

Doesn't make a bit of sense.


I looked further into the comparables, the valuations of the candidates properties and the connection of your present county auditor (Jeffrey) and the decreased property values of Jeffrey's former boss in the funeral business. Something appears not right at the Erie County auditor's office.

Julie R.

There's been something wrong at the Erie County auditor's office for a long, long time just like there's something wrong in ALL the public offices. As I said many times before --- just ask some of the title companies around what they are all finding during title searches at the Erie County courthouse. Also, did you ever notice how misleading the auditor and recorder's online records are when it comes to acts upon property? Ever notice how certain pertinent information is intentionally omitted?

Julie R.

Centauri: Thanks for pointing out that comparable list on parcels to property on the auditor's website. I never paid any attention to that link before. I'm now going to try and find out who the idiot was prior to that court-ordered scam sheriff sale of my deceased mother and stepfather's Huron property --- property that they owned scot-free and clear of a mortgage for almost 40 years with no back taxes owing --- that listed all those low-appraised properties in the city of Sandusky and the city of Vermilion as "comparable sales" to property in the city of HURON.

Was it the auditor's office under the old management of Tom Paul that came up with all those bogus comparable sales or was it the Huron appraiser picked by the Erie County Common Pleas court of Binette to appraise the property prior to that court-ordered scam sheriff sale?

Julie R.

Gee, I thought comparable sales when appraising property for sale intent were properties with similar characteristics involved in RECENT sales in the neighborhood, the school district, the city, and the township. Not even considering there are 5 low-appraised properties in the city of Sandusky and 4 in the city of Vermilion used as "comparable sales" to property situated in the city of Huron, not even the 2 properties listed in Huron were RECENT sales. One property was inherited so that one sure wasn't a recent sale and the other one wasn't a sale at all --- in fact, that one was just sold last month.

No wonder there's so many rental properties in corrupt Erie County.

Julie R.

Instead of the city of Sandusky appealing Judge Tone's ruling on the Chaussee rental properties to that joke 6th District Court of Appeals, why doesn't the city of Sandusky (via the law director Don Iscman) have title searches done on those properties on Cedar Point Road and Curran Street. Title searches just might show the REAL reason there's so many rental properties in Sandusky and Erie County.