Miami County – Citing budget concerns and doing what is right by the taxpayers, the Miami County Commissioners, with agreement of the Miami County of Clerk of Courts, Jan A. Mottinger, Common Pleas Judges, Robert J. Lindeman and Christopher Gee and Municipal Judges, Elizabeth S. Gutmann and Mel Kemmer, announced today their intention to ask the State Legislature to combine the Common Pleas Clerk of Courts with the new county-wide elected position of Municipal Clerk of Courts.
The move would eliminate the new elected position in the municipal court and combine those duties with the already elected Common Pleas clerk. The Municipal clerk’s position is on the ballot this November and is scheduled to take office on January 1, 2012.
If the bill is signed into law, Miami County will join Hamilton, Montgomery, Portage and Wayne Counties in combining the clerk’s position.
Current County Commissioner John W. (Bud) O’Brien is the only person on the ballot this fall and has agreed to withdraw his name at the appropriate time so as to not incur printing or programming costs to the Board of Elections. O’Brien adds; “Taking my name off the ballot was an easy decision. I enjoy working as a Commissioner and I believe we have done many good things during difficult times. There’s more to do and I’m looking forward to working with fellow Commissioners Cultice and Evans to accomplish our goals.”
Commission President Jack Evans stated; “Combining of the two positions will save the general fund budget of Miami County approximately $100,000 per year and still provide the courts with the same level of service they have come to expect. I would like to commend Commissioner John W. (Bud) O’Brien for putting the welfare of Miami County before his personal interests.”
O’Brien Stated; “When looking at the Miami County’s budget and in talking to other counties who have combined the clerks, the decision really is a no-brainer. Miami County saves substantial general fund dollars and the Municipal Court will continue to be served by an office that understands the court system. It will be a win-win situation for the courts and the taxpayers of Miami County.”
Commissioner O’Brien has approached State Representative Richard N. Adams (79th Dist.) to sponsor the bill and Rep. Adams has agreed to shepherd the bill through the state legislature. Because of the timing of the election, Miami County is requesting the bill be emergency in nature, thus taking effect immediately after the bill passes both chambers of the General Assembly and is signed by the Governor.
Commissioner Richard Cultice concluded; “This is why Miami County government has been so successful. Individual Elected officials come together for the good of the whole organization and the people of Miami County. This is an example of how team management style works for Miami County.”