The Geauga County Republican Executive Committee held a special meeting tonight at 7:00 pm to discuss House Bill 218 which was introduced recently by State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) and encouraged by Geauga County Probate Judge Tim Grendell. This bill would expand a county probate judge’s powers over park districts beyond what current state law provides.

Member Scott Kayser, also State Rep. Sarah LaTourette’s husband, gave some factual background information on the bill and the process by which it is proceeding in the House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee (GAO). So far, there have been two hearings for sponsor and proponent; most likely there will be a third hearing next week for opponent testimony.

After no supporting testimony for HB218 was offered by any members present, opposing statements were made by member Ken Radtke and Chairman Nancy McArthur. McArthur also read a statement by Prosecutor Jim Flaiz which was published in the June 2, 2017 edition of the Geauga Times Courier where Flaiz said he remains concerned about the language of HB218. “Some of it is unconstitutionally vague and concerns provisions that allow a probate court to investigate matters. I believe it is against judicial canons of ethical conduct.”

A motion was made to vote a paper ballet to oppose HB218 and it passed unanimously 39-0.

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