On November 7th, orain Countyvoters will be asked to vote on an alternative form of County Government, known as Issue 20.

The County Auditors’ Association of Ohio urges voters to reject this alternative form of county government. While state statute allows voters to adopt an alternative form of county government, NO county in Ohio’s history has approved an alternative form similar to Issue 20.Issue 20 proposes to consolidate many of the county statutory duties under a larger county commission of seven members, rather than the current three member commission.

Issue 20 increases staffing, could create bigger government and would add approximately $2 million per year to the County Budget. It removes the financial oversight of county expenditures from the County Auditor and creates a Department of Finance to provide this oversight. This Department would answer to the Appointed County Executive, who would not be elected.

Issue 20 creates a new Department of Personnel, who would answer to the Appointed County Executive.   The new Department of Personnel would assume the payroll responsibilities currently performed by the separately elected County Auditor.

Admittedly, democracy and separation of powers does not always work as smoothly as some would like.  However, that separation of power and elected officials being solely accountable to voters, has served Ohioans well for over 200 years.  The County Auditors’ Association of Ohio urges Lorain County voters to vote NO on Issue 20 and reject this experiment of an alternative form of County Government.


Tom Pappas

CAAO Executive Director

Columbus, Ohio